When I was asked at age four, what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said: "Superman". I pursued this career choice with conviction. I wore the costume everywhere, to the shops, to friends' parties and under my school uniform, conflating expectations of my physical prowess and resulting in a very sore knee and a badly bruised ego.
Out of darkness appeared a relatively unknown director with a vision to make superheroes appear more realistic and believable, Christopher Nolan. He transformed Batman from the campy, cheap days of Tim Burton and the dark dark days of George Clooney, into the Dark Knight (the brilliant kind of dark, the kind that builds suspense, that has an edge).
The reaction to the Batman/Superman film literally brought tears to some fans' eyes at Comic-Con on Saturday. A project which previously failed to take off with Wolfgang Petersen at the reins in 2004, it is an aggressive and bold effort by DC Comics to match Marvel's output. But it is the wrong approach and demeaning to Batman, a character who has just fronted three thrilling pictures.
Man Of Steel is such an omnishambles that it is difficult to ascertain what Zack Snyder was actually attempting to achieve... If Snyder set out to make a serious and brooding Dark Knight-style superhero film, then he has failed spectacularly as Man Of Steel has a total absence of character exploration, interest in a believable villain or real, live-action jeopardy
The cast, the scriptwriter, the producer, the composer (Yes, I am listening to snatches of Hans Zimmer's score as I write this!) It's the optimum mix of the right talent at the right time that can only lead to perfection, right? I am firm in the belief that Man of Steel could be the most epic superhero story ever told on the big screen.
Zack Snyder can safely say he's put his own stamp on a 80-year brand, but I'd have happily swapped 30 minutes of the black puffs of smokey Apocalypse for just a couple more raised eyebrows and acknowledgement that a beautiful man, blue tights, arms crossed, red cape and quiff a-kimbo is actually quite a funny thing when you think about it.
Go watch the Superman making-of featurette. Henry Cavill, the actor playing Superman, is English. I know you know this, but still, it's wonderfully unnerving to hear him talk. He went to a boarding school in Buckinghamshire. He did prep. Superman was nurtured not on an alien planet, but in the Home Counties.