I thought the first trailer for Superman Returns was underwhelming, but this new trailer actually makes me excited to see the movie. Its secret weapon is lotsa Luthor (Kevin Spacey): invading Superman’s polar Fortress of Solitude; having some wicked fun menacing Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth); and demonstrating a kind of actor’s glee that we haven’t seen in a Spacey performance since American Beauty. I also dug Frank Langella’s typically cool and sardonic take on Perry White; he promises to be the first movie newspaper editor I’ve seen since Jason Robards in All the President’s Men who acts like an actual newspaper editor and not the hyperactive, cigar-chomping caricature derived from dinner-theater productions of The Front Page. And I’m warming to Brandon Routh’s boyish Superman and Bosworth’s starry-eyed Lois.
None of this is to slight the larger, more general pleasures of the trailer — action, spectacle, romance, alienation, humor, heroism, self-sacrifice, special effects — all the things you’d want in a Superman movie, which the trailer promises in spades. I’m just noting that, if the film gets even these smaller details right, then I’m optimistic that Bryan Singer has handled the bigger challenges just as deftly. For the first time, I’m thinking June 30 can’t come soon enough.