It's a bird, it's a plane, it's... Superman in China

'Man of Steel' star Henry Cavill arrives in Shanghai for the premiere of the newest film in the Superman franchise

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 3:56pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 5:19pm

Superman visited China on Wednesday as actor Henry Cavill arrived in Shanghai for the mainland premiere of Man of Steel, the new reboot of Warner Bros' long-running film franchise.

Cavill, the first Briton to play the superhero, will be accompanied by Man of Steel director Zack Synder at the Shanghai International Film Festival premiere on Wednesday. The rest of the mainland will get the film on Thursday, and Hong Kong gets it a week later, on June 27.

“All of our crew members are very excited about the [film festival], and we are delighted to share this film with you,” Synder said in a press release

Man of Steel has been a popular trending topic on Chinese microblog service Sina Weibo, and photographs of Cavill’s arrival in Shanghai spread widely on Wednesday.

“This is the start of Superman’s China trip,” said one commentator, sharing images of Cavill signing autographs for Chinese fans.

Other netizens compared Man of Steel to other American superhero films, including Marvel Studios’ Iron Man. A user known as Gaikuo-Captain, who became known on the internet for sharing vivid photographs of himself standing alongside drawings of famous superheroes, offered an early review:

“Although I’m reluctant to admit it, Iron Man is really weak compared to Superman… The fight scenes and special effects were explosive, and I recommend that you watch the movie in cinemas. I give it five stars,” he said.

Man of Steel is expected to perform well in China, an increasingly important market for Hollywood. Only 34 foreign films are allowed to premiere in mainland cinemas per year, and Man of Steel is the only major Hollywood film to be screened during the summer session of the Shanghai International Film Festival. The movie has already brought in more than US$140 million in the US, where it opened on June 14, although critical reception has been mixed.