Su­per­man ditches the tight red­dies

movies: Man of Steel saves the world by de­sign.............

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY­CON­TENTS -

UN­LIKE the Su­per­man suits worn in the past by Ge­orge Reeves, Christo­pher Reeve, Dean Cain and Bran­don Routh, the out­fit ac­tor Henry Cav­ill squeezes into in Man of Steel is miss­ing some­thing.

While Reeves, Reeve & Co wore their un­der­pants on the out­side, Man of Steel’s cos­tume de­sign­ers James Ach­e­son and Michael Wilkin­son found that each time they re­fined their ver­sion of the suit in the de­sign process, Su­per­man’s briefs be­came briefer.

In the end, it was de­cided to com­pletely re­move the su­per­hero’s tight red­dies.

Bri­tish ac­tor Cav­ill, 30, didn’t mind, al­though the tight­fit­ting suit made from foam latex with a chrome fin­ish was miss­ing some­thing else that would have come in handy dur­ing the long days on the film set. ‘‘The lack of a fly on it didn’t help out,’’ Cav­ill says. De­vised by one of Hol­ly­wood’s top su­per­hero screen­writ­ers, David Goyer, the new film’s story be­gins on Kryp­ton where chaos – and tight latex suits – reign. Su­per­man’s bi­o­log­i­cal father, Jor-El (Rus­sell Crowe, see re­port, Page 10), and the planet’s mil­i­tary leader, Gen­eral Zod (Michael Shan­non), slip into their own latex suits.

Au­di­ences also dis­cover the ‘‘S’’ on the su­per­hero’s chest doesn’t stand for Su­per­man, but is the heraldic sign of the house of El.

The film opens with fisticuffs be­tween Crowe and Shan­non, and a large chunk of the rest of the movie in­volves an epic Earth-shak­ing show­down be­tween Cav­ill and Shan­non.

US ac­tor Shan­non, 38, who scored an Os­car nom­i­na­tion for his per­for­mance op­po­site Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in 2008’s Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Road, ad­mits to be­ing ‘‘very ner­vous’’ meet­ing Crowe.

‘‘I had never met him be­fore this pic­ture and have ad­mired his work over the years,’’ Shan­non says.

‘‘The first thing we did to­gether was work out. We went in and got re­ally sweaty. It was very unglam­orous, but a nice way to start things off be­cause it kind of re­moves this movie star aura.

‘‘He was very friendly and ap­proach­able and we had din­ner a cou­ple of times. Jor-El and Gen­eral Zod at one point are friends, so we had to build that up.’’

The latex suits might have made the many fight and ac­tion scenes dif­fi­cult and toi­let stops in­fre­quent, but the ac­tors agree the cos­tumes helped them men­tally trans­form into their char­ac­ters. ‘‘The suit, it’s a very spe­cial thing,’’ Cav­ill says. ‘‘When I put the suit on of a morn­ing it re­ally did trans­port me to the char­ac­ter. There’s so much that has gone into the de­sign. It is in­cred­i­bly regal as it is, but there’s some­thing else you can’t re­ally ex­plain.

‘‘I think it is the love you have for the char­ac­ter. It did make it truly spe­cial. It’s not just putting on a cos­tume. It was some­thing more than that.’’

Man of Steel opens to­day.

Above: Henry Cav­ill as Clark Kent and Di­ane Lane as Martha Kent in a scene from Man Of Steel. Right: Cav­ill, sans un­der­pants, as the new-look Su­per­man.

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