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Old August 22 2008, 10:24 PM   #43
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Location: Ireland
Re: Superman: The Reboot --- Its offcial

The reference to the success of the Nolan movies and the suggestion that Superman (and other forthcoming DC movies) should be darker shows up one of the main flaws in WB's handling of their superhero movies. Namely, that they think one size fits all for superhero adaptations and that when movie proves successful, any others should follow that template.

For example: Tim Burton makes successful Batman movies. So they decide to get him to do a Superman movie. But it's got to be like Batman - he will have a black leather suit, no special powers and a cool car. And like Batman, he won't be played by a traditional square jawed hero, he'll be played by an offbeat-looking quirky actor with a receding hairline (Nicholas Cage, following Michael Keaton).

Burton was a pretty obvious choice to helm a Batman movie, given his penchant for darkness and freakery, but for Superman? No way! But WB could only see that he'd proven a success before, so they were ready to shoehorn him into another franchise. Fortunately, it all fell apart.

When Joel Shumacher's Batman Forever was a bigger hit than Batman Returns, WB decided that the key to success with Batman movies was lightening them up. So Batman and Robin had to be bigger, brighter, gaudier and more jokey than its predecessor. What a surprise, it was hated by fans and critics alike and killed that series of Batmovies.

Can't get your Superman franchise relaunched? Hey, let's steal Bryan Singer from Fox! After all, he's made successful X-Men movies. Never mind that Singer was hired for X-Men because he'd proven with The Usual Suspects that he had a capability for ensemble movies. Never mind that he was attracted to that project because of its outsider & bigotry metaphors. Stick him in any superhero movie and it'll be a success, right? So went WB's thinking. Well, much as I like SR, that thinking doesn't seem to have been correct.

It'd be like if Marvel had opted to have Sam Raimi direct all their movies after the success of Spider-man or have David Goyer write all them, after Blade was a hit. The people making Marvel movies seem to have exercised some care in the choosing of their directors, even if they don't always work out. Raimi and Singer, nuff said. Ang Lee's movies have often dealt with repression - homosexuality in Brokeback Mountain, repressed emotions in Crouching Tiger or Sense and Sensiblity - so you can see the logic in having him make a movie about a man repressing the monster inside. Tim Story's movies had featured squabbling characters, which led him to get the FF gig (Reed and co being like one big arguing family). Neither choice was particularly successful, but fair dos for trying. There are, of course, the outright dumb choices - Brett Ratner for X3, being one. However, for the most part, Marvel hasn't done too badly with their creative teams, Favreau being the most obvious recent example. The likes of Gavin Hood, who is to make the Wolverine movie, are hardly studio hacks or safe hands, a la Ratner & Shumacher.

WB just seems so derivative and reactive in its approach. Other than the choice of Nolan, there seems to be little creativity in the movie makers it approaches to make its movies - McG and Brett Ratner were among the giants it approached to make Superman before Singer. Why don't they take a chance on a new movie maker, an up and comer? Some whizzkid? Or they could go the opposite route and get Spielberg, Michael Mann or Ridley Scott? But for godsakes, get someone who will make their own movie - not just a version of The Dark Knight, only with Superman in it instead of Batman.
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