|06-10-2006, 12:17 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Gotham City Australia
Sydney a star as Superman Returns (New Article)
Sydney a star as Superman Returns
Saturday Jun 10 12:44 AEST
Superman Returns, one of the most expensive films ever made, has had its first screening in the United States and Australia has emerged as one of its stars.
When the $US200 million ($A270 million)-plus film opens around the world later this month, Australians sitting in theatres will recognise plenty of the backdrops.
In one big action sequence, Superman, played by Brandon Routh, swoops down to save hundreds of pedestrians from being mowed down by a runaway car in a busy section of Metropolis, the fictional city where the superhero battles nemesis Lex Luthor.
The busy thoroughfare could be mistaken for New York or Toronto, but it's Martin Place in Sydney's central business district.
In another key scene American actress Kate Bosworth, as Lois Lane, fights her way through a crowded Metropolis street to reach Superman.
There are New York style yellow cabs and hundreds of extras in the scene, but locals will notice it was shot outside Sydney's Wynyard train station.
"I had never lived in Australia and I wanted the experience," Superman Returns American director Bryan Singer told reporters in Los Angeles on Friday.
"And for the film, economically, it made sense to make it in Australia."
Superman Returns was shot over five months in Australia last year.
Along with Australian government subsidies, the weaker Australian dollar versus the US dollar and cheaper but highly skilled local film crews, Singer and Warner Bros were able to get better value for money making Superman Returns in Australia than in the United States.
Superman Returns also took over Sydney's Fox Studios, using all seven soundstages.
Some reports peg the budget of the film to be near $US300 million ($A400 million), making it easily the most expensive film ever made, but Singer said it cost $US200 million ($A270 million).
The first screening of Superman Returns took place in Los Angeles on Thursday night, with the audience made up of several hundred journalists from around the world.
Singer and his cast have not seen the print, which was finished by Technicolour experts just five hours before the media screening.
When the movie opens in Australia on June 29, audiences will see a spectacular mix of special effects and storyline surprises Warner Bros would like the media to keep secret.
The Superman-Lois Lane-Clark Kent love triangle has also turned into a love quadrangle.
Routh, an unknown 26-year-old actor from Iowa who was anointed to play Superman, has an uncanny resemblance to Christopher Reeve, who made the character his own in four Superman films in the 1970s and 80s.
Two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey fills the role of villain Lex Luthor and 81-year-old Eva Marie Saint, who won an Oscar alongside Marlon Brando for 1954's On the Waterfront, plays Superman's adopted mother, Martha Kent.
The Kent farmhouse, supposedly set in Kansas, created a few problems for Singer as he had to find farmland in Australia that grows corn and had an American style farmhouse.
He had no luck.
So, as a Hollywood director with a budget of at least $US200 million ($A270 million) could do, he had a farmhouse built on land outside of Tamworth, in northern NSW.
He also had two hectares of two-metre-tall corn grown around the farmhouse.
"There are no cornfields in Australia," Singer laughed.
"There are no farms in Australia that look American.
"You think there is because there's all this land, but it looks nothing like American farmland."
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