Superman: Up, Up, and Away…Again?
First off, I’m really surprised that this news hasn’t spread much farther than Newsarama. After the success of The Dark Knight, Warner Brothers is hitting the ‘ol reset button on the Superman franchise. So that will mean that Superman Returns never happened and neither did the original Christoper Reeve films. While I’m a little disappointed to see Superman and it’s sequel bite the big one, I’m sort of OK with III and IV: A Quest for Peace being forgotten. I keep trying, but I can’t forget those two. I didn’t hate Superman Returns, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that the film was pretty ridiculous for a Superman movie.
But let’s think about this for a minute. Yes, Christopher Nolan’s reboot of the Batman franchise has been wildly successful, but can the same be done for the Last Son of Krypton? I think with some very careful planning, it can be. Here’s a quick list of things that I feel need to be done in order to successfully reboot the Superman films.
- Get a Good Writer. – I can’t stress this enough. Sure, Brian Singer’s take on Superman was interesting and all, but it totally messed up the franchise. They need something fresh and original, but not totally out there. That would probably rule out someone like Grant Morrison, who’s currently writing All Star Superman. However, there’s that crazy Scotsman, Mark Millar that’s been dying to write a Superman film for years. From what I’ve read, the guy’s already got a trilogy planned out and he’s ready to go. If Millar was let loose on a Superman film, you’d definitely have someone with a labor of love on their hands. Let him at it and I’m sure we won’t be disappointed.
- Try Another Villain! – While Superman’s rogues gallery is nowhere near the size or variety of that of Batman, he’s still got more villains than Lex Luthor. Yes, Luthor is Superman’s arch-rival, but there’s only so much you can do there. Luthor is human and as such he’s no match for Superman in a fair fight. Why not pit the Man of Steel against someone that can actually stand toe-to-toe with him? Let’s get Doomsday in there to really beat the crap out of him. You have to give the guy a villain that he actually stands a chance of losing to. There’s no doubt that he can triumph over Luthor every which way, but if he went up against Brainiac? Or Metallo? What about Bizarro? See what I mean? These odds change drastically and there’s so much room to move around with. You can even keep Luthor somewhat involved if you go the Bizarro or Metallo route by having him responsible for their creation.
- Skip the Origin – He’s friggin’ Superman. We know his deal already. There’s NO need to go over (for the millionth time) where he came from and why he’s doing what he’s doing. Skip all that and jump right to it. Look at the Joker in The Dark Knight. No time was wasted showing him falling into a pit of acid or anything. The guy’s just there and he’s ready to go. Same deal with Superman. He’s a force for Truth, Justice and the American Way. Done. Let’s move on.
- Stay True to the Character – This is Superman we’re talking about here. There’s no need to re-invent him for newer audiences. He’s been around for over 60 years. People like him. That being said, a little tweaking can be tolerated though. Superman has been the idol for immigrants since his creation. To appeal to a wider audience he could now be seen as an outsider looking in; someone that just doesn’t fit in with his surroundings. The emo kids will eat that shit up and you’ll still be true to who Superman is.
I’m sure there’s much more to it, but that’s all I can think of at the moment. It’s been too long since we’ve had a really great Superman movie and that’s a shame. That “S” up there used to mean something! I mean, the character has to be in the top 3 most popular and well known comic book characters of all time (I’m willing to bet that the other two are Batman and Spider-Man) so let’s get him up in the big leagues of comic book movies where he belongs.