By this point just about everybody knows a new Superman movie is coming. Actors have been cast (Kevin Costner? really?) and the script has been written. Supposedly a full on reboot.
Which is fine with me. Superman Returns was quite a lackluster movie to me. It felt more like a retread than a sequel, trying to sum up the first four Christopher Reeve films into one long film. Kevin Spacey did a good job as Lex Luthor but otherwise it was not that great.
How to make the new film good? I’ve been throwing these ideas around for a good long while now and have come up with a checklist on how to make The Man of Steel an actual good movie.
Fuck Lois Lane
Not literally (although Amy Adams is quite fetching) but push her to the background. Same with Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Ma and Pa Kent, Lana Lang, and the rest of the supporting cast we all know.
We get that Superman is “human” because of his supporting cast. He loves Lois, Jimmy Olsen is his “pal”, and he learned how to be a hero from Ma and Pa. We know he learns of his Kryptonian heritage from Jor-el and his mother.
Don’t push the supporting cast into the limelight. Superman has been around for near 80 years, I’m pretty sure most people get his supporting cast by now.
Lex Luthor Is Done
Lex is Superman’s arch-enemy. He is the one who Supes is always fighting against, and that’s the problem.
Out of five movies there has been only one movie where Lex wasn’t the big bad behind everything. Lex’s time in the spotlight is done. Bring on a different villain already.
And as much as everyone loves saying “KNEEL BEFORE ZOD”, how about we don’t? What if Zod takes a vacation this round?
A new villain is needed and needed badly. But who? Brainiac? Metallo? Doomsday?
Doomsday would be awesome and leads into…
More Punching, Less Feelings
Supes is a massively overpowered alien who has empathy for the human race. We understand that quite well. It’s because we understand that so well that we don’t need the exposition at all. Set up the villain and the plot in the first 30-45 minutes and then go straight for the massive brawl. Make Supes an action movie.
We know he can fight, we know he can do things “beyond mortal men”. SHOW US! Have Supes punch a villain into orbit, melt a mech into slag with his heat vision, figure out where the nuke is with his x-ray vision, and fly faster than the sound barrier to ram a bad guy into the side of a mountain.
Use his powers in fight instead of figuring out what color Lois’ panties are. (Yes, that did happen in a Reeve film.)
We Know Superman
As stated, Supes has been around for near 80 years. We know him. Those who aren’t up on him know him. He is very recognizable.
As such we know his origin as well. One of the worst things to ever happen in comics was the Clone Saga in the Spider-Man titles back in the 90s. Beyond the whole thing itself was when Ben Reilly took over as Spider-Man.
What was so bad about it? That every issue opened with him waxing poetic about his origin. “I’m Ben Reilly, really Peter Parker. I’m a clone, or maybe not. EMO!” That shit took up the whole front page of every issue in that era. It was annoying.
Superman’s origin is quite clear. “Last survivor of the planet Krypton sent to Earth, has godlike powers, fights for truth and justice.” (The “American Way” has been dropped.) We don’t need his origin told again in a film. Skip it and get to the action.
Hardbound Graphic Novel
Simple checklist here:
1. Fuck the supporting cast. Have them, but put them in the background.
2. Stop with the origin bullshit. We know it already.
3. Give us a new villain. Lex Luthor is over and Zod is too obvious.
4. More action, less talking.
Which movie would you rather see:
A: A film about a man from the stars. We watch him grow up and learn how to be human. He garners godlike powers and decides to use them for good, all the while hiding out as a weak reporter who stumbles into everything while trying to win the love of his fellow reporter who happens to be a hardass bitch. Lex Luthor, an evil (human) businessman, tries to kill Superman and declare Metropolis as his own. Superman has to outwit Luthor to save the day.
B: Superman has to stop an overpowered villain who has a master plan to take over/destroy the Earth. Superman has one day to stop the villain by using all of his powers and might in a race to save Earth. Leaving behind his family, friends, and the life he knows as Clark Kent Superman immerses himself in the role of protector he has taken in an action packed film.
My money would go to B.