What Would You Do With Superman

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What Would You Do With Superman

Post by CounterPunch » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:08 pm

So, I've read alot on movie news websites that WB are going in to crisis mode with Superman, having huge discussions about what is to happen with the film franchise.

So here is my question to you... What would you do with it?

Im talking about - directing, casting, storyline, would it be a complete reboot, would it continue on from Returns?

I didnt particularly enjoy Superman Returns, I thought it was ok and it looked amazing... But everything else was just wrong, I cant think of a single person who cast correctly* there was no chemistry between any of the cast, the age of the cast was way off.

* I thought Lex Luthor was cast well, but I didnt like the character itself

There was no kind of emotional resonance in terms of Clark being gone for 5 years, the characters acted as if hed been off sick for a couple of days, rather than out of their lives for a number of years.

There wasnt enough of Superman being Superman, I never got the sense of this being the greatest hero on the planet, all I felt was it was jus some guy who was pretty strong and could fly...

So what would I want from a new film? To be honest, I'd want a brand new cast, I don't know who, thats not my job, what I do know is that no one seemed comfortable in their role in Returns.

I dont mind Bryan Singers direction, I dont think anyone can disagree that the actual look of the film was amazing.

In terms of the storyline, I'd try and find a Superman big bad who can give us the epic fights that were missing in Returns but also a bit of emotional depth. I've always enjoyed the concept of Bizarro, a tragic hero with a warped sense of reality, I've never seen him as evil, more misunderstood.

Lex Luthor could be in the film, but not as the main villain, I've never found him a particularly enticing villain, he works best behind the scenes, as a supporting character.

Apologies if this post seems really fractured, I'm not sure why but I just cant get my mind running enough to form coherent enough sentances, but I wanted to ask you guys this.

So, what would you do?

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Post by Halfshell » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:11 pm

Off the top of my head... something inspired by his role in The Dark Knight Returns.

Struggling to cope in a world with no use for him, reduced to doing covert clean-up operations for the government.

Maybe more later when my brain's running at full speed.

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Post by Chip1123 » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:15 pm

i would love for some kind of reboot.

but more than anything - I'd love to see him and Doomsday have a throwdown fight, but I'm sure they are saving that for a Justice League movie. introduce the JLA in their individual movies, have them come together, then get their tails handed to them by Doomsday, then Supes steps in, saves the day but at the cost of his life- would be an epic movie!
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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:32 pm

As suggested elsewhere, I like the idea of haveing Superman in the third Batman film called in by the authorities to help them catch the now rouge Bats. Highly unlikely to happen but its a niffty idea.

For the next Supes film proper I'd like to see Luthor reinvented along the post Crisis lines. Perhaps its because I grew up with the John Shea version but the comedy super villain Hackman version never appealed to me. On the other hand, the buisness man who comits his crimes within the law that Superman can't touch without breaking what he stands for is a lot more interesting and a more worthy foe (though I'm not sure how well this was done in the comics).

I'd keep Roth on, he did a pretty good job despite being constrained by having to do a Chris Reeve impression (Marlon Brando had an excuse, recycling lines from the first film for the other characters was a bad move IMHO).

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Post by CounterPunch » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:40 pm

I agree with you, both in terms of Luthor and Routh.

Lex Luthor to me has always been this obsessive businessman with a god complex, but he's psychotically jealous of the fact he is kept grounded as a human (in peoples eyes) by the appearance of what is a god like figure (Superman)

I've never been the biggest fan of the comedy eccentric interpretation, and have always thought of Luthor in such a way as this is a man who truly has everything, he owns half the city, he is one of the richest men on the planet, he could do and get away with anything... but he spends all his time seeking the destruction of this one thing he cannot control.

In terms of Routh. I dont think he made a bad Superman, I think he was let down by everyone around him and pigeonholed. He was never going to win, he was taking on a role that had previously been done by someone many believe to be the greatest Supes. He looked too young, sounded too young and was no where near physically imposing enough to match up to Reeve. As a brand new independant interpretation? Yeah I could see him doing well.


In terms of actual news on whats happening, only a couple of hours after I created this thread WB made a statement saying what they plan on doing. They want to do a reboot of sorts, much like the new Hulk film, and plan on concentrating on single character films before 1 ensemble film (hmm, that franchise set up sound familiar?)

link - http://www.superherohype.com/news/super ... hp?id=7609

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Post by Halfshell » Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:07 am

inflatable dalek wrote:help them catch the now rouge Bats.
Nonono - it's Hulk who's red now.
(Marlon Brando had an excuse, recycling lines from the first film for the other characters was a bad move IMHO).
Luthor's land lines worked. No, not his telephone, fool. Mostly because it gave us some dialogue that was actually notable (beyond "Gee Lex, that's really something" which still gets trotted out in my social circle whenever something doesn't quite happen).

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Post by inflatable dalek » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:06 am

CounterPunch wrote: I've never been the biggest fan of the comedy eccentric interpretation
To me it only really works in Superman II where he's the sidekick to Terrance Stamp is being a proper scary villain. Of course, that's part of the problem, thanks in large part to the 60's show and being generally more adapted (I think Bats is actually easier to make work to the moods of the time, he's been done brilliantly as high camp and as grim and gritty in ways I don't think could be made to work with Supes) there are a good tenish Batman badies people can name and would interested in seeing given a modern makeover with a big screen name playing them. With Superman the average Joe can name Luthor, KneelbeforeZod and... that's it. They'd name King Tut before Brainiac.

Course, Batman Begins shows it is perfectly easy to take second tier [in terms of public recognition] badies and make them work brilliantly in a great film. But it also made a lot less money that Superman Returns (oddly perhaps considering its now "officially" regarded as a failure. Though both films apparently didn't do as well as Warners expected, though TDK has made up for that big time) and lack of recognisible Batfoes is one of the two or three reasons that often get bandied about as to why.
In terms of Routh. I dont think he made a bad Superman, I think he was let down by everyone around him and pigeonholed.
Yup. If they need to replace/reinvent anyone it's Lois. Again, growing up with Terri Hatcher (still definitive and most lovely in the role for me) I've never liked the Kidder version of the character. Hatcher's Lois was certainly taken with Superman, but also hit it off with Clark right from the get go and came to love him independently of Superman. The film version is obsessed with Superman and doesn't know Clark's alive, makes her seem deeply deeply shallow. Algain, only read in depth comics where they're already together so I don't know how the Post Crisis stuff handled it but I think the TV show got it exactly right.
He was never going to win, he was taking on a role that had previously been done by someone many believe to be the greatest Supes. He looked too young, sounded too young and was no where near physically imposing enough to match up to Reeve. As a brand new independant interpretation? Yeah I could see him doing well.
Which is what Dean Cain, who bless him aint the worlds greatest actor, did and managed to escape the shadow of his predecessor pretty well. [OK, as I keep saying what they should do based on a TV show that was pretty much crap for half its run I suppose I should mention the other, more recent and longer running TV reinvention of Superman. So I'll say it here and here only, if the next film resembles Smallville in anyway except in the casting of Lex Luthor I will kill somebody. Still, with Lex apparently off there's now no reason to watch any of it, and their plans for Doomsday sound crap].

In terms of actual news on whats happening, only a couple of hours after I created this thread WB made a statement saying what they plan on doing. They want to do a reboot of sorts, much like the new Hulk film, and plan on concentrating on single character films before 1 ensemble film (hmm, that franchise set up sound familiar?)

link - http://www.superherohype.com/news/super ... hp?id=7609
Intersting, they're basing their model on the new Hulk, a film that (last time I checked anyway) has made less money than the Ang Lee version. I'd certainly say it's a better film, though whoever chose to cut an hour out made the right decision as it's the right length as released, but no one seems to remotely care about it. And based on the last scene The Avengers is going to have a hard time coming up with anyone who isn't blown off the screen by Iron Man...
Halfshell wrote: Luthor's land lines worked. No, not his telephone, fool. Mostly because it gave us some dialogue that was actually notable (beyond "Gee Lex, that's really something" which still gets trotted out in my social circle whenever something doesn't quite happen).
They were great lines (as is the "safest way to fly" bit, though that's arguably him trying to show Lois it really is him), but I can hear them just as well by putting my DVD of the first film on without having to bother with all the other duller stuff.

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Post by CounterPunch » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:41 am

The likeness to how Hulk has come about was mere speculation by SHH (i didnt realise when I posted the link) but I still think thats kind of what they mean, distilling the character to its core properties and just making a rollickingly good film.

I agree in terms of the television shows Lois. I dont know what the Donner era Lois was like in the comics, but the present day intepretation is a go for it at any cost Journalist willing to go all out for a story, and a world renowned and respected Journalist (or atleast thats the view I get). She needs to be this strong independant woman who is willing to take risks for the story (which would then lead to Supes saving her) I never got that from Kidder and moreso Bosworth.

IGN have posted an article about what theyd like, and they bring up some good ideas for villains, you could have Darkseid, Metallo, Braniac, Parasite.

Parasite could work very well in terms of this new more mature tone they want to go for, but of those few I think I'd like Metallo, I think in his human form incarnation for alot of the film, gets defeated, a few months later he is found by a mysterious alien (Braniac... or Darkseid possibly) and gets upgraded cue big battles, Supes wins, sets up a possible sequel against the "mysterious alien"

Just think, the film ends everythings all nice, credits roll, then theres a "current trend" after credits sequence, Supes is flying along, gets blinded by this bright light, and you hear the boom tube noise.

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Post by AndyTurnbull » Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:19 pm

I'd hand the director and writer copies of All Star Superman and say "Read this." Don't try and make the character darker. It doesn't work.

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Post by Hawkeye » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:31 am

what wouldnt i do with him is a better question. meow.
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Post by starlord » Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:00 am

I would have him to do battle with terrorists.Save a plane or two or a building. Save the city or save some hostages.I would also have him Clark Kent being held as hostage and saving his fellow hostages by agreeing to interview their leader.
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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:49 am

starlord wrote:I would have him to do battle with terrorists.

You are Frank Miller and I claim my £5.

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Post by Halfshell » Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:24 pm

It said terrorists, not hookers.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:30 pm

I would probably incorporate classic Batman elements in order to boost the character's credibility, though. To wit: -


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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:41 pm

Warner and Fox so need to sort out their money differences so that can get out on DVD.

Though it's telling that Batman can do that and do it brilliantly but its hard to imagine Superman in the same situation....

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Post by Cliffjumper » Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:56 am

There's nothing to base it on of course, but I'm pretty sure if Superman had a campy 1960s TV series, it'd be regularly held up as proof of how much the character sucked... Whereas Batman's is seen as post-modern cool. Heh.

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Post by Jetfire » Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:09 pm

Cliffjumper wrote:I would probably incorporate classic Batman elements in order to boost the character's credibility, though. To wit: -
Let's be honest, the camp 60's Batman show would not have worked without Adam West though. Though lets face it Superman has been extreamly boring for long periods. He doesn't have the villians, he doesn't have great interaction
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Post by Cliffjumper » Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:22 pm

I'm not sure it works that well with Adam West... Works best as clips on YouTube, you'd probably have to have brain damage to sit down and watch more than an episode a month... but yeh, Batman definiately cultivated a better rogues' gallery, probably better than anyone else... Superman's lack of villains is best shown by the films using Lex Luthor, what, three times out of five, with a blatant Luthor subsitute in one of the exceptions, and a made-up supervillain in the other. Whereas Batman films generally double-team the villains just to fit them all in any time soon, and that's just the really big obvious names - The Penguin, The Riddler, The Joker, Two-Face, Cat-Woman... I don't think anyone else can match that number of villains with that high a profile. I'm vaguely aware of Superman without ever really being a fan, and I can't think of that many villains of his - Luthor, erm... Braniac, those three nutters from the second film... erm... ah.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:51 pm

Luthor is actually in four out of five, though he's basically a side kick in the second one. Oddly enough Zod is a "proper" Superman villain rather than being made up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Zod. Though it looks like he was obscure enough if not for the film no one would remember him.

I've personally been very impressed with how well 60's Batman stands up with the dozen or so I've caught on BBC 4 (speaking of whom, will someone tell them they are some episodes of The Avengers that don't have Diana Rigg in them?), some of the best family TV ever made and a large part of it is down to the entire cast*, not just West playing it straight, they'd all work in a "serious" Batshow.

One thing I did think Returns got wrong was it tried so hard to replicate the epic and biblical side of th Donner films it forgot they had a lot of light comedic stuff in them as well (though there's also some bloody awful comedy as well, "They just killed Superman! Lets get 'em" GAH GAH GAH. And people blame 9/11 for the equally crap rerun of that bit in the first Spider-Man).





*Though having said that, no version of Commissioner Gordon has really worked before Oldman has it?

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Post by Halfshell » Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:57 pm

inflatable dalek wrote:Luthor is actually in four out of five, though he's basically a side kick in the second one. Oddly enough Zod is a "proper" Superman villain rather than being made up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Zod. Though it looks like he was obscure enough if not for the film no one would remember him.
I think Cliffy was referring to Nuclear Man (or whatever the **** he was called, I try to pretend that film doesn't exist) as the made-up one.
*Though having said that, no version of Commissioner Gordon has really worked before Oldman has it?
To be fair, we're yet to see if Oldman's take on "Commissioner" Gordon even works.
Cliffjumper wrote:The Penguin, The Riddler, The Joker, Two-Face, Cat-Woman... I don't think anyone else can match that number of villains with that high a profile
Most people could probably nod in recognition if you reeled off a dozen Spider-Man villains (Kingpin, Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Venom, Scorpion, Rhino, Electro, Carnage, Mysterio, Sandman, all the other Green Goblins, the Hobgoblin...). Main difference being that, where Batman's concerned, they can name them off their own backs.

If Spidey'd had a cult live-action show, rather than a sequence of generally mediocre cartoons, his villain roster would easily match it.

Whereas Superman has the aforementioned and... uhm, Doomsday? I don't even know who that is. I just know the name. The fact that Smallville had to pad out six years with pretty much perpetual random-monsters-of-the-week, before realising that they could just do "this week Clark teams up with this future JLA member" makes me think that the reason I can't name much more is because they don't actually exist.

Ultimate Spidey had such a high villain rotation that they almost forgot to introduce Sandman before they needed him for the SinisterUltimate FiveSix.

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