Friday, August 22, 2008

Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

Yesterday, I was standing somewhere waiting for a ride, and I started making a list in my head. A list of comic book movie wishes. Like, if I could make a list of comic book movie-related wishes, and they could all come true, what would they be? I'd ask for a Nolan Batman movie with the Riddler in it. Maybe a Fantastic Four reboot (and quick). Possibly an Ed Solomon-scripted Men in Black sequel. Above all, I'd definitely want another live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, the exact style of the first movie, that maybe more directly adapts the early seasons of the original animated series.

But the first wish that popped into my head, and was the thought that prompted the list to begin with, was that I wished there would be a direct Bryan Singer-directed sequel to 2006's Superman Returns. I don't think anyone anticipated a movie like this as the culmination of two decades of false starts and aborted attempts to bring Superman back to the big screen. Some people didn't like it, and they all had their own different issues with it. I was thrown by it, but only because it seemed like it was setting something up that we wouldn't get to until its hypothetical sequel(s). I'd had a similar reaction to Singer's X-Men, which he then followed up with the really awesome X2. So I wasn't too worried about it, and I actually like Superman Returns a lot. In the past year or so, there have been numerous worrisome rumors about Singer possibly not getting to do his follow-up (announced in early 2006 and referred to tentatively as "The Man of Steel"). The shooting date kept getting pushed back while Singer worked on other movies. In October 2007, his two writers actually left the project. And since then, there have been more rumblings that the franchise might get rebooted. The talk would never get too far, but it always troubled me that I never heard any quotes from Singer himself about what was happening. Last month, Warners supposedly started taking pitches from new writers for the Superman sequel. As far as anyone knew, this didn't mean Singer was necessarily losing the franchise, and Brandon Routh was still the official Superman.

Today we got confirmation from Warner Brothers that Superman is getting rebooted. Studio exec Jeff Robinov gave a whole quote explaining about how they're going to do like Marvel and introduce solo movies for each DC hero with the eventual intent of putting them all together in a Justice League movie, and that all the heroes will be dark and brooding like The Dark Knight. He elaborated, proving even further that he had no idea what he was talking about.

This really hurts me. I was emotionally invested in Superman Returns, and it looks like I'm never going to find out where it was going. I want to hear from Bryan Singer already. Why the fuck is Man of Steel dead?


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