I dunno…Of course we don’t want to see the same movies as in the past, but much like Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, the tone feels off here to me. Superman isn’t Batman. He’s not particularly angsty, usually, and imo should just be the Last Boy Scout. I’m not sure I much like this Most Dangerous Catch walkabout stuff they have him doing. (And that stilted Russell Crowe voiceover doesn’t inspire confidence either.) But we’ll see.
Update: Take shelter: This iteration of Zod has since made known his demands on Youtube. He doesn’t seem to have quite figured out Earth’s video technology, however.
Hrm. I wouldn’t have picked this grim direction for Superman — seems like a Captain America vibe would work better — but at least it’s different, I guess. Hopefully the presence of Chris Nolan will help rein in Snyder’s Sucker Punch sensibilities.
In the land of Detective Comics, Zack Snyder’s Superman (a.k.a. Henry Cavill) gets a foster mom in Diane Lane — word is she joins Kevin Costner as Pa Kent. David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman (a.k.a. Adrienne Palicki) gets a nemesis in Elizabeth Hurley. And Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises gets a possible plot revealed by Devin Faraci. Major story spoilers if true. (It sounds very plausible to me.)
Meanwhile, over on the DC side of things, Sorry Brandon Routh (and the Legion of Jon Hamm Fans): Zack Snyder’s Superman has found its Man of Steel in Henry Cavill, formerly of The Tudors. (The photoshopped Cavill-El above was found here.) I don’t really know the guy, but I hear good things.
“Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film a great possibility for us is that we want to finish our story, and in viewing it as the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story. We have a great ensemble, that’s one of the attractions of doing another film, since we’ve been having a great time for years.” Christopher Nolan discusses Batman and Superman (but no World’s Finest)
Word leaks that Warner Brothers is moving forward on a Justice League film, having hired the writers of (ugh) Mr. and Mrs. Smith to pen a screenplay for the project. “How the story arcs unfold will also affect whether the studio will make offers to actors Christian Bale and Brandon Routh to play their respective roles in the project.”
Quite a bit of movie news lately: Bryan Singer’s next Superman achieves liftoff, as does Harold & Kumar II. (I didn’t think much of Superman Returns, but am willing to give Singer another shot, particularly given how much better X2 was over X-Men. As for H & K…yeah, I’ll see it.) Meanwhile, the Peter Jackson-produced Halo is off for now…probably not a great loss, I suspect. And, finally, Steven Soderbergh and Benicio del Toro’s Che is now two films: The Argentine and Guerrilla, to be shot back-to-back.
“Movies would gradually drift away from the ideals of 1970s Hollywood and more to the simplistic, self-deluding certainties and monochrome morality espoused by the new president. In that sense, Donner’s Superman, and to come extent Dick Lester’s sequel – the one in which General Zod and his minions traverse the universe apparently trapped inside the album-sleeve of Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack – were prescient works of art.” By way of LinkMachineGo, John Patterson of The Guardian argues that, despite his origins under Siegel & Shuster, Superman’s appeal is inherently conservative. Hmm, ok. I’d be more impressed with his thesis if [a] he didn’t immediately write off all comic-book adaptations and [b] he actually got Superman’s name right.
In today’s trailer bin, Brazil alums Jonathan Pryce and Ian Holm reunite (as voice talent, with Daniel Craig and Catherine McCormack) in the Sin City-ish new trailer for Christian Volckman’s Renaissance, and Adrien Brody delves into the death of Superman (a.k.a. George Reeves a.k.a. Ben Affleck), with Diane Lane and Bob Hoskins on hand, in the new trailer for Allen Coulter’s Hollywoodland. Update: And one more: Edward Norton conjures up trouble for the powers-that-be (with Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel, and Rufus Sewell) in the new trailer for The Illusionist (not to be confused with Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, due out later in the year.)
“You don’t really love that guy you make it with now do you?” Despite a nice throwback credit sequence to kick things off, and several iconic images of the man in blue throughout, Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns is, unfortunately, something of a disappointment. It’s by no means a travesty, like X3 — the FX are top-notch, and the movie does feel like some care went into it. Still, for most of its run, Superman Returns, while hearkening often to the 1978 original and its excellent 1980 sequel, never really reaches the heights of those first two films. Instead, this “requel” feels, for the most part, drab, leaden, and earthbound, and, at best, plays like a badly-paced bodice ripper (or perhaps a forgotten issue of Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane.)
Like I said, Superman Returns starts off well, with a brief look at Krypton’s fate, kryptonite’s origins, and a whirlwind intergalactic tour of a credits sequence (all of which bodes well for a quality Silver Surfer or Darkseid v. Supes movie someday.) But, soon thereafter, trouble arises. We’re treated to a jokey Anna Nicole Smith-ish re-introduction to Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey, who never gets the tone quite right — he’s either too whimsical or too dark), some Americana flashbacks of Superman’s youth in — and return after five years to — the archetypal Midwest, Luthor’s visit to the Fortress of Solitude and subsequent experimentation with Kryptonian technology, and finally Clark Kent’s reemergence in Metropolis and the newsroom of the Daily Planet, still presided over by Perry White (Frank Langella) and staffed by Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) and Superman’s pal, Jimmy Olsen (Sam Huntington). Frankly, all of this section of the movie takes too long — it seems forever and a day before Superman (Brandon Routh, both better and less Rushmore-esque than I expected) is finally moved to action by a Space Shuttle incident (one involving, of course, Lois.)
I’d like to say the film then finds its momentum, then…but, sadly, it really doesn’t. For one, Luthor’s diabolical master plan — involving growing craggy Kryptonian real-estate that will submerge North America — doesn’t make a lick of sense. But, more problematically, the central questions driving Singer’s Superman, IMHO, just aren’t all that interesting. Will Lois rediscover her deeply-buried love for Superman, the “one that got away,” or will she stay true to her good-hearted current beau, Richard (James Marsden, a.k.a. Cyclops, here blessed with Superempathy)? Can Superman make peace with Lois’s new life (or, at the very least, will he stop superstalking her happy household?) And where does Lois’s doe-eyed child — yep, cute kid alert — fit into all this? (Take a guess.) Not to put too fine a point on it, but, in essence, what Singer has made here is a Superman mythos chick flick, and not a very good one at that.
This is not to say that I only wanted to see Superman crush things for two hours. As sappy and unrealistic as it is, the love triangle that dominates this film might’ve worked in another context (or with another character — This type of thing works better in Sam Raimi’s Spiderman series, but Spidey is generally a more angst-ridden superhero anyway.) But, as it stands, the Harlequin Romance nature of this enterprise, as well as the languid pacing and Luthor’s completely absurd stratagem, are like kryptonite here. Superman Returns looks good, and I’d be up to see Routh don the tights again for another outing. But, as a reboot of DC’s most famous franchise, the movie is passable at best (and it has nothing on Christopher Nolan’s much more enjoyable Batman Begins.)
The new international trailer for Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, which gets a bit more spoilerish and includes a Matrix-y money shot that seems a mite out of place to me, is now online.
The trailer bin runneth over this evening, with the english teaser for Daniel Craig’s Bond debut in Casino Royale, the new trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest, and the full trailer for Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns. More summer fun than you can shake a stick at.
The Superman-themed teaser for The Simpsons Movie premieres online, with a street date of July 27, 2007. Excellent.
Seen before Harry last night: the brand-new teaser for Superman Returns. I dunno…with Marlon Brando’s Jor-El voice-over and the John Williams music, this should really grab me. But everytime I see Supes, I still think Rushmore. (The trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water was also shown, but it doesn’t appear to be online yet. Well, if turns out to be as laughably bad as Signs and The Village, I may just have to see it.) Update: Here it is.
“Even a criminal like myself is shocked that millions are not able to get health insurance and cannot pay for basic surgery. Who are these power brokers that allow the pigpen to become wormy and filthy? I demand your very lives, but I am not such an imbecile as to institutionalize suffering and poverty. You have my assurance that this shall change swiftly.” Three years to go and the 2008 slate is already filling up. For the Dems: Hillary, Biden, Bayh, Warner, and Feingold. For the GOP: Frist, McCain, and Brownback. And, although Chris Walken first seemed to have the Indy vote locked up (let’s face it, Cthulhu‘s missed His shot), word is the inimitable General Zod is now coming on strong. Hmmm. I could definitely see him pulling a Stockdale at some point in the debate. (By way of LinkMachineGo.)
Sam Raimi declares he’s up for directing a whopping six Spiderman movies in total. That’s a bold statement. I mean, has he seen Superman IV: The Quest for Peace? (And speaking of the Big Guy, Blue Tights has posted an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at Supes’ three-axis flying rig.)
Two superheroes made their first public appearance today. First up, and more importantly, is Brandon Routh in full Superman regalia. He looks…ok, I suppose. To be honest, I’m getting a fanboy conventioner vibe from this pic, but I think I’d probably feel that way about anybody but Christopher Reeve in the Big Red Boots. Meanwhile, our first shot of Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze has also popped up, although there’s not much to see quite yet, and unfortunately his head isn’t on fire.
A noteworthy turnover at The Daily Planet today — Hugh Laurie is out (due to his prior commitment to FOX’s House) and Frank Langella is in as Perry White for Bryan Singer’s Superman. Ok, that works.
Thanks to ShoWest and otherwise, there’s been quite a bit of fanboy news to come down the pike in the past few days…
Looking for name actor to play Jor-El in the next Superman, Bryan Singer et al have cast Marlon Brando in the Brando role. (No CGI – Apparently, there’s a lot of unused footage from Superman II lying around.)
Move over, Otis: Harold & Kumar‘s Kal Penn joins the cast of Superman as “Riley,” Lex Luthor’s #2. Will Supes be sent slip-slyding away?
Quite a bit of new comic-to-film news today: Hugh Laurie and James Marsden join Superman as Daily Planet editor Perry White and Richard White (Lois’s non-Super love interest) respectively, the Dark Knight cradles Katie Holmes in this new EW pic from Batman Begins, and 20 seconds of the new FF trailer appear online (along with this shot of The Thing, also from the new EW.) I know I keep piling bad vibes on this project, but really, the litany of hard-to-discern FX shots coupled with the “Kick out the Jams”-style whiteboy-angst-metal does nothing for me.
In the fanboy casting department, Kate Bosworth is set to play Lois Lane in Bryan Singer’s forthcoming Superman, while Natalie Portman purportedly joins V for Vendetta. Bosworth doesn’t scream Lois to me, but she’s talented (and, obviously a looker) and I’m sure she’ll do well. As for V, I could see it going either way at this point, although I do like the teaser poster (at right). Update: Regarding Superman, it’s official: Spacey is Lex.
A good deal of movie and fanboy news came down the pike this weekend. First and most importantly, the new Batman Begins poster is out (and a new trailer is rumored in front of Ocean’s 12 this Friday.) As one AICN wag put it, it’s very Passion of the Bat. In other news, Harrison Ford says Indy IV is moving again, Chris Columbus is directing Sub-Mariner (uh, oh), and Kevin Spacey is seriously considering Lex Luthor. Finally, the teaser posters for Mr. & Mrs. Smith (a.k.a. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in War of the Roses meets True Lies) are now also floating around the ether, along with the new trailer. Update: The international poster for Batman Begins is now also online.