View Full Version : The Future of the Superman Film Franchise
08-11-2003, 12:16 PM
OK, this isn't about casting or directing, really. It's more about if/when Superman returns to the silver screen, what direction they should take the character in.
I'm a fan of a couple of approaches. One I like is the idea of having a single, competent director doing a life story trilogy of Superman films. When I say this, I don't mean, after Part III, there's no more Superman movies. Just that that particular version would be done and someone else could re-imagine Superman for the next generation.
I don't see any Superman film going into production until the WB tv series SMALLVILLE has wrapped up its run in a couple seasons ... Clark can't stay in Smallville indefinitely and I don't see the series lasting past his high school graduation. Given that, I'd say we won't see a new Superman film until ... hmmm ... 2006 at the earliest and 2008 (Superman's 70th birthday) at the latest.
For the single-director-lifestory-trilogy idea, you'd have to find one talented and dedicated person willing to give up years of his/her professional life to make the trilogy come to life and that's a very tall order. Not impossible, but very difficult. I wonder if PETER JACKSON, after he recovers from the inevitable LORD OF THE RINGS burnout, would be interested in doing a completely different franchise. Pipe dream, probably.
Anyway, here's how I'd break down a lifestory trilogy ...
Part I - The Origin. From Krypton to Smallville to Metropolis. Krypton could be shown in flashbacks as opposed to taking up valuable time at the beginning. Lex Luthor the main villian. Primary focus on Clark Kent as a man with the powers of a god.
Part II - The Reign. 10 years later, Superman at the peak of his career. Secondary characters such as Supergirl and Superboy and Steel could have smaller roles. Main villian would be Brainiac. Perfectly balancing the human and superhuman aspects of the character.
Part III - The End. In the future, 10-15 years from the end of Part II. Darker in tone and ominous, Superman is cold and aloof, no longer mingling with the people of Earth, until they are about to be invaded. Main villian would be Darkseid. Primary focus would be on Kal-El as an alien trying to deal with his inner humanity. Don't worry, it would end on a positive note.
What do you think?
[This message has been edited by FireStormTrooper (edited 08-11-2003).]
08-11-2003, 09:32 PM
I agree with you about dates, I'm 29 and I have a new power now.. patience, I'm waiting since 1993, I can wait a couple of years when Marvel leave the "Silver Screen" with all its heroes.
About the director, I have my own personal favorite, but is too radical to the franchise... Baz Luhrmann (the guy from Moulin Rouge, Romeo+Juliet and now Alexander the Great), I can even stand DiCaprio in the main role... who knows
About your trilogy, I can see why the second parts are always weak, is the weak link in you dreamed production (wich is awesome anyway!), maybe Brainiac could be some kind of bridge between Lex and Darkseid, an AI perhaps, the first in the Universe, created by Lexcorp with kriptonian technology (!) used to destroy New Genesis (is that the name in English?) so, the next step for Darkseid (induced by Lex) is Earth... actually Superman. Brainiac began to destroy places on Earth, everybody blame Superman (some kind of mind trick) Superman fight against Brainiac in a titanic struggle, Superman defeat Brainiac, but he made the Auto-Exiliate stuff and movie end... Just an idea....
With the new face (after 1986 I mean) of Lex Luthor, I prefer Luthor as the bad guy, even over Darkseid.
08-11-2003, 09:40 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by villachica:
<B>used to destroy New Genesis (is that the name in English?)
The name of what?
08-12-2003, 09:26 AM
the name of the twin planet of Darkseid
08-12-2003, 11:23 AM
Apokolips is the bad planet. It has Darkseid and Kalibak and etc., and evil flames shooting out of it.
New Genesis is a completely separate planet, and it's homeworld of Highfather and Mr. Miracle and such.
08-13-2003, 02:23 PM
Basically what'd I want to see (in this approach anyway) would be all aspects of the character's persona looked at dramatically while still giving the audience the action and adventure it would be looking for.
Part I would be totally focused on Clark Kent, who grew up in Kansas of America only to learn he was the sole survivor of an entire alien civilization. Covers his move cross-country to Metropolis (read : NYC) and his struggles to be compete in the one area where he is on the same level as everyone else : professional journalism. Perry White should always be on Kent's case, riding the rookie to do better and the threat of losing his job should never be far from Kent's mind. I'm not saying turn White into J. Jonah Jameson and make Kent into Peter Parker but that their relationship should not start out all peaches and cream. Kent should be criticized and mocked by his peers for being from a small-town (who HASN'T held a job where their colleagues didn't particularly care for them?). Kent should struggle with the burdens that leading his new double life has placed on him.
And then there's Lois. From firsthand experience, I can tell you that intra-office relationships can be murder on the nerves. And highly distracting as well. Lois should be somewhat unattainable to Clark. I'd prefer it if Lois was a glamorous anchorwoman or TV reporter working for Morgan Edge's national news network, a celebrity of sorts in her own right, instantly recognizable on the tube every night or every other night, if on assignment. She's way out of Clark's league, just as Superman is hopelessly out of hers (C'mon, we all know that Clark ends up with Diana when all is said and done).
The tone of the movie should be a natural but distinct evolution of what SMALLVILLE is going through now, imho.
08-16-2003, 01:37 PM
Just looking at that fanfeed today about Rater reminded me that the fact Warner is so keen on a franchise it could kill any good movie getting made. Not every film can be LotR or Matrix. You gotta first make a good movie with a godo director and good cast. Plus Warner inists on a big name actor. Right off the Bat you're commiting them to three films and you don't know if the first one will work at all. Then you also got the fact that you're using an icon the entire world knows. Darn it, just make a good movie first, then make a franchise outta it.
Oh and I think we need to shoot John Peters. Or at least mame him or stand him on an island somewhere.
Hey, odd idea... what about starting with a Smallville movie? Say, Smallville: Birth of Superman. Use the same cast and have him finally put on the suit. Unfortunatley, this would likley mean the end of the TV show, so it would likley not work too well.
08-19-2003, 04:53 PM
Yeah, I'd want any new Superman movie to be its own entity, not an extension of a television series. Superman is bigger than any one of his Hollywood endeavors. But you are right on one score : SMALLVILLE must conclude its series run before any new Superman film is released, so I'm guessing we won't see a new Supes flick for at least a few years ... Summer 2008, anyone?
08-19-2003, 05:50 PM
Why 2008? Clark leaves Smallville almost immediatly after his senior year, and he's going into 11th grade now, so... (I'm sure you can put the pieces together from here).
08-21-2003, 05:09 PM
I figured 2008 cuz its Superman's 70th annivarsary. WB might try to capitalize on that momentum. Plus, hopefully the moronic Jon Peters will no longer be in charge of the Superman franchise by then.
09-04-2003, 03:28 PM
Hey, what comic book storylines would make for good loose translations as the basis for the next Superman movie?
The Death of Superman (1992) = Not a fan of this idea. I thought that all this was was one giant action fight with very little in the way of plot or characterization.
Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite (1990) = Supes loses his powers thanks to Luthor and Mxy and struggles to get them back while proposing to Lois Lane. Could work, but people like to see Supes WITH his powers.
The Man of Steel (1986) = The revamp of Superman's origin. Substitute Metallo for Bizarro and cut out Batman's appearance and it could work as a new origin movie.
any others that would make good?
There're far too many story lines concerning the origins of superhero's going around at the moment. I'd prefer a full on asulthood of superman approach. Probably leaning more towards a fifth sequal of the old movies... only not.
As for crimson kryptonite storyline. I'd much rather see a superman with powers for the first movie. A more beat-em-up actiony thing instead of a movie delving deeper into Superman's non-physica battles. At least for the first new movie anyway. Maybe the Crimson Kryptonite or Doomsday storyline would make a good sequal though.
09-05-2003, 07:24 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jj:
There're far too many story lines concerning the origins of superhero's going around at the moment. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I totaly agree with you on this. And there are way too many young Clark Kent stories out there. Enough already.
I have to heartily agree with a new Superman for a new generation. Go with the electromagnetic Superman BLUE/Man of Tomorrow version. Industrial Light & Magic would do wonders with the fx... the crackling energy..the glowing skin...
I also agree with the enough of the wet-behind-the-ears-barely-out-of-his-teens Superman.It is SuperMAN.
In a decade or so, bring back old Superman with his cape, booties & briefs. Meantime, talk about opportunities for character development....
(No Superman RED though. Carried a good idea too far).
10-07-2003, 06:44 PM
Do we really need another Superman movie? I thought Donner did it right the first run around. I'm starting to question whether another Superman should even happen. Maybe that's why it's been taking so long to happen.
10-08-2003, 03:11 PM
I'm kinda content with SMALLVILLE tv series on the WB network and with the animated JUSTICE LEAGUE tv series on the Cartoon network. Most comic book characters are never seen onscreen, but Supes is regularly in live-action and animated form. I can wait till SMALLVILLE wraps up in a few years before I start yearning for another major motion picture starring Superman. Count your blessings, super-fans. We're lucky enough as it is.
10-08-2003, 03:34 PM
I feel the same way. We get enough of Supes with Smallville. When the show goes off the air I'll be ready for a new Superman movie, and hopefully by then we'll have a real candidate for Superman instead of the actors I've heard mentioned for the part before.
Also, when they finally do another Superman flick, I don't want to see an origin story. Everyone knows his origin, just skip it. If the new film is successful then they could tell his origin in the sequel and use more of the characters from the comics like Braniac and Eradicator. I just think trying to do an origin story when introducing a new Superman is basically remaking the 70's movie.
10-09-2003, 03:48 PM
It is, but at the same time it's a new story with new actors playing updated versions of the characters. If you don't start with the origin, where do you start? It could get pretty messy. It could be hugely successful. Maybe they could start with his first day of work at the Daily Planet.
They just have to find a way to introduce all the characters effectively and an origin is the most effective way.
But I know what you're saying. It's been done.
I would also agree that a new Superman film could easily skip his origins and focus on something different. If Superman has often been compared to Christianity, then those with any knowledge of Christianity would know that 2 of the Gospels start straight with the adult life of Jesus and focus on different aspects to the other two. Now a new Superman film could simply focus on something different instead of telling the same familiar story. It wouldn't have to contradict Smallville, or even any other Superman film by omitting the origin. It would simply have a different focus on different events, and perhaps even focus on the death of Superman for a change.
And I personally would prefer to see a continuation of Smallville on the big screen with Tom Welling in the title role. He would be immediately accepted, the origin would already be dealt with, and you could focus on telling the story without the distraction of trying to make you accept a new actor. There could even be flashbacks to the series if necessary.
Meoww! Send in the clowns!
10-10-2003, 11:13 AM
I think after SMALLVILLE wraps up in a couple seasons, they won't go with a continuation of that TV continuity. For a couple of reasons. One, it'd be like STAR TREK GENERATIONS. Only fans of the show would really turn out and folks who like the character of Superman but dislike the show of SMALLVILLE (believe me, there are a LOT of them) would be dis-inclined to see or promote via positive word-of-mouth.
Two, Tom Welling. He never read a single Superman comic book growing up and has serious acting aspirations. He does not want to be typecast or fall victim to the so-called "Superman Curse" (i.e. something bad happens to actors who play Superman ... or their careers just fizzle post-Man of Steel). He's dabbling in small movie roles now and will probably go movies full-time when SMALLVILLE concludes. Anyway, after x - amount of years playing Clark Kent, he'll want to do something different to show his acting chops.
I'd want a brand new take on Superman (but not too-extreme makeovers like Superman Blue) for the next movie. Origin is optional or can be told through flashbacks thoughout the movie. Lex Luthor can stick around, pulling the strings behind the scenes, manipulating other villians like Metallo or Bizarro or even Brainiac (not Darkseid, tho : even Luthor would be wary of the Lord of Apokolips, who would have to be the main baddie in any movie with him in it).
10-10-2003, 10:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by FireStormTrooper:
Two, Tom Welling. He never read a single Superman comic book growing up and has serious acting aspirations. He does not want to be typecast or fall victim to the so-called "Superman Curse" (i.e. something bad happens to actors who play Superman ... or their careers just fizzle post-Man of Steel). He's dabbling in small movie roles now and will probably go movies full-time when SMALLVILLE concludes. Anyway, after x - amount of years playing Clark Kent, he'll want to do something different to show his acting chops.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Pheh. He's already typecast. I saw the trailer for Cheaper by the Dozen, and I'm like, "Oh, look, it's young Clark Kent wearing a red hat."
10-11-2003, 02:48 PM
I'm in agreement with FireStorm pretty much
10-17-2003, 02:52 PM
Maybe they could adapt the basic theme of "They Saved Luthor's Brain" and build a story around it, even throw in a few super-baddies. At the end, they could reveal that young Lex is actually just the old guy, in a new body, setting up a sequel..
10-21-2003, 11:04 AM
Ugh. "They saved Luthor's Brain"? I remember that storyline from the comics. The only good thing about that cheezy sci-fi plot was that the Original Big Bad Luthor had not really died at all. But that whole routine should probably stay in the comics and off the screen.
A full-blown origin movie might be retreading too much familiar ground. Yeah, I'd like to see an re-envisioned (with respect dammit!) Krypton and Jor-El and Lara and the whole destruction of Krypton redone with today's CGI ... but that could be accomplished via a 2-minute flashback in the middle of the movie somewhere. I'd like it to start out with Clark Kent's first day on the job and his meeting with the much more accomplished TV newswoman Lois Lane (here working for Morgan Edge's GBS network), who would be such a celebrity in her own right that a starting reporter for a newspaper like Clark Kent would have no shot with her initially. Lois Lane should be everything that Clark Kent is not : worldly, glamorous, wealthy, somewhat cynical and jaded, big-time, big-city ... whereas ol' CK would be humble, casual, getting by, optimistic, attention-shy small-town. Would make for a great contrast during the movie.
10-28-2003, 02:44 PM
Ok, i was tryingto study ERP and i could only think of superman stories. Here are some half-baked ideas that could be tweaked some more...
SUPES - 1
Metallo has to be the villain here.
Here's a scene i'd like to see -- Superman flies into luthor's office, they argue, and then supes leaves. Luthor walks into a secret lab. There we see Dr. Teng, and a clone compost of superman. Apparantly the machine could not clone aliens. Luthor is angry. He leaves, saying something like "Very well, make sure this does not happen to the Metallo Project..."
SUPES - 2
Could maybe have the eradicator and Mongul (with warworld?) as the baddies. Show the revelations about Krypton's history shown in "Exile" but skip that stroyline. Plus, steal elements from the "Return Of Superman", where the eradicator sacrifices himself to save Kal-El.. Have Luthor dying from kryptonite radiation.
SUPES - 3
Starts off with news of Luthor's death (a solo trans-atlantic or wherever trip that crashes.. u know the drill).
In the mountains, crew work among the remains of the plane. In the sky, there a speck of red and blue. then it's gone.
Brainiac could be the baddie here. Maybe he brings in Maxima with him too, to add to the chaos?
Luthor could be back, as his son..
HeD t r i p p i n '
10-28-2003, 05:45 PM
I personally think that it is too soon to do new Batman or Superman Movie.
The original Superman movie was the best comic book origin story ever done on the big screen. And Superman 2 was even better, because you got to Superman square off with some equally powerful Supervillains. The series, like the Batman Movie Series, just kind of went downhill after 2. Christopher Reeves is still the best live-action Superman/Clark Kent and I think that any new actor would definitely have some big shoes to fill.
If they do make a new Superman Movie, they should just focus on making one good movie, as oppossed to three. Am I the only one who is sick of this Hollywood Golden Rule that if a movie is even moderately successful you must make sequels. They're are way too manny movie franchises being carried into trilogies these days.
I think that the new Superman Movie shouldnt be an origin story. Most kids today still remember the '70's Superman films and everyone knows Superman's history. I liked Kevin Smith's idea for doing a movie that chronicled the death and resurrection of Superman.
10-29-2003, 02:59 PM
I say due to the recent onscreen rehashing of Supes' origins via the SMALLVILLE tv series, a true origin movie is not the best idea. I say a two-minute sequence somewhere in the movie showing a revisioned Jor-El and Lara and the destruction of Krypton via flashback is perfect for the next movie.
Also, new villians should make their debut. Yes, Lex Luthor would probably have to be there for the next movie, but he'd be more the puppetmaster type, manipulating events to his favor. He'd either create, coerce or employ a suitably more physical villain to fight Superman.
Ideal villains to make the transition from comics2film would be Brainiac (here a hyper-advanced technological menace, not an alien "ambassador"), Bizarro (defective speech version, not a silent beast), or Metallo (indestructible cyborg with human skin version and kryptonite heart, not an all-robot mode). Doomsday would look cool, but is a more boring choice because it would be all-CGI with no voice, as opposed to an actual actor.
Save Darkseid for a sequel. He's a villain who wouldn't need Luthor for anything. Darkseid deserves a Superman movie where he is the only threat.
10-30-2003, 01:33 AM
Yea, I think that one of the weaknesses of the old Superman Movie series, and all of the Superman Live-Action TV Series for that matter, is lack more of his comic-book nemeses.
It actually got kinda boring by Superman 4, having seen him targetted by yet another of Lex's meglomaniacal plans.
I wouldn't mind seeing Metallo, Braniac, or Darkseid. And especially now with movie special F-X what they are today......
It would make for some incredible battle sequences.
10-30-2003, 11:42 PM
Luthor would have to be around in every Supes film, because he's not just a villian, he's a major part of metropolis.. infact before Supes came along, Luthor WAS Metropolis
HeD t r i p p i n '
11-04-2003, 11:36 AM
Lex wouldn't HAVE to be in every Supes movie from now on, just the next one to re-establish himself on the silver screen. After the next one, assuming it does well enough, Lex would either be the puppetmaster behind the scenes or maybe just mentioned by name.
11-28-2003, 01:20 PM
could we have ALIEN and Supes crossover film?
that would rock!
11-28-2003, 02:17 PM
i'd rather see Batman / Predator. Though we ahve seen a bit of that thanks to mr Carolla. i really liked the 3d batman / predator mini by Chuck dixon. really thought it would make a great film. though as with Superman / aliens and other mini series crossover like this, they just don't quite call for the effort of an entire film, especially when you are tyring to get the character on screen.
that's what we need, a good simple story that captures the character. as for Superman, I think all fans ask for is a decent and faithful plain Superman film. we don't need death and rebirth. just superman vs a good villian with a good story. I think Brainiac is an exccelnt untapped source. Plus Darkseid would be great in a sequel. As for lex, I think Lex should be there as a mastermind and not a campy tricker. Hackman was good, but the character was a bit off. I like the way Smallville is going. make lex a corrupt business man with a bit of madness to him.
curses HACK-MAN for broken shift key,
11-29-2003, 05:03 AM
I think we've all seen the origin of Supes a hundred times, why waste the first 20 mins setting everything up again? Everybody on Earth knows the origin by now. I would like to see the movie start from when Clark has been in Metropolis a few years, he has already gotten the hang of the superhero thing, he's at the height of his powers, and we could see the movie focus more on Lex Luthor, and set him up as a believable bad guy. He works best as the untouchable villain, the arch nemesis that although his plans are foiled, gets away with everything at the end, not just thrown in jail. Someone like Metallo or Solomon Grundy would be good as a soldier villain, someone Clark can actually punch!, someone used by Luthor to get what he wants. I really want to see a movie with where these two (Clark/Luthor) are engaged in a battle of wits throughout.
X-Men, Daredevil have done it best by not killing off the bad guy characters at the end.
What is all the big deal about francises and trilogys, just make one good one and go from there. And we have to forget about the comics continuity( 70 years is too much to cram into 1 movie) just use it as source material, strip the whole mythos down to what make Superman a universal hero (And that includes giving Clark a personality!)
And forget about all the sideline characters like Steel and Supergirl, who will take too much time to introduce, for the movie to make any money to produce a sequel it needs to be accessable for non-comic book fans. Keep Superman as the only superpowered good guy to maintain a sense or wonder to him.
That's what worked best in the first movies, people were in awe of what he could do.
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