Weta's Joe Letteri Skips VFX, Hypes Up 'Man of Steel' Story Instead

April 7, 2013
Source: Bleeding Cool

Man of Steel

Even though this summer's movie season is packed full of one exciting movie after another (like usual), I've got a good feeling that Zack Snyder's Man of Steel is going to be the pinnacle of the season. Arriving right smack in the middle of June, everything we've seen and heard so far about this new Superman revival sounds like it's going to be amazing. Considering what we all went through with Superman Returns, it's a change of pace to be excited. We've featured a lot of quotes already, but our friends at Bleeding Cool recently talked with Weta's VFX Supervisor Joe Letteri, who is working on visual effects for the movie, and asked him about the effects. But instead of talking about VFX, he instead decided to continue to praise the story.

Here is Joe Letteri's full statement in response to their question about Man of Steel and Weta's work on it:

I can't talk too much about Man of Steel yet, and I haven't seen the whole thing yet, but overall it's the story that's most exciting. It's a nice re-envisioning of the story of Superman leaving his homeworld and coming to this new one.

If you look at what Zack [Snyder] has done you'll see that they've abandoned a lot of the pretense that was in the comics and asked "Can we still make this work?"

They're sticking to realism as much as possible. Fantastic elements are still there but a lot of it that been trimmed back to make it feel as though this actually happened.

Sounds good to me. We've heard these exact statements before reiterated by other people linked to Man of Steel, but that's because the story really is the key to this new take on Superman. How do you bring back one of the most iconic superheroes for his sixth time on the big screen and actually make it new and exciting again? That was Zack's challenge and even Joe Letteri is able to recognize that they've found an answer that will not only satisfy fans, but reignite this franchise just like J.J. Abrams did with Star Trek. In Snyder's Man of Steel, "realism" is the driving force: humanity questioning who this super-powered being is, how he would realistically change the world and what would happen to all of us. It's going to be an exciting summer.

Man of Steel, the new DC Comics Superman reboot, is being directed by Zack Snyder, of Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen & Sucker Punch previously. Christopher Nolan is producing, and co-wrote the story with David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Unborn, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), who wrote the script. Warner Bros is bringing Man of Steel to theaters everywhere on June 14th this summer. See the full trailer.

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  • Can't wait!
  • JBrotsis
    Wondering when the next trailer is suppose to hit?
    • Around April 16, probably online April 19
    • Cole
      Yeah around the 12th or 16th, probably one of the movie ads before the '42' movie from Warner Bros.
  • False. The world is most definitely ready. JUNE 14!
  • The Voice
    I don't trust what Lettering says. His recent works has fallen way short of photo real. Plus what'she going to say? WB is paying him. Green Lantern, Watchmen, Superman Returns, TDKR were huge disappointments. WB does not value their comic book properties the way Marvel does.
    • dawko
      Well, Watchmen are better than any of the Marvel movies...I wouldn't say they don't value it though, however the guys who greenlight those scripts should be hanged...scripts for GL and SR were horrible...TDKR, a good movie, the problem is that BB and TDK set up the bar too high, people expected too though, BB and TDK are still better movies than the Marvel ones... The problem with the Marvel movies, they lack depth....Captain America was mediocre, Thor looks like a TV movie, Iron Man 2 was so rubbish, Avengers was the only one good thing they did right...
      • dbucks
        I am sorry to have to disagree, but Watchmen was a terrible adaptation of that story. The acting was so poor that it was painful to watch in the theater. The delivery of the dialogue (which was decent) was so bad it made the characters feel flat, which removed me from the story and I could care less what happened in the end (I had the same reaction to the Star Wars Prequels) After seeing three of Synder's films, it is clear he is a great visual director, but a terrible character director. I still have hopes for this film, but I am really concerned over the execution of the character development, which is critical for Superman to work. I hope Synder has learned from his prior mistakes and proves me wrong on this.
        • dawko
          The thing about the Watchmen, imho, I think they are just ahead of time really, when I first watched it, didn't like it much, then watched it 3 years later, love it!!! It isn't just brainless action, unfortunately for the Marvel fans heh :) About Snyder, love his early work, 300 was super-stylish, and most important, delivered epic scenes better than 99% of current action/fantasy/sci-fi movies. Sucker Punch sucked ass though, Owls were mediocre. Now, the thing about the Superman, he has never been done right (in movies). And we have seen all kinds of stories from comic books and animated series/movies. But, I always wanted to see Superman kick ass, and now with Snyder, I believe it can be achieved. I don't wanna see any green dildos tickling his hips. He's freaking grandfather of all superheroes, maybe not the most interesting one, but someone needs to show him some respect. And even if Man of Steel fails with the story, I'll just be glad if he destroys a couple of buildings, tanks, kicks Zod's ass with effect and style. Yep, that's what I want.
    • Manny
      The Dark Knight Rises and Watchmen are excellent films. I bet that if Kevin Feige and Joss Whedon said that the story of Iron Man 3 and Avengers 2 is amazing, you would not question it. And by the way Weta's VFX are still amazing, it hasn't fallen short of anything.
      • JoeSmoe
        The realism of the VFX in Hobbit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, X-Men First Class were all quite bad. Those were done by Weta. When compared to the work ILM did on Avengers, I have to agree it's fallen quite short.
        • Manny
          The Avengers special effects are overrated, Iron man looked good, but Hulk looked fake.
          • Ry
            Err whut. The Hulk looked great.
        • AlanMorlock
          Gollumn and all of the Goblins and the very least were great.
  • Buttass
    I don't wanna sound like one of those dudes who are completely against change, but I don't want to see them try and make Superman cool to pull in non-fans and abandon his existing fanbase. That's what they did with the New 52 in the comics and it sucks. Like some kind of sad Superman whose Clark Kent doesn't wear glasses or something. I mean Superman should be a conflicted character, he's an all-powerful dude who wants to be human. The guy's terrified of himself. I'm ranting, the movie's prolly gonna be awesome. But they gotta go with like the opposite of Batman where Clark Kent is the truth and Superman is the mask. And he's gotta wear the glasses. The only disguise worse than a pair of glasses is not a pair of glasses.
    • But that is what is so cool about Superman, His secret identity IS the mild Mannered reporter. Batman IS Bruce Wayne, Ironman is Tony Stark. It is the opposite for Superman, When he is in the tights THATS Kal'el Not Clark Kent. Kent is the mask.
        And thats why u need someone who can play the CK role n i cant see that bumbling nerd in henry like Reeves had it as sups n kent. Ashton Kutcher has the look of both,cause its all about Clark,he is the disguise.
        • I personally have never been impressed with Cavill, he does however have the Superman look, will have to see how he carries CK.
      Ur right i agree
  • Halo
    I don't trust what anyone working on the film has to say about it. Less talk, more show already.
  • Vee
    Is this site censuring comments?
    • No, we are not. We moderate comments with links for spam reasons, and delete personal attacks/off-topic comments, but that's it. Are your comments disappearing? Please let us know.
      • HuRu
        That's a relief :)
    "They're sticking to realism as much as possible. Fantastic elements are still there but a lot of it that been trimmed back to make it feel as though this actually happened." THAT'S WHAT I WANNA HEAR! Can't wait .
    • Really, why? Pretty sure EVERYTHING about the Superman concept is fantastical, and unrealistic.
      • $126191
        Realism? It's a damn movie. It's supposed to be an escape from reality.
        • Manny
          Fantastic elements are still there.
          • Yeh, you would think that would go with out saying in a movie about an alien who get super powered by our sun and fights bad guys.
      • JJ KING
        Well... That's what "I" like and I can't wait.
  • Hezekiah
    Can someone please tell me the release date for the next trailer? It's not coming out with oblivion coz I'm in England and oblivion is set to be released april 10th, anyone know the date?
  • kryptonmetal
    I heard a comment, " i dont think this superman can hold a continent." If they made this some weak powered down version of superman this movie will be horrible for fans. I swear if a tank shoots superman, and it actually hurts him, im walking out the damn movies. This whole people need to relate to superman is crap. We relate to him mentally, sadness, feeling alone, bieng in love, fighting for good, personal strugles...But even if he can move planets or maybe hold up a train, we could never relate to either one so you migh as well make it on a more fantasy strength level. Pushing around planets, flyin through black holes... he is superman we are not supposed to relate to him on a physical level only mental
      Ur right with all this new awesome technology they should let sups be like we always wanted to see him and put all the who would win between sups n whoever to rest. Superman to the max!!
  • jah p
    I hope it's not too realistic! Or else, this might spell doom for the Justice League seems WB is really going out of there way to make all of their fantasy films realistic, like the Man of Steel and Godzilla.
  • Boo
    i think people are misreading this. They are going to make you relate to him on an emotional level but not a physical level. Just watch the trailer look at how he flies, its breath taking and has a lot of power behind it. There will be two parts to the story the super and the man, and its going to be amazing
      Thats boring we want heat vision,freeze breath,light speed,x ray vision n earth shattering fight scenes like Goku fighting Freeza or Cell put sups in constant use of his cool powers with lots of complex situations
      • Manny
        You are going to see light speed, heat vision, not sure about the others but is very possible, there is definitely going to be earth shattering fight scenes.
      • 311
        love Goku!!! Supes vs Zod fighting like that it'be epic
    I think superman will be alright but the visual effects movie of the summer will be THOR wake up everyone,if you know ur comics THOR will take visual effects award n lets be real,everyone wants to see action,action,action n less talking with a great story,so if WB knows whats good the fans want to see clark kent/superman use his abilities to the fullest thats all that counts with a charactor such as superman and from what i see clark is in the movie more then we see him in the blue.
  • Guest
    i think people are misreading this. They are going to make you relate to him on an emotional level but not a physical level. Just watch the trailer look at how he flies, its breath taking and has a lot of power behind it. There will be two parts to the story the super and the man, and its going to be amazing
    N oh whats up with henry,he looks like he could play sups but can he be CK nerdy n bumbling like how Reeves did it,doubt it n whats up with clark not wearing the iconic clark kent glasses. WACK NOT COOL!!! I'll tell u who couldve done the part Ashton kutcher perfect clark kent he kinda looks like Reeves with a little work he could fit the blue suit with a killer look
    Oh n if when they make part two n lex is in it please use lex only as an outlet for great danger to humanity not him himself as the main treat bring in darkseid use lex only as the cause of many dangers n destruction
  • dammit
    quit trying to pin REALISM to fucking comic books. Ok Nolan did it, but fuck sake...
    • ikkf
      It sounds like they're aiming for emotional realism, i.e. just enough of that quotient to pull the audience into the characters. I'm really looking forward to this one.
  • Ken
    This movie just needs to be epic and nothing short of that. No comic satire. No lex the real estate villan (COME ON SINGER WE ARE IN A NEW ERA NO MORE MAD SCIENTIST LEX AMERICA HAS LIVED THROUGH CORPORATE LEX AND PRESIDENT LEX). No more Brian Singer ever. If they can bring Transformers to the big screen and make it work then why can't Warner give us a great Superman franchise. This is beyond the last chance. We have all been waiting far too long and dealt with far too many horrible rumors about the next Superman film. Man of Steel has to work. If they dont get it right this time then they should just let Marvel make it.
    • nate
      Why would marvel make a Superman movie? I think you mean DC?
      • Ken
        No I meant Marvel. I know DC/Warner Brothers is over Superman. Marvel has a great amount of respect for Superman. Stan Lee has mentioned several times in the past of wanting to write a story on Superman. Other key figured from Marvel has stated that as well and some have wrote for Superman. Why would Marvel make a Superman movie you ask... They are fans too. We have all waited too long for a good Superman movie. Warner Brothers doesn't take the comic genre serious when it comes to the big screen. It was people who work for marvel that told the big wigs at WB start Superman over and act as if Superman returns never happened just like they did with the Eric Bana Hulk film.
        • Gautam
          Marvel figures like Stan Lee, Avi Arad, Joe Quesada, Mark Millar, Joss Whedom etc. waste no chance to publicly ridicule Superman and other DC heroes. That unprofessional hatred of their rivals will always cloud any Marvel involvement with DC. Marvel bigwigs didn't have any involvement with Man of Steel. It happened because Nolan and Goyer made a pitch to Warner Bros.




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