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Look! Up In the Sky! Superman Has No Underpants! Here’s Why

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Superman will be flying commando when he takes to the skies in ‘Man of Steel’

Directed Zack Snyder is trying to give a gritty, modern feel to his Superman reboot “Man of Steel.” He and cast members explain the film in a new video featurette, including why signature details were left out of Superman’s costume. What no underpants?

If anything is inviolate to superman’s fans, it’s his distinctive costume. Touch that and you’re asking for trouble.

Superman is widely considered a cultural icon. Famed DC Comics writers Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, first unveiled the superhero in 1933. He debuted in the first nationally distributed DC comic book in 1938 and later graduated to films and television.

Through it all, over the years, his distinctive costume has never changed. He wears blue tights made of special fabric from Krypton, a flowing red cape, and a red-and-yellow shield logo on his chest.

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Superman’s traditional costume. Will the new Superman look fly with fans?

It’s emblazoned with a highly stylized “S,” as if anybody wouldn’t recognize him. Although on Krypton it has another meaning.

And, he’s always worn red underpants on the outside of his tights with a gold belt and buckle. But not now. Synder has made significant changes to the costume to “be consistent with the world we are creating.”

In the featurette, he explains that he wants Superman to be as contemporary as possible. The film is set in present day American and low-tech spandex tights just wouldn’t do.

“The cape has to be there,” says producer Deborah Snyder. God forbid, they’d tamper with that.

“You look at the suit without the cape and you realize its not Superman. But you know what, I think the underwear outside of the pants is something that maybe can go,” she added.

Say what?

“Our approach was not a comic book Superman, it was just to do a more realistic Superman. A Superman that exists in a real world,” says screenwriter David Goyer.

“Its that fine line of reinventing, but still seeing him in there,” Snyder adds.

His tights are now made out of a super synthetic material that looks like fish scales. And his, iconic underpants and gold belt are gone. And so is the gold color from his logo. But why?

Superman’s costume projects a darker image in keeping with the film’s noir feel.

As for the underpants, they looked too old-fashioned, according to Snyder. Superman’s costume was modeled after Victorian and early 20th Century circus strong-men and weight lifters, he notes. They always wore tights underneath their underpants to preserve their modesty in front of women.

Instead, Superman star Henry Cavill will be flying around commando, sporting a big bulge instead. How modern is that?

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