It’s official. Superman is getting reboot. Earlier this week Warner Bros. said that nothing was going on with Superman right now as they were trying to figure out just what to do with the property.
It’s no secret to anyone, much less comic book and super hero fans, that Warner Brothers hasn’t quite been able to appropriately tap into what should be an easily accessible cavalcade of characters.
I have my opinions on this ranging from too many people trying to get in on the action to legal reasonings (what with the the ongoing battle between DC/WB and the Siegels and all) to ineptness on the part of the studio. While there may be some truth to all of these, one thing is certain. THE DARK KNIGHT has set a new standard for what Warner Brothers thinks a super hero movie should do for the studio. That’s good and bad.
Another certainty is that SUPERMAN RETURNS didn’t blow the doors off as everyone expected. I have my opinions on that as well. I loved SUPERMAN RETURNS, but I also see and understand the criticisms of the film. WB’s biggest criticism? It didn’t make enough money. Which, from a studio’s point of view, is a legit criticism of a film that was so costly in it’s production.
The final piece of the certainty equation? THE INCREDIBLE HULK from Universal and Marvel Studios showed movie-goers and movie makers that the reboot format can work and work well.
Armed with those facts, Warner Brothers has made the decision to reboot the Superman franchise on the big screen. (Can you hear the noise as half of fandom rises and cheers and the other half rises to grab their torches and pitchforks?) So, we will never know the fate of Jason, we will never see if Richard dies heroically or makes the turn to become Superman’s greatest nemesis, Lex Luthor and Kitty Kowalski are forever doomed to remain on a tiny uncharted piece of beach in God-knows-where, and most tragically Brandon Routh may never get to don the suit again.
In an article by the Wall Street Journal, Jeff Robinov, Warner Brothers’ Picture Group President, spilled the beans as to why WB is making this move in the here and now. Sadly, the success of THE DARK KNIGHT is leading the company to think that darker is the way to go with it’s heroes. That’s just dumb. Superman is not a dark character like Batman. My fear is that WB will attempt to do just that though, make every character Batman. Hopefully, the creators chosen to tackle not only Superman, but the vast amount of other properties Warners has at it’s disposal will not try to mimic what Christopher Nolan has done with BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT, but instead will explore the characters as we all know and love them.
This situation is good and it’s bad. That’s all there is to it. If you loved SUEPRMAN RETURNS then this news will come as a blow to you. If you hated SUPERMAN RETURNS then you are in the half of geekdom that is cheering. If, like me, you loved SUPERMAN RETURNS but are well aware of the problems the movie had, then, like me, you are waiting with very…extremely…cautions optimism that in the next few years we will once again believe that a man can fly.
To read the article in it’s entirity from the Wall Street Journal, click here.