Last week it was revealed that JJ Abrams and Ta-Nehisi Coates would be rebooting Superman. Abrams will be producing and Coates writing, and as you’d expect the internet is already raging over this. On one side you have fans of a certain director cursing WBs name for daring to move on from that universe, and on the other you have people making wild assumptions about what Superman will be featured just due to who’s writing the movie. But I’m not worried.
Firstly, Ta-Nehisi Coates has written both Captain America and Black Panther, and I’ve enjoyed his core Panther run and sad it’s ending. So I’m not too worried on the writing side of things. At least JJ Abrams isn’t writing the thing. That would be a problem.
Secondly, I’m not worried about Abrams this time around. He’s not writing it, and what happened the last time he did that is why I’m not worried. Confused? Well, we can look at a different Superman project for what I’m suspecting might be going on in JJ’s head with this.
Kevin Smith’s involvement with Jon Peters and Superman Lives is legendary. However some people might not remember what happened after that. Jon Peters continued to be a producer on Superman and we then got Superman Returns. Peters saw the blacklash over Superman Lives and stepped back and allowed Singer to make something that was safe at the time.
Twenty years ago JJ Abrams wrote Superman Flyby and the reaction was even worse than Superman Lives. It would’ve killed the franchise for a generation if made. Abrams received death threats over just reviews of the un-filmed script.
Because of that it’s possible that JJ Abrams might be a little apprehensive about doing anything overly controversial with Superman. Meaning that for now, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about and the internet is freaking out for no reason as they traditionally do in a case like this.
There’s been a lot of talk going around the internet about a rumor that Warner Brothers doesn’t believe a solo Superman movie can be successful.
Which is completely divorced from reality, as a solo Superman film can absolutely be a success. WB just needs to not repeat past mistakes and not be afraid to do something new, while at the same time embracing what Superman is and not trying to drastically change him into something they think would “resonate” more. Superman has been around for eighty-five years. He resonates fine. He’ll be around long after the people currently in charge of WB mess up some movie slate and bail out in a golden parachute. Superman is also bigger than petty Hollywood ego politics, and WB needs to realize that.
Here are some key ways they can make Superman successful again, if they’re not afraid to try them:
Be Inspired By Donner, But Don’t Copy
As good as Superman: Returns is, one of its biggest problems was trying to continue a movie series that began twenty-five years before its release. That plays to nostalgia, but it alienated a large portion of the potential audience who had no connection to those films. You can mine the Donner films for inspiration both on screen, in terms of the themes they got so right, but also behind-the-scenes with the philosophy that went into the first two films.
Verisimilitude. That’s the word Donner mandated the movies abide by. They made the films realistic and believable, while giving Superman the respect and reverence he deserved. Hell, they had the guy who wrote The Godfather write first draft of the script. Superman deserves that level of reverence. WB wouldn’t have a DC film franchise if it weren’t for Superman in the first place, so they shouldn’t treat him like some throwaway cameo.
Let Donner’s idea of Verisimilitude once again be the driving force behind a new Superman movie. Have Superman be an inspiration as he was in Donner’s films. But don’t try to make a carbon copy of them. Let their spirit show in what’s done behind and in front of the camera, but don’t be afraid to make it a modern superhero film.
Give Audiences a Villain They Haven’t Seen in Multiple Films
While they’re taking inspiration from what Donner did, don’t repeat the villains again for a very long time. Audiences have seen Lex Luthor and General Zod far too many times. It’s time to break that cycle and introduce new villains from the comics.
The Superman: Lives script in the 90s, which Kevin Smith was famously involved with, had the right idea. Brainiac was the main villain in that movie (and the script even had a Batman cameo at the funeral). That script obviously had some famous late-90s DC movie quirks, but it got the main villain right. And I have to admit I do kind of love it; even with the polar bear guards and giant spider.
Superman has more, and better, villains than Luthor or Zod. WB should not be afraid to use them. I’d love to see a full-on comic Brianiac on the big screen; Skull Ship, Bottled City of Kandor, and everything. How amazingly cool would that be?
Metallo, Parasite, Eradicator, Cyborg Superman, even Bizarro. There are a lot of villains to choose from, WB just needs to not be afraid to break the Luthor/Zod time loop they seem to be stuck in.
Do NOT Do What JJ Abrams Tried To
On the other side of the coin, do not try to do what JJ Abrams attempted with Superman: Flyby ever again.
He tried to reboot Superman with an edgy modern take. Krypton didn’t explode. Luthor was a secret Kryptonian. And they basically made a new Zod with Ty-Zor. It was Superman fighting a Kryptonian Civil War, and the action was pretty much identical what we eventually saw with the Neo vs Smith fight in The Matrix: Revolutions.
Every single person who ever complains about Man of Steel should be required to read JJ Abrams’ Superman: Flyby script to truly see how terribly wrong a Superman movie could be. With the rumors of WB wanting JJ involved in a Superman movie, I really hope he learned his lesson from the backlash over that script.
Superman Does Not Need to be ‘Reinvented’
This is something you see a lot of people preach when it comes to making a new Superman, and it’s the exact philosophy that led to that blasphemous JJ Abrams Superman: Flyby script. For 85 years Superman has been a shining beacon of unwavering morality, always standing up for what’s good over evil. Sure, there have been reboots and revisions in the comics over the decades, but the core of who Superman is has never changed. And there’s no reason why he has to change for the movie.
People will turn up for a good Superman standalone film. But WB also has to respect their audience and realize that we’ve all seen Krypton blow up multiple times before. We’ve all seen Superman’s origin. And we’ve all seen way too much Lex Luthor and General Zod.
WB doesn’t need to reboot Superman again. They have the perfect man with Cavill. We’ve seen his origin. We’ve seen him deal with Zod and Luthor. It’s time for WB to give Cavill an epic solo outing where Kal can save the world from one of Superman’s many threats.
Henry Cavill is also very well read with Superman. He knows the character as well as any of the comic writers. Give him a seat at the table creatively. Trust him. He will give you an ideal to strive towards. You’ve already stumbled and fallen. It’s time to join him in the sun. Cavill can help you accomplish wonders.
DC has revealed their covers for the July 2016 issues of their comics, and Action Comics #959 has something interesting…
Just like they used Christopher Reeve’s likeness in the mid-2000s in Action Comics (when Richard Donner was involved with the stories), it appears as if they will begin to use Henry Cavill’s likeness for the Man of Steel, at least on this cover of Action Comics.
Today you’re probably seeing a lot of annoying click bait about a solo Superman movie, and it may come…but not for a while.
It all originates from a video on IGN where Batman V Superman producer Charles Roven says:
“We’re in the process of looking at that. But we don’t have it on the schedule at the moment because we’re quite busy with the movies that we have scheduled.”
That means that they do want to do a Man of Steel 2 sometime in the future, as a solo Superman movie, but it’s currently not on the DC Films schedule. The solo Batman movie definitely is, but they seem to want to get through the current announced slate of DC movies before kicking off any kind of “Phase 2” with a Man of Steel sequel.
With so many people focused on what JJ Abrams is doing with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many forget that he was hired by Warner Brothers to write Superman in the early 2000s. Superman: Flyby was the reboot that was to be directed by McG before he dropped out and Brett Ratner nearly torpedoed the franchise like it was X-Men. Both future Superman, Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill, auditioned for the role in this movie and you can even find pictures of them in the costume online.
But the big thing about the movie was its script, which is actually available online if you look for it. While some people may dislike Abrams for what he did with Star Trek, and even more will hate him for his Star Wars choices, his Superman script remains the most unforgivable piece of crap he ever put his name on. If this were to have been made, it would’ve killed the Superman franchise for decades.
Here are five reasons why JJ Abrams wrote what would’ve been the worst Superman movie ever made:
Krypton Doesn’t Explode
Heh, you really don’t need to know much than that to know it sucks. Nope, Krypton doesn’t explode. Instead it’s a serene planet with rolling green hills, giant shell-less turtles, and a raging civil war that makes its way to Earth. Superman wasn’t sent away from a dying planet, he was sent to Earth after Jor-El met and chose the Kents for him so he could fulfill a dumb prophecy about a child who would end the war on a distant world before returning home to rule.
Superman is Neo from The Matrix
You kind of need to understand that Abrams wrote this movie after The Matrix was a huge hit for Warner Brothers, and the two Matrix sequels were in production. So since Neo knew kung-fu, so did Superman and the rest of the Kryptonians. That was the basis for the fights in the movie, and it would’ve severely dated the movie as just riding on the coattails of The Matrix’s success. The disappointment of The Matrix sequels wouldn’t have helped it much either.
Lex Luthor is From Krypton
This was actually the big twist at the end of the movie. After Superman manages to kung-fu fight all of the evil Kryptonians into defeat, Lex Luthor reveals to him that he too is from Krypton. So Superman and Luthor have a big Neo vs Agent Smith super-powered kung-fu fight in the sky before Lex is defeated and Superman returns with him to Krypton. Gotta set up the boring Krytponian-based sequel!
The Ma Kent “Rape”
The script makes it clear the Superman’s powers began manifesting even as a baby, but Abrams wanted to make his power development just a little edgier. So he wrote a scene where a creepy landlord was about to rape Ma Kent so little six-year-old Clark could kick his ass. By the time that happens in the movie we knew Clark’s powers were there, so there was no reason to toss in an implied rape just to shock people. Of course it’s not shown in a PG-13 movie, but it’s heavily implied that if Clark didn’t step in, that’s what was going to happen.
Everyone complains that Superman movies are stuck between Lex Luthor and General Zod as villains. Where’s Brainaic or Metallo? Superman has other villains, but instead of using one of those Abrams just recreated General Zod in Ty-Zor. It’s basically the exact same character and serves the same purpose, but he has a different name. Even worse is when Ty-Zor is defeated, Lex Luthor is his replacement as another super-powered villain from Krypton.
Now and awesome video has hit YouTube giving side-by-side comparisons displaying exactly how Man of Steel paid tribute to Superman’s very first appearance in the comics. For those who like to claim that Man of Steel is nothing like the comic books, this is some strong evidence that they’re wrong.
Here’s the video that just hit YouTube this weekend. It’s a good education for those who are unfamiliar with how the movie referenced the source material.
You know it’s a slow (holiday) day when people are mining audition videos for clues about the new Supergirl series destined for CBS. But that’s exactly what’s happening today as several audition clips have surfaced and everyone thinks they’ve found a huge story scoop about the series dealing with Superman.
Except they haven’t.
This all started when SpoilerTV found some Vimeo casting videos via the Supergirl Wiki and 4Chan, and in them the Supergirl and Jimmy Olson hopefuls have a conversation mentioning Superman. The problem with people believing this is proof of Superman in the series is that casting sides for this sort of audition process rarely has any real story details, for the very reason that they don’t want them leaking out like this and spoiling everyone.
A big recent example of this is The Force Awakens. When they were looking to cast Finn and Rey they had casting sides for a “Thomas” and “Rachel”. These used dialog and settings from The Hunger Games. Using the logic these people are with Supergirl, that would mean that Episode VII replicates a scene from Hunger Games…when we all know that obviously isn’t the case.
Could Superman be mentioned in the Supergirl series? Of course. But using casting sides as “proof” of that is just reaching. And if I remember correctly they’ve said that Kara would be the focus of the series, not her more-famous cousin. That means there could be a “Superman Returns” style MIA Kal-El in the show…
This week, Warner Brothers officially announced the entire line up of DC Cinematic Universe films through 2020. As these movies were spawned from 2013’s Man of Steel, there is a fresh round of people spouting off dumb reasons why “Man of Steel sucks” based on their selective memory about the character, his mythos, and the movie itself. A lot of these reasons are just recycled from last summer where people spammed them on social media as if they were Superman experts, when in reality they were completely wrong and just making themselves look stupid by parroting the hivemind of negativity that so often springs up around big summer movies.
Here are five of the big reasons people attack Man of Steel, and why they’re completely wrong.
Superman Never Kills
“My Superman doesn’t kill.” That was one of the big complaints people had against Man of Steel, and it came from fans and comic writers alike. They seem to exist in a world where Superman has a “no killing” rule like Batman, which isn’t the Superman of the comics at all. You may think that “your” Superman would never kill, but Man of Steel isn’t based on “your” Superman. It’s based on the Superman who has existed in the comics for 75 years.
People with selective memory about the character probably don’t realize that unlike Batman, Superman will kill when it is absolutely necessary. Stopping Zod from terraforming Earth and killing every human? Yea, I’d say that was pretty necessary. These people also forget that Superman killed Zod in Superman II. But it’s easy to remember things selectively if it gives you a soapbox to bitch from on the internet.
Superman Didn’t Save Enough People
This concept is almost tied with the dumb “Superman doesn’t kill” idea. Due to the massive destruction in Metropolis, people bitched and moaned that it was completely against Superman’s character to not stop and try to save every single person in those skyscrapers. These people again have selective memories of the character, and likely never read many Superman comics.
One of the most famous storylines, 1993’s Death of Superman, saw similar levels of destruction in Metropolis as Superman was focused on stopping Doomsday. Even with the massive destruction in Metropolis, that wasn’t Zod’s goal. Zod wanted to kill every single human on the planet, by stopping Zod Superman saved the entire planet. So by saying “Superman didn’t save enough people”, you’re saying six billion lives aren’t as important as a few city blocks in Metropolis.
Something people may have noticed in that massive list of DC movies announced this morning was the lack of new solo Superman and Batman movies. Thankfully DC was aware of that, and they assure people in their press release that they will be doing new solo Batman and Superman movies prior to 2020:
And, in a massive expansion of the Studio’s DC Entertainment-branded content, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema will release a slate of at least 10 movies—as well as stand-alone Batman and Superman films—from 2016 through 2020 that expands this prized universe of characters
There’s no clue as to when they’ll slot those movies in, especially with two DC movies being planned every year from 2016 on. But just as Marvel has no problems moving to three movies a year, it’s very possible DC will decide to do that in the years that they are able to do a new solo Superman or Batman movie.
Just no more Batman origins please. If someone doesn’t know who Batman is by now, they really have bigger problems.
We’ve seen the 501st do an epic version of the Ice Bucket Challenge, but Henry Cavill and Amy Adams have done one of the best so far.
Why? Because Cavill did it while in costume as Superman, giving us the best look yet at the new suit that he’ll be wearing in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Maybe Ben Affleck will be next and will do it wearing the Batman suit?