Zack Snyder Thought Long And Hard About Keeping Superman’s Underwear On The Outside

Before any work started on “Man Of Steel,” Snyder was apparently thinking about what he was going to do about Superman’s famous red trunks. In a behind-the-scenes featurette, the director is heard saying, “If we’re gonna make Superman, the first thing you gotta figure out is: What’s the suit gonna look like?” Yes, that’s the first thing Snyder was thinking about. Not the story or tone or how “Man of Steel” was going to set itself apart from other versions of the character. No, it was the fit. Which evidently simply had to appear sans underwear.

With story duties covered by Nolan and Goyer, Snyder was free to focus on the important stuff. As the director explained: “The reason why his underwear is on the outside of his pants, it’s a leftover from Victorian-era strongmen. I probably looked at hundreds of versions with underwear. It fell by the boards because I couldn’t make it consistent with the world we were creating.”

Ultimately, Henry Cavill’s Superman debuted sporting what is, to be fair, a unique and original spin on the classic Superman suit. Crafted by costume designers Jim Acheson and Michael Wilkinson, the “Man Of Steel” version reimagined the famous “S” chest emblem as a Kryptonian symbol representing hope. The designers also toned down the instantly recognizable blue and red color scheme, using darker hues and what Wilkinson described to Esquire as a “chainmail-like” pattern. The designer explained how the overall goal was to avoid “random, ornamental” features and focus on the character’s mythology as a way to show “why the suit looks the way it does.” Producer Charles Roven echoed that sentiment in the featurette, stating, “We had to create a world where that kind of outfit was commonplace, and make that feel natural.”

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