Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Superman doesn't return

Wired has an article on Superman. A good bit of it is devoted to a court battle between the widow of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and Time Warner but it also mentions that Bryan Singer couldn't come up with a treatment for his next Superman movie that the studio would accept.

The speculation is that the next Superman movie will reboot the franchise. This is a good thing. The original Superman the Motion Picture was OK for its time but parts of it were too campy, even then, and it got dated very fast.

Superman's relationship with Lois got complicated in Superman II. She discovered his identity, he gave up his powers and the consumated their relationship only for Clark to realize that the world needed Superman. He recovered his powers and removed Lois's memory of the event. It didn't seem especially creepy at the time but what he did was similar to the use of a date rape drug.

By Superman IV he was restoring her memory so that they could talk then removing it again. It was definitely starting to get creepy by then.

Singer pretended that Superman III and IV didn't exist and picked up after Superman II. His version of Superman raised the ick-factor. Lois was engaged and living with someone and had a son. It turned out that Superman didn't use protection in Superman II so Lois had his son without no memory of how he was conceived. Did she know? Did she suspect? Is that why she wrote an award-winning essay on "Who needs Superman?"

Plus, Superman was raised to demi-god status or higher. He sees and hears everything and decides who he will save and who he will ignore.

Plus he used his powers to super-stalk Lois.

Then there was the gratuitous torture of dogs (one dog ate the other, Luthor planned to eat the survivor, Clark's dog wanted to play fetch and he threw the stick over the horizon).

It is hard to see just where Singer thought he could go after all this. He should have started from scratch... like the next director will.

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