Man of Steel leads MoviePilot's Top 5 movies of the year and of them all, it arguably has the most riding on its success. This was originally a sequel to Bryan Singer's less-than-enthusiastically received 2006 film Superman Returns, before he and his crew backed out. It was finally forced into production by the demands of a lawsuit that required cameras to begin rolling by sometime in 2012, at the latest, lest all film rights (at least) revert back to the estates of Superman's creators Siegel and Shuster. Now, we've got a very different-looking Superman film directed by a notable action director with a spotty track-record and produced by Christopher Nolan, whose films-to-date do not suggest that he'd make a good person to take on Superman despite his successes with Batman. The only thing that hasn't changed down to the costume, itself, is the title, and the predictions about this film's quality and success are all over the place.
I think the movie will work. I don't think it will get Dark Knight-level reviews, but it looks to be a solid science-fiction action movie with the father of all modern superheroes taking center stage. I think it will be #1 for at least one weekend, maybe two, but while probably not as unusual as it seems, there's an air of desperation to Warner Brothers right now and to this movie, in particular. They were the first to make superhero movies "cool," but they never got farther than Superman and Batman, with 2011's Green Arrow being a well-intended and mildly-amusing misfire. Despite a false start in 2007, a rejected script and now rumors of another handover to Nolan, we've been deluged for months with talk of a 2015 Justice League Part One movie that somehow still depends on Man of Steel's success. I think it's been a huge mistake for Warner Brothers to do this because not only do they have so many other good characters to develop on film, but a Justice League movie would be hard to make, anyway. Thus, every time we hear about a script being written and rejected and re-commissioned, I can't help but think it is making Warner Brothers look like a joke and Man of Steel look like a means to a totally other end - and, as such, an insult to Superman, who deserves a really great movie without all this baggage and distraction!
Warner Brothers says it's trying to compete with Marvel and probably thinks it's keeping fans engaged, but I would rather go into this new Superman movie without constantly wondering if it will do enough business to warrant a Justice League film because the way Justice League has been overhyped and Man of Steel has been underhyped, that's probably what audiences are going to be thinking this June and it's likely to ruin everything.
Still, I'm going to try to be optimistic. What I hope Warner Brothers does in the next month, at least, is quit talking about any other superhero movie and concentrate SOLELY on Man of Steel. We need a trailer (or two) that hints at the kind of action that recent rumors suggest will be in the movie and a viral marketing campaign to rival any during the Dark Knight trilogy. This, again, is Superman, without whom there would never have been a Batman or Wonder Woman or Flash... not even a Marvel Comics or a Stan Lee with whom to compete! I want to believe that a man can fly... not justify a corporate decision to directly compete with Disney and Marvel.