Superman’s dark night

Just when I was about to go to bed and get some sleep, I found something to post about. There is finally some news on the Superman movie front.

The Wall Street Journal, MTV, and, more notably, the Superman Homepage, are all reporting that Warner Brothers has decided to reboot the Superman movie franchise.

Here are the pertinent excerpts from The Wall Street Journal:

[T]he $215 million “Superman Returns,” which had disappointing box-office returns, didn’t please executives. “‘Superman’ didn’t quite work as a film in the way that we wanted it to,” says [Warner Bros. Pictures Group President Jeff] Robinov. “It didn’t position the character the way he needed to be positioned.” “Had ‘Superman’ worked in 2006, we would have had a movie for Christmas of this year or 2009,” he adds. “But now the plan is just to reintroduce Superman […].”


Mr. Robinov wants his next pack of superhero movies to be bathed in the same brooding tone as “The Dark Knight.” Creatively, he sees exploring the evil side to characters as the key to unlocking some of Warner Bros.’ DC properties. “We’re going to try to go dark to the extent that the characters allow it,” he says. That goes for the company’s Superman franchise as well.

The studio is set to announce its plans for future DC movies in the next month. For now, though, it is focused on releasing four comic-book films in the next three years, including a third Batman film, a new film reintroducing Superman, and two movies focusing on other DC Comics characters.

I have mixed feelings. I loved Superman Returns. Despite the fact that it made just as much money as Batman Begins, some unfairly view it as a “box office failure.” Unfortunately, Warner Brothers executives appear to be among those who see it this way, and they are the ones in control of the franchise.

On the other hand, I am glad to see that at least there will likely be a Superman movie to look forward to without having to wait another twenty years. However, does it really need to be a “darker” or “evil” take on the character? This is Superman, not Batman. They should not be treated the same. Maybe it is the bright, optimistic Superman that people missed in Superman Returns.

Does Warner Brothers really think a gloomier Superman will bring more people to the theaters?

Brandon Routh did a fantastic job as both Clark Kent and Superman. It seems that someone else will be stepping into the roles now, as it would be hard to sell it as a reboot if the same actor was there.

Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think I am disappointed about this move from Warner Brothers. I am sorry that Bryan Singer apparently will not get the chance to continue his storyline.

I am trying not to go all fanboy here and write a whining post about how Warner Brothers has destroyed my childhood and otherwise let me down. Instead, I am just going to assume that in Bryan Singer’s universe, Superman turned out to be a great father and that he, Lois, and Jay-El all lived happily ever after.

This also probably means the earliest we’ll get the next Superman movie is 2012, despite what the article above says. Well, at least I will have something to write about in 2012, right?

By the way, there is no need to “reinvent” Superman.

Just do the character justice. He is already a legend.

The stories are already there.

Just tell them.