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Old 09-20-2011, 04:06 AM   #2
elgaz's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ireland
Posts: 3,713
Default Re: Could Superman movies be realistic like the newer Batman films

I know what you mean ............. but what is a realistic approach anyway?

I was thinking about this a few weeks ago. What is it about Nolan's films that make them realistic? I mean, they still have a man dressed as a bat carrying out amazing feats, using advanced technology and hiding his identity in a way that would never work in real life. Yet they're described as Batman finally meeting realism.

My thoughts on it are this. Nolan has grounded the Batman mythos by removing a lot of the elements which made previous incarnations (both the Burton/Schumacher films, and the 60s TV series) fairly outlandish.

  • The camp humour is gone, replaced by a more serious tone which was only elevated by the Joker's ravings in TDK.
  • There is no reliance on any overly specific visual theme - Nolan's world looks gritty, and close to our real world - not dark and gothic like Burtons, and not a neon-lit futurama like Schumacher's.
  • There are no-super powered villains - so far. Any villains we've encountered so far in Nolan's films may have been psychotic, strange, crazed, and schizophrenic - but they're all human.
  • Nolan has added insight and reasoning to Batman's choices, and this is something which wasn't explored in earlier incarnations. Why choose bats as his motif? Where did he learn his skills? Where did he get his technology?
  • His tools and technology now favour function over form, for the most part. We have a Batmobile (in the form of the Tumbler) which is very obviously a military tank of sorts. The Batmobile in previous films looked very cool perhaps, but it would never have gone over a speed ramp never mind anything else. We have a Batsuit (without nipples) which after evolving from the original version in Batman Begins, now resembles a body armour suit which we would use in real life - it's very obviously focused on speed and movement.

There are lots of other Nolan touches which add to this 'realism' but you see where I'm going.

With Superman, it's going to be a harder sell. The very concept - even his name, and what it implies - is almost immediately beyond the realms of realism. However there have been a few articles in recent years about 'the science of Superman' and how someone like him could potentially exist. But from what vague recollection I have of these articles, I don't think they accepted the solar power explanation and instead suggested he must have some kind of latent telekinesis which also drives his other powers.

But perhaps this is getting into way too much science for a 2hr superhero film. Is that what fans really want to see or know? Do they want a Superman film to be realistic? Or would it be enough for Snyder to go down a similar route to Nolan - set Superman in a real looking city, remove any camp humour and unbelievable physics, and then let the fans buy the realism if they want.

I'm not sure the quest for realism is even relevant, unless they ever go down the JLA route and thus need to have a shared universe for Batman, Superman and the rest of the superheroes. In that scenario, it would only work if all the individual films beforehand took the same approach. And even then, it may be a rebooted version of Batman which doesn't follow the Nolan approach, grounding him in reality.

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