Monday, May 30, 2011

Why are Superman movies so hard to do!?......

     Ok, so I like most people love Superman. He's the shining example of what most people strive to be. But why is it so hard to adapt him to the big screen? Click the jump to find out why....
     Back in the 70s and 80s, Superman was brought to the big screen in a way that brought the character to life (Not counting the cellophane "S" that he threw from his chest....that was just weird) But ever since then, making the Man of Steel work on the big screen has been a damn near impossible task. So why is that exactly? I mean, he's Superman! How could the most iconic comic book character ever created be so hard to adapt to a movie? The short answer; because he's perfect.

     We mere human beings like a character that we can relate to. We like Spider-Man because he's (for the most part) an average guy like most of us. We like Batman because he's damaged (Like some part of many of us) But, we like Superman because he's everything we want to be, and as much as we like seeing that, we can't relate to that. We can't relate to a character who can't get hurt, can't die, and is SO damn good. Misery loves company, and Superman is like a looking glass version of what we should have become in life while many other comic book characters are versions of us as we are. So the trick to making a good and relatable Superman is to make him human while not nerfing his physical Supermanliness <----real word....I think....

     The comic book writers of old ran into this when they realized that people could not relate to an invincible character. So they created Kryptonite. A substance that could hurt and kill Superman. Now that works with comic books which, when you look at them, are very short stories, but to hold the audience for a couple straight hours, you need more than a glowing green rock that makes Kal-El bleed. For my money, the most compelling Superman stories have been ones where he has to emotionally deal with something, moments that make him human. This is why I found Smallville (For the most part) so compelling. Because it was Clark Kent before he was Superman. He was still figuring his shit out, he was still finding his place in the world, he was like we were at his age, he was not perfect, he was not everything we are not in the form of a Demi God, he was not Superman.....yet.

     Many writers have tried to make Superman vulnerable in many different ways, but making him indestructible without making him "perfect" is a good place to start for a movie. Now for the upcoming Superman movie "Man of Steel" directed by Zack Snyder, they are (supposedly) going this type of direction. It's the Superman story of him stepping up and becoming the man he needs to be; Becoming Superman. This is a much more relatable story because even though Superman is indestructible, most of us know what it's like to become the man we need to be. For ourselves, for someone else, for your kid, most of us know what that's like and what that takes. Showing The Man of Steel going through that and becoming Superman will immediately put him on the plane of "What we are" and "What we should be". A kind of "I am Superman and you can too" type of scenario If played right this could bring Superman back to being the inspirational figure he was created to be. It could make him the image of what we should and more importantly could be, not just a reminder of what we are not and what we failed to become. After all, his name is SuperMAN, not SuperGOD.



  1. I dig it! i didnt know they were even making another superman movie.

  2. Great article and many valid points dude. Superman is a bit of a cheesy character, Christopher Reeve brought some humility to the role that made us relate and care for him, I still don't know how he did it, but there will probably never be, a Superman on screen like Christopher Reeves. In the first two movies that is, the other two blew ass.

    I am kinda looking forward to this new movie, but one thing that is kinda scarying me is the fact that they are gonna modernize him, I hope that does not mean that they will put him in modern times, I just can't see the character fit in these times, I think Superman really belongs in the 30s or 40s, during the depression, pre-world war II America.
    So I am still a bit sceptical about the project.

    At this point, I am not liking the choice of Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel. But maybe he'll prove me wrong.

    And I am dissapointed that General Zod is going to be the villain, we have seen him before, I would love to see Superman battle some cosmic gods, or Brainiac or Doomsday. It's their chance to really give the movie audience of Superman something new and exciting, something on a larger scale and more epic.

    But we all know we all are gonna see this movie, I think everyone want to see a new Superman movie, and produced by Nolan and directed by Snyder, it sure has alot of potential. If done right.

  3. I get what he is saying but the thing is someone already did that... it was called smallville. If it were me making the superman movie i would make it so that he doesnt know what to do at first until he makes some mistakes, which everyone can relate to because like a famous pop star said "everyone makes mistakes. everyone has those days"

  4. The whole secret identity complex made me not like superman. Glasses on oh it's Clark, glasses off damn where did Superman come from. It's like playing peek a boo with a baby you cover your face & you literally vanish in front of their eyes.

  5. Nice post Jeremy although I don't personally agree with your take that Superman is 'perfect'. He screws up just as many times as any other superhero.He prefers to believe in the goodness of people up to a fault take for example people like General Zod and Lex in the comics or since you have watch Smallville the fiasco concerning Davis at the end of Season 8.

  6. this is just taking a misconception and making it sound logical, but sorry Jeremy but you don't know superman as well as you think. you speak well and make valid points, but i haven't heard you say anything that original. i've heard this argument a million times. its simply not true.

    superman is not perfect. at a time i suppose he was but by and large he isn't anymore.

    superman has a constant struggle on his place on earth. is he equal to them or above them? if superman is equal to humans then who is he to judge? and if he is above them at what point is there going too far?

    there are deep issues to being superman. the other confliction is who is the real man. where does clark end and superman begin.

    a comic that always bothered me basically said lois loves superman but not clark. and i would disagree with that. i don't think clark is fake. both clark and superman are fake to some extent, but in the middle is the real man.

    whever i see clark with relaxing at the farm after work glasses and everything, but jacket off. i mean he looks like clark, but his posture is confident and you see superman in him. that's the real man.

    the modest farmboy who wants to help.

    next i have to question the demand for superman to be both relatable and vulnerable. its a flawed and dumb complaint to begin with.

    when you watched spiderman movies or iron man movies or batman movies. did you ever think that the heroes would die? no of course not. does that make the hero a bad character? no.

    so why is it bad with superman? at the same time iron man isn't relatable, batman isn't relatable. i'm not rich. yeah damaged characters but i can only vaguely relate and at the end of the day i don't need to relate to them. a good character is a good character.

    i think you make a good point about smallville though. if we can relate to superman it would be the taking on of responsibility. that moment when your adult life begins sort of thing.

    but i truly believe clark's struggle with humanity makes him a great character. he's become a what if character and thats not a bad thing at all.

    finding out you have awesome powers is one thing, but finding out your not human is a whole other thing. if you are superior what do you do with that power.

    thats where the conflict between superman and lex begins. lex is superior and uses it for fraud and tricks. he has to wrong many people to get to where he is. he has to be darn right evil to get power and respect.

    then superman comes in with immense power gets the respect and admiration lex has spent his whole life fighting for without doing one bad thing.

    the pieces to make superman popular again do not have to be invented. they are already there.

    you combine a young clark's decision to take on the responsibilities of adulthood, the confliction of what it means to be human, and make him the person we would aspire to be and you have a great clark kent/superman.

    as for the physicality of superman kryptonite is simply a crutch in teh story. in a recent comic i read I like the point it makes. It says that superman isn't invulnerable. its not hard to hurt superman. villains focus to much on hurting superman instead of surviving superman.

    there is a badassery to superman that we've never experienced.

  7. I say that caveboy just nailed it right there.

  8. i watched your review of smallville recently and i completely understand dropping it after lex left, but please please please watch season 9!

    it has zod and everything. the finale is one of the best of the show.

  9. I think they should make a movie about Superman based off of the Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex article by Larry Niven.

    'Superman, you jerked off and shot down that airplane.'

    'Stand back citizen, now I have to go stop all those rogue sperm from impregnating every woman in north America.'

  10. They should kill Superman in a movie (Doomsday). And then have him come back in the next movie considerably weaker, and then take it from there.

  11. I would love to see superman get his ass handed to him by Bizzaro " Bizzaro thinking hes helping superman" and another villan doing something else.

  12. i really like your thoughts on the matter! i hope the new superman movie is able to do what you think it can! :)

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