If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Before I start this blog, I feel I should make one small thing abundantly clear: I am not the world's biggest Superman fan. I don't hate the character, I actually quite like the character and the concept/mythology behind the character. However, for me, it depends on the incarnation or handling of the character. Also, I've always felt he's been kind of overused over the years. He's like Wolverine, I just don't find him as interesting because he's so favored over other (and far superior) superheroes. Also, I've always found him to sometimes be a bit bland (but again, this depends on the story). I feel that he doesn't have a lot of the same emotional power or an engaging persona along the lines of someone like Batman or Spiderman. Still, I do respect the character for paving the way for other heroes and for setting the standard for how superheroes are. In short: I don't hate the guy. Just give him a good story and I'll be happy.
Over the last thirty three years we have seen five incarnations of the character on film and one incarnation that ALMOST made it to film.
I am a fan of the original 1978 Rihcard Donner helmed Superman (or Superman: The Movie, if you want to be official) starring Christopher Reeve and I'm also a huge fan of the Richard Lester helmed sequel (although the Donner cut is FAR superior to Lester's version of the film). Plus, Christopher Reeve was just a brilliant Superman. If there was ever such a thing as perfect casting, that was it.
As for Superman 3 and 4, the less said about those, the better.
Following the disasters that were 3 and 4, Warner Bros. suddenly began development on a new Superman film entitled Superman Lives. Kevin Smith was brought on to write the script (I've actually read it, it's brilliant), but Smith backed out because he didn't like the direction producer Jon Peters wanted it to go in. Tim Burton was brought on to direct, and his idea went a bit like this...
If you want the whole story behind the Smith/Burton/Peters mess, see the video below...
After that almost-disaster, another Superman film was finally on the way. X-Men maestro Bryan Singer was set to direct and the film would be titled Superman Returns.
And as far as Superman Returns goes, I may get a LOT of shit for saying this but...I actually like Superman Returns. I admit, it has some serious flaws (Kate Bosworth, the running time, continuity errors, Superman Jr., etc), but I still found it to be really good. Brandon Routh didn't have that same charisma Christopher Reeve had but still did a commendable job, and Kevin Spacey was a brilliant Lex Luthor. Plus, the action scenes were the best of the whole series. And that costume was probably my favorite version.
Sadly, though, Superman Returns wasn't exactly the box office success so Warner Bros. pulled the plug on Singer's sequel.
Four years and one lawsuit later, Warner Bros. announced that Christopher Nolan, the man responsible for The Dark Knight/Batman Begins, Inception, Memento, The Prestige, and Insomnia, would not only executive produce, but WRITE a script for a brand new Superman film (with the help of brother Jonathan and David S. Goyer, of course). Nolan wouldn't be directing, however, so they had to pick a director for the job. Some candidates included Robert Zemeckis, Darren Aronofsky, and Duncan Jones. In the end, Goyer and the bros. Nolan chose (drum roll please)
Zack Snyder!! That's right, they chose the director of 300 and Watchmen, both of which, in my opinion, are great comic book films. Some skepiticism did come about when Snyder wrote and directed Sucker Punch, a critical and commercial catastrophe.
Despite the abortion that was Sucker Punch, I believe Snyder will do a good job. Nolan's gonna have the most control over everything that goes on, and Snyder is a great visual director, so I still believe the movie will kick ass.
However, I do have some suggestions for Mr. Snyder and co. These aren't in any particular order, but they are things that I believe will make the new Superman film awesome...
1. NO SLAPSTICK!!!
As much as I love the Donner films, the thing I HATED the most was the slapstick! For some reason, they thought it was a good idea to mix Three Stooges with Superman. I understand Superman is a comic book character, but that doesn't mean you need to bring it to a comic book level! Take this film seriously and take the character seriously, like Nolan did with Batman.
2. NO JOHN WILLIAMS SCORE!!!
Keep this movie as far from the Donner films as possible! Do not have it set in that same sort of universe. Have Hans Zimmer or James Newton Howard come up with something.
3. NO BITCHY LOIS/AWKWARD CLARK!!!
I love both Margot Kidder and Reeve in the Donner films, however, I hated how the writers made Lois into a complete bitch who completely ignores Clark and is so sex crazed about Superman. I also didn't like how they made Clark into a super awkward Jesse Eisenberg type. I understand they're trying to make Kent and Superman seem like two totally different people, but they don't need to push it to the point where you have your face in your hand saying "What an idiot!" Just make Clark a normal guy, not a complete doofus. And make Lois a little more like how she is in the comics: Strong willed, friendly, and always looking for a good story. I'm glad they've casted Amy Adams because she definitely has Lois's personality down.
4. NO LEX LUTHOR!!!
Lex Luthor has appeared in FOUR out of the last FIVE Superman films! And I'm sorry, but I'm NOT a fan of Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor. Hackman's one of the greatest actors ever but his version of the character is just so over the top and goofy, it's hard to take him seriously as a legitamate villain. And while, I did like Spacey's interpretation of the character, I still felt that by that point, the character was worn out. All Lex Luthor's motivations have been in the last few Superman films were just plans for new pieces of land. Since General Zod is the villain in the new film, I think that cancels Luthor out, but still, just keep the guy away from this franchise until at least the next movie.
5. Story over Action, but more action than SR
Ok, I know some of you may be confused by this part. But here's the thing: I feel that in Superman Returns, the action kind of felt empty. I think with Zod being the villain Supes'll FINALLY get the chance to have a real battle royale with a good baddie. But just don't let the action take over the movie. Make the action fulfilling and have it pay off, just give the film room for a good and engaging story, all while having some badass action.
6. Emotional, but not depressing
If there's one thing I can't stand, it's depressing superhero films. Prime example: Ang Lee's Hulk. I HATED Ang Lee's Hulk. Hell, it's the film most people compare Superman Returns to, and I don't get why. Hulk was unbelievably depressing and turned the Hulk into a deep, depressing, emo-boy who whined about his father. Make the new Superman film compelling in the same way the Dark Knight and Batman Begins were compelling. Get the viewer emotionally involved, just don't make them want to kill themselves.
7. Not too long (2 hrs-2hrs20mins)
I seriously think that in all the two and half hours chocked up into Superman Returns, they could've cut a little bit out. If they are gonna have a long run time, just make sure that there's enough to keep us glued to the screen and not slouching in our seats waiting for something to happen. Give Wrath of Khan, not Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
8. Make Superman out to be in his mid-30's
I thought Henry Cavill was a good choice to play Superman. A lot of people aren't sure about him as no one's really seen him in anything. I've actually seen him on The Tudors and the guy's a pretty good actor. And I have seen him in other films where he's had minor roles and I think he's good enough to carry this movie. Just remember, we were all skeptical about Christian Bale playing Batman and so far he's pretty badass (shut up about the voice, I love it!). And everyone was skeptical about Andrew Garfield being Spiderman but then everyone saw the Social Network and were amazed. My only problem is that Cavill's about in his mid 20's. I hate how every studio feels their Superhero should be young. This is SuperMAN. Superman should be in his mid or early 30's. I actually think Jon Hamm would've been a good choice for the role, but I guess if they can make us believe Cavill in his mid 30's, it'll be fine. Just do me a favor, fans: STOP SUGGESTING TOM WELLING!!! IT'S NOT A SMALLVILLE SPIN-OFF!!!!!
9. Structure of Trilogy
Again, this is just a suggestion. But here's my proposed structure for the trilogy (if the movie works out):
Man of Steel-Zod+Intro (obviously)
Sequel-Brainiac+Revelation of Identity to Lois
Again, just a suggestion. They could take in a different route, as long as it's a good one.
10. GIVE CHRISTOPHER NOLAN AS MUCH CONTROL AS POSSIBLE!!!!
This is Nolan's movie. He is producer and co-writer. He needs to have control over every move Snyder makes. Snyder may be a good visual director, but he does not know how to direct actors. Nolan does. He has to have about the amount of control over this movie that Spielberg has while producing a movie. I cannot emphasize this enough, give Chris Nolan every bit of control!
So those are my suggestions. I doubt they'll listen to me, but who knows. And people, stop complaining about a movie that isn't coming out for two years. If you really want it to be good, get off your ass and do something about it.