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Superman Returns

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I really don't believe this much-troubled movie is ever going to get made, and that's just fine by me. But the latest rumors are worth a good chuckle:

http://www.aint-it-cool.com/display.cgi?id=16896

Beyonce as Lois Lane.

Johnny Depp as Lex Luther.

Can't WAIT to see who these visionaries think Superman should be.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

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No kidding. Can Depp do manic maniacle? I cannot imagine anyone touching the hem of Gene Hackman's garment for Luthor, let alone his play off of Ned Beatty. Never was a Superman guy, but those two made me pay good money to see 'em all.

If Depp is Luthor and Beyonce' is Lane, then Eddie Griffin or Dave Chappelle are logical Supermans.

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Wait, if Beyonce is Lois Lane... how about Cuba Gooding, Jr. for Superman?

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Rich Kennedy wrote:

: I cannot imagine anyone touching the hem of Gene Hackman's garment

: for Luthor, let alone his play off of Ned Beatty. Never was a Superman

: guy, but those two made me pay good money to see 'em all.

Even the third one, in which they never appeared? smile.gif

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I stand corrected by the master. I hang my defense on the fact that I think that they are forgettable movies save the four performances to which I referred.

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What about the rumours that Martin Henderson (Torque, The Ring) is being considered for the role of Superman?

Seriously, I think they should let someone who has actually read a Superman comic book direct this thing, and not just a bunch of people waxing nostalgic for the Richard Donner film (which I loved, but lets not mistake it for somehow being completely true the mythos). Seriously, they should have gone with Kevin Smith's screenplay Superman Lives, back in 1997. But unfortunately Jon Peters is a retard who wants giant spiders and a gay Jimmy Olsen. I've almost given up hope that a Superman film will be any good, but that's what I was saying about Batman, and then the good news about Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale came along, so, there's always hope.

Fortunately in April we comic fans get to have Jim Lee (whose run on Batman last year with "Hush" brought Bats back to the top of the comic book world) do a run on Superman starting with #204 to remove the bad taste from our mouths with all this Beyonc

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Anders wrote:

: Seriously, I think they should let someone who has actually read a

: Superman comic book direct this thing, and not just a bunch of people

: waxing nostalgic for the Richard Donner film (which I loved, but lets not

: mistake it for somehow being completely true the mythos).

Keeping in mind that there are at least three different mythos (mythoses?) in comic lore already -- the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Supermen of Earth-1 and Earth-2, and the post-Crisis Superman re-invented in 1986 by John Byrne (who made no secret of the fact that he was inspired partly by Christopher Reeve's take on the character).

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Keeping in mind that there are at least three different mythos (mythoses?) in comic lore already -- the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Supermen of Earth-1 and Earth-2, and the post-Crisis Superman re-invented in 1986 by John Byrne (who made no secret of the fact that he was inspired partly by Christopher Reeve's take on the character).

Oh, I'm completely aware of the multiple Superman stories. I have no problems with the competing stories, infact I have the complete Max Fleischer cartoons series, and in that Superman was not found by the Kent's but instead was raises in a orphanage, couldn't fly but instead could only "leap tall buildings in a single bound." I have and enjoy John Byrne's Man of Steel mini-series from 1986, and it's wonderful streamlining of the Superman mythos. The first comic book that I ever bought was a post-Crisis Superman #10, so I will admit that Byrne's take on the character is especially appealing to me. I also grew up reading my dad's old comics which included plenty of the old 60s Superman stuff.

My point is that they someone who will respect the material that has come before it, while still keeping it fresh. I'm not suggesting slavish loyalty to the texts (because as you pointed out, which text?). But what I think needs to happen is someone who brings a respect for the character and what he stands for to the project. I think that's what Donner did in 1978, because really his film added a lot of elements that weren't there in the 60s comics (like Pa Kent dying) but was still true to what Superman is. Personally, I loved what Paul Dini and Co. did with Superman in their late 90s cartoon series.

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As far as characterization goes, I really liked the 90s ABC series "Lois & Clark."

Yes, the plot concepts and story structuring stank. Because of that, the show collapsed under its own weight, justifiably so. I stopped watching it myself long before it was over.

But the dialogue and characterization was actually quite good. Dean Cain and Terri Hatcher were very enjoyable, and Lane Smith was a hoot as Perry White.

I recall especially enjoying the two-hour pilot, which was almost entirely character establishment and fun dialogue with about 15 minutes of plot tacked on at the end. And that 15 minutes was really lame, but at the time it seemed like an easily overlookable lapse. (Often the dramatic aspect of an establishing episode is comparatively minor relative to subsequent, fully developed episodes: Superman and Superman II, X-Men and X2, etc.)

It was only as the series progressed and plot became increasingly important that it dawned on me that, oh, they just can't do this thing at all, can they? Oh well, it was a nice take on the characters.

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I too was a fan of "Lois & Clark," until the final season that is, when I too stopped watching. TBS has been showing re-runs in early in the morning lately, and I still enjoy the show. I must say that I actually like Teri Hatcher's Lois better than Margot Kidder. Teri Hatcher used to be my adolescent crush.

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Smallville has been pretty decent (it's actually a WB show...remember...UPN is primarily urban comedies and the WB is primarily teen shows biggrin.gif ). I really enjoyed the characterization of the parents. I felt this was Byrne's greatest contribution to the Superman mythos...keeping the Kents alive. Giving Clark people who knew his secret and kept him grounded was a nice touch. I am a sap for family though. So I like seeing parents who have a strong connection to the strongest man on the planet. Smallville has kept that and I think they do it well. The dynamic of Lex and Clark in Smallville is deftly handled. He's so very sympathetic but hard to figure out.

As long as they toss out the JJ Abrams script, I'll be okay. And give the role to the right guy. Unlike the X-Men, you mess with the myth to much and it irritates people. You can't stray to far from what people know with Superman.

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Nezpop wrote:

: I really enjoyed the characterization of the parents. I felt this was Byrne's

: greatest contribution to the Superman mythos...keeping the Kents alive.

It was a great contribution, definitely -- though it must be said that Smallville is about SuperBOY, not SuperMAN, and the Kents were usually still alive in the old Superboy stories, too. (Whereas Byrne ditched the Superboy mythos altogether! Well, except for that "Pocket Universe" subplot he was obliged to create to satisfy fans of the Legion of Super-Heroes.)

BTW, there is a minorly significant spiel about Superman's unique place among comic-book superheroes in Kill Bill Vol. 2.

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Yes. Smallville is in the Byrne mythos tradition. He isn't Superboy. Rather he's Clark Kent, kid with superpowers. No costume or anything-which I rather like. Lois and Clark kept the Kents alive, which was a real treat.

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Latest setback: Losing another director.

I'm not sure I'd call losing McG as director a "setback".

I worried when Tim Burton was set to direct Nic Cage as Superman.

I worried when McG was on board to direct SOMEONE as Superman.

Maybe now, we'll get a real director for this film.

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I have to say that I've always been a Superman fan. He set the example that I always aspired to - pure self-sacrificing nobility.

Alan Thomas (above) pointed us to The Superman Homepage where Alex Ford's (talky, slow, but with good moments) script for a proposed Superman movie. In it, Lois Lane talks with Jimmy Olsen and reporter Ron Troupe about what she finds frustrating about Clark Kent:

LOIS

(Rant)

You want to know what it is? This guy is a Boy Scout. He doesn't smoke. He doesn't drink. He doesn't swear. He calls his parents everyday. If I had to talk to my father everyday I'd kill myself. He's honest. He's trustworthy. He's moral. Every friend he's got he's had since high school and that just isn't normal. The guy says grace before his meals, eats his vegetables first and drinks milk. And that ridiculous hat! Who wears a fedora?

(Beat)

For Christ's sake, has anyone ever seen him use the bathroom? 

 

They stare at her like she's a madwoman.

JIMMY

I saw him help old lady Hayworth across the street to Berardo's Delicatessen yesterday.

LOIS

That is exactly what I mean. Everybody knows old lady Hayworth is a cranky bitch.

(Searching for words)

He's like some kind of by-the-book moral, excellent worker, great writer, seven-year-old in the body of a linebacker virgin.

RON

That's it. You're crazy. I hope your medical is paid for.

LOIS

(Standing to exit)

No. There is something else to this guy. Things about him we couldn't imagine. Nobody eats that much apple pie. I can't put my finger on it but you'll know when I do. Kent is full of surprises.

It's that very square-ness that makes Superman so great. Superman is the comforting older brother, the warm father-figure that everyone looks for, and usually finds only imperfectly in humans, unless they find its true figure in Christ. In fact, Superman is in significant ways a Christ figure. He is righteous without being self-righteous. He is powerful and yet a servant. Confident and yet self-sacrificing. He is, in almost every way, a role-model. And perhaps most significantly, he isn't a human being. In his goodness, he serves both as a model and as a rebuke. This kind of purity is not found among humans. We have to be saved from the outside.

Spider-Man is cool. Spider-Man shows us more of what we are, and can be. He is human. He has troubles. He has doubts and fears. He is mortal. But Superman stands outside of all that. Spider-Man calls us to be the best we can be. Superman calls us to super-human greatness.

I love Superman. And I hope and pray that whoever comes to direct the inevitable Superman movie understands most of what Superman is about.

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More confusion over the beleaguered Superman production. This story from Dark Horizons was initially about the upcoming production of Bryan Singer's remake of Logun's Run. But when I followed the link, it led to a story (or rumor) from the Hollywood North Report, that Singer may have been approached to take over Superman. Confused? Me too.

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It's confirmed now by AICN and MovieCityNews...

Bryan Singer and the X2 writers are signed by WB to give us a new Superman film. Singer's doing this before he does anything else.

And after that he's doing Logan's Run.

AICN says that this may mean he'll surrender X3 to another director.

Good news for Superman. But bad bad bad news for those, like me, who much prefer the X-Men.

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Oh dear. This stuns me that he would give up the X-Franchise...he really connected with what made the characters work.

On the other hand, this is a team that could breathe new life into Superman. Wonderful new life-without tossing aside what makes him Superman.

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Now if he can get around polar bears, spiders, and Superman not wearing the suit, he might do fine.

(If you ever get the chance to watch An Evening With Kevin Smith, listen to the story about his Superman treatment from several years ago. One of the funniest stories I've heard in a while.)

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Story in business section of LA Times today recaps the twists and turns of getting Superman off the ground. (since it's in the business section, it's available with the free registration or bugmenot)

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Although I love Supes as well, he's really on a roll with the X-Men films, and I'd hate for him to let go fo that. But hey - maybe instead of bemoaning this aspect, we should be guessing how long it will be until he gets fed up and joins the ranks of Burton, Ratner, and, uh, McG. I give him six months tops.

JiM T

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