On Man of Steel:
Darren Aronofsky, Duncan Jones, Ben Affleck, Tony Scott, Matt Reeves and Jonathan Liebesman were considered to direct the movie before Zack Snyder was later chosen.
Natalie Portman, Charlotte Riley, Anne Hathaway, Dianna Agron, Kristen Stewart, Malin Akerman, Rachel McAdams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kristen Bell, Lake Bell, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis and Jessica Biel were considered to play Lois Lane.
Ben Affleck turned down directing the film because he wasn't experienced in VFX shots: "A lesson I've learned is to not look at movies based on budget, how much they'll spend on effects or where they will shoot. Story is what's important."
Matthew Goode, Armie Hammer, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Zac Efron and Colin O'Donoghue were on the final shortlist for the lead role. Henry Cavill was finally cast. He was the front runner to play Superman in another Superman movie (working title: flyby) but the the movie failed to be greenlit and Brandon Routh was cast in 'Superman Returns' instead. Cavill was also runner-up to Daniel Craig for the James Bond role in 'Casino Royale.'
Julianne Moore, Lisa Rinna, Jodie Foster, Sela Ward and Elisabeth Shue were considered for the role of Martha Kent.
Dennis Quaid, Bruce Greenwood, Michael Biehn and Kurt Russell were considered for the role of Jonathan Kent.
Viggo Mortensen was considered to play General Zod.
Amanda Seyfried auditioned for a role but was turned down.
Prior to being cast as Lois, Amy Adams had two previous Superman connections. Adams played Jodi Melville in 'Smallville.' This is her third time auditioning for Lois Lane. She first read for Lois Lane in Brett Ratner's abandoned film, then for Superman Returns. Adams has stated that it became ridiculous and this time she had to play Lois and put her stamp on it.
Both director Bryan Singer and actor Brandon Routh expressed interest in reprising their positions from Superman Returns on this film; Singer had originally outlined several sequels to follow his story, and Routh was contracted as well. When Warner Bros. announced this film as a "clean reboot" from Singer's film, Routh still expressed interest in returning before Zack Snyder declared that this movie would have no ties to any previous cinematic incarnation of the character.
Henry Cavill is the first non-American actor to play the role of Clark Kent. London-born Lee Quigley played Superman as a baby in Superman.
Russell Crowe becomes the second Oscar winner to portray Jor-El after Marlon Brando. Crowe once had a song with his band "Rus Le Roq" entitled "I want to be like Marlon Brando".
The film is set to release in June of 2013, the 75th anniversary of Superman. The first appearance of the character was in "Action Comics #1" in 1938.
The monologue used by Jor-El (Russell Crowe) in the teaser trailer is taken directly from Grant Morrison's "All-Star Superman", widely considered one of the best Superman stories ever written.
This is the first Superman feature film that doesn't incorporate the word "Superman" in its title. Interestingly enough, the first Batman film to not incorporate the word "Batman" was Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight which like, Man of Steel, is the main character's nickname.
The first Superman film not to feature Kryptonite, Superman's main weakness.
Diretor Zack Snyder enlisted the services of Gym Jones to get lead star Henry Cavill in shape for this role. Snyder had first worked with Gym Jones on 300 and then subsequently collaborated with them for all his live action films, to get his cast into the right physical shape.
For his physical preparation on Man Of Steel, Henry Cavill had to start from scratch because for his previous film, The Cold Light of Day, director Mabrouk El Mechri made him lose the "eight pack" and the muscular physique that he had built for Immortals. He was asked to let go completely and stop all training to get the body of an ordinary man. For Man Of Steel, after months of training, Cavill got his physique and "eight pack" back but said that he would never let go again, whatever they offered him.
Henry Cavill said that he was on a diet of 5000 calories while bulking (putting on mass), dropped down to 3500 calories to get into suit-shape and then further dropped down to 2500 calories for his shirtless scenes.
The idea that Superman's S-Shield means "hope" comes from Mark Waid's Superman: Birthright series: The S-Shield is the Kryptonian symbol for "hope" and Superman believes it may have begun as a coat of arms for the House of El.
Henry Cavill and Russell Crowe had met years prior to playing father and son when Henry was an extra in Proof of Life and received words of encouragement to pursue acting and an autographed picture from Crowe, who was his favorite actor.
According to David S. Goyer, the story's major theme is first contact: "We approached Superman as if it weren't a comic book movie, as if it were real. He's an alien. If the world found out he existed, it would be the biggest thing that ever happened in human history. Just his existence would change the face of the Earth forever."