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Superman. - Page 4

post #151 of 166
Nah Wonder Woman.
post #152 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post
 

When it comes to movies, Thor is the new Superman. 


No way.

 

Hammerhead's right, it's Cap.

 

EDIT: Or Wonder Woman.

post #153 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
 

I say Cap.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Munson View Post

Nah Wonder Woman.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malmordo View Post
 


No way.

 

Hammerhead's right, it's Cap.

 

EDIT: Or Wonder Woman.

 

Why do you say this to me when you know I will kill you for it?

post #154 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post

There is that bit where Superman says "I'm here to fight for truth, justice, and the American way" and Lois just laughs in his face...

I always really liked that. I love how while the first two sections with Krypton and Smallville are played earnestly and with a straight face, once we get to Metropolis representing then Modern Day America it's now dripping in that wonderful Mankiewicz snark, especially at the Daily Planet. The folks there are so cynical the not only can't believe in how earnest Supes is but they're even baffled at how quaint Clark is. Even Jimmy looks at Clark and cringes when he can't open a soda bottle.
post #155 of 166

So this raises the question, how do you portray an optimistic, hopeful Superman today? 

 

Let's say Matthew Vaughn gets a chance to make a movie with Henry Cavill, to be released in 2020. Let's just call it Superman for simplicity's sake. Justice League hypothetically covers the character's return from the dead and somehow explains away how Clark is still alive to the world.

 

So Superman takes the approach of a clean slate. Clark Kent works at the Daily Planet. He's engaged to be married to Lois Lane, who knows he's Superman. Perry White is their boss. And let's just ignore that Jimmy Olsen business from the Ultimate Edition and say Jenny, who we all assumed initially was Jenny Olsen anyway, is their intrepid photographer. 

 

Aside from the cast you're basically starting from scratch. How should Cavill portray Clark and how should he portray Superman? What's the tone and attitude? What's the aesthetic of Metropolis, the Daily Planet and so forth? What conflicts does Superman encounter? What does the city and world think of him? And what's the message and inherent metaphor of Superman in the 21st century? 

 

Considering in the early days of Superman he would tackle corrupt landlords, wife beaters and petty dictators, I'd opt for a more socially active Superman. Obviously there's only so much one can do with shareholders and four-quadrant concerns, but I think Mark Waid's Superman: Birthright is a good blueprint. In that, he starts off as basically an activist reporter writing about tribal warfare in Africa. When he becomes Superman, he stops a school shooting, and instead of raging against the shooter he goes to the gun shop where the weapon was purchased and puts the fear of God in the owner. 

 

And as for Metropolis itself, I'd love it to have an art deco, city of the future feel like in the animated series that's evocative of the old World's Fairs. 

 

All of these things seem reasonable and possible, working with the material that already exists. 

post #156 of 166

I think it ultimately comes down to how you want to define "truth and justice" (we'll table the American way for now, as Cap has that covered), and in particular, the "justice" part. Is "justice" upholding the law? Or is it looking at how systems of power perpetuate inequality? For example, you bring up the gun shop owner. I like that a lot - but can't you read that as Superman acting as a totatalitarian dictator, enforcing his own morality? 

 

Any modern conception of Superman, particularly one optimistic and hopeful, is going to have to grapple with the idea that we've become a culture that has wildly different definitions of morality. Of what it means to be a good person. And I think exploring that before you even write a single word is worth getting into. But I think there are things we do all share - chief among them that we want to do right by one another when there's a crisis. 

 

There was a really interesting thread I read in the aftermath of Harvey that talked about how we all want to be heroes in the moment, but we don't want to do the work to be caregivers. We want to rush into a storm to save someone's house, but we don't want to pay higher taxes so that person's house is protected from global warming. 
 

So what is Superman at his most hopeful? Is he a hero? Is he a caregiver? Is he both? 

post #157 of 166

It's probably too politically fraught, but I'd love to see a Superman who took on some of the more politically radical aspects of the character. Remember when he was used in the radio show to expose the real-life KKK? Would be sweet if we got a 21st Century equivalent of that.

post #158 of 166
God, I would love for the next Superman movie to open with Supes floating down into a neo-nazi rally just to tell them what a bunch of dumb asses they are. Then he can fight a robot or something.
post #159 of 166

People make the comparison to Captain America and Wonder Woman, but their unique aspect there is they're fish out of water. Steve is from the past, so you can pull off his old-fashioned aw shucks personality with that caveat. Diana is from an isolated, ancient society, so out of time and alien. 

 

Superman, however, is raised as one of us. So if you want to portray as inspirational and aspirational, you have to work within those parameters. And I think it's important to work within those parameters.

 

Superman: The Movie may portray a modern, 1978 Metropolis in terms of aesthetic (it's dirty, rundown and bustling) and attitude, but it's still a heightened reality. Clark, with his suit and fedora hat, and Superman, with his kind smile and noble bearing, are old-fashioned but they haven't walked into Death Wish. There's a screwball comedy sensibility, where Lois is practically a Katharine Hepburn out of 1939 with a fast-talking Transatlantic accent; cat burglars use suction cups to climb buildings; and little kids getting beaten is (when they tell their mom about Superman) played as a joke. 

 

Donner walked a tightrope and pulled it off. But I don't think any movie made today can balance that timeless collision of different eras and tones. A Superman movie doesn't need to be grounded and certainly not "realistic," but it also can't be heightened either. However much we might want it, I doubt anything like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, or even The Incredibles, is ever attempted on the big screen with this character. So making Superman work in a modern world is a fine line, but it doesn't need to be the Dark Knight-ification that was Man of Steel. 

 

So yeah, avoid Superman imposing his morality on others. Don't have him throw the first punch, and he should be surprised when he gets punched. Portraying him as angry should be the last thing you want: you know he's been pushed to the absolute limit if he's angry. Alan Moore understood this with "For the Man Who Has Everything." Have him be worldly, but don't be silly and have him renounce his American citizen (like was done in the comics about a decade ago).

 

And perhaps instead of going the Superman Returns route and basically portraying him as a pacifist by only showing him lift things, and the Man of Steel route by showing him as a quick-tempered brawler, you find a middle ground. Superman volunteering at soup kitchens, building houses with a movie version of Habitat for Humanity, and something as simple as him walking around in a neighborhood and listening to what people have to say. 

 

It doesn't have to be hokey, or an after-school special. Grant Morrison knew what he was doing when he made an alternate reality Superman be Barack Obama. Aim for that New Optimism of 2009 that never really blossomed, and wallpaper that over what we've got right now. 

 

And then yeah, when it comes time for punching have it be a giant robot created by Neo-Nazis. 

post #160 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartleby_Scriven View Post
 

People make the comparison to Captain America and Wonder Woman, but their unique aspect there is they're fish out of water. Steve is from the past, so you can pull off his old-fashioned aw shucks personality with that caveat. Diana is from an isolated, ancient society, so out of time and alien. 

 

Superman, however, is raised as one of us. So if you want to portray as inspirational and aspirational, you have to work within those parameters. And I think it's important to work within those parameters.

 

This is an important distinction, although the 1978 film does manipulate the timeline so that Clark's upbringing occurs around the same "golden age" as Captain America's. He doesn't arrive in present-day Metropolis as a child of the 60s.

post #161 of 166

Warner Archive just announced an official Blu release for the 188-minute TV cut, sometime next year. I'm excited.

post #162 of 166
Great Krypton!
post #163 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartleby_Scriven View Post
 

So this raises the question, how do you portray an optimistic, hopeful Superman today? 

 

Considering in the early days of Superman he would tackle corrupt landlords, wife beaters and petty dictators, I'd opt for a more socially active Superman. Obviously there's only so much one can do with shareholders and four-quadrant concerns, but I think Mark Waid's Superman: Birthright is a good blueprint. In that, he starts off as basically an activist reporter writing about tribal warfare in Africa. When he becomes Superman, he stops a school shooting, and instead of raging against the shooter he goes to the gun shop where the weapon was purchased and puts the fear of God in the owner. 

 

Isn't that essentially 'Superbatman'? Morrison had 'social justice' Superman breaking abusive husband's bones and torturing corrupt politicians (for not paying the proper fees on construction sites) and to me, it felt pretty much of a piece with Steelman.

post #164 of 166
How do you do Superman today? Show him as the everyman. He's a guy who grew up in Kansas, helped his mom decorate Christmas trees, blushed in front of girls, etc. Completely end the messiah stuff. Show him doing his godlike thing, but when he lands, make a point of showing how thrown off people are by how absolutely approachable and pleasant he is.

Superman shouldn't have a destiny b/c that only makes him less relatable. He does what he does because his abilities allow him to and because he believes that immense power doesn't have to be scary or threatening so long as it is wielded correctly. Do this and that strengthens Superman as a character and as a metaphor for America as most of us would like it to be.
post #165 of 166
I'm fine with all of that.
post #166 of 166
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