Trying to Keep Up with Superman …

— by CAM SMITH —

A while back, one of our distinguished readers asked if I would consider writing an “About That” feature on the next “Superman” movie — a request I politely shot down, citing the property’s extensive legal troubles as reason enough to spare myself the time and effort. I assumed that the franchise was going to be stuck in limbo for the next few years, at least until after Warner Bros. and the Siegel family sorted everything out.

I also figured that the box-office under-performance of “Superman Returns” would cause DC to shift their attention to the rest of their stable of characters for cinematic inspiration and leave Supes in the company vault for a while. Y’know, then they’d finally be free to kick-start multi-million dollar superhero motion picture ventures starring beloved icons like Congorilla or Elongated Man, and whatnot.

Well, don’t I now look quite the fool …

First came the tremor-inducing news that Christopher Nolan would be “godfathering” a fresh take on Krypton’s favorite son, an announcement that had fanboys literally donning spandex and parading en masse in the streets. (Okay, not literally. But it would have been funny if they did!). Sure, new DC prez Diane Nelson ultimately tried to shoot down the story as rumor, but, as the saying goes, where there’s smoke, there tends to be fire. Super-fire!

Now, the secretive project has a scribe in the increasingly busy David S. Goyer, screenwriter of “The Dark Knight” and “Blade” series.

Yeesh, way’ta harsh my buzz, guys!

On Wednesday, Latino Review posted an exclusive informing fandom the world over of this latest major creative turn for the venerable franchise, also providing the following all-important bullet-points:

    * “Supes” version 3.0 will take its inspiration from John Byrne’s popular incarnation of the character, with an emphasis on being “Modern,” “Believable” and, most importantly, “FUN!”

    * The flick shall bear the title “The Man of Steel” (No real surprise there.)

    * Brandon Routh is out on his you-know-what, as is Bryan Singer. (*Le sigh*)

    * Nic Cage will not be donning the red ‘n blues (Oh, those wacky studio execs!)

Also mentioned, is that the storyline will include both Lex Luthor and Brainiac, along with staples like Lois, Jimmy and Perry, and — thank Nuclear Man’s form-fitting yellow tights! — is “NOT an origin story.” “The Man of Steel” will also apparently “set up a huge Kryptonian mythology.” Gadzooks! I can practically hear my IJM colleagues Ben and Josue’s ever-lovin’ heads exploding.

Before getting too excited, though, there were some odd snippets emanating from other sources the same day that may or may not slightly alter the outcome of this project. referenced a long-time rumor he’d be hearing that Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. were interested in doing Superman in all mo-cap and having whoever is cast in the lead only play Clark Kent. Definitely a weird bit of gossip — hopefully, and probably, false — but we can’t be too sure of what stupid studio-mandated ideas will pop up in the wake of “Avatar’s” unprecedented box-office blitzkrieg. You can always trust Hollywood to completely misinterpret the reasons behind their own successes.

Possibly enthusiasm-dampening, however, was the insight of Ain’t It Cool founder Harry Knowles, who tweeted: “Sadly the LATINO REVIEW story on Goyer and Supes isn’t entirely accurate…”

In his story at Ain’t It Cool News, Knowles wrote:

    Hey folks, Harry here… So just a while ago I just got off the phone with Thomas Tull at Legendary Pictures who told me that the story that appeared over on LATINO REVIEW just frankly isn’t true. Tull has not unilaterally hired Goyer to come in and write the new SUPERMAN. He loves Goyer, but frankly – the project isn’t at the Script stage yet. Seems Nolan is still hatching some ideas. But he just wanted me to pass on that they have the highest enthusiasm for this project, but the story on Latino just isn’t accurate. I’ll see what more I can find out, but as of right now, there really isn’t anything else to tell.

Then, other sites — such as Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and more — added stories confirming or denying the Latino Review information.

All in all, fans may want to wait until an official announcement before going completely bonkers with giddy hoopla. There may yet be more press releases coming down the pike from the folks at DC and Warner Bros.

Regardless, if there’s one concrete thing that all these behind-the-scenes reports would seem to signify, it’s that the creative forces steering Superman are definitely still scrambling to get another series installment in front of cameras before the court-imposed deadline of 2011, so as to avoid massive pay-outs to the Siegels. Greed can sometimes work in wonderful ways.

So take comfort in the knowing that, with the clock madly ticking, this woefully jumbled story will likely be ironing itself out very, very soon.

Art by Jim Lee

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7 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. moviefan #

    nice article cam, it was a good read. I too hope that with all the news coming out wb/dce will just make it offical already. Cause there has been so much BS in the past 3+ yrs since SR. Also i too hope the legal stuff will be settled hopefully before this reboot film will happen. As for the whole origin stuff, i would perfer to have a full on origin reboot myself. So it can help define this movie as totally different from the donner/singer take and all that. But i would at least be open if this new film started out with clark’s first day at the planet or his first public save as superman and go from there. Then allued to krypton stuff but at least have some smallville life/traveling the world before going to metropolis stuff.

  2. Don #

    I do want a new movie, but I’d really like to see Routh return.

  3. 3

    As exciting as it would be to see Superman back on the silver screen, I really want an origin story to start off a new series. The whole “you guys already know where he’s from” is a tired excuse to get lazy on a project. If Warners thinks that all the audience wants is action and “believability” than they’re in for a sad realization.

    Good story, interesting twist from Knowles. I just don’t know if my heart can take any more of these.

  4. Ben Fowler #




  5. 5

    I’d love an origin story movie for Superman the 70s movie although great isn’t gonna cut it for the new generate i mean we got a new origin movie for the Bat why not superman and Tim Burton movies weren’t nearly as long ago.

  6. moviefan #

    well with all the legal stuff with the siegel heirs having rights to different things. i can see if wb wants to skip out on full origin stuff. But they could very well still have certain origin stuff they own, while allueding to the other stuff they dont hold rights to. So then as i said in my post. They could start off the film with clark’s first public save/first day at the planet. And we know he is an alien but through the course of the film he learns of jorel/lara and krypton and all that. Though i personally hope all the legal stuff can get settled before any dam movie going into production stage.

  7. chase #

    nice article

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