In the latest batch of photos from the set of “Man of Steel,” Zack Snyder’s upcoming reboot of the Superman movie franchise, we not only get another look at star Henry Cavill in the old cape and tights, we also get our first look at some of the villains he’ll be facing off against in the 2013 film.
As we reported earlier, the new photos provide our first look at actress Antje Traue in costume as the Kryptonian villain Faora, as well as an unidentified actor in a motion-capture suit. The pair are clearly getting place for a showdown with Superman, but for many people following developments on the film, there’s still one big question: Who the heck are they?
Well, don’t worry if you’re not entirely sure who the pair of villains are that appear in these photos — you’re not alone. While the identity of the actor in the motion-capture suit is uncertain at this point, Faora herself isn’t exactly a household name in the comics world, either.
In the DC Comics universe, there have been several iterations of characters named Faora. The first and possibly best-known version of the character was introduced in a 1977 issue of Action Comics, and was man-hating Kryptonian villain sentenced to spend 300 years in the Phantom Zone for torturing and murdering male inmates at a concentration camp near her home. A frequent collaborator with General Zod (the main villain of “Man of Steel,” played by Michael Shannon), Faora was also a master of Horo-Kanu, a Kryptonian martial art that made her an extremely formidable opponent for Superman.
Over the years, several lesser-known versions of the character debuted in Superman’s comic-book adventures, including several alternate-world versions who were man-hating killers, too.
Surprisingly, Faora’s history on the screen is a bit more notable.
In the Christopher Reeve-starring “Superman” and “Superman II,” the character of Ursa was based on Faora, and much like her comics counterpart, she served as the right-hand woman to General Zod. Faora also appeared in several arcs of the long-running television series “Smallville,” and though she began in a similar partnership with Zod, her character departed the series fighting alongside Clark Kent.
Thus far, little is known about the “Man of Steel” version of Faora, though the latest photos seem to indicate she’ll follow the fashion sense of her “Superman” and “Superman II” predecessor, played by Sarah Douglas. Apparently, bad guys (and girls) on Krypton wear black, too.
As for our mystery motion-capture man, there’s not much we can surmise from the new photos, though there is one minor element that could be cause for speculation.
Take a good look at the photos and you’ll notice a long bar sticking out of the top of the actor’s back and rising a few feet into the air. Could this be an indication of the character’s height once the digital effects are rendered? Given the alien nature of Superman, Faora, and Zod, it’s within the realm of possibility that we could be seeing a few other additions to the live-action Superman movie universe — so why not make ’em taller than your average human (or Kryptonian)?
Start the speculation now, folks — there’s a lot of time between now and June 2013.