LANCASTER – Some lucky Team Edwards members were treated recently to a free prescreening of Warner Brothers’ “Man of Steel” at Cinemark 22 in Lancaster. But, even better than seeing a movie before its release, the moviegoers were also treated to a visit from the “Man of Steel” himself – Henry Cavill.
Warner Brothers provided 561 tickets to Edwards Air Force Base, most of which were handed to folks who helped with the production of the movie when scenes were being filmed on base last year. The Lancaster Cinemark provided two showings of the potential blockbuster in separate theaters.
Cavill arrived about an hour beforehand to meet and sign autographs for the first 100 moviegoers who arrived for the showing. They were given wristbands by WB representatives.
For Staff Sgt. Paul Garcia, 412th Operations Group loadmaster, the movie wrapped up a whirlwind Hollywood experience. While portions of the movie were being filmed at Edwards at the beginning of 2012, Garcia was asked by director Zack Snyder to play a small role in the film.
“I play the role of a C-17 Loadmaster, which coincidentally, is what I do in the Air Force. I am in charge of airdropping the ship Superman came in on as a child during an attack by General Zod. I don’t want to spoil too much, so you’re going to have to watch the movie to find out how things go,” said Garcia.
“As filming here began, Zack Snyder asked me to do some training with the actress they hired for the role as the loadmaster. I gladly agreed to show her how we operate on the aircraft and speak with the pilots. After the training was completed, the director said he wanted to change things up a bit and asked if I could join the actress on the plane as a secondary loadmaster and for me to perform some background work while she played the role and said the lines. We proceeded to shoot the scene and then we took a break. I got a call a few minutes later from the Air Force Entertainment liaison officer who told me the director had approached her and said he enjoyed how I shot the scene and worked on film and that he was ready to relieve the actress of the role in exchange for me. I honestly thought she was joking, but told her it would absolutely be my pleasure. I was quite surprised and completely in shock by that! It took a few minutes for things to settle in. I just realized this would be a once in a lifetime experience. So that’s pretty much how it went down.
This was the second time Garcia saw the film, he was invited to view the cast and crew premier June 4.
Garcia was one of the early 100 people to show up and get an autograph and picture taken with Cavill.
After the meet and greet was finished, Cavill went to each theater to greet the Edwards crowd and thank them for their service.
After Cavill departed, the packed houses were treated to the film.
“The event Saturday was truly amazing, especially for us at Edwards!” said Garcia. “To be able to have Henry Cavill come out here and take time from his busy schedule, just to be able to say thanks to the troops and show his gratitude for what we do each and every day as well as being able to take some pictures and autographs was just something you don’t see now a days from movie stars.”
“Man of Steel” premieres in theaters everywhere Friday, June 14.