Thursday, July 06, 2006

The strange and horrible history of Superman

With the latest Superman movie just out in the cinemas now, it is a good time to link to the strange and horrible history of the movie, and how (as of 2004) the studio had spent fifty million dollars on it without even agreeing on a director or writer. It is a tale of utter disrespect and contempt for the Superman character and the fans:

[Jon] Peters then told [Kevin] Smith to have Brainiac fight polar bears at the Fortress of Solitude, demanding that the film be wall-to-wall action. Smith thought it was a stupid idea, so Peters said, "Then have Brainiac fight Superman’s bodyguards!" Smith responded, "Why the hell would Superman need bodyguards?" Peters wouldn’t let up, so Smith caved in and had Brainiac fight the polar bears. Then Peters demanded that Brainiac give Luthor a hostile space dog as a gift, arguing that the movie needed a cuddly Chewbacca character that could be turned into a toy. Then, after watching Chasing Amy, Peters liked the gay black character in the film so much that he ordered Smith to make Brainiac’s robot servant L-Ron gay, asserting that the film needed a gay R2-D2 with attitude. Then Peters demanded that Superman fight a huge spider at the end of the film, which Smith refused to do—he used a "Thanagarian Snare Beast" instead. (However, Peters did manage to recycle his spider idea and use it in Wild Wild West.)

It is no wonder that Hollywood finds it next to impossible to bring out quality movies. The few exceptions tend to come from independent or semi-independent producers. Judging by the history of Superman, it seems that the worse a director, the more his movies bomb, the better the major studios love him.

And casting choices... Oy vey!

WB made Justin Timberlake a firm offer to cast him as Superman...which he turned down cold, saying "whatever it is you’re smoking, I don’t want any part of it"

I have it on good authority that the new Superman movie isn't bad -- but, with the exception of the incredible performance of the lead actor, isn't especially good either. As I'm not a fan of Superman, I doubt I'll be forking out my hard-earned to see this flick at the cinemas.

Still, we can all give a sigh of relief that at least there were no polar bears.

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