Synopsis for MAN OF STEEL Confirms Superman is Headed to West Africa?

     April 17, 2011


Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have spent recent weeks casting their Superman reboot, Man of Steel.  Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent.  Amy Adams as Lois Lane.  Michael Shannon as General Zod.  Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent.  The inclusion of Zod and hiring big names for Clark’s adoptive parents give some indication of where the story — conceived by David S. Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan — takes place in the Superman lore.  And Lane claims Man of Steeldoes cover the entire range of years, from infancy on.”

But these are just nuggets.  What will the film actually be about?  A new synopsis has emerged that may confirm Superman is headed to West Africa.  Read more after the jump.

Late last year, a character breakdown issued to casting issues included plot details:superman_alex_ross_01

The plot involves Clark getting involved in some sort of battle between two tribes in West Africa.  When he is compelled to use his secret powers to intervene in a crisis in West Africa, Clark returns to Smallville to learn more about his origins and the hero he was born to be.

My understanding is this logline was somewhat dismissed, perhaps a victim of time out of sight.  This weekend, however, Bleeding Cool found this synopsis listed in the Baseline Studio System:

A young reporter named Clark Kent roams the world covering various news stories. When he is compelled to use his secret powers to intervene in a crisis in West Africa, he returns to Smallville to learn more about his origins and the hero he was born to be.

These are clearly from the same source.  The more recent synopsis suggests Clark is a reporter at the Daily Planet from scene one and omits any mention of a tribal battle.  But otherwise: practically verbatim.

It is common to release false details to casting agencies to provide the actors a sense of tone for the auditions without leaking the real story.  I am not aware of any motivation to do the same with Baseline.  And Bleeding Cool vouches for the system’s reliability, citing the instance last year when they discovered the top secret Devil synopsis on Baseline.

If this is the true synopsis for Man of Steel, this brings us back to the Mark Waid-penned comic Birthright.  From the Wikipedia synopsis:


The story begins with a retelling of the destruction of planet Krypton. Jor-El laments the fact that his world accomplished “miracles no one will remember” while he is busy preparing infant Kal-El’s voyage. Kal-El’s shuttle pod fires into space moments before the planet’s destruction. Jor-El and his wife Lara regret that they will never know if Kal-El survives the journey.

Time winds forward to present day West Africa, where an ethnic conflict between the fictional Ghuri and Turaaba clans is claiming lives (this conflict is very reminiscent of the Hutu and Tutsi wars in Rwanda). Clark Kent, a freelance reporter in his early twenties, arrives to cover the conflict…

Clark returns to Smallville, determined to learn more about his alien heritage. He tells his mother Martha that he wants to unearth his spaceship. He and Martha use the data tablet that came with Clark from Krypton to examine holographic records of Kryptonian history.

Birthright hits all the same beats.  West Africa.  From infancy on.  A return to Smallville.  The one big discrepancy: Where does Zod fit in?

Can you do me favor, WB?  Can you release the official synopsis?  Like, really spell it out.

The Zack Snyder-directed Man of Steel is scheduled for release in December 2012.

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