Discussion in 'Man of Steel' started by Blackman, Jan 7, 2010.
How should they go about doing it?
hmmm that is a tough one blackman. Each has their good points and there bad points. I would totally be open for any. I do have a prefrence to linear story telling and by flashbacks so i would say those two for me.
I definatly want an origin story told, but there are any number of ways you could go about it that would work..
You could near enough make the whole movie take up an origin story, or you could do what Batman Begins did & just show flashbacks to the 'important stuff.'
However an origin story if told in full could be quite time consuming especally in a movie & then there is the main villian/plot etc to think about. Superman's origin is somewhat different to Spiderman, its alot more complex in certain ways with the things that should be explained. Spiderman is essentially a kid that gets bit by a spider & takes on spider traits uses them for good etc.
Superman is an infant child sent from another world on the brink of destruction, to be raised by an idealistic & warm hearted couple who teach him human values & all that.. & thats not even including the other things that theoretically 'should' be included such as Jor-El, The Fortress, him teaching Kal-El about his Kryptonian heritage etc.
I'd show an origin but compact it with flashbacks, similiar to Batman Begins. People might complain that they already know the origin or whatever, but the fact is the last movie origin was 32 years ago. So unless your an avid comic reader, Smallville fan or have seen Superman The Movie (which some younger people won't) the characters origin will need cleared up & established for the general public.
If the film is going to be similiar running time to say Batman Begins (2:20) I'd like to see an hour or so just on establishing a solid origin just like Batman Begins. I'd incorparate some of it into flashback scenes from Kal-El as a man, pre-outfit. Particularly anything Smallville/teen related like Pa Kents death/first use of powers etc should be kept to flashbacks.
Things like any Jor-El Krypton scenes or the Kents finding him as a baby should be the first thing we see though before credits... perhaps even make these scenes part of the credits in some way to save time..
Good thread topic & question.
i would perfer to have both kents alive through adulthood next go around.
I love the narrative of Begins. The movie starts with Bruce in a chinese prison and you're like WTF is going on? And then it starts to unravel. It was great.
I'd like Superman's origin to be like that, but the most important thing is what they tell about the origin. The narrative could be any one of your options but the origin could still suck, so i am more worried about the context.
I certainly found Bruce's origin just as, if not more interesting than the action scenes at the end of Begins so i'm equally excited to see Clark growing up, learning about his origin, dealing with the fact that he is the lone survivor of a lost planet, dealing with the fact that he is an alien to the rest of us, his relationship with Lana and other friends (Rachel helped flesh out Bruce's childhood for me. Its pretty far fetched to think that everybody was mocking Clark in his teen years while Bruce grew up all alone in the manor. And so i liked the inclusion of Rachel and the more dynamic Clark in Smallville), dealing with his powers, acquiring his strong moral fibre from his upbringing and Jor-El's teachings (i wouldnt want him to spend 10 years in the fortress training like in the Donnerverse though. Jesus!), etc.
I suppose that all this might be too much for one film so they could leave aspects of his origin (like his relationship with Lana and how she compares with Lois or whatever) for the second movie, where he'd still be a rookie.
Anyway, i always liked the Begins narrative because its more complex and because to inaugurate the flashbacks you need a sentimental trigger that shows how the character feels now about something that happened a long time ago.
Plus, the Odyssey uses this method as well.
PS: Nice topic Blackman!
yea we could start off with just some key origin stuff and develop it more too in sequels.
I like what Star Trek did and show brief flashbacks then get right to the story.
I'm liking the Batman Begins way. It allows an origin to be told but doesn't get bogged down in a lot of useless details. However, something has to be part of the flashbacks that can get tied into the main story other than simply just what happened to Krypton. Like maybe we see Brainiac or Zod or something and then they get to be part of the main story.
It's very easy to wanna do anything other than telling the story linearly, purely because that was how the Donner film was told, but at the end of the day, I believe the story would be served better in terms of scope and scale if told within a linear timeline as opposed to flashbacks interspersed throughout the film, especially if it were to be an origin story.
I think the impact of Superman finally suiting up and saving the day would be far greater if there was a clear build up to that point. While the flashback method worked perfectly for Batman Begins, that story was more of a personal story than Superman, more about the psychology of Bruce Wayne, thus it makes more sense to do flashbacks and rein the film in a bit, but with Superman, it should be all or nothing. Superman is larger than life, so the film should be larger than life and needs to feel that way when you're watching it. If you go on a linear journey from the young child in the spaceship to the adult Superman, it will be all the more impactful when you see the credits roll.
Personally, I'd start with Clark as a young man reaching the Fortress of Solitude (or what will become the Fortress) and learning about Krypton via full sensory immersion (a la Byrne and S:TAS) and proxies of Jor-El and Lara, then having him go back to Smallville to share his experiences with Jonathan and Martha and his plans from there while they recollect how much he's grown and changed (a la Waid), before moving on to Metropolis. Basically the idea would be to retain a linear narrative while expediting the story, without resorting to 'real' flashbacks or time-jumps
Interesting idea Jochimus.
I dunno which one to vote as I can see the potential in any of them, don't really care for the DD route though.
Damnit I accidently voted the wrong one meant to vote "Smallville kid stuff and then flash forward to established hero"
I have posted my idea in the Superman Reboot Writers Workshop
Have it start in Smallville where hes 17/18 and he saves the town from a tornado. Then have him discover his origins when his parents show him the rocket ship he arrived in (ala STAS: The Last Son of Krypton Part 2) where his parents explain to him his origins. Then have him in Metropolis, meet all the established people i.e. Lex, Lois, Jimmy, Perry, Etc and supervillain Mettallo. I would explain different parts of his origins where it fits with the story in sequels after that i.e. in the sequels - Brainiac's betrayal of Krypton and Jor El, The Phantom Zone, etc. No need to over anyalse his origins but use them as they fit the story.
Lovin your idea here. I too have posted my thoughts in the writers workshop thread. I think your idea is great for the first time we see clark as an adult.
Here's my idea on how the movie opens, the rest in the writers workshop, sorry for the long post:
The movie begins in Smallville Kansas. Some sporting event is just finishing up. We get our first look at Clark Kent and Lana Lang. They are both in their freshmen or sophomore year in high school. Clark is a star athlete, excelling in the classroom and on the field. The interaction we see is brief but establishes that these two are close, best friends, much more akin to Clark’s relationship with Chloe rather than Lana, from smallville the tv show. There may even be a budding romance between the two, but it hasn’t come to fruition b/c they both think it might jeopardize their friendship (although neither one knows what the other is thinking). Lana asks Clark why he’s recently begun wearing glasses. He says he’s been having headaches from eye strain recently and thinks the glasses will help. [Here we’re establishing why clark kent would be wearing glasses, also that his powers have been growing gradually up to this point and haven’t fully emerged yet.]
Clark hears an ear-piercing sound, lana asks what’s wrong, he’s like, “what is that? Can you hear that”. Lana has no idea what he’s talking about. Then the sound goes away and clark feels fine. He dismisses it and heads for home.
Pulling up to the farm in his dad’s pickup truck, clark hears the piercing sound again. He realizes it’s coming from the barn. Slowly making his way to the barn he notices that the cellar in the barn is open, the underground location of the ship that brought him to earth. “Dad is that you?” he asks as he cautiously approaches. A medium built man stands over the ship as it glows as the sounds continue emanating from it. The man turns around to acknowledge Clark. His eyes glow a greenish color. We begin seeing things from his perspective. It looks like a display screen of some sort and after cycling through trying to identity what clark is, it matches his dna signature as a potential kryptonian (30%). “What are you doing in here?” clark demands.
The scenes switches to inside the Kent home. Jonathan and Martha are preparing for dinner. You see them as a real family, good character stuff here. They’re talking about Clark, their life, maybe doubts or concerns they have. They are startled by the sound of a loud crash outside and are horrored to see Johnathan’s truck in flames, even more shocked as they watch Clark emerge from the ruble.
Clark tells them to run as the robot leaps out of the barn and lands on the remains of the truck, then lunges at Clark. Martha screams. Just as the robot has Clark pinned and is about to initiate a probe of some sort, a shotgun blasts it back. Jonathan tells Clark to stay down and keeps firing at the robot. After taking a few direct shots to the head and chest the robot identifies Jonathan as a threat that must be terminated. As it prepares to leap toward Jonathan, Clark grabs it and punches it several times, showing an increase in strength and further damaging the robot. Clark hears the robot’s reading of “60% Kryptonian”, it startles him enough to hesitate in his assault. The robot knocks him a good 30 feet away landing in the cornfield, and turns to resume its attack on Jonathan. The handle of the shot gun shatters as it hits the robot’s head. Unhindered by Jonathans’ attack the robot prepares to kill him with its razor sharp talons.
Everything slows down as we begin seeing the situation from Clark perspective. He’s starting to pick himself up in the cornfield but can see the danger his father is in. He starts to run as fast as he can and just before impact with the robot he takes flight for the first time, with the robot in tow.
The robot struggles to break Clark’s grip and even slashes him with is talons, which have no effect on Clark. From its viewport the reading rapidly increases from 60% to 70%, 80%, 90% then as Clark’s eyes begin to glow with his anger, the reading displays %100 Kryptonian as it is incinerated by Clark’s heat vision.
(The idea is that Clark’s body has been super-charging for years as a teenager but nothing has triggered his abilities to “ignite” until now they have been running in a “passive” mode thus the peak human performance. If he was an adult when he landed his body would have displayed abilities much sooner, although perhaps in a weaker state b/c of absorbing less sunlight)
Clark remains hovering with the lifeless robot in his arms until he hears Martha scream “JOHNATHAN!!!” Clark turns to look back at the farm with shock. We see a full frame of his face wearing a worried expression.
Cue the opening title sequence.
I really like the introduction of Brainiac and if you wouldnt mind, Id like to borrow some of the ideas for it for my sequel with a smallville flashback?
Be my guest
I'm really just taking some of the episode on the animated series when Brainiac goes back in time to kill clark and mixing it with the brainiac arc in action comics when the probe attacks superman. They were sent out all over the place to search for kryptonia life. I'm just taking those ideas a mixing with my own so it's hardly a new idea, just my take on it, but thanks.
Ah I was thining of using some of your idea something like this to set-up Brainiac:
The movie opens with a flashback to Smallville when Clark was 15. Its night the Kents are all a sleep. Something crash lands from the sky in a field nearby, its almost silent as it crashes but Clark hears something and wakes up. He goes out the front door to see what all the noise was he looks around and sees the shadow something behind the barn. He goes over to see what it was but nothing is there. As he turns around there is a small robot scanning him with a red light, it moves very quickly but so does Clark as he tries to grab it. It then attacks Clark with a laser that burns his skin, he is surprised as nothing so far has ever seemed to hurt him. The Kents come out to see what all the fuss is, Martha and Jonathan attempt to help Clark but he tells them to stay back as its just burned his skin. He eventually grabs it and smashes it to pieces. Martha rushes over to him and hugs him asking if hes ok. Jonathan asks what it was and Clark has no answer. When they look back its gone. We then see the pieces scurrying away separately and rejoin together as they go toward the crash site from earlier. The enter what looks like an ship Skull shaped but damaged. The robot then makes its way towards a console and extends an arm into the hole in the console. A screen then comes up and scan information at in incredible rate. The information on the screen flashes that the subject is 100% Kryptonian. The camera then moves to show a pod with a screen saying 22% complete, then 23% complete, etc. As we then cut to the opening credits.
I am setting this up so that what comes out of the Pod (when it reaches 100% which will be modern day - when Clark is Superman and living in Metropolis) is brainiac in a human looking form (my dream cast choice would be Hugo Weaving), he is then going to enter the town of Smallville and find information on Superman using a computer in the library or something. Then he will head to Metropolis.
That is an awesome scene!!! I love it Very cool and creative.
I did kinda steal your ideathough sorry about that. Your idea actually gave me this idea so thanks again
I can see a similarity but you take the idea and do something truly creative with it. I think that's how great collaboration works. Glad i could inspire the idea. But you were truly able to take it and make it your own. Solid stuff
Thanks bud. I wrote a script with my mate and I must say had I have done it alone it wouldnt have been very good. i think collaboration is always better when it comes to story telling.
I'm just not sure whether to add a Lex Smallville scene in.
I would love to see something like Batman Begins as well. Abrams Superman script was something much like this where it started out in the middle to near end of the movie then had you go back to the beginning of the story to show how you got to that point. Once again it is a shame that movie didn't get made after seeing the second and third draft.
The review of it I read was awful but JJ did say that he;d done a few drafts after that didnt he? I liked his basic idea and if the problems had been fixed then it is a shame that it never got made.
The entire 140 page pdf is online. I've read the entire first draft and it's not bad. Never found the other drafts, please point me in the right direction, i'd love to read them.
I posted this on dc comics site:
I've read it and it's not great but his characters are at least there. They have presence and personality, they are well thought out and have solid dialogue. yes a lot of the actual plot is lame but at least he nailed the characters, all he needs is a team to help him flesh out a better plot.
Plots in film are recycled all the time. Look at any romantic comedy, action flick, horror movie, ect. Same basic plot, different characters with tweaks to the details. That's why you can have sequels, same characters with a different plot (a new set of circumstances). Abrams wrote good characters, it would'be been easy to change the plot.