Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Superman Returns My Way

Roger RmJet writes:

Bill, got a group challenge for you, similar to the "reboot" challenge from a few weeks ago.

So, Variety confirms that WB has signed Singer to do a sequel to Superman Returns. Here's a chance for a do-over, to correct some mistakes (like the lack of action, which Singer has acknowledged) and do it right this time.

Singer has saddled himself with some challenges, however. Some are easy to fix, like the costume. But what about the kid? The casting? The writers? If you were producing, what would you do this time around?

Okay, it would be pretty egotistical of me to jump into the producer's seat of this, but fortunately for me I have ego to spare (or at least pretend to...). Here's a few things I would do (that's the caveat here folks, this is purely a wish-fulfillment scenario) :

- Singer only has $100M. Period. No cost overruns (unless there's a natural disaster like in APOCALYPSE NOW). You have to make the movie fit the budget, not the other way around.

- Shot in Australia using many of the same sets as before.

- Redesign the costume BACK to what it was. No leather-like cape. No West-Hollywood boy shorts.

- I would re-use the footage already shot wherever possible. There's a whole Krypton exploration sequence we never got to see - Let's see it.

- NO LEX LUTHOR. NO MISS WHAT'SHERNAME. They are still stuck on the island. Maybe Lex is alone now because he's killed her for food. I don't know because we will never see him in this film.

- We have to see Superman being super. We have to see the consequences of it too.

- Lois knows Clark is Superman. Lois is pissed off at being deceived all these years , but more pissed off that she let herself be deceived all these years.

- Kal-el went off into space for five years. What if something tracked him back and that something was the former Kryptonian super-computer we know as Brainiac?

- It's just Supes v. Brainiac. No other villains. No henchmen. Just pure super-humanity v. cold, hard technology (and remember, Brainiac doesn't care about casulties).

- Supes son gets hurt by Brainiac (which is why Clark kept it a secret all those years so his enemies wouldn't get at him through his family). This impacts Lois and Clark's relationship forever.

Okay kids, that's my take. What's yours?


Roger Alford said...

My thoughts exactly, Bill! In addition, I'd do the following:

- Kill off the kid (by Braniac) as quickly as possible. Maybe having Braniac target the kid because he's part Kryptonian, thinking he's Kal-El. That would get Supes in the game big time.

- Put Routh in the gym to build up some real muscle.

- Get Bruce Timm and Paul Dini to do the script.

- Seriously consider replacing Kate Bosworth with one of the runners-up for Lois, such as Michelle Monaghan or Keri Russell.

Kelly J. Crawford said...

Works for me, Bill!

Chopped Nuts said...

I'd like Lois to show some more moxy, like the old cartoons.

taZ said...

I Vote for Bill!

Anonymous said...

Instead of Brainiac Sup is forced to go up against and old friend. Possibly Batman (like in Dark Knight Returns), possibly someone else. His reporter friends may not take his side. The people start to favor the other guy because the fight seems to be superpower against regular guy. This could open up some interesting current themes as Superman believes he's doing the right thing but not everyone agrees.

This of course drives Superman a bit nuts and perhaps he sees a shrink for a few comic interludes throughout before finally getting his crap together and doing whatever has to be done to satisfy the themes and the audience, etc.

Aric Blue said...

I'd go with Bill but I'd sub Doomsday for Brainiac--he's more of a physical challenge--the Brainiac face-off could be a let down.

And I second the replace-Bosworth.

DecoderRing said...

Best-case scenario would be to wait a few years and do a complete re-boot like Marvel is doing with The Hulk. This franchise can't be saved. Superman Returns was Singer waxing nostalgic for a movie franchise from his youth - one that didn't have that much to do with Superman and meant nothing to most of the young people watching the movie. Ironic that, by revisiting a movie he loved as a child he made sure that no five-year-old today will ever have the same experience. Unless, that is, the studio has the stones to chuck the entire mess as a horrible failure and start over from zero. (And next time, try making a movie about Superman, instead of making a movie about an old Superman movie.)

Piers said...

My preference would be to write it off and reboot. But I'm going to assume that's not an option.

So if I'm producing and we're stuck with what we have (no retcons, no reboot and no recasting) I'd say something like this:

- $120 million only. I'll give them 20 million more than Bill to pay for a couple of barnstorming set-pieces.

- Re-use the Australian sets

- Luthor's back, but twinned with super-muscle of some description so that Superman has to fight both brain and brawn. And this time, Lex is going to be a bit smarter. For the brawn - I like the idea of a thousand copies of Metallo, but I'm open to suggestions on this one.

- No Kryptonite. Bored of Kryptonite. And get rid of that Kryptonite Continent that's floating in orbit somewhere. That was a rubbish idea.

- Kid's got to be dealt with (what were they thinking?), but murdering a 5 year old is going to be a tough sell, much as we might want the villain to solve the problem for us. So kill the dad instead and get the kid to tell Superman never to contact him again. Ever. Thus explaining why we never see him again.

- Lois to be a proper investigative reporter again, as smart and fearless as she is beautiful.

Kelly J. Crawford said...

(And next time, try making a movie about Superman, instead of making a movie about an old Superman movie.)

Hell, yeah, baby!


Cunningham said...

This is getting dangerously close to fanfic...If I see a post saying Supes gets naked then I'm getting my gun and shuttin' this party down.

That said...

Aric - Doomsday while a brutish character who is Supes' equal in strength, he is only one character. Brainiac is tech which equals a lot of toy possibilities. He's also coldly cerebral so he is Supes opposite. In pure story terms he's the better villain.

I wouldn't replace Bosworth - she's already signed I'm sure. I don't want to pay her for not doing anything so I would definitely give her something to do in the movie.

The reason I'm NOT doing the same thing with Lex is that we need new blood in these movies. We've NEVER seen Brainiac in any of the live-action movies.

Imagine Supes against a giant Brainiac techno-monster (they are the fiercest killers in the alien-techno-kill-machine kingdom) tearing through Metropolis in an homage ot War of the Worlds and the Fleischer cartoons.

That, we haven't seen before.

DecoderRing said...

Y'know what? I ain't buyin' this sequel business. Nobody was talking sequel in the summer. The studio had to be profoundly disappointed by the Box Office for Superman Returns... and the million-and-one sponsors who shelled out for tie-ins aren't going to be fooled again. No Superman-endorsed potato chips next time kids... No Superman cheeseburger combo meals... and the dollar value for movie-tie-in merchandise would take a huge hit.

The only hope for this franchise is the DVD release; and a news release confirming that a sequel is going ahead is (a) Free press in advance of the release and (b) Might convince some folks who heard the movie sucked and stayed away to pick up the DVD after all.

If it works, and the DVD release is great, maybe there would be a sequel... but if you want to see a re-boot down the road, and have an outside chance at seeing a new Superman movie that doesn't suck in your lifetime... you gotta hang tough, babies. Don't buy it.

Cunningham said...

That could be true as it wouldn't be the first time a studio has done something like that...

Aric Blue said...

"Aric - Doomsday while a brutish character who is Supes' equal in strength, he is only one character. Brainiac is tech which equals a lot of toy possibilities. He's also coldly cerebral so he is Supes opposite. In pure story terms he's the better villain."

Dunno--Brainiac's toys would, to me, be a little weak for Superman. With Doomsday I'm talking a 95 minute movie with 70 minutes of fighting and some minor subplot--with Brainiac I think you're doomed for a disappointing climax(after Supes spends some time destroying 'bots).

To me it's about pitting someone of equal physical strength(I guess you can see why I liked Superman 2 the best out of all of them)

Cunningham said...

I'm thinking of that giant skull-head ship he had that was like a suit of armor that he plugged himself into...That's a toy that kids (of all ages) would dig.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Just recast Lois. That'll do it.