Superman: The Possibilities

Voices From Krypton has a great, but short, chat with director Bryan Singer about 2006’s Superman Returns. The only director who is ever candid about Hollywood is Kevin Smith, so it’s refreshing to see Singer open up about where that film went wrong.

QUESTION: One final point I’d like to make is the fact that Luthor stabs and nearly kills Superman, but it seemed wrong to me that the two characters never came back together again; that there was no comeuppance for Luthor.

BRYAN SINGER: I’ve always felt that the origin of Superman is the story of Moses – the child sent on a ship to fulfill a destiny. And this was a story about Christ – it’s all about sacrifice: “The world, I hear their cries.” So what happens? He gets the knife in the side and later he falls to the earth in the shape of a crucifix. It was kind of nailing you on the head, but I enjoyed that, because I’ve always found the myth of Christ compelling and moving. So I hoped to do my own take, which is heavy shit for a summer movie. But definitely the nostalgic, romantic aspects of it worked against people’s expectations of it in the climate. And if I was going to do another one, it would be a reboot. I would go back and redo the original, but I only thought of that recently. It would be a much less romantic, more balls-to-the-wall action movie. It would be a very different pace than Superman Returns, which I can say at this point because I have distance from it now.

Read it all here.

Ah, what could have been. Comics publishers have stacks of rejected proposals and writer Ron Marz (Green Lantern, Witchblade) reveals a few.

A Hulk-Ghost Rider graphic novel with painted art by Joe Chiodo.

A 64-page Batman story with overtones of Poe’s tales, set in Arkham Asylum, with art by Claudio Castellini.

A Martian Manhunter prestige-format one-shot drawn by Bryan Hitch.

A period Hawkman-Green Lantern adventure, set during World War II, with art by Dusty Abel.

A companion to the Batman-Tarzan project I wrote at Dark Horse, featuring Superman and John Carter of Mars.

A retelling of the Arthurian legends, but featuring the Green Lantern cast.

I would buy all of those, except the John Carter one probably, but Claudio Castellini is an awesome artist and I’ve hardly seen any more of his work since he did Marvel vs DC back in the ’90s.

Most interetsing is Marz’s propsal, with character designs by Cully Hamner, about a Supes/Bats story.

The purpose is to reexamine the origins of DC’s two primal heroes — Batman and Superman. Who would these men have been if their pasts had been different, if their pasts had in fact been reversed? What if Bruce Wayne’s parents had not been killed when he was a boy? And what if Clark Kent had been witness to the murder of this parents at a young age?

Clark Kent still becomes Superman, but without the guiding hand of his parents, a darker and more revenge-obsessed Superman. And without the loss of his parents, Bruce Wayne’s obsessive nature is never given outlet by becoming Batman. So rather than a costumed hero, he becomes a businessman to whom wealth and power are one and the same. Bruce Wayne, in effect, becomes a Lex Luthor-style corporate emperor.

Inevitably, the two will clash, and from the ashes of their war will be born Superman’s most bitter enemy — Batman.

Oh and if you haven’t already, you HAVE to read this great proposal called Sueprman 2000 from Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, Tom Peyer and Mark Millar. Man, what a dream team!

Finally, not really a ‘what could’ve been’ story, but a ‘what will be’ one. The excellent animated series Batman: Brave and the Bold is finally getting a team-up with Superman. Sticking to the series’ old shool visual flair, it also features Lex, Lois, Jimmy, Krypto and more. Screen shots and  2 clips here, one of which is a Dark Knight Returns-like showdown.

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