The premiere episode of CONSTANTINE stumbles across the television screen rather like a loud and boisterous drunk stumbling out of a bar: it catches your attention, and you sense its charm, but half the time its incoherent ramblings make no sense. “Non Est Asylum” (“there is no asylum”) also betrays evidence of being a busted pilot that was rejiggered at the last minute when series producers Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer decided to move the series in a different direction. As unsatisfying as the episode is, it is not likely to hook audiences, but it does show enough promise to interest sympathetic viewers in checking out another episode or two.
The story begins in media res, with John Constantine (Matt Ryan) cooling his heels in a mental asylum, recuperating from the fallout of a failed exorcism, which resulted in not only the death but also apparently the eternal damnation of an innocent girl. Fortunately, some paranormal activity inspires Constantine to leave the asylum (apparently, he just checks himself out – which has the benefit of keeping the narrative going but somewhat undermines the grimy semblance of “reality” that the series affects). An angel named Manny (Harold Perrinuea) shows up to inform Constantine that there is a “Rising Darkness” on the horizon – some kind of apocalyptic threat requires Constantine to get off the sidelines and back into the game. Though unconvinced of his role in the larger war, Constantine tracks down Liv Aberdine, the daughter of an old friend, out of a sense of personal obligation – because she is being tormented by a demon. After Constantine introduces Liv to his compatriot Chas Chandler (Charles Halford), Liv demonstrates an aptitude for “scrying” – that is, marking a map with drops of blood that reveal where supernatural activity will take place. Constantine eventually identifies the demon haunting Liv: Furcifer, who has an affinity for electricity. Constantine lures Furcifer into a trap while another old associate hacks the city’s grid, turning off all electricity, thus draining the demon’s power. Opting out of demon-hunting as a career move, Liv bids adieu to Constantine and Chas, but leaves behind her scrying map.
“Non Est Asylum” establishes the tone and style of the CONSTANTINE series. Angels and demons are real, battling for the souls of individuals and for the fate of all mankind. But this archetypal fairy-tale is presented in recognizably human terms, seen through the cynical eyes of its titular character, someone who has been there and done that, many times, and would probably rather be enjoying an evening at the pub instead of hunting evil entities.
Matt Ryan makes the show work. His John Constantine is a wonderful fantasy variation on hard-boiled characters like Philip Marlowe – the cynical, boozy exterior hiding a tired and slightly tarnished knight on the inside, one who knows the score and ins’t happy about it – but, despite his griping, will do what is necessary to set things right.
Unfortunately, the supporting cast does not fare so well, giving performances that are functional in roles that are defined mostly in terms of skills rather than personality. Liv has the ability to scry; Chas can survive apparent death. In both cases, the abilities are more interesting than the characters possessing them, and neither actor is up to the task of fleshing out the thin writing. The jury is still out on Perrineau’s angelic Manny: his strangely pointed stare and affectless body language could be an evocation of his character’s otherworldly nature, or simply a symptom of underacting.
Also, there are several absurdities in “Non Es Asylum,” which are apparent even to viewers who are not cantankerous critics. To begin with, the opening narrative gambit is a bit odd: instead of being introduced to television audiences unfamiliar with the comic, Constantine is presented as a known identity, so we never question his sanity and wonder why he even bothers talking to a psychiatrist trying to convince him that demons are unreal. In fact, the first sequence feels as if it belongs at the beginning of a second-season opener, following upon the heels of a devastating season one cliffhanger.
Liv is introduced in a spectacular special effects scene involving a city street splitting open to reveal belching flames, after which Constantine appears to offer help. Shortly thereafter, Liv is seen returning home, telling a friend how creeped out she was by the appearance of this stranger – who apparently made such an impression that she forgot the fires of hell erupting through the pavement. (The notion that this hell hole remains open is simply glossed over; later we learn the Liv has psychic visions, so we just have to assume that the conflagration took place only in her mind.)
Best of all, Constantine’s method of dispatching Furcifer requires the complete blackout of an entire city’s electrical supply. We’re supposed to cheer the clever plan, and the special effects showing Atlanta plunging into darkness are mean to be of the “ain’t it cool!” variety, but the script seems rather blissfully indifferent to the thought of hospital life support systems and airport control towers suddenly off-line and the inevitable loss of life that would result.
This silliness might be acceptable in a tongue-in-cheek romp, but CONSTANTINE affects a serious tone, in which the threat of eternal damnation weighs heavily on its title character, who suffers pangs of regret over the fatality that resulted from his previous failure. Here’s a hint, John: if you feel bad because your demon-hunting got one innocent killed, avoid plans that are likely to kill hundreds, even thousands.
Liv’s presence is awkwardly interpolated. As a newcomer to Constantine’s world of magic and the dark arts, she should act as the audience identification figure – our eyes and ears. But since we see Constantine first, this function for Liv is short-circuited; instead, the episode seems to be about bringing her into the fold. Then, having gone to all the trouble of introducing her, the episode summarily dismisses Liv at the end. Apparently, Liv was intended to be a regular character, but scenes were reshot to dispatch her so that a different character could take her place in subsequent episodes: “Non Es Asylum” ends with a woman, face unseen, cranking out drawings of John Constantine, apparently inspired by psychic visions; we meet her in the next episode, “The Darkness Beneath.”
Liv leaves behind her scrying map, which is pockmarked with a multitude of blood-spots, indicating that enormity of the Rising Darkness that is to come. Though the Rising Darkness becomes the show’s continuing story arc, Liv’s map will actually have little impact on future episodes.
CONSTANTINE: “Non Est Asylum.” Air date: 10/24/2014. Written by Daniel Cerone. Directed by Neil Marshal. Cast: Matt Ryan, Charles Halford, Harold Perrineau, Lucy Griffiths, Jeremy Davies.
If you’re not getting enough televised horror from your cable and streaming outlets (THE WALKING DEAD, PENNY DREADFUL, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, SALEM, etc), broadcast network NBC has something for you: following GRIMM on Friday nights, CONSTANTINE is an adaptation of DC’s Hellblazer comic series, starring Matt Ryan as John Constantine – a scruffy Irish scrapper who dabbles in the dark arts, rescuing victims from malicious supernatural entities and perhaps rescuing mankind as a whole (though this remains to be seen).
Midway through the show’s initial slate of thirteen episodes (no more have been ordered, though the show may yet be renewed for a second season), CONSTANTINE has established itself as engaging and reasonably entertaining, if uneven and frequently confused about its direction. Its strength lies primarily in the basic premise and the conception of its titular character, a world and somewhat cynical man, possibly damned, whose skills have made him a somewhat reluctant warrior in a battle against Evil – a battle that may save his soul not only from eternal damnation but also from the personal guilt he feels over a past failure.
From episode to episode, regardless of the strength of the stories, Ryan inhabits the role as if he were born to play it. His John Constantine walks a fine line – just enough cynicism to give the character a believable edge, just enough hint of empathy to humanize him without dulling that edge. His performance has been more than enough to hold attention while the show finds its legs, which have been a bit wobbly so far – partly because of producer uncertainty, partly because of network interference.
To date, we have seen a major supporting character introduced, dispatched, and replaced, leaving behind a plot device (a map indicating future confrontations) that figures into the stories so infinitesimally that it could easily be discarded. We have also seen some fiddling around with episode air dates, resulting in minor but regrettable continuity problems.
The only continuing story arc is the “Rising Darkness” – a suggestion that weekly phenomenon are part of build-up toward some kind of apocalyptic confrontation. So far, this idea has seen little development, coming across more like a lip-service attempt to suggest a connection between otherwise disparate story lines. It does not help that, since this is the first season, we have no baseline comparison to make between Constantine’s past opponents and his current foes – who, we have to accept on faith, are suddenly much stronger than expected.
There are a few hints that the arc is heading somewhere, including a bombshell prediction at the end of Episode 5. Unfortunately, because NBC aired at least one episode out of order (Episode 6, the Halloween-themed “Rage of Caliban,” was clearly supposed to air the month before its November 28 debut), the development seems erratic; the show seems to be treading water when Constantine causally mentions the Rising Darkness at the end of the episode, without any of the concern one would expect in light of previous events.
We have to give the producers credit for trying to craft a show that stands or falls on the strength of its individual episodes. Unlike shows (such as THE WALKING DEAD) that adopt the soap opera format to hook audiences into tuning in each week to see what happens next, regardless of whether what happened before actually warrants a further look, CONSTANTINE’s stories are largely self-contained. Though not all have been compelling, “A Feast of Friends” (Episode 4, November 14) and “Danse Vaudou” (Episode 5, November 21) have proven that CONSTANTINE has can at least occasionally reach its full potential.
CONSTANTINE is not squeamish about about delivering its weekly quotient of horror. The computer-generated special effects are nicely done, and the impact is surprisingly powerful, even visceral, for a network show. (Ironically, the character’s chain-smoking is far more circumspect, and his bi-sexuality is so far completely submerged.) We also rather enjoy the way the show’s archetypal battle of Good vs. Evil plays out in relatively human terms, lending a sort of streetwise credibility to the otherwise incredible events.
The supporting cast and guest stars have yet to make a memorable impression, except for Michael James Shaw as Papa Midnight (a voudoun priest who is alternately an antagonist and an ally to Constantine) and Emmett J. Scanlan as police detective Jim Corrigan (who all DC fans know is destined to become The Spectre, should the show last long enough).
Overall, we get the impression that CONSTANTINE is attempting something along the lines of what has been seen in PENNY DREADFUL, pitting highly flawed and tormented human characters against demons both literal and personal. It has to be said that the writing seldom if ever reaches the heights achieved by John August in the Showtime series. We should also note that, although fans may be pleased by the television show’s more faithful depiction of the comic character, the movie version of CONSTANTINE (2005) with Keanu Reeves was actually more effective screen version of the material. Still, once one wipes these comparisons from the slate, CONSTANTINE is good enough to survive on its own terms, and we hope to see it return next season.
Like the clash of demigods fallen to earth after the destruction of their home world, it was going to be glorious. Because of scheduling issues, Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski and Dan Persons started their discussion of Zack Snyder’s MAN OF STEEL early, to be joined by Lawrence French at the usual start time. But thanks to the Miracle of Technology, the part of the discussion that preceded Larry’s arrival was lost, much like the noble civilization extinguished too soon by worldwide calamity, only to bequeath its one, last son to our lowly planet, sent to help humanity realize the greatness within it. Or are we over-dramatizing this thing, not unlike the way a certain director did with this weekend’s box office hit?
Never you mind. Even lacking the lost audio, our exploration of MAN OF STEEL remains wide-ranging and revelatory, well worth a listen. Then: Steve delivers his snap judgements of THIS IS THE END and HATCHET III, and Dan lets you know what’s coming to theaters this week.
Nolan, Snyder, and Goyer ground Superman in reality. But when something is grounded, can you expect it to soar?
If you want to know all you need to know about MAN OF STEEL in just over three minutes, Hans Zimmer’s theme music is a perfect synecdoche – a small part that effectively stands for the whole. Beginning with a delicate piano motif, the cue soon swells larger, with rhythmic percussion and strings building to a powerful crescendo of undeniable power – which somehow never finds a soaring melody that will lift the music off the ground and send it into the stratosphere.
The problem, you see, is that producer Christopher Nolan, director Zack Snyder, and writer David S. Goyer have grounded the new Superman in reality. And when something is grounded, you can hardly expect it to soar.
ANGST AND ALIEN ANCHOR BABIES
Although most of elements are familiar (Krypton, the Daily Planet, Smallville, etc), MAN OF STEEL attempts a radical recreation that consists of discarding any reverence, any sense of comic book escapism, in favor of approaching the material as if it were something new – if by “new” you mean something that hews closely to the blockbuster superhero science fiction genre of the past few years, with a dour sense of angst that makes television’s SMALLVILLE look like a frat-boy comedy by comparison.
The approach pays appreciable dividends: it’s not as if anybody is going to miss the comic relief antics of SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE’s Otis and Miss Teschmacher, and it’s always nice to see a little dramatic weight added to the familiar framework. MAN OF STEEL is not just about super-heroics; it is about the alien Kal-El finding himself and his place on his adoptive world of Earth. In a sense, it is the ultimate story of an alien anchor baby who makes good, earning his place among the natives.
REALITY VS. FANTASY: THERE ARE NO WINNERS
There are, however, two problems with this approach. One is fundamental to the nature of the source material. The other is a failure of artistic vision – or, perhaps, never.
PROBLEM #1: No matter how much Snyder and company try (and they do), MAN OF STEEL can never truly ground the Superman story in a completely convincing sense of verisimilitude. This is not even a piece of hard science fiction; it is a fantasy in which some Kryptonian rebels are sentenced to the Phantom Zone, which conveniently saves them from the apocalypse that befalls their planet.
Meanwhile, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) has sent his son Kal-El (Henry Cavill to Earth), where he tries to keep a low profile. Coincidentally, just as the cat is start to come out of Schrodinger’s box, the Kryptonian rebels, led by General Zod (Michael Shannon) show up; with all the planets in all the galaxies, it took only thirty-three years to cross countless light years of space and find their way to Earth at exactly the crucial turning point in Kal-El’s life. And needless to say, although their ship was intended as a prison, it has more than enough alien weaponry to make INDEPENDENCE DAY look like a trip to Disneyland.
In case I have not made my point clear, let me spell it out: this is a movie in which certain generic elements, whether or not they are believable or scientifically plausible, must play out in a certain way, because that is the movie we paid to see. Call it movie logic, dream logic, or comic book logic, it’s gotta happen, and there’s no way it will ever seem really “real.”
PROBLEM #2: “Grounding a story in reality” is a gambit. You lose some of the fun of indulging in a safe, enjoyable fantasy. What you get in return is the gravitas that comes from playing the previously safe formula as if their are now serious stakes involved, with life-and-death situations no longer pitched at the level of kids playing shoot-em-up in the backyard but more akin to a real-life tragedy witnessed on television or – worse yet – up close in person.
I’m not sure this path is the right one for the Man of Steel. It works for Batman in the Christopher Nolan films because Batman is, after all, the Dark Knight – it literally says right in his nickname that his proper tone is dark. This approach also works for James Bond in the Daniel Craig films, because 007 is a spy doing dirty work in a dangerous world; jettisoning the escapism and camp brings the character to a fuller realization of what he should be.
This approach does not necessarily work for Superman, who was always a boy scout fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. Superman is a fantasy, an ideal – not a reality or anything even approaching reality, unlike Batman and Bond, who are mortals (even if extraordinarily well-equipped and skilled mortals).
However, giving Nolan, Snyder, and Goyer their due, their approach could have worked – if they had stayed true to it. But they refuse to go all the way. Where do they stop short? Collateral freakin’ damage – that’s where.
When Superman throws down with Zod on the streets of Smallville, he doesn’t seem particularly concerned with the damage he is causing, and the film simply assumes that it is only property damage, as if there were no chance their might be human beings in the buildings that are being pierced and punctured by a pair of superhuman Kryptonians blasting through like cannonballs.
In the later battle in Metropolis, the sheer scale of destruction suggests the inevitability of casualties, but these do not weigh heavily on Superman’s mind, nor do the filmmakers expect us to care much, either (until it becomes a plot point, and then it’s a big deal only because it forces Superman to get his hands a little dirty). In fact, this is so far off the radar that, in spite of some lip-service threats from the villains (“for every one you save, we will kill a million”), Zod and company never actually use hostages under a death threat to blackmail Superman into surrendering.
Up until then, we are in the familiar movie-movie world, in which the only lives that matter are those of the audience identification figures – in this case, Lois Lane (Amy Adams) who despite being rather resourceful and not particularly helpless, manages to fall out of an airplane, so that everyone else on board can die in a crash while she is saved from a precipitous fall by the inevitable arrival of the Man of Steel.
By the way, did I mention that the airplane is carrying a weapon that will destroy Zod’s ship, but there is one of those unexpected last-minute hurdles that are supposed to juice up the suspense. This is a particularly lazy one: the Kryptonian control stick (essentially an alien flash drive) that is supposed to slide into a slot, doesn’t, but exactly what’s wrong is never explained, and the solution to the problem is hardly more sophisticated than banging on a TV set.
In short, it’s a moment that is there because it was expected to be there, not because anybody cared enough to come up with something interesting. Which would be fine in a comic book movie with its tongue in its cheek, asking us all to sit back and have fun. It’s not so fine in a film that is asking to be taken very seriously.
THE RULES OF SUPERPOWERS: THERE ARE NO RULES
Jor-El tells his wife – and by extension, us – that the radiation of Earth’s young yellow Sun will be absorbed by Kal-El, making him strong as he grows up in this alien environment; he also tells us that Earth’s atmosphere is a little more nourishing that Krypton’s.
So, fine, Kal-El sucks up solar energy for thirty-three years, and it makes him really super. Then he steps aboard Zod’s spaceship and immediately loses his powers because he is breathing Kryptonian air (which we are now told will not support Earth life).
Uh, huh? So the sun didn’t really have much to do with it after all?
Also, Zod and his minions (including Antje Trau as Faora) are instantaneously as strong as Superman. Not only that, they immediately know how to use their new superpowers as if they were born with them.
So I guess, soaking up solar radiation and testing his powers for thirty-three years did give the Man of Steel much of an edge.
This becomes particularly amusing when Zod brags that he, unlike Kal-El, has trained as a warrior all his life, as if this will give him an advantage in their fight to the finish. I’m not sure how training in weapons or even in hand-to-hand combat is going to prepare you for flying at super-speed and tossing opponents through buildings. Knowing how to block a right cross while delivering an upper-cut simply is not going to help you much when your opponent flies into with the speed of a bullet and the power of a locomotive.
KAL-EL: THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE GOD – OR AT LEAST THE SON OF…
Despite these mis-steps, and an overabundance of action for attention-deficit viewers, MAN OF STEEL understands the mythic proportions of the Superman story. As much as the film tries to portray Kal-El as a man trying to find his way, he is much more than that – not just a superman but a savior of mankind, someone who will not solve all our problems but will set a shining example to be followed.
The Christ parallels have always been there (the son sent down from the heavens), but MAN OF STEEL pushes them further than before, specifically making Kal-El thirty-three (the age at which Jesus started his public ministry) and even placing him in a church when he has a crucial decision to make, a stain-glass window of Jesus behind him, as he weighs the wisdom of sacrificing himself.
Cavill is an excellent Kal-El – totally different from Christopher Reeve, somber without projecting self-pity, serious and thoughtful (and unfortunately, without the clear demarcation between the Clark Kent and Superman personas). For a character who seems strong enough to carry any burden, Cavill somehow manages to convey the weight pressing on his character’s shoulders, especially when Zod’s relentless hostility, which allows no room for surrender, forces a life-or-death choice upon the formerly innocent Kryptonian.
The rest of the cast is almost equally good, especially Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent. The other stand-out role, of course, is Zod, which Shannon embodies with power and authority but without the operatic grandeur that such a large-than-life malevolent force should convey.
As Lois, Adams ditches Margot Kidder’s wackiness in favor of a cool professionalism that does not preclude a certain hint of romantic interest in her “rescuer” (as she initially calls him, before learning his identity). Hopefully, any sequels will explore the romantic repartee between Lois and Clark.
MAN OF STEEL contains more than enough supersonic action to fill not only a superhero movie but also an alien invasion movie and a planetary romance as well (there is something Barsoomian about Krypton, with Jor-El riding a winged, reptilian steed). The special effects are often outstanding; although the high-speed blur is somewhat over-used, diminishing the effect of the fights, the scenes still pack more punch than the battle from SUPERMAN 2 (1981), which too often had an almost Peter Pan-look to its aerial altercations.
More impressive than the bang-boom-bash, however, is the way that the flashback structure (we initially skip Clark’s early years, glimpsing them in bits and pieces later) allows for occasional quiet, dramatic moments that help make sense of the action, providing a clear sense of the formative experiences that have brought the character to the moment when he must finally stand up and bring those past lessons to fruition.
In moments like these, the grounded reality pays off; the action seems a bit more than spectacle – more a test of character on a spectacular level.
Now if only the film had found a way to add this gravitas without allowing the gravity to pull its hero so close to Earth. Superman needs to soar – like a bird, like a plane – breaking not just the law of gravity but also the sense of mundane reality. If you sense something missing in MAN OF STEEL, it is this: a Sense of Wonder.
Update: In the first draft, I neglected to mention that the post-production 3D conversion works very well. The look is almost natural – i.e., not distracting – during the quieter scenes. And of course, it magnifies the impact of the special effects sequences to magnificent proportions.
On the CFQ Scale of zero to five stars
MAN OF STEEL (Warner Brothers: June 14, 2013). Produced by Christopher Nolan. Directed by Zack Snyder. Written by David S. Goyer, from a story by Nolan & Goyer, based on characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Raged PG-13. Running time: 143 minutes. Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Antje Traue, Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff, Christopher Meloni, Kevin Costner, Ayelet Zurer, Laurence Fishburne.
Zack Snyder digs shooting on location… Henry Cavill loves his super-suit… Michael Shannon really appreciates Henry Cavill… We look into the creation of the eagerly-awaited reboot of the Superman franchise.
From the luxurious Cinefantastique Online studios in NYC, Dan Persons brings you up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of genre media.
FULL-SIZE VIDEO BELOW
This promotional featurette from the Warner Brothers Superman reboot includes interviews with Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, producer Charles Roven, screenwriter David S. Goyer, and director Zack Snyder. It’s standard fare for this type of thing – an extended commercial posing as a documentary – but it does provide a glimpse into the approach that the filmmakers took to the enduring icon, attempting to ground the Man of Steel in something resembling a recognizable reality.
Man of Steel featurette
Man of Steel promotional artwork
The fourth trailer from MAN OF STEEL. Warner Brothers releases the PG-13 science-fiction film on June 14. Producer: Christopher Nolan. Director: Zack Snyder. Writer: David S. Goyer. Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Laurence Fishburne, Antje Traue, Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff, Christopher Meloni.
From Empire magazine via SuperheroHype comes these two official (one presumes) pictures from GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE.
This new Ghost Rider film takes Marvel Comics’ Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) to Europe where he’s driven towards thwarting the plans of the Devil to become incarate.
Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (CRANK) from a story by David S. Goyer and screenplay by Scott M. Gimple and Seth HoffmanSeth Hoffman screenplay.
Also starring Ciarán Hinds, Johnny Whitworth (CSI: MIAMI) as Blackout, Idris Elba, Violante Placido, and Christopher Lambert.
Due out Feb, 17th, 2012 from Columbia Pictures Studio, the film is not a direct sequel to 2007’s GHOST RIDER, but a kind of “soft reboot”, keeping lead actor Cage, taking place “eight years later”, but more or less ignoring the details of the first film.
Shot in various Eastern European locations, notably Romania and Turkey, it remains to be seen if the relatively modest-budgeted film will find more favor with fans than the inital cinematic outing.
Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced today that Oscar®-nominated actress Diane Lane will play Martha Kent, the only mother Clark Kent has ever known, in the new Superman movie to be directed by Zack Snyder.
Snyder stated, “This was a very important piece of casting for me because Martha Kent is the woman whose values helped shape the man we know as Superman. We are thrilled to have Diane in the role because she can convey the wisdom and the wonder of a woman whose son has powers beyond her imagination.”
Lane will star with Henry Cavill, who was recently announced as the new Clark Kent/Superman.
Lane earned an Academy Award® nomination for her performance in the 2002 drama “Unfaithful.” She most recently starred in the family hit “Secretariat.” She next stars in the HBO feature “Cinema Verite,” opposite Tim Robbins and James Gandolfini.
Lane’s long list of film credits also includes “Nights in Rodanthe,” “Hollywoodland,” “Must Love Dogs,” “Under the Tuscan Sun,” “Perfect Storm,” “My Dog Skip,” “Chaplin,” “The Cotton Club” and “A Little Romance,” to name only a portion.
Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder are the producers of the film. The screenplay is being written by David S. Goyer based on a story by Goyer and Nolan. Thomas Tull and Lloyd Phillips are serving as executive producers.
Slated for release in December 2012, the new Superman movie will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.