Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Jonathan and Martha Kent in Man of Steel.
You can’t cast Kevin Costner in your movie, put him on a farm, and not expect your audiences to think of Field of Dreams.
You can’t put him next to a box of Green Giant frozen niblets without that happening.
First time he walks by a cornfield every other adult in the theater’s hearing in their heads “If you build it, he will come.”
The question is how aware was Zack Snyder that that's the case? I can’t tell from Man of Steel or Snyder's filmography if he knows or cares anything about movies that aren’t based on comic books, don’t depend on lots of cgi, and don’t feature interminable scenes of well-built men brutally hacking and beating each other to bloody pieces and pulps.
So maybe he didn’t intend any allusions and this is all my own imagination.
But his designers must have seen it. And Costner, of course. And I suspect Diane Lane would have been aware of it too. So maybe it was deliberate that Costner and Lane seem to be playing the Kents as older, slightly more worn down versions of Ray and Annie Kinsella, the couple Costner and Amy Madigan played in Field of Dreams.
The outfit Lane’s Martha is wearing in the picture up top---the cutoffs, gingham blouse, and Keds---reminds me of the outfits Madigan’s Annie favored. In fact, I’m not sure, but I think I remember Madigan wearing something almost exactly like it in at least one scene.
What does this mean, if the allusion’s intentional?
That Superman was raised by obsessive baseball fans?
Well, Clark does wear a Kansas City Royals baseball shirt at one point.
What I think it means is this:
Think of James Earl Jones’ horror-stricken exclamation when he realizes what he’s dealing with when Ray turns up in Boston to take his character, the novelist Terence Mann, back to Iowa with him.
“Oh my God! You’re from the Sixties!”
Jonathan and Martha Kent are from the Sixties!
Superman was raised by a couple of ex-hippies!
Explains a lot about Superman, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t explain much about him as a character in Man of Steel where he barely has any character. The adult Clark Kent and his alter-ego are a couple of ciphers in Man of Steel. This isn’t Henry Cavill’s fault. Clearly a lot is going on subtextually for him and in his last couple of scenes this subtext starts to become text. He’s just not given enough to say or do with other characters that goes beyond serving the mechanics of the plot for us to get to know him. Knowing that Clark is trying to live up to ideals imparted by his lefty parents would add some character to his character.
At any rate, it’s fun to think about the Right Wingers desperately determined to see Man of Steel as a conservative film trying to get their heads around the idea.
Another thing that’s fun to think about, given their obsession with Superman’s two fathers:
Notice which one of Clark’s parents is wearing red and blue?