November 28, 2012, 10:01 am Bryan Enk The Hype

It's strange how a world obsessed with comic book movies can no longer accept a man in tights... or at least red briefs.

Henry Cavill as Superman in "Man of Steel". Credit: Facebook

What Warner Bros. (and millions of fans) hope will be a Superman for the 21st century (following the lukewarm reception of Bryan Singer's well-intentioned but perhaps ultimately misguided 2006 would-be reboot, "Superman Returns") will be unveiled next winter, and with him a somewhat dramatic tweaking of that most dubious aesthetic challenge in bringing a superhero to the live-action screen: his costume.

Don't worry -- the "Man of Steel," played by British actor Henry Cavill, will still have the red cape and that awe-inspiring big capital "S" on his formidable chest. He'll even have a blue bodysuit and red boots. But what he won't have is the red briefs of previous big-screen Supermen played by Christopher Reeve and Brandon Routh.

Credit: Roadshow Films

"The costume was a big deal for me, and we played around for a long time," director Zack Snyder said in an interview with the New York Post. "I tried like crazy to keep the red briefs on him. Everyone else said, 'You can't have the briefs on him.' I looked at probably 1,500 versions of the costumes with the briefs on."

Snyder said the brief-less look was chosen to update Superman's outfit without completely throwing away what makes him iconic. He said, "If you look at the costume, it's very modern, but the relationship to the original costume is strong."

It's a radical variation on what's been the traditional Superman wardrobe, as the removal of the "red briefs" makes way for an all-blue unitard with a somewhat metallic, more armored look... which sets the stage for a superhero who's more of a brooding warrior than perhaps, say, a melancholy stalker of ex-lovers (an element that made for one of the many criticisms of "Superman Returns").

This approach is certainly in line with Warner Bros.' desire to turn the Last Son of Krypton into a more serious, introspective kind of hero -- and with producer Christopher Nolan's insistence on bringing a sense of realism (or, as original "Superman" director Richard Donner put it, "verisimilitude") to even the most outrageous concepts.

Gallery: Dramatic weight transformations -- the guys

"There's a logic and concreteness that has to exist with Chris," Snyder said. "You can't just do stuff because it's cool. He demands that there be story and character behind all of it, which I'm a big fan of."

Indeed, if the impressive teaser trailer released this past summer is any indication, Snyder will be giving us a more introspective Superman, an alien coming to terms with his remarkable abilities and the responsibilities that come with them -- and how they ultimately might make him even more isolated from the very world he's sworn to defend.

Related Video: Watch the "Man of Steel" teaser trailer

"Man of Steel" opens locally on June 13.

Bryan Enk writes for Yahoo! Movies

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  1. Robert10:30am Friday 30th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I just hope it's a good film. Something with a message.

  2. Colin03:00pm Thursday 29th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    The spelling is ridiculous.

  3. Weatherman02:07pm Thursday 29th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    HOLLYWOOD is absurd.

  4. Andrew01:47pm Thursday 29th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Freddy Mercury took SM's red undies. Probably still wearing them - 6 feet down.

  5. Silvia01:08pm Thursday 29th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I still prefer the guy from Superman Return 2006 and Superman without red undies? NO WAY!!!

  6. Casalobos12:55pm Thursday 29th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I love Superman in his all time suit, changing it seemed a bit absurd. They should change the timeline e.g. far in the future or in a multiverse one...

  7. emsmum05:00pm Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Superman without red undies is not superman. Why does Hollywood always insist on changing the characters (and everything else) of comic book heroes? They're like those singers who want to change the tempo of hit songs - shudder! Superman and his costume go together. If they don't like the costume or his personality then let them make up a new comic book character. Let Superman stay the nice country boy who fights the baddies and has a crush on Lois Lane.

  8. 04:21pm Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    i think in order for past hits like superman to be able to thrive in the present people need to have and open mind his original costume was created way back when styles were different and i think for him to fit in there needs to be bit of give in the costume to modernise things and bring the ultimate superhero to a new audience eg. the Transformers i hate the look of some of the new Transformers but as a huge fan i still saw the first movie 5 or 6 time in cinema's if your a true fan you will do whatever it takes to help the franchise survive.

  9. Wendy04:18pm Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Henry is a great choice..love him!!

  10. .04:04pm Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Looks rediculous without the red briefs. I'm refusing to watch this movie.


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