The latest version of a Superman film, Man of Steel has an existing conspiracy theory that is surely to be contributing to in the future. The theory is that everyone tied to these Superman television and/or films either gets their career destroyed either by death, illness, or ‘whatever.’ From Wiki’s article about the Superman Curse:
The Superman Curse refers to a superstition that is based on a series of misfortunes that have plagued creative people involved in adaptations of Superman in various media, particularly actors who have played the role of Superman on film and television. The “curse” is frequently associated with George Reeves, who starred in Adventures of Superman on television from 1952 to 1958, and died of a gunshot wound at age 45 under disputed circumstances (officially ruled a suicide); and Christopher Reeve, who played the superhero in four theatrical films from 1978 to 1987, was paralyzed in a 1995 horseback riding accident, and died nine years later at age 52.
The curse is often invoked whenever misfortune is experienced by actors and other personnel who work on Superman adaptations, so much so that some talent agents cite the curse as the reason for the difficulty in casting actors in the role in live-action feature films.
They go through various key characters that have had misfortunes, some of which seem a stretch, but others like Christopher Reeve’s wife are a bit odd:
The curse has been mentioned regarding the death of the widow of actor Christopher Reeve, who, despite being a non-smoker, died of lung cancer in 2006 at the age of 44
Another idea floating around is a parallel to Christianity in the Man of Steel film. From Fox News:
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s … Jesus?
When Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created their iconic comic book hero Superman in 1938, their character wasn’t just a representation of “Truth, Justice and the American Way,” but for many, a metaphor for Jewish immigrants in 1930s America. Created by two young Jewish men, Superman was an allusion to the Jewish faith and history, from his baby Moses-like origins to his golem-esque invincibility, to his outcast status and his ultimate struggle to assimilate in a new land.
But somewhere along his journey since 1938, Kal-El converted to Christianity, which is no more evident than in Zack Snyder’s current “Man of Steel.”
Snyder and his “Steel” co-creators Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer have layered this latest incarnation with quite a few allusions to Jesus Christ. Here are a few:
While there isn’t a miraculous birth per se, Kal-El’s (Henry Cavill) father Jor-El (Russell Crowe) claims that his son is the first “natural” birth in centuries. All children on Krypton are genetically engineered to a pre-determined purpose and thus artificially inseminated. Not Kal-El. Jor-El and his wife Lara had some legitimate baby making going on.
There is some Christ-like imagery planted throughout “Man of Steel.” One blaring symbol occurs during a climactic battle: Superman jumps from General Zod’s (Michael Shannon) ship and hovers in the sky with his arms out-stretched like the crucifix. Freeze-frame it and you can have your own Superman prayer card.
Kal-El says he is 33, a not-too-subtle reference to the same age as Jesus Christ when he was crucified.
The Passion of Superman. Kal-El is more than willing to sacrifice himself to save the people of Earth. Originally reluctant to reveal his identity and powers to the world, Supes decides to turn himself over to Zod to save humanity from annihilation.
When things get tough, Clark Kent seeks advice from a priest. Visible in the background is a large painting of Jesus so you can see Supes and Christ side-by-side.
Superman is a non-violent being. Even though people everywhere seem to want to beat up on Clark Kent, he never returns the favor, always opting to keep the peace.
Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner), Clark’s adoptive father, is somewhat like Jesus’ adoptive dad, Joseph. Both are tradesmen: Joseph a carpenter, Jonathan a farmer. Superman’s ship (or manger, if you will) is even kept in the Kent’s stable.
And finally, don’t forget the Holy Trinity. Jor-El returns to Kal-El on Earth as a ghost, guiding his budding superhero son on his journey to salvation. Before Jor-El sends his son off to Earth baby Moses-style, he tells his wife that, like Jesus, “He’ll be a god to them.” With Superman’s seemingly invincible powers, he is.
Here’s an interesting breakdown of the different versions of Superman (including the ‘New Deal’ version of the big brother Superman) from NPR:
Since the debut of Superman in Action Comics in 1938, fans have been thrilled by the adventures of the Man of Steel. In his book Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, comic book geek Glen Weldon explores the evolution of the superhero in comics, radio and small and large screen.
The book they’re talking about is: