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Reboot: Character Portrayal

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You know what i want to see? The Smallville scenes done right for once. Forget that bastardization that is the Tv series. I want to see how a life in a small city affected Clark's views on the world. I want to see him interacting with Lana and Pete Ross like in Superman for all seasons.

No more some holographic parent brainwashing Clark kent into being Jesus Christ. I want to see Clark chosing to be a hero because he sees the destruction of the Tornado in Smallville and sees he could've done more to protect the people.

That is a defining moment in Superman's life.
I agree.
 
well best of luck for you.

Thank you. I have better idea of how i'm gonna do part one and a vague idea about the next two parts .I plan on re-reading Superman for All Seasons, Birthright and John Bryne's Man of Steel. I also wanna read some issue's with Metallo and Intergang.
 
Well that would probably be the best thing to do to freshen up yourself on what was done before, get your ideas flowing from your mind and come up with something that could work. Keep us informed on your process.
 
Isildur´s Heir;10078289 said:
What´s the future of Clark Kent?
Is there going to be more for him to do, or go on with just being a 2 dimensional character, no more than a mask to Superman?

So, why the title of the thread, "The Real Truth"?
Because to answer the above, you to answer, how many "personalities" does the Man of Steel has?
Hence the poll...

3...Kal-El, Superman and Clark Kent
2....Kal-El and Superman are one and the same, that leaves CK as the second
1....Kal-El, Superman and Clark are all bits of the same person

I'm actually getting tired of people referring to him as Kal-El. He doesn't go by that name because he wasn't raised with that as his name. He's Clark. Plain and simple.

and selection 1 is the way I see it.
 
Well that would probably be the best thing to do to freshen up yourself on what was done before, get your ideas flowing from your mind and come up with something that could work. Keep us informed on your process.

I'll be sure to. I actually finished re reading Superman For All Seasons, Superman's first appearance and Superman : The Odyssey .
 
ok man just inform us all when you got anything you would like us all to check out to help you out more and what not.
 
Question ... we are so much in synch... do you have a Sister?

Just kidding... I am completely on the same page w/you on this.

I've never understood how anyone can think that he somehow becomes the Kryptonian overnight when he discovers his heritage. He was raised human... he thinks of himself as human .. and the only name he would ever consider his real name would be ... CLARK KENT. That's the name he was raised under.

Clark is the man he is, Superman is the things he does, and Kal-el is just his vague history. Does someone who's just discovered that he's adopted suddenly become a different person? It's exactly the same issue.


I see your point but kind of disagree on some level.

I think he grows up as Clark Kent, would have a similar personality to the kents, same sense of humor, has hobbies etc. He'll have the same personality when he grows up.

However the minute he can see another person's dna, see into outer space without the use of a telescope, when he gains the ability of unaided flight, etc his fundamental perspective would change. He's not just some random farm boy from Kansas anymore. He'd have a very unique view of the world. One that he can't fully explain or convey to his parents or any other person. That would make him a little isolated don't you think? Yes he's still the fun loving clark his parents raised but there is a part of him, that feels isolated, alone, has tons of questions, etc that his parents can't answer. Initially that part of him is nameless, just a sense of alieness so to speak.

This part of him is separate from his heroics later in life. It would be one thing if his only power was invincibility and he could fly, but with his enhanced senses he literally perceives the world on another level than humans do from the microscopic to the macroscopic. I think the totality of that aspect of him is finally given a name when his learns his special heritage, Kal-el. He's the son of a brilliant scientist, that scientific curiosity would be reflected in his son. Imagine if Jor-el had the abilities clark has under the yellow sun! Can you imagine how fascinated he'd be to perceive reality on a whole different level? How many questions he'd have and how much he'd enjoy finding the answer to those questions as he learned the extent of his abilities etc. I think "Kal-el" would have a similar reaction. Once he discovers the fortress (not with crystals, not with Jor-el AI or 12 years of learning, none of that) but if the fortress was more like a repository for Kryptonian artifacts, science and technology, like an alien version of the library of Alexandria

(personally I would like to see the fortress as an ancient kryptonian outpost thousands of years old from the days when a few kryptonian scientists went out exploring the universe, it's full of artifacts and experiments they conducted, it's also how they first learned of the yellow sun's effect on a kryptonian's biology, a closely guarded secret among the science guild in krypton's culture, a secret very few are aware of, krypton has long sense abandoned space exploration and a renewed focus on creating the perfect society).

Clark would delve into understanding his special heritage, krypton, understanding his abilities, and finally be able to satisfy the insane scientific curiosity he's always had. To me that's Kal-el, not Superman. It has nothing to do with wearing a costume and flying around helping people. It's clark coming to terms with his heritage, his scientific nature/curiosity, it's him finally putting a name to this unique and isolated part of him that no one else can relate to or fully comprehend. That's Kal-el.

I think it's him embracing this side of himself that paves the way for Superman to emerge. Kal-el's insight and abilities guided by Clark's personality, moral values etc.

Like all of use CLark has a geek side. In metropolis he simply lets it out. He can have fun with jimmy, joke around etc, and bond over miscellaneous random facts he spouts off. He'd be very much like Chuck Bartowski. There's nothing threatening or intimidating about him. He's just a good fun guy, great sense of humor, and very much a geek (not tripping over people or bumbling but the cool geeks we’ve become accustomed to in fiction, spouting off random facts about pop culture, maybe a film nut, into science fiction etc). People know he's smart and driven, great reporter etc. But completely the opposite of Superman.

Superman is fast, powerful and strong. He's intimidating, slightly mysterious, noble, not overly talkative, he's a good cop, doing his job to keep everyone safe. It's clark's heroic best, authoritative and commanding, but also kind and gentle to those in need.

That's how i see it anyway.
 
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I don't think Clark Kent must be a geek idiot. He must not be confident and cool either, because this are characteristics of Superman, and they must be pretty different.

Clark Kent must be kind, intelligent, but shy and somewhat clumsy.
 
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I don't think Clark Kent must be a geek idiot. He must not be confident and cool either, because this are characteristics of Superman, and they must be pretty different.

Clark Kent must be kind, intelligent, but shy and somewhat clumsy.


I think there's a distinct difference between modern cool geek, ala Chuck Bartowski, and bumbling idiot nerd, ala Chris Reeve clark. I'm all for the former but not the later.

The issue with shy and reserved, is that it works well as long as you dont' show the character much. But how do you show his personality and interactions with the DP staff if he's always quite and in a corner. I much prefer the modern geek approach, he can be fun, interesting, insightful, while still remaining non-intimidating or authoritative. He's a bit goofy but more so in his personality than in him tripping over stuff constantly. It just fleshes out his personality in my opinion while giving him a very distinct vibe from Superman. Plus having Jimmy as a geek fanboy he and clark would bond really well and have some great interactions. Also as a modern geek he's allowed to be smart and insightful. He's not bumbling his way through conversations.

I think he'd something of a "words-smith" since he is a writer by profession. You could also play a lot with the old school Superman's practical jokester side but let him do stuff as Clark.
 
I'm actually getting tired of people referring to him as Kal-El. He doesn't go by that name because he wasn't raised with that as his name. He's Clark. Plain and simple.

and selection 1 is the way I see it.

Actually that varies according to what his history is. On Pre-Crisis Earth-One where he had used memory devices and such, it was perfectly legitimate to call him Kal or Clark. It also varies with the person-of course his parents should call him Clark. I always felt Miller had Batman call him Clark out of contempt to be honest.
 
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I think there's a distinct difference between modern cool geek, ala Chuck Bartowski, and bumbling idiot nerd, ala Chris Reeve clark. I'm all for the former but not the later.

The issue with shy and reserved, is that it works well as long as you dont' show the character much. But how do you show his personality and interactions with the DP staff if he's always quite and in a corner. I much prefer the modern geek approach, he can be fun, interesting, insightful, while still remaining non-intimidating or authoritative. He's a bit goofy but more so in his personality than in him tripping over stuff constantly. It just fleshes out his personality in my opinion while giving him a very distinct vibe from Superman. Plus having Jimmy as a geek fanboy he and clark would bond really well and have some great interactions. Also as a modern geek he's allowed to be smart and insightful. He's not bumbling his way through conversations.

I think he'd something of a "words-smith" since he is a writer by profession. You could also play a lot with the old school Superman's practical jokester side but let him do stuff as Clark.

That...would be...:awesome:
 
I want Superman to be what all small town kids from divorced/dysfunctional families would be if they had those kind of powers. Always kind of wondering if he's doing the right thing, if he fits in, if people like him or just the stuff he can do, trying to help people feel accepted even when he doesn't completely, etc.

Clark should be nerdy, maybe even a sci-fi geek, and a little bumbling but not cartoonish.

Lex. I want a politically ambitious Lex that is a successful businessman. Having money and broads (just short of the kind of ladies that guy from Gotham gets) isn't enough, he wants the world, like James Bond. But he doesn't want to earn it like Bond does. Though he must have stolen someone's idea at the beginning of his career to get him where he is, and have lied/cheated/stolen all the way up and through the day the movie opens to be where he is.

Lois should be as ambitious as Lex but with scruples and a great set of...reporting skills. I want a Lois that I would check out, but one that's not so hot that I'd let my wife see. Kal-El should fall for her because of looks, brains, and her drive.
 
I want Clark Kent from the Fleischer cartoons.
 
People actually get bothered by other people daring to call clark by his birth name, the one thats been used commonly in the comics?

Hahahahahahahah! Only on the internet.

But seriously...I'd rather see a bumbling geek than no discernable difference between clark and superman. Sam Raimi barely highlighted the difference between spider-man and peter parker, whereas nolan was able to portray a playboy, a crimefighter, and someone in between.
 
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Daily Planet Clark: Not really a clutz or a bumbler. More that he's a nice guy, a great reporter, but bit of stiff. A guy you'd probably have an ok time having a chat with around the water-cooler, but the last person you'd expect to be an awesome alien from another world, dynamic superhero, and inspirational icon. He's just that guy. That dude from the office. He's just Clark. But also as Clark he seeks truth so that he can bring justice as Superman.

Superman: Basically if you're someone whose been kidnapped and he comes breaking through the wall you're at once in awe of his power but also immediately feel like everything's going to be ok. I'm thinking along the lines of how Byrne made him look and how Chris played him. Byrne drew a Superman who looked like he could snap the Terminator with his pinky but still this approachable and friendly dude. Check out the bit where he captures the thief who steals the punk-rock girls purse. But at the same also think about the steel in Reeve's eyes when he's flying after the missle or saying "You diseased maniac. I'll mold this box into your prison bars!" This is a man who seeks justice and will fight to his dying breath to save a life. By the same token he has a warmth and caring that is readily obvious to anyone.

Clark Kent/Kal-El: On the Kent farm he's pretty relaxed, the weight of the world is off his shoulders for a bit. Likely prone to being nostalgic for simpler times. This is where his sense of humor comes out. Now, if we're coming in further down the line and he's married to Lois then it's being around her at home where he can let go of his personas. Ultimately he's both men and neither of them.

In the Fortress he's more Kal-El. Contemplative, sometimes solumn. Trying to both understand and preserve the memory of a entire world that died but gave him the fighting chance to live. I always see it as someone who was born in the U.S. but is aware that their roots lay in another culture and they engage with that culture but they're always going to be seeing it from the point of view of someone having been raised here. Superman doesn't dismiss his Kryptonian heritage (which is always an issue I had with Byrne's take) but he does look at it from a human point of view.
 
Multiple personality disorder refers to someone who unknowingly (or unwillingly) switches from one distinct personality to another because of mental and emotional problems.

Superman switches to different and distinct personalities in a willing and knowing attempt to confuse and mislead others to his true idenity, much as an undercover policeman or spy.

I see him as having one "personality" - Clark Kent (because that is how he was raised by the Kents since he was a baby)...and a seperate "persona" - Superman (because that's what he discovers his physical abilities can let him become.

Kal-El isn't a personality....it's a name and racial heritage connection to his ancestors.

Agreed.
 
I don't know if this is supposed to just be a Superman character portrayal thread, but I thought I'd post up some of my scattered thoughts on various characters in the Superman universe:

SUPERMAN
For me, the magic ingredient in Clark Kent that makes Superman the greatest superhero of all time isn't the "Super" part. It's not his Kryptonian heritage or the amazing powers it gives him. It's the "man" part. His humble, honest, loving upbringing with the Kents instilled in him unshakeable values of decency and kindness, and a desire to use his powers selflessly, to help others. Despite all his powers, despite being an alien, Superman to me is the quintessential symbol of the best in humanity.

He's also an American icon. That's not to say he's not a global hero, but even as a non-American myself, I recognise Superman as being as American as apple pie. I know both sides of the political fence have tried to claim him as their own, but Superman cannot be a Conservative or Liberal icon. He has to be something bigger than that. This is the story of an alien from another world who was raised in the American heartlands and embraced in the big city, created by the children of immigrants. He first appeared at a time of recession and crippling financial woe, and helped inspire the country and remind them of all the great values their country could stand for.

In terms of his personality, I'm of the opinion that Clark Kent is the real person, and Superman is the disguise. Clark Kent is a polite, honest, Southern farm-boy whose bright intellect has landed him a job in the rude, crime-ridden big city. He's a fish out of water, and is a bit awkward and clumsy, but he's not putting on the act of a frail, wimpy nerd like in the Donner films. He's a big man, and looks it - with the right posture, and enough clothing coverage, muscle can very easily be mistaken for fat. And he's not a pushover. He's principled, and he'll stand up for what's right. Some visual obscurement aside, he's the Clark that was raised on Smallville by Ma and Pa Kent, and his optimism and unshakeable morality should lift and inspire the Daily Planet in a microcosm of how Superman lifts and inspires Metropolis. As a journalist and as a man, Clark Kent is a kind of hero in his own right, even without his alter ego.

Not that the alter ego isn't important. Clark Kent is an ordinary man with doubts and anxieties, but as Superman he casts them aside, as Superman must be unswayable, unimpeachable in his goodness. He is Clark's love letter to humanity, to everything he believes our spirit is capable of. Our world gave him a home, gave him a family, gave him a life, when he had nothing. Superman is the gift he wants to give back, to all of us. He is a creation to inspire, to make Metropolis and the world it represents look up and see something bigger than its own petty personal issues. He is a rallying figure, someone who has all these gifts and wants to share them, someone without flaws or hidden agendas, someone who will never give up, who will never let us down. Batman wants to protect the innocent by stamping down on crime and bringing criminals to justice, but Superman wants a world where crime is no longer necessary. He sees the good in everyone, even Lex Luthor. He doesn't just want to save people: he wants us to see him saving people, and lift ourselves up and follow his example.

I'll write up more if it occurs to me. More thoughts on other characters to follow.
 
LOIS LANE
Something that I'd like to see represented more in this film than we've seen in previous films - if you have an ensemble cast situated primarily in a newsroom, why not take advantage of this and tell a story that puts some focus on the power of the press, and the way the media can be a force for good?

In the Donner film, Lois Lane was something of a 40s throwback, the "by golly I'm gonna get a story!" whizzkid darting off on adventures. This time round, perhaps the influences should be more recent. Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward from All the President's Men, or more recently Cal Mcaffrey from State of Play, could be the kind of figures Lois Lane takes inspiration from. Someone who will doggedly pursue the truth, someone fighting to uncover the conspiracy when every door is closing in their face, even when their life is in danger. Someone who believes in the truth, and the importance of publishing it rather than pushing a partisan agenda or covering the latest celebrity gossip. I for one want to see a major plot strand in the film involve a major story The Daily Planet need to get to the bottom of and share with the world. Lois Lane getting this published should be a major plot point rather than a cute "spinning front page" epilogue to all the stuff Superman did single-handedly. Lois should serve a bigger role in the story than being Superman's love interest.

Not that the love factor isn't important. I don't think that Lois should disregard Clark and fawn over Superman like a fan girl. She may be dismissive of Clark at first, but if so she should also be suspicious of Superman at first. And she should warm to both, grow to love both equally, and so be torn between two men, unaware they're the same person.
 
LEX LUTHOR
I'm open to him being either a Machiavellian business tycoon, or a mad scientist supervillain, as I don't think either portrayal has really been done full justice on the screen before. Perhaps - tying into my previous post - he starts out as beloved CEO of Lexcorp, but it's the dogged, determined journalism of the Daily Planet and Lois Lane in particular that ultimately brings him down and has him recast as a feared and hated villain in future films.

But whatever incarnation he's in, there are certain qualities I want to see. Lex Luthor thinks he's the hero. None of this Gene Hackman "I'm so evil, the greatest criminal mind in the world, BWAHAHAHA!" stuff. He sees himself as Prometheus, stealing fire from the gods and bringing it down to man. He thinks that if only he can get rid of Superman then he can cure cancer and end world hunger and be the adored leader of a utopia of scientific future-people. But that's not true. He's incredibly intelligent, a genius even, but he's not as smart as he thinks he is. His own deficiencies, his own deeply personal shortcomings and inadequacies, mean that no amount of praise, no amount of validation, no amount of recognition can ever be enough for him. He needs something to blame his inability to be as great as he wants to be on, and so everything is Superman's fault. If it wasn't Superman, it would be someone or something else. There has to be an enemy, other than himself.

In a lot of ways, Lex is a classic racist. He says we can't trust Superman because he's not one of us, he's something inhuman. He's an outsider, and only he is brave and clear-sighted enough to stand against him as a self-appointed champion of humanity. And the tragedy of it is that Superman is a better human than Luthor can ever be.

But it's important we see the parallels between Luthor and Kent. Both had humble beginnings, raised in Smallville. But while Clark had the unconditional love of the Kents, Luthor had the cruelty and the constant criticism of his father. While Clark wears his identity proudly - be it his Smallville upbringing as Clark, or his Kryptonian heritage as Superman - Luthor is ashamed of where he came from, and has spent his adult life trying to erase that part of himself, twisting and coiling himself into this grand vision of transcendant genius that he feels he should be.

Superman can fly through space and into the stars, but comes down to Earth to walk among us. Lex Luthor is an ordinary man, but builds the highest skyscraper in Metropolis and locks himself in it like an ivory tower to keep himself separated from the unwashed masses. He is someone that, like Superman, has great power, but unlike Superman, doesn't want to share it. He wants it all for himself. He wants the adoration and love that Superman gets, but without realising that he needs to give just as much back for it to work.

Look at how Luthor has evolved throughout history, and you can see in his various incarnations what he stands for. In the era of the atom bomb, he was the irresponsible scientist abusing advances in technology. In the era of "greed is good" and yuppie culture, he was the amoral representative of big business. In the era of an unpopular war and an even more unpopular Government, he was President of the United States. And now, he embodies all our own prejudices and shortcomings. Just as Superman represents the best in humanity, Lex Luthor represents the worst - everything in us that is selfish and petty and small.
 
JIMMY OLSEN
He doesn't need to be a dweeb or a putz. I get a bit of an Aaron Paul in Breaking Bad vibe - only without the meth-head element, of course. Someone who's young, who's hip, who's cool. Someone that Superman might actually like to call his pal.

PERRY WHITE
I think there could be some scope to explore his character more than has been done in past films. Here is someone who has worked in the Daily Planet all his life - from delivery boy in his youth to editor-in-chief as an old man. This place is in his blood, it is how he defines himself. But now the print market is dying, and journalism is shifting to television and now the internet. He's a man without a purpose, and possibly soon without a home, who is rounding up this team of journalists with the same crazy, outdated ideas of a newspaper that stands for something that he has. There's a bit of tragedy in his story, I think, as you get the sense that when the Daily Planet dies, so does he.

MA KENT
To me she could be the real hero of the whole saga. Think of how different things could have been for the world if Superman landed anywhere else, if anyone other than the Kents found him. Here is someone who found a baby in a field, in a spaceship, but who unquestioningly loved that baby as her own, raised him as her son. That suggests to me an incredible, strong woman, and someone who is a major influence on Clark and the man he has grown into. In moments of doubt, Ma Kent is who Superman turns to for help.
 
BRAINIAC
If Lex Luthor embodies all the bad things about humanity, then Brainiac is the other side of the coin, the antithesis to the other half of who Superman is. Brainiac is the alien who sees humanity and hates it, who hates us for our freedom and our individuality. He is someone who wants to collect our information, sample our culture like it was a growth in a test tube, then destroy us all as if we were nothing more than data that is not to be shared.
 
I think there's a distinct difference between modern cool geek, ala Chuck Bartowski, and bumbling idiot nerd, ala Chris Reeve clark. I'm all for the former but not the later.

The issue with shy and reserved, is that it works well as long as you dont' show the character much. But how do you show his personality and interactions with the DP staff if he's always quite and in a corner. I much prefer the modern geek approach, he can be fun, interesting, insightful, while still remaining non-intimidating or authoritative. He's a bit goofy but more so in his personality than in him tripping over stuff constantly. It just fleshes out his personality in my opinion while giving him a very distinct vibe from Superman. Plus having Jimmy as a geek fanboy he and clark would bond really well and have some great interactions. Also as a modern geek he's allowed to be smart and insightful. He's not bumbling his way through conversations.

I think he'd something of a "words-smith" since he is a writer by profession. You could also play a lot with the old school Superman's practical jokester side but let him do stuff as Clark.
That's pretty much how I see it as well. :up:
 
I want him to be more like he is in Superman TAS
 
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