There was a discussion on the CHUD boards about J.J. Abrams’ long-dead Superman script and all that could have been. I remember the script was pretty silly, including a storyline with Lex Luthor revealing that he was Superman’s brother or something. It was all a bit much. Regardless, it didn’t get made and maybe that was for the best.
But these days, with all these successful reboots popping up, I have been really jonesing for a new Superman film. Now, I wasn’t a huge fan of Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns. I remember walking out of the theater and liking what I saw but not really liking the movie. That is, it was a great looking film but it didn’t connect with me at all. Whenever I explain this to a fan they tell me that Singer was just trying something new (which he wasn’t) and that not every blockbuster has to be an action film filled with explosion after explosion. That’s true, I completely agree. However, there was no emotional connection to the characters in Superman Returns. Stephen King once said that Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining was like a really beautiful, polished Cadillac with no engine and that’s what Superman Returns was to me.
Still, I usually watch some of it when it’s on HBO.
Whatever. Let’s move on. The point is, after reading Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s fantastic All Star Superman I am dying to see that translated to screen. Maybe not the exact same storyline (although the plot of All Star Superman is terrific) but the same spirit. It’s lively, colorful and not afraid to embrace the fact that it’s a comic book. You see, not every comic book film has to be grounded in reality. Sure that works for some but let’s not forget the fact that this is a story about an alien flying around in a cape. That’s one of the things that the book did so well. It captured the charismatic, mystical, gee-whiz element that brought me to Superman in the first place. And it came to life when I read it.
I want to see the classic, square-jawed Superman. He doesn’t have to look like a model, his suit doesn’t need any new look to it. I just want Superman. I want a Lex Luthor who isn’t plotting some bizarre terraforming project for Earth. I want a Lois Lane who is smart, sassy and can fend for herself (with no child, thank you very much). The simpler the Superman movie, the better.
I know this may never happen and I’m okay with that. Sometimes it’s best just to let a great comic be a great comic, no need for an adaptation. But when people ask me what comic book franchise deserves a film series I always say Superman. It’s been far too long since we’ve seen it done the correct way.
Besides, Jon Hamm is the man of the hour and that guy would look great in blue and red.