You Can't Believe A Man Can Fly In Bullet-Time

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Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the rumor that the Wachowskis may be rebooting the Superman movie franchise! And apparently, that’s a lot of people’s brand of cinematic kryptonite.

The problem for some people isn’t necessarily the involvement of the Wachowskis, but the idea of rebooting Superman’s movie career at all:

Evlsushi: “lease stop making Superman movies. There are far more interesting franchises to work with right now. I’m tired of revamping a series, having it bomb and trying to start it again (Hulk, much?). While I think that Superman Returns wasn’t as bad as people say it was, this franchise needs a break. It doesn’t really connect with today’s audience like it once did. Superman never went through a legitimate maturation that’s needed with older superhero icons. I’m speaking, of course, about the film and television adaptions. I think that there was a lot of promise in a show like Smallville, but that show got so far off track, it’s not even funny. They need to make Superman more relateable and sympathetic character. Right now he’s still a douche with too many powers and no real issues.”

Trae: “Here’s the thing — it’s impossible to make a *good* Superman movie... because it’s Superman. Either the movie will be Okay, or it will be terrible. Those are your two options. The problem is the character lacks the depth required to delve into a darker plot while still being true to the source material on any level.”

AngryEddy: “I’m falling into a dangerous Opinion Trap here, but I have to disagree that a “good” Superman movie cannot be made. In the right hands, I can easily picture a Superman movie that uses his source material to add a slightly rough edge to the film without making an emo mockery of the Man of Steel.”

NotArthurPDragon: “So basically unless a character is ‘dark’ [they] can’t be explored in an interesting manner? That’s genius. And by ‘genius’ I mean narrow-minded if not right flat out stupid.”

TheSuperBrando: “Your post perfectly sums up the popular thinking in modern American culture. But I think it’s wrong. Superman shows us our ideals, and how they could exist in the real world. Superman shows how someone can inspire us to be better people while living in a nasty world. There are still some people in the world who are virtuous and serving as inspiration to the rest of us. Mother Tereasa and MLK are two that immediately come to mind; people who held firmly to their virtues and ideals and inspired the world to be better. It’s just too bad that modern American pop culture is too blinded by the anti-hero. You have to BE evil to FIGHT evil. Virtues are lies. Ideals are false. It’s just a shame that so many people believe that garbage, and because of that people think Superman has to become dark to be in a movie.”

daveNYC: “It’s one thing to inspire people to be better, it’s another to actually be the representation of all that is ideal. The problem with Superman movies isn’t that the character isn’t dark, it’s that the character is shown to be perfectly (and unrealisticly) good and pure. Look at Superman Returns, despite knowing that he managed to knock up Lois, because of the way the character was done, it’s hard to imagine him actually having sex. It’s not that he’s too good, it’s that he’s not even human anymore.”


Of course, for others, it is the Wachowskis that we have to worry about:

ShadowBottle: “I bet the first one they do will be BAD ASS! Of course all the subsequent superman movies they make afterward will completely invalidate the one bad ass one they make.”

cletar: “The Wachowskis? Seriously? They’ll just churn it into suck chowder. It’ll make people beg for the mediocrity of ‘Superman Returns.’ Let Nolan do one. Film Dark Night Returns, and let Batman beat the crap out of him. That at least would be different. Or, make it take place in the 1940s. Or maybe the 1960s. Give it a vintage feel. Explore what a world with a Superman would be like. Don’t try to update it. Please, no more origin. Every moviegoer on Earth knows who Superman is. We don’t need to see him learning to leap over barns.”

SundaySunday: “How about a Coen Brothers’ Superman where a quiet, misunderstood P. I. enlists the help of the real Superman to futilely try to dissuade George Reeves from committing suicide? Or a Farrely Brothers’ Superman, where a world-weary and universally rejected Clark Kent is forced to live in a trailer park and eat dog food while he slowly becomes infatuated with the property manager’s daughter?”

Good to see SundaySunday here again in tidy attire and with such good ideas; admit it. You’d kill to see a Coen Brothers Superman movie. Or, at least, you would if you weren’t commenter Counterglow, who seems to have a bug up his/her ass about superhero movies in general:

“When did science fiction degenerate to the level of “comic book of the week”? There’s so many rocking-good stories to tell, and all we’re seeing is re-boots of pulp fiction as deep as a puddle. Enough of this bullshit, already.


Thankfully, Rasselas has the right idea:

Haven’t Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely recently published fairly detailed storyboards for the ultimate Superman movie? That was a comic book? Seriously?


Dear Warner Bros., listen to this man. He is correct.

Alternatively, go back to what I said six months ago, and listen to me. And, please? Don’t let the Wachowskis anywhere near Clark. I don’t think he’s survive the experience.


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There are two problems with Superman movies and they are:

Problem 1: Nobody seems to know how to handle Superman powers properly. Because SUperman is supposed to be a god-like being, every director seems to be tempted to make him do something completly stupid that blows out the minimum realism that a movie needs to be succesful.

For example, a moviegoer can accept that Superman can fly, shoot laser for his eyes, be super-trong, super-fast and near-invincible. But no moviegoer will accept he can reverse time back by making the planet turn the other way around (Superman 1) or that he can graps wind (Superman 3).

Problem 2: Superman needs a real villain. A villain that can really threaten him without having the need for kryptonite. Because if there is no danger, there is no reason for the viewer to sympathize with the character. And if there is no surprise (as with the kryptonite), the viewer will just get up and quit.

So, for a Supes movie to be succesful, you need a good villain (no more Luthor) and you need to keep his powers to the basic stuff (Streght, speed, invulnerability, fly, lasers).