Sunday, 5 May 2013

New Man of Steel poster released

A new theatrical poster for Man of Steel has been released as Warner Bros. begin their final major marketing push before the reboot's high profile 14th June 2013 opening.

This one is fairly generic, depicting Superman flying at a speed beyond all comprehension, but sadly not much else.

The most intriguing aspect of this poster is the motion contrast between Superman and the city below. The blurring and sun-glare compliment the bright colour-scheme and really emphasise the immense power of the Man of Steel. However, the image is simply too visually jarring to be effective.

At at a time when the marketing campaign should be reaching fever pitch, it seems to be stalling. The focus is far too biased towards Superman. Regardless of the character's popularity and Henry Cavill's seemingly flawless portrayal, absolutely no attention has been paid to the supporting cast. Consequently, it implies that the only important aspect of this movie will be Superman/Clark Kent and therefore, the other characters are of very little importance.

The most effective one-sheet for Man of Steel remains the teaser poster, which portrayed Superman in handcuffs (see right). This was a bold statement from Warner Bros. and suggested that it would be a fascinating exploration of the character. However, since then no progress has been made.

Have they peaked too soon?

Superman's ability to fly is spectacular, but also very one-dimensional in terms of scope and suggests an uncertainty over the long-term marketing strategy for the movie.

He has a plethora of abilities and the possibilities are endless in terms of selling such an iconic character to the public. Focusing on just one is very limiting when considering the global potential of the character.

Once again, it is important to note that the most effective and successful Man of Steel poster to-date focused on the character being restrained, which resulted in a portrayal of vulnerability and uncertainty. This was an ideal opportunity to focus on Superman's struggles to adapt and find acceptance within an alien society. However, this has not occurred and they seem to have resorted to generic flying images, which is a huge disappointment.

Movie posters focusing on Superman's ability to fly have been done before:

And they didn't work for Superman Returns, which severely under-performed at the box-office and was considered a major disappointment after years of false starts and massive hype.

So why haven't they learned?

To conclude, it is incredibly disappointing that the marketing campaign for Man of Steel has failed to capitalise on the early exciting surrounding the initial teaser poster. Seeing Superman in restraints sparked considerable excitement and most importantly, it fueled some intriguing speculation. Unfortunately, the early progress is now irrelevant and Warner Bros.' over-reliance on Superman as a major selling-point is far too basic. The imagery fails to introduce the secondary characters and primary antagonist, General Zod (Michael Shannon).

This strategy also lacks consistency, the initial teaser poster suggested that Superman would struggle on Earth and is forced to drastically conform in order to gain any form of acceptance. The latest poster negates this and reassures fans that everything will be fine and consequently, any dramatic tension is lost.

I'm confident that Man of Steel will be an epic adventure and a gargantuan success that will hopefully reignite the franchise. However, it is a shame that the marketing campaign has failed to reflect this.

Here's the synopsis:

Clark Kent is a journalist who was adopted as a child by Jonathan and Martha Kent after he was transported to Earth from the dying planet of Krypton. Raised with the values of his adoptive parents, he feels alienated because of his unique super powers and struggles to find his own place in life. When the world is attacked, he becomes the hero named Superman to protect Earth and its people.

Man of Steel is directed by Zach Snyder (300, Watchmen) and stars Henry Cavill (Immortals) as Clark Kent / Superman, Amy Adams (The Fighter), Russell Crowe(Cinderella Man, Robin Hood), Kevin Costner (The Untouchables) and Michael Shannon (TV's Boardwalk Empire).

The film is scheduled for release in the US and UK on 14th June 2013.

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