Also, from my understanding, we've never had a theatrical version of the character with that one-word title as well (since Donner's movie was called Superman: The Movie, however I am not sure if it was credited during the opening title sequence as just Superman or not).
As with S:TAS, it's a case where the well-known promotional title differs from the official title. The Donner film was officially just Superman
. (To Broccoli
: IMDb says TAS was officially just Superman
, though I admit I haven't corroborated it.)
What's interesting about the title Superman
, though, is that it doesn't seem to need to be represented onscreen by those eight letters. Neither the '88 nor the '96 animated series ever showed the word "Superman" onscreen in its main titles, though the former did have it spoken by the announcer. And I believe the onscreen title to Superman Returns
was just "Returns" over the S-shield. Batman Forever
did the same, using the character's insignia as a sort of pictograph for his name, and Batman: TAS
didn't have an onscreen title either.
What I'd really like to see evolving from this universe is a Justice League show, anchored by Phil Morris.
Would you have Superman as a main character, or as a recurring one, or even on the show at all?
Well, I'm not fully convinced Tom Welling could pull off Superman, and it seems he'd be reluctant to do it full-time, so a recurring guest presence might be the best way to go. Similarly, Black Canary would have to be an intermittent guest so long as Alaina Huffman's committed to Stargate Universe
, and Kyle Gallner's film career would make Impulse appearances infrequent.
Anyway, I think Morris would make a stronger lead than Welling, and let's face it, Phil Morris deserves a show of his own, I don't care whether it's Justice League
or John Jones, Metropolis PD
I know in reality it was due to licensing issues, but did the creators of the 90's Justice League pilot have an in-show reason planned for why Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman weren't around, should the show have been picked up?
Probably they just wouldn't have acknowledged the existence of those characters. Most live-action superhero shows have historically treated their star heroes as the only ones in existence, even if they were based on characters from Marvel or DC where there were plenty of other heroes around.
Also, keep in mind the context. At the time that pilot was made, the comics' JLA had been without the big three for over a decade (or at least they had been until shortly before the pilot was made). So the pilot was based more on the era of Justice League International
, which is why it was played for comedy and featured Martian Manhunter, Guy Gardner, Fire, and Ice on the team. It had been a long time since the JLA was expected to include Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, so the pilot's creators would've probably felt no need to justify their absence.