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Did the Man of Steel Poster Have Anything to Do With Justice League

As everyone on the Internet has already seen, Warner Bros. released a new poster for 2013’s Superman movie reboot, Man of Steel, yesterday – except that it didn’t do so in the traditional manner. Does the fact that one image of Superman in chains went around the web faster than a speeding bullet demonstrate that the world really wants to see a Superman movie?

As Deadline’s Nikki Finke pointed out, Warners didn’t actually officially release the Man of Steel image to media yesterday; they just put it on Facebook as an “exclusive reward” and sat back to see what happened. What happened, of course, was that the image was quickly shared on multiple websites and social media networks, with each reblog, Tweet or article adding some breathless analysis or commentary about what it meant for Henry Cavill’s Superman to apparently be under arrest and/or military supervision.

The lack of traditional promotion is weirdly fascinating. That a genre movie can generate online chatter isn’t some kind of revelation about… well, anything, really (I was initially going to write “the Internet,” but let’s be honest), but it makes me wonder about whether or not this particular case says anything about the interest in Man of Steel; after all, I feel like there was more commentary and sharing of that particular image online than there was about the (somewhat underwhelming) first Star Trek Into Darkness image, which also made its online debut yesterday. Is this a good sign for the possibility of Man of Steel actually being a hit…?

I’m unconvinced; while I think there’s a level of hopeful (if resigned to the alternative, in true fatalistic fashion) goodwill out there for Man of Steel as a movie in and of itself – Definitely more than there was for Superman Returns, to my memory, but perhaps I’m wrong – I suspect that what’s driving interest for Man of Steel is more the movie’s importance to Warner Bros’ Justice League plans and the surreal belief/demand for a Warner Bros/Disney cold war over the respective superhero franchises. If Warners had said that Man of Steel was a stand-alone movie with no connection to a larger world/universe building agenda, would there be the same amount of curiosity or excitement about a picture of Superman in chains?

Not that that matters, in the grand scheme of things; in fact, the more Warners can fan the flames of Justice League-related speculation, the more likely people are going to rush to theaters on the movie’s first day of release to be the first to see the inevitable post-credits sequence teasing out Darkseid or Batman or Green Lantern or whatever, making Man of Steel a box office success and ensuring a strong launch for the latest incarnation of the character and the first sign outside of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight series that Warners’ DC movie universe could actually be a hit after all. Maybe the Facebook poster release was a quiet test to see if people were even paying attention to these things, ahead of making a decision about Justice League‘s next step…


  • The Truth

    Did you guys happen to notice that most of the reaction to this poster was negative? That’s what drove it all over the internet. Berry’s Catwoman costume pic was HUGE on the internet the day it was released…just sayin’.

  • Lukewhite

    I think this poster looks great and realistic. I saw the comic con trailer online and it was PERFECT. This is definetly going to be in JLA. For that to actually be good, JLA has to have a serious tone. Otherwise people will consider it a knock off of the avengers

  • DiRT

    I never once thought of this in ANY terms of Justice League, and I never once saw ANY negative reaction. I was excited for it as much as anyone else – because I really want a good Superman movie.

  • matt

    I just want a superman movie where he fights instead of just lifting things

  • Ash

    This is  a still form the comic con footage. There was 3 seconds of him walking with handcuffs accompanied by  military personnel. What i don’t get is that why would they just take the still and not edit it at all…. kinda sloppy don’t you think?? However the poster really says a lot about his character… those are standard issue handcuffs, nothing alien about them at all. But for me i’m guessing he’s allowed them to capture him, and i think it’s about making peace with  the authorities and the people of earth. He considers himself one of us but at the same time he knows what he’s capable of. So i guess its’s more of a gesture of good will… he’s sort of saying ” hey… i’m on your side and i’m playing by the rules too” 

  • Darkshadowx9

    Most comments I see are positive…looks great

  • Gcsmith_88

    There are more Superman fans out there than most think. The only reason Superman has a bad rap is bc the online media and Hollywood decided they didn’t know what to do with Superman. Most writers psych themselves out before writing the character. After 75+ years Superman can still deliver, John Bryne run still stands out 25 years later. It’s high time u bloggers start calling out WB for purposly neglecting their DC marketing skills from 1999-2010 while Marvel whored out the whole decade and now their a house hold name.

  • alex007

    Forget Justice League, I’m just excited of Superman reboot being produced by “The Dark Knight” team. Plus, Snyder’s “Watchmen” proves that he can helm a big superhero project pretty well.

  • Wavychips

    Too bad the watchman fuc$ing blows sac

  • Dick Grayson

    I saw this poster and instantly thought of how similar this is to seeing Loki “in chains” with S.H.I.E.L.D.

  • Hobbes_cat

    watchmen was awesome

  • Richard Casey

    Yeah, I wouldn’t say the reaction to the poster was good. 

  • Fliber D. Gibit

    I love this poster, if for no other reason that I am hoping that villain in JLA is President Luthor and Amanda Waller.  If it is Darkside, than the film will just be seen as a tired Avengers Rip Off, and will likely do well, but not as good as a new interesting story.

    There are so many reasons for the JLA to get together, but I really think that the heroes banding together because of persecution and needing a public face, rather than just in reaction to a big threat is what the movie needs to be it’s own movie, rather than just rehashing the story already told in Avengers.

    Arguably the Avengers aped DC on this one, but first to the screen is still first to the screen.  You can see how boom tubes (tessearct doorways) and mind control (the unlife formula) will feature in a Darkside centric movie, and how much it will look exactly like the Avengers.

    Make your own movie DC, you’re better than that.

  • Adam Walters

    Oh boy, interest was shown in a Superman movie! This is news!

  • Lewis4510

    Most of the reaction I’ve seen for this poster is 60-40 against. For one, the costume is too dark and too shiny. Kind of a metalic wetsuit with a cape and an ‘S’ on the chest. Dark and gritty may have worked for Nolan’s Batman but for Superman not so much.

  • JohnCuriel

    There shoud be a Superman/Batman movie first, I don’t like Batman, but there should be a Superman/Batman movie after the ‘Man of Steel’ movie!