Henry Cavill refused to take steroids to muscle up for the role. He also refused any digital touch-ups or enhancement to his body in his shirtless scenes. He said it would have been dishonest of him to use trickery while playing Superman, and he wanted to push his body to the limits, to develop his physique into one that was worthy of the character.
Henry Cavill said that the most difficult part of making the movie was definitely his two shirtless scenes. He had been training for months prior to filming, but for his shirtless scenes, he went on an extremely difficult diet and training regimen in which his calorie intake was cut from five thousand to nearly fifteen hundred for six weeks. After six weeks, he reached a body fat level of just seven percent, the level achieved by professional body-builders during competitions. Henry said he did this because he wanted to make his abs as pronounced and his muscles as defined as humanly possible, to create the best possible Superman physique. Cavill returned to a more manageable routine after the scenes were shot, but felt his effort was rewarded when audiences and critics alike praised his physique for the true embodiment of what Superman would look like. After he had shot his shirtless scenes, director Zack Snyder gave him a tub of ice cream and pizza to reward him for his Herculean effort for the shirtless scenes.
Henry Cavill and Russell Crowe had met years prior to playing father and son when Henry was an extra in Proof of Life (2000), and received words of encouragement to pursue acting, and an autographed picture from Crowe, who was his favorite actor.
The idea that Superman's S-Shield means "hope" is taken from Mark Waid's "Superman: Birthright" comic: the S-Shield is the Kryptonian symbol for "hope", and Superman (1978) created the concept of the Shield being a Kryptonian herald for the house of El.
Henry Cavill naturally has a hairy chest, and left it untouched for the shoot of this movie. He insisted that Superman has chest hair in this film; he rejected the notion that just because you are muscular, you should not have chest hair, and cited the Superman comic book "The Death Of Superman" as being an iconic representation in which Superman had a hairy chest.
In an early Smallville scene near the Kent house, a double tanker truck passing by in the background bears the "LexCorp" brand name. Also, a building in Metropolis and a tanker truck later bear the name as well. This is the company run by Superman's arch rival, Lex Luthor.
Clark's line "Can't I keep pretending I'm your son?", and Jonathan's response, "You are my son", are taken from "Superman: Secret Origin" by Geoff Johns.
In a flashback scene, in which Clark Kent is being bullied, he is seen reading "The Republic" by Plato. In "The Republic," Plato describes his "Perfect Society," which mirrors the make-up of Kryptonian society as given here. Most obviously, both societies have preordained births, in which people are born into roles, such as leaders, warriors, or farmers.
Zack Snyder said that he really wanted to include a shirtless scene of Henry Cavill in the film, because throughout the film, you see him in a form-fitting body suit where he appears extremely muscular. He said the audience would think it was all rubber muscles, but it was important to show them it was indeed Cavill's body in that suit, and that it was all real.
Henry Cavill embarked on a special four-month training regimen by his trainer Mark Twight to get the appropriate physique for his roles as Kal-El. He gained weight by drinking five one thousand-calorie protein shakes a day, then he did cardiovascular workouts to burn away the fat, and build muscle, and finally, he underwent a grueling two-hour workout to build up his muscles and abdomen. According to Cavill, the real problem he faced was the workout's intensity: "Mark based his technique on going beyond yourself. Instead of slowing down towards the end of the workout, he asked me to actually work harder and harder for the body to reach its limits. His point was that if his client is able to walk out of the gym, he had not worked hard enough."
Ben Affleck turned down directing the film, because he wasn't experienced in visual effects shots: "A lesson I've learned is to not look at movies based on budget, how much they'll spend on effects, or where they will shoot. Story is what's important." He appeared as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), which was directed by Zack Snyder.
Rumors say that Zod's broadcast to Earth is made in several languages including the "Star Trek" Universe's Klingon, but there is no proof for this.
According to Zack Snyder, the filmmakers outfitted Henry Cavill in the Superman (1978) costume to see how well he fit the role. Despite the outfit bearing a lighter blue color and red trunks, no one laughed at Cavill. Snyder knew then that Cavill was right for the role.
The filmmakers hired Professor Christine Schreyer, an expert in anthropology and linguistics at British Columbia, to create the Kryptonian language. She developed an object-subject-verb sentence structure, contrasting the subject-verb-object structure of English (for example, "I see him" in English would be "Him I see" in Kryptonian), to reflect that people on Krypton had become selfish and materialistic.
Gal Gadot was originally cast as Faora, but had to drop out due to her pregnancy, and Antje Traue was cast in her place. Gadot would later be chosen play Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and in the subsequent Wonder Woman (2017) and Justice League films.
When Clark is first learning to fly, he is only able to make a few gigantic bounds. In the first few Superman comics in 1938-9, he was not able to fly, but could only leap 1/8 of a mile like a high-powered kangaroo. The first cartoons and movies decided that this looked undignified, and made him fly, which looks more majestic, even though physics give no logical reason for him to have this ability.
During Jor-El and Kal-El's first conversation and 3-D history of Krypton, Jor tells Kal about how he was sent away. In the background, a pod with the "S" and spikes can be seen flying away. This is not the way it looks in this movie, but in fact how it appears in Superman (1978).
This is Amy Adams' third time auditioning for Lois Lane. She first read for Lois Lane in Brett Ratner's abandoned film, then for Superman Returns (2006). Adams has stated that it became ridiculous, and this time she had to play Lois and put her stamp on it.
According to David S. Goyer, Superman's costume is defined in this film to be an undergarment: "All the battle armor goes on top of the suits. But since Superman's a refugee, his outfit doesn't have that gear, and would make him defenseless on his own Kryptonian turf." This is also a nod to pop culture's running joke that Superman's costume appears to be underwear.
Matthew Goode, Armie Hammer, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Zac Efron, and Colin O'Donoghue were on the final shortlist for the lead role. Henry Cavill was finally cast. He was the front runner to play Superman in another Superman movie (working title: Flyby) but the movie failed to be greenlit, and Brandon Routh was cast in Superman Returns (2006) instead. Cavill was also a runner-up to Daniel Craig for the James Bond role in Casino Royale (2006), Christian Bale for Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman in Batman Begins (2005).
According to David S. Goyer, the story's major theme is first contact: "We approached Superman as if it weren't a comic book movie, as if it were real. He's an alien. If the world found out he existed, it would be the biggest thing that ever happened in human history. Just his existence would change the face of the Earth forever."
Costume designer Michael Wilkinson said that while the Superman suit emphasized and highlighted Henry Cavill's muscular physique, for the scenes where he is playing Clark Kent, they tried to hide his physique by giving him layers of clothing and baggy clothes so that he could blend in more. Only in one scene does Clark wear a form-fitting t-shirt, which reveals that he is powerfully built, but that is when he is with Martha, who knows his identity.
To completely distinguish this film as a new film separate from previous ones, the iconic "Superman Theme" by John Williams wasn't heard. This is the first Warner Brothers Superman film to not incorporate Williams' score.
Bryan Singer and Brandon Routh expressed interest in reprising their positions from Superman Returns (2006) on this film. Singer had originally outlined several sequels to follow his story, and Routh was contracted as well. When Warner Brothers announced this film as a "clean reboot" from Singer's film, Routh still expressed interest in returning, before Zack Snyder declared that this movie would have no ties to any previous cinematic incarnation of the character.
Superman's Kryptonian family name "El" is one of the Hebrew names for God. This comes from the original comic writers Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, who, being Jewish, would have been familiar with this trivia as part of their cultural heritage.
The visual effects team described the Kryptonian computer displays as liquid geometry: "It's a bunch of silver beads suspended through a magnetic field; the machine is able to control that magnetic field, so that the collection of beads behave like 3-D pixels, and create a surface that floats in the air and describes whatever the thing is you're supposed to be seeing."
When Clark talks to Father Leone, there is a stained-glass window behind him, which contains a painting of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. This was where Christ prayed for strength to undergo the ordeal he will face, and parallels Clark's own need for support before his surrender.
Zack Snyder originally planned for the infamous red trunks that Superman has worn throughout his 75 year existence, to be part of the suit in the movie. However, when looking over 1,500 different designs, he said that it just didn't work, so he decided to take them out.
When Superman learns to fly, he has a short flyover towards the camera. This is an homage to previous movies, in which Superman would fly over the Earth, and then smile at the camera.
This is the first live action Superman movie not to feature the character Jimmy Olsen. Not only was the Jimmy Olsen character in every live action Superman movie prior to Man of Steel (2013), but he was also in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993), Smallville (2001), and Supergirl (1984). Jimmy Olsen also appears in Supergirl (2015).
Composer Hans Zimmer and Zack Snyder used what they considered the best drummers in the world to perform on the film's musical score. Zimmer created a single drum track for all of the drummers to play at the same time, but encouraged them to maintain their own unique styles. The drummers included Danny Carey, Pharrell Williams, Josh Freese, Sheila E., Jason Bonham, Toss Panos, Satnam Ramgotra, Matt Chamberlain, John Robinson (a.k.a. John "J.R." Robinson), Jim Keltner, Bernie Dresel, Curt Bisquera, Ryeland Allison, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Trevor Lawrence, Jr.
Laurence Fishburne based his performance as Perry White on CBS correspondent Ed Bradley: "Ed was a friend, a mentor, and a role model for me. Particularly because he worked in journalism, and he was the kind of guy who walked with kings, but he had the common touch." In homage to Bradley, White has an ear piercing.
The majority of the action scenes use a CGI cape for Superman, and CGI armor for the other Kryptonians.
The music featured in the teaser trailer is called "The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm" composed by Howard Shore from the soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
Henry Cavill is the first non-American actor to play the role of Clark Kent. The now deceased, London-born Lee Quigley played Superman as a baby, in Superman (1978). Lee Quigley died from inhaling solvents at the age of fourteen.
The Fortress of Solitude in this film is a Kryptonian spacecraft secreted in the Arctic. This combines various comic versions of the Fortress of Solitude: an Arctic location with a key (the Silver Age comics (1958)), an artifact from previous Kryptonians ("Adventures of Superman" (1989)), and an abandoned ship (the New 52 comics (2011)).
While coming up with the aesthetic of how the Superman physique should look, trainer Mark Twight said the he wanted the classic V shape - broad shoulders and narrow waist, which Henry Cavill naturally had, he just had to pack on more muscle to his frame. Additionally, he said he looked to Steve Reeves' physique in Hercules (1958) as a model for Superman, as to attain a Greek God ideal. Zack Snyder instructed Henry Cavill, that his physique should look so great that in his shirtless scenes, he had to look like a "freak", and be in "absolutely crazy shape". Zack Snyder was subsequently very impressed with the results of Henry Cavill's eleven month hard training, and called his physique "a great accomplishment". Henry Cavill said that even he was surprised by how big he looked in the film.
When Jor-El escapes the Council, there is a shattered moon can be seen in the sky. This is Wegthor, a moon of Krypton, which, according to the comics, was destroyed when a warhead was accidentally launched, leading to Kryptonian space flight and colonization being abandoned (brought up by Jor-El's hologram to his son).
The Superman costume in this film is based on the costume seen in DC's New 52 comics.
Clark Kent is only referred to as "Superman" once in the entire film. In the comics, government agents (known classically as "G-Men") would refer to him in code over transmissions as "the S-Man."
The robots in the House of El are named Kelex and Kelor. These were the names of robots that aided Superman at his Fortress of Solitude. In the 1979 mini-series "World of Krypton" Kelex and Kelor were assistants in the House of El, at the service for Seyg-El and later for his son, Jor-El.
The flying animal Jor-El rides is named Haraka, which means "fast" in Swahili. And in Arabic Haraka means burning hot, or spicy.
The tornado scene stirred some controversy with the National Weather Service as overpasses are not considered to be safe shelters in the event of a tornado due to the wind funneling effect increasing the likelihood of being struck by debris. In 1991, many thought overpasses were safe, after a highly publicized video of a television film crew and some civilians survived a tornado near El Dorado, Kansas, by taking shelter under an overpass, although the overpass did not take a direct hit. However, in 1999, the deadly Moore/Bridge Creek F5 tornado killed several people who were hiding in overpasses, prompting the National Weather Service and other weather agencies to proclaim them as unsafe. Ironically, two more deadly tornadoes hit the Oklahoma City area about a month before this film's theatrical release, prompting Zach Snyder to consider removing the tornado scene from the movie, although he ultimately kept it, as Superman would have had to deal with all kinds of disasters and tragedies.
According to Christine Schreyer, the inscriptions in Krypton's Ruling Council Chamber read: "The Light of Rao warms us / The four Moons of Yuda protect us /The Wisdom of Telle guides us / The Beauty of Lorra inspires us." It was the first four Kryptonian phrases Schreyer formulated, and are her favorite phrases.
The scene after Superman learns to fly, in which he soars over a herd of zebra, is based on an image in Mark Waid's novel "Superman: Birthright".
Many scenes were taken from the Superman graphic novel "Superman: Birthright" written by comic book writer Mark Waid.
Most of the U.S. military personnel that appear in the film are actual soldiers, Coast Guardsmen, and airmen, including the Army Rangers that appear during the Smallville battle. Most of the equipment and vehicles on-screen are also the real article, including M1A1 Abrams tanks and Little Bird helicopters. The services that provided support are the Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
Along with multiple images and lines alluding to the savior-like nature of Superman, he tells Dr. Hamilton that he's been on Earth for 33 years, which is generally accepted as the age of Jesus, when he was crucified.
Whereas Superman wears the S symbolizing the Kryptonian hieroglyph for "hope", Zod, as seen when removes his armor to fight towards the later part of the film, has a hieroglyph with a strong resemblance to the hammer-and-sickle of the old U.S.S.R. In the comic "Superman: Red Son," an alternate history, where Kal-El's rocket lands in the Ukraine, rather than Kansas, so that Superman is introduced as the Soviet Union's protector, with their national symbol on his chest.
Whenever Kal-El takes flight, there is a sound effect of rushing wind. According to the visual effects experts, this was an homage to Adventures of Superman (1952), which used a similar effect whenever Superman flew away, and they used it deliberately to pay homage to that show.
The World Engine ship bears tentacles, and holds three dots in a triangular pattern. This is an homage to the Kryptonian A.I. Brainiac, who carries these characteristics.
Both posters for the film are homages to images of Superman from Mark Waid's critically acclaimed 1996 comic "Kingdom Come", which examined Superman's detachment from humanity and his place in the modern world.
Russell Crowe becomes the second Oscar winner to portray Jor-El after Marlon Brando. Crowe once had a song with his band "Rus Le Roq" entitled "I want to be like Marlon Brando".
Production designer Alex McDowell described the Kryptonian technology in the film as "geo-tech, scientifically advanced, but also less glossy, and more organic than the styles on Earth. There's no rock or stone or metal; Kryptonians had perfected the ability to manipulate DNA, for thousands of years, they built almost anything by biological means."
Michael Kelly gives the first live-action portrayal of Superman comics character Steve Lombard, a Sports journalist at the Daily Planet, who often bullies and insults Clark Kent.
Filming in Plano, Illinois and Chicago, Illinois in August and September of 2011, was done under the code name of "Autumn Frost." It was such a badly kept secret that on September 6, 2011, the Chicago Tribune published a full article about it. ("Code Name: Go Figure").
Amy Adams (Lois Lane) and David Paetkau (Northcom Threat Analyst) appeared in one episode of Smallville (2001) each.
David S. Goyer mentioned there were supposed to be two scenes added in the movie: One where Jonathan and Martha Kent took baby Kal-El to a pediatrician, and have a hearing test on him, where the baby screams, and it blows out all the windows. In the second, after Zod announces how powerful the Kryptonians are, Faora and Namek dropped into two foreign cities as a demonstration. The second one wasn't actually filmed.
Russell Crowe admitted that he was envious of co-star Henry Cavill's hyper-shredded physique saying he was in awe of "Henry's frame and his body fat ratio". He said, "He's a bit too perfect for words" and joked, "Apart from being his dad, I hate the son of the bitch" due to how great his body looked.
In the comics, Lana Lang is a redhead, while Lois Lane is often depicted as a brunette. Because Amy Adams kept her trademark red hair in the role, their hair tones are switched in this film: Lois is the redheaded one, while the young Lana has dark hair.
Ayelet Zurer is the first actress to have roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe, as she also portrays Vanessa Marianna (Vanessa Fisk) in Daredevil (2015).
Due to his success with the Batman franchise, Christopher Nolan was brought on to help develop this movie, along with Screenwriter David S. Goyer. This was merely as a Creative Consultant, it was never intended for Nolan to direct. When Zack Snyder was later brought on as director, Nolan chose to hand all creative control over to Snyder, and focus on The Dark Knight Rises (2012). According to Nolan's wife, Producer Emma Thomas, "They (Nolan and Goyer) brought it to an appropriate screenplay, and it's now Snyder's picture."
Costume designer Michael Wilkinson's main influences for the suit were "the Richard Donner movie (Superman (1978)), the Frank Miller graphic novels, and the beautiful illustrations of Alex Ross."
When Clark speaks to Jor-El's consciousness, Jor-El's dialogue: "You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun." Very closely resembles dialogue of Jor-El to Kal-El in the comic All-Star Superman.
When Zod and his crew are sent to the Phantom Zone, a screaming sound can be heard as the portal opens. This sound is the same as in Superman (1978), where the Phantom Zone literally screams, since it is sentient. This time though, the sound is more mechanical, suggesting that in this film, the Phantom Zone is an artificial construction.
According to production designer Peter Mitchell Rubin, Krypton's look was primarily influenced by the 19-20th century Art Nouveau style ("Art Nouveau designers assumed that nothing could ever be as beautiful as what nature creates, so we tried to be as true to that ideal as we could.") and electron scope/macro/micro-photographs of biological systems (primarily bones, bark, fungi, insect shells and dried plants).
Woodburn (Chad Krowchuk), the blogger who leaks Lois Lane's story about Superman, is an oblique reference to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two reporters who received classified information from a government source revealing the Watergate scandal, famously dramatized in All the President's Men (1976).
The monologue spoken by Jonathan Kent in the teaser trailer is taken directly from Geoff Johns's "Superman: Secret Origin", considered the definitive origin story in comics for Superman after the Infinite Crisis reboot.
(At around one hour and 45 minutes) The name "Superman" is spoken for the only time throughout the entire movie. It is said three times in this instance, though Lois Lane almost says it at one point, before getting interrupted.
Zack Snyder enlisted the services of Gym Jones to get Henry Cavill in shape for this role. Snyder had first worked with Gym Jones on 300 (2006), and then subsequently collaborated with them for all his live-action films, to get his cast into the right physical shape.
According to Kevin Smith's account (found in An Evening with Kevin Smith (2002)), when he was attached to write a Superman movie, he met with producer Jon Peters. Peters insisted on Superman fighting a giant mechanical spider, supervillain Braniac fighting a polar bear, and so on (much to the frustration of Smith, Warner Brothers executives, and DC executives. They even asked Smith to work around it, by calling the mechanical spider something different, according to Smith). Eventually Smith left, and Peters went on to make Wild Wild West (1999), featuring a giant mechanical spider. Superman Returns (2006) was eventually made with Bryan Singer, and its sequel was abandoned. With the success of Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins (2005) franchise, he and David S. Goyer were brought in to helm Man of Steel (2013), along with Zack Snyder. Jon Peters is one of the film's producers, along with Christopher Nolan's usual team of producers. The "World Engines" that Superman has to destroy, resemble giant spiders. There is also a scene in which a polar bear is running through the Arctic as the team explores the Kryptonian vessel that had been discovered in the ice.
(At around two hours and five minutes) When Zod is swinging Superman around by his cape, there is a momentary extreme close-up of Zod's eye, in which his "S" shield can just be made out, spanning the iris in a mirror reversal.
A boyhood photo of young Clark and Jonathan standing at a science fair project (a volcano) has small sign behind them that reads "Weisinger Public School" - a nod to longtime "Silver Age" Superman comics Editor Mort Weisinger, who introduced many science fiction elements to the Superman canon.
Zack Snyder is reportedly a huge fan of True Blood (2008) and eyed Joe Manganiello from that series as Superman, even before signing for the film. When Manganiello was about to make a screentest with the suit, however, HBO stepped in, because of contractual obligations.
Henry Cavill's casting was very controversial, as many questioned the appropriateness of a British actor playing an American icon like Superman. However, defenders of the casting pointed out that Christian Bale, who was portraying Batman at the time, is Welsh.
Superman's conversations with General Swanwick were based on scenes from the graphic novel "Superman: Secret Identity" written by Kurt Busiek. This novel presents an alternate origin for the character, which both pays tribute to, and spoofs the traditional Superman story.
According to Zack Snyder, the Superman shield is designed after post-World War II versions, specifically the 1950-60s shields: "I feel he was born again in that era, he came to represent the American fighting machine, and the way America exported its morality to the world. I was drawn to that, and I wanted to get back to a more elegant and sophisticated shield."
Emmy Rossum, Charlotte Riley, Saoirse Ronan, Dianna Agron, Margot Robbie, Alexis Knapp, Kaya Scodelario, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kristen Bell, Lake Bell, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis, and Jessica Biel were considered to play Lois Lane.
First Kevin Costner film since The Bodyguard (1992) to gross over $100 million in the U.S.
Eleven actors and actresses appearing in this film were featured in Smallville (2001): Amy Adams, Mackenzie Grey, Alessandro Juliani, Mike Dopud, Chad Krowchuk, Tahmoh Penikett, Ian Tracey, David Paetkau, David Lewis, and Carmen Lavigne.
This is the third film where Diane Lane is mother to a "special" child. The first was Jack (1996) (starring Robin Williams, the best friend of Christopher Reeve) and the second was Jumper (2008).
According to costume designer Michael Wilkinson, the Kryptonian outfits are based on the wardrobes of the Versailles aristocracy, prior to the French Revolution. The designers etched into velvets and embroidered and screen-printed on fabrics to create over-elaborate indulgent costumes.
General Zod wears a black astronaut suit. This is based on the Modern Age comics (where he wore a special red suit that filtered sunlight) and the "Man of Steel" and "Action Comics" issues of the early 2000s (where he wore a warlord uniform in red and black).
According to visual effects supervisor John 'D.J.' Des Jardin, the visual effects are inspired by Gary Hutzel's work on Battlestar Galactica (2004): "The film had to appear very natural and documentary-like, because there's some very fantastical things in there, and we wanted people to suspend their disbelief, so we had to make it as easy as possible for them to do so."
Zod's ship is named the Black Zero, after a Kryptonian antagonist of Superman. In the comic "World of Krypton" Black Zero was a terrorist organization that destroyed Kandor, Krypton's capital, during a revolution about the rights for the clones that kryptonians used as mindless sleepers in order to repair their physical damage.
When Hardy flies in a helicopter above Smallville, he uses the call sign "Guardian". In DC Comics, Guardian was a superhero, and Head of Security of a secret organization called Project Cadmus.
Russell Crowe (Jor-El) and Kevin Costner (Jonathan Kent), who play both of Superman's fathers, have shared the role of Robin Hood: Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), and Crowe in Robin Hood (2010). Both have also played legendary U.S. law officers bringing down infamous mobsters: Costner as Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987), and Crowe as Richie Roberts in American Gangster (2007).
One of Zod's soldiers is named Nam-Ek. Nam-Ek was a minor Kryptonian who appeared in the December 1974 Superman comic "The Loneliest Man in the Universe" (Superman Vol. 1, Number 282). Nam-Ek was also one of the Kryptonians to arrive on Earth, in the season five premiere episode of Smallville (2001). Additionally, Nam-Ek is also the name of the home planet of the character Piccolo from the vast manga animé series "Dragon Ball-Z" - a story which centers around a child being sent to Earth as the last of his kind, who possesses special powers, and protecting Earth from a surviving member of his race, bent on global domination.
When, in a flashback, school bullies are seen beating up a young Clark Kent, one of the bullies is wearing a patch on his shoulder with the number "52". This number has been appearing in all DC related projects ever since the launch of "The New 52" in DC Comics.
The character of Faora-Ul previously had her name changed to Ursa for Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980), but has her original name restored here. Ironically, due to the popularity of those films, Ursa was incorporated into the comics as a separate character from Faora-Ul.
Has three different actors portray Clark Kent at different ages, the most of the modern era, in a single superhero film. Superman (1978) used five actors, because of child labor laws, so the normal practice is to cast two similar looking babies for one role. An animated CGI baby was used in this film.
This is the third live-action theatrical Superman films to not feature Superman's archnemesis Lex Luthor. The other films were Superman III (1983) and Superman and the Mole-Men (1951). However, the name of Luthor's company "LexCorp" is seen on tanker trucks in various scenes.
Originally intended to take place in the same universe as the Dark Knight Trilogy, but instead it kickstarted a new universe of DC Comics movies, with Ben Affleck becoming the new Batman.
Henry Cavill bought an American Akita dog in January 2014, from Big Bear Akitas breeders in Arkansas, and named him Kal.
Alessandro Juliani, (Sergeant Sedowsky) played Dr. Emil Hamilton on Smallville (2001). David Lewis (Major Laramore) portrayed Dr. Marcus and Macy in the series.
Diane Kruger, Rosamund Pike, Kate Mara, and Gal Gadot were considered for the role of Faora. Gal Gadot later played Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe.
When Jonathan tries to teach Clark to keep his powers a secret, he mentions how "people will always fear what they don't understand". This exact line is also echoed in Batman Begins (directed by producer Nolan) by Falcone while intimidating Bruce Wayne in a bar.
Dennis Quaid, Bruce Greenwood, Michael Biehn, and Kurt Russell were considered for the role of Jonathan Kent.
Julianne Moore, Lisa Rinna, Jodie Foster, Sela Ward, and Elisabeth Shue were considered for the role of Martha Kent.
Laurence Fishburne is the first African-American to play Perry White in a theatrical "Superman" film.
When Clark is introduced to Lois, she says "Welcome to the Planet", meaning the Daily Planet newspaper. But this also carries a second meaning, welcome to Earth, which is what Kal-El was afraid would not be the reaction, if people were to discover he is an alien.
Christopher Meloni (Colonel Nathan Hardy) voiced Superman's colleague Hal Jordan a.k.a. Green Lantern in the animated movie Green Lantern: First Flight (2009).
John Schneider reportedly disliked Kevin Costner's portrayal of Jonathan Kent in this film.
Darren Aronofsky, Duncan Jones, Ben Affleck, Tony Scott, Matt Reeves, and Jonathan Liebesman were considered to direct the movie before Zack Snyder was later chosen.
Diane Lane previously appeared in the Superman-themed Hollywoodland (2006). In that, she played Toni Lanier-Mannix, an ex-girlfriend of George Reeves.
Richard Schiff (Professor Emil Hamilton) shares a few scenes with Alessandro Juliani (an Air Force Staff Sergeant), who had previously played Emil Hamilton in Smallville (2001).
The twin-engine aircraft in the Smallville ground attack scene are Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthogs", and the single-engine aircraft in the Metropolis air battle, are Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs. The A-10 was produced from 1972-1984, and the F-35 was still in development, and was not combat-ready until December 2015.
Connie Nielsen was considered for the role of Lara Lor-Van. Julia Ormond was cast, but she dropped out, so Ayelet Zurer was cast in her place. Nielsen later took the role of Hippolyta in Wonder Woman (2017).
When Jor-El tells Clark the meaning of the "S" symbol, he does a chest reveal similar to the way Superman has done over the years when changing outfits.
Mackenzie Gray, who portrays Jax-Ur, previously played an adult clone of Lex Luthor in Smallville (2001).
Guillermo del Toro (who previously worked with writer David S. Goyer on Blade II (2002)) was, at one point, considered to direct the film. Robert Zemeckis was also considered.
Christina Wren plays Captain Carrie Ferris, who has almost the same name as Carol Ferris, love interest of Superman's colleague Hal Jordan, a.k.a. The Green Lantern.
The helicopters used in the battle of Smallville, that transported Colonel Hardy and the detachment of Army Rangers, were MH-6 and AH-6 "little bird" aircraft. The MH-6 is an unarmed transport aircraft, while the AH-6 is a gunship armed with Pylon-mounted General Dynamics GAU-17/A miniguns alongside 2.75 rockets.
Jon Peters reportedly earned over $50 million due to his profit participation with Warner Brothers, on the original Batman movies, and apparently was never on the set once. By comparison, Henry Cavill earned $14 million for playing the title role.
WILHELM SCREAM: When a missile from an F-35 deflects off the Black Zero (Zod's ship) and explodes on bystanders on the street.
This is the second time Amy Adams was in a Superman related project, the first was Smallville (2001) season one, episode seven "Craving".
Dylan Sprayberry (the young Clark Kent) is a cast member on Teen Wolf (2011), starring Tyler Posey and Tyler Hoechlin. Posey appeared in one episode of Smallville (2001), while Hoechlin portrays Superman in Supergirl (2015).
When one of the airplanes goes down right after the pilot says he lost his wingman, the sound of a Transformer transforming can be heard.
Both this film and Superman II feature actors named Michael Shannon. There is no relation between the 2 actors.
Kevin Costner's role as Jonathan Kent was previously played by Glenn Ford. Both of them have been involved in competing projects about Wyatt Earp: Glenn was cast in Tombstone (1993), but had to drop out, while Costner played Wyatt Earp in Wyatt Earp (1994) opposite Gene Hackman (the original Lex Luthor) as his father. Ironically, Russell Crowe, who plays Jor-El, Superman's other father, has also done a Glenn Ford role. Crowe played outlaw Ben Wade in the remake of 3:10 to Yuma (2007), the same role played by Ford in the original 1957 film.
In the soundtrack "Oil Rig", there is a sound of a child saying "uh-oh". There has been no clear reason as to why the sound was present within the soundtrack.
The conspiracy theorist's name, Woodburn, is a phonetic composite of the names Woodward and Bernstein.
Clark saving a bus full of school children after it crashes off the bridge is similar to Superman (1978) where Superman saves a bus full of school children from *almost* falling off the golden gate bridge.
According to editor David Brenner, the film's original run time was three and half hours.
When Clark is walking down the driveway to his house, a van with the logo "LexCorp" on the side drives by. LexCorp is the company owned by Lex Luthor.
In one scene, we see Lois Lane talking to Perry White over her phone, a Nokia Lumia. The color theme is titled "Steel".
This film shares a few connections to the reimagined Battlestar Galactica (2004): Many visual effects shots were modeled after the documentary look, used in Battlestar Galactica, to give it a greater feel of realism. Additionally, two of the staff at the Arctic military base are played by Tahmoh Penikett and Alessandro Juliani, leading stars of that series.
Laurence Fishburne and Harry Lennix appeared in The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003).
Amy Adams is nine years older then Henry Cavill, though their characters are romantically linked in the film.
Rex Reed panned Man of Steel: "Here is an overproduced $225 million comic book with delusions of grandeur that was better made in 1978 and a lot more fun. Although he came from another planet, Christopher Reeve was a suave, all-American crusader for apple pie, the American Way and the good of man. In the reboot, Britain's Henry Cavill is an impossibly handsome, camera-ready hunk of beefcake milking camera angles for marketing ploys". It's no wonder Reed liked the 1978 version better. He was in it! (Reed makes a cameo at the beginning of the film, pretending to be a Daily Planet employee).
Krypton (2018) is a prequel to the movie and takes place 200 years before Superman's birth and the destruction of Krypton.
At the beginning of the scene at the Desert Base, where Clark and Lois are waiting for the Kryptonians to arrive, Clark and Lois stand in the center of the screen facing each other in a wide shot. This is similar to a shot from Watchmen, both the movie and the original comic, where Dan and Laurie stand on a wasteland facing each other, about to kiss. At the end of both shots, there is a shock wave-like effect. In Man of Steel, it's the Kryptonian space shuttle flying off, kicking up sand clouds into the faces of the US Army at the base. In Watchmen, a Nuclear explosion happens in the background and it incinerates Dan and Laurie.
Mark Gibbon (Roughneck) later played General Zod in Supergirl: Nevertheless, She Persisted (2017).
One of the actors who tested for the title role was David Giuntoli, whose real-life wife Elizabeth Tulloch stars as Lois Lane in Superman and Lois (2020) and other DCTV series.
The wife of Kevin Costner's character is played by Diane Lane, who also appeared in Lonesome Dove. In the sequel; Streets of Laredo; her role was played by Sissy Spacek. Spacek played Costner's wife in JFK. Also appearing in those films were two other DC veterans: Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman.