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Old 06-17-2009, 12:53 PM   #1
Clarkester
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Default What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

I must say I am not nearly as knowledgeable as many people on these board in regards to the character of Superman or any other superhero for that matter. Though I am a fan of film, in fact I am a film-maker and avid viewer of characters from a graphic novels in a cinematic setting. Through this some things spring to mind in regards to making a modern and successful Superman film for all.

1) A fresh story: Whatever they call these things these days, reboot, reimagining, beginnings? I think there is great potential for a fresh take within the Superman mythology. The most sensible thing would be to begin with research. To research as much of the source material (DC comics mostly) that is humanly possible. Through this process, you have the forethought to then build a very strong base for the cinematic screenplay. Through constant back and forth between filmmakers and graphic novel experts you build a solid origin story to play with. Yes origin! For two reasons! Firstly to reintroduce this icon to 21st Century and also to sever any connections made with very dated previous cinematic interpretations (including the recent Bryan Singer Film) Though the first film is a very good piece of cinema. I think one way a successful origin would work within modern cinema is through a non-linear format.

2) A Good Director: This is obvious but what most people tend to overlook or under-look (if there is such a word) is the previous body of work. They may want a director who has already showcased him/herself through similar genres. Though, a director known for action-adventure may not always be the best candidate. The basic concept of film making is the script! The script is the blueprint! From here a wise director will most of the time know how to deliver this blueprint in a way that is correct, yet within his/her creative sensibilities?

Look outside the box! I am not only suggesting any of these people but providing examples. Danny Boyle, Michael Mann, Tony Gilroy, Paul Thomas Anderson, the Coen Brothers. What would there Superman Be Like? You also need a director that respects the fans opinion, values it greatly but knows he/sheís own mind and is willing to make hard decisions (again with the help of the experts) that may even verge on controversial at times or against the grain but ultimately benefiting the production in the long run.

3) The Look: Supermanís outfit needs to be updated!! Most superheroes look stupid and would look stupid in realistic context yes, but this guy does not have a good look good for the 21st Century LOL. As someone from the outside looking in I can see why it would be off putting to the modern audience. I believe there are ways to keep the essence of the icon yet still bring him into the 21st century with style and flourish. There has to be.

4) The Character: Supermanís morals are unusual in this day and age and some may say old fashioned but I think that is a very unique selling point and not a bad thing. I donít think you need to make Superman any darker than he is. You could give him dark moments within the story context (and maybe) give him times of doubt but you do not need to take anything away from what he is. What you can do is deliver him into verisimilitude that is much more threatening and (possibly) darker to match our times without ever taking away from what Superman is (a beacon of light) In fact this gives him more of a challenge if those around him do not look to his ideals. The modern times theme brings off a more dramatic weight and an emotion to the character which he (along with everything else) has to undertake. So when the action comes it should be breath taking and groundbreaking but the emotional under core is what drives it, it is the impetus throughout the story.

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Old 06-18-2009, 04:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

What they need to do is just make a good movie and stay closer to the comic and not take ridiculous liberties with the character i.e giving him a kid

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Old 06-18-2009, 05:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

They can take liberties with the character but they should base the Liberties that they take on some mainstream Superman lore. For instance I dont mind if they take some ideas from the DCAU

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Old 06-18-2009, 06:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

Yup sticking with more known things would be better thing to do than throwing in stuff like a kid and what not that fans dont want to see.

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Old 06-18-2009, 06:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

I think that the main thing they need to do is find a director and screenwriter that have a passion for the character of the comics, first and foremost, and that they should be willing to forget the Donner movies and SR to start fresh, basing the story in the best of all the ages of Superman's diverse history to create an original and entertaining movie that shows what made the character resonate and stay alive for 70+ years.


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Old 06-18-2009, 08:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

Hopefully they can one day superdaniel.

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Old 06-18-2009, 08:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

This will be considered heresy, but I hope they do take some liberties with the character. I think Superman needs serious reinvention for today's audience. Abrams script had some bad stuff in it, but I appreciate he tried to do something different.

I know this will sound so very cliche in this comparison, and I cringe even making it, but I think the first film really needs to seriously focus on just Superman much like Batman Begins did on Batman. The great supporting cast in Batman Begins didn't get much screen time, but I think it was really necessary to focus solely on Batman, and follow through with a great ensemble piece like The Dark Knight. Its really, really important that the audience grows to care about its main character.

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Old 06-18-2009, 09:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

Superman's personality needs an upgrade. He could use some humorous and witty lines instead of seeming like a cardboard cutout boyscout all the time.

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Old 06-18-2009, 09:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

Good points lighthouse.

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Old 06-18-2009, 09:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

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Superman's personality needs an upgrade. He could use some humorous and witty lines instead of seeming like a cardboard cutout boyscout all the time.
The truth is that even though everyone points to Superman as an iconic symbol, icons themselves are boring. I was reminded recently by watching The Last Temptation of Christ, and how that movie, in my opinion, is so much more powerful and moving than traditional Jesus films.

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Old 06-19-2009, 10:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

The Big Blue Boy Scout needs an edge to him, or he willforever be labeled as boring.

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Old 06-19-2009, 11:49 AM   #12
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

Perhaps have him go overboard when he takes down the villain, maybe even to the point of killing him, or coming very close to it.
The reason could be that the villain severely injured, or even killed a close friend.

You wanted an edge, I cant think of a better one than that.

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Old 06-19-2009, 11:52 AM   #13
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

A villain that isn't Lex Luthor. I mean did we forget about Bizzaro, Mongul, Darkseid, Braniac, Doomsday....etc etc

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Old 06-19-2009, 11:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

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A villain that isn't Lex Luthor. I mean did we forget about Bizzaro, Mongul, Darkseid, Braniac, Doomsday....etc etc
I say Brainiac for the first one. A Brainiac that also has the strength to stand toe to toe with Superman.

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Old 06-19-2009, 12:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

I don't want to necessarily see Superman become more violent, but I wouldn't mind see him struggling a little bit with whats expected of him. Part of it is just going to be getting a really charismatic actor to play him.

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Old 06-19-2009, 12:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

ah finally a completely new and original conversation....i doubt this topic has ever been brought up

god we need some freaking news

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Old 06-19-2009, 01:10 PM   #17
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Smile Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

Quote:
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...
Very good post...I agree with most of what you have laid out here. I completely agree that the origin must be re-established. I think a single flashback sequence would suffice, but your idea of a non-linear approach could be extremely interesting, and would definitely be a huge challenge.

However, I do think you give too much credit to this idea of "modern times." It sounds a little pretentious! This character is basically timeless. You can put him in practically any setting with the same basic story. I think they just have to set the right tone. Just like you say, it should be serious and have some kind of weight to it, but not too dark. I think the key is to have him deal with some heavy moral dilemmas, as has been suggested. I know they tried this with SR, but it didn't work. I wasn't planned out well, at all. Anyways, if you look at the comics, it shouldn't be hard to create a long list of possible problems for him to face...before you even get around to picking out a supervillain!

As for the costume, I don't think it matters that much. If he looks exactly like Reeve in 1978, almost nobody who doesn't like that look will bother to complain very loudly, if they have a great time watching the movie. That being said, I'm not opposed to minor alterations to his costume for the movie.

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Old 06-21-2009, 03:41 PM   #18
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

He doesnt have to become Batman, he just needs an attitude. Saying stuff like "Youll never get away with this Luthor!" is just dumb at this point; any writer could give him some boss one liners.

He doesnt have to do some growl Bale esque voice...just make him sound like something other than a total pansy.

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Old 06-21-2009, 07:39 PM   #19
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

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He doesnt have to become Batman, he just needs an attitude. Saying stuff like "Youll never get away with this Luthor!" is just dumb at this point; any writer could give him some boss one liners.

He doesnt have to do some growl Bale esque voice...just make him sound like something other than a total pansy.
I wouldn't say so much of an attitude, but more of an interesting personality. Make a joke, feel overwhelmed, become frustrated. Maybe he should be a little shy, not bumbling CR Clark shy, but at least a little. Watching The Dark Knight, I actually thought Aaron Eckhart's approach to Harvey Dent(pre-Two Face of course) would be perfect for Superman(I'm not saying Eckhart should be Superman, I'm just saying his approach was the correct way to go about Superman).

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Old 06-21-2009, 07:46 PM   #20
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

Dent had the attitude that he ran ****; that would def. work for superman but I dunno about clark.

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Old 06-21-2009, 08:01 PM   #21
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

What is needed?

Hire me!

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Old 06-22-2009, 06:04 AM   #22
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

I think a good plot point would be Braniac to take over Superman's mind and turn him evil so we can see Superman battling the Army and destroying some stuff. Something like what happened in the TAS episode called "Legacy".

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Old 06-22-2009, 07:43 AM   #23
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

I'd love to see Lex make a run for the presidency. How? He first gets elected as mayor of Metropolis. He then puts his top scientist to work creating cures for cancer, his top economists creates jobs, and finally Lex caters to the gov. and military. (remember, this is not Donners Superman, so we dont know if Lex has a criminal record or not)

Lex does all this to gain the trust of the people, but he would still secretly be the same cold hearted, ruthless, SOB that doesnt give a damn about the public, he had sooner let them die than to help them, and he absolutely hates Superman.

Metallo would be Lex's Bodyguard.


Superman, along with Lois, Jimmy, perry, etc, would know the truth about Lex of course, but they would be powerless to stop him. Lex buys news corp after news corp and in turn controls what is reported. Lex sets Superman up by creating accidents that claims lives, and Blames Superman by superimposing his image at the scenes.

The public slowly starts to turn against Superman and embraces Lex.

Superman would have to decide just how far he's willing to go to stop Lex from getting the presidency.

Two huge fights with Metallo with lots of damage and destuction. City Buses are used like baseball bats, and buildings collapse from the impacts the two combatants cause.

And yes, innocent lives would be lost, just like it happens in real life. Superman tries his best to prevent it of course, but even he cant save them all.

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Old 06-22-2009, 09:35 AM   #24
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

That sounds like a good idea. Though i would like to start first film with corp lex, with hints of his desire to go into politics. Then in the second movie do the whole politics deal as u said become mayor/senator of the area. Then third film lex is president/superman powerless to stop him. But then some how it becomes known lex is SOB/liar and all that. So at the end lex takes a 180 degree turn and then becomes the criminal master mind lex and sent to jail.

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Old 06-23-2009, 09:40 PM   #25
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Default Re: What is needed to Bring Superman into the 21st Century

The costume doesn't need to be changed. Spider-Man is a perfect example of a colorful superhero costume (with the same primary colors as Superman's!) being successfully brought to the big screen. The colors can be darkened a little. However, they don't need to be darkened to the extent of Singer's Superman (maroon instead of red).

Or they could just go full-out, brightly-colored Superman. It worked for Christopher Reeves.

Superman just needs a reboot that starts from the beginning and introduces the character to a new audience. That's what SHOULD have happened in 2006; unfortunately Singer was a hot name back then with the superhero movie fans due to his success with the X-Men, and nobody said no to his ideas. The Donner movies are before the time of kids today. If you don't bring them onboard at the beginning, or worse, alienate them the way Superman Returns did in its opening moments (by telling them they already missed all of Superman's greatest adventures), they're not going to get attached to the character.

Make a Superman movie that's a true reboot with the classic origin. Cast a pair of young, talented leads as Clark and Lois. They need to be young to appeal to kids, and also so they won't be nearing 40 by the time the sequels come out. Don't cast TOO young though; a 22-year old Kate Bosworth as an experienced reporter and mother of a 5-year old was just ridiculous. Clark and Lois should be young, ambitious professionals trying to make it in the big city.

Luthor needs LuthorCorp. No more of that lame real-estate crap. Tap into the zeitgeist by portraying him as the corrupt businessman he's been since Crisis. Businessmen are as maligned in this decade as they were in the 80s, after Enron, Madoff, and the current recession. The evil businessman is cliche by now but that's what Luthor is, and he does it best. One idea I came up with and posted before would be to portray Metropolis as a glistening facade hiding an underbelly of corruption. Lois can be introduced as a brave, crusading reporter working to expose Lex's crimes and fraud, while being warned not to get involved by concerned friends and coworkers.

There has been a huge backlash against Luthor after SR, but any Superman saga needs him to be involved. Luthor can be a mastermind without getting in the way of the physical villain he could be controlling. Obviously there needs to be action.

Unfortunately, big-budget movies have a tendency to remain in the public conciousness for years or even decades. Superman is damaged goods right now, to the point that DC uses Batman to headline their merchandise (just look at the way MK vs. DCU was promoted). The Incredible Hulk got Hulk right (despite whatever flaws), but interest in the character was still damaged from Ang Lee's failed revision five years prior. This is why WB needed to get Superman right in 2006. If they had successfully relaunched Superman, we would be getting a sequel by now, and a DC movieverse would be in place for a massive Justice League crossover in a few years (the way Marvel is doing Avengers). Unfortunately, all we still have is Batman. Maybe Green Lantern will get things going.


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