As part of a panel following a Man of Steel screening during SnyderCon 2023, production designer Alex McDowell went into detail about the visual inspirations behind the movie and the DCEU Superman.
What inspired the look of the DCEU Superman?
McDowell was asked what the visual references were for the DC Extended Universe‘s version of Krypton. The production designer explained that the team studied lots of organic forms in photographs, but that it all came down to the Superman logo.
“There’s a lot of influences … first of all, the Superman ‘S’ prompted the idea that there’s no straight lines on Krypton. So as a designer, that was an underlying rule. There’s a photographer called Karl Blossfeldt … who was the first photographer to really photograph, in extreme fine detail, the symmetry of plants. We looked at a whole array of organic forms — shells and plants … and art nouveau,” McDowell explained.
“It all came down to this idea that the ‘S’ prompts the entire visual language of Krypton … to build a history of that and to go back into a world where biology was the primary science … that premise really went through everything … down to the very finest detail.”
Man of Steel was originally released in 2013. The film served as the beginning of the DC Extended Universe and introduced Henry Cavill‘s DCEU Superman. The movie starred Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, and more. Shannon, who played the antagonist Zod in Man of Steel, will be reprising his role in The Flash.