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Old July 24 2012, 08:37 PM   #4696
Christopher
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
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Actually that was nothing like the Lex Luthor from the comics of the era. That Luthor was a brilliant criminal scientist and inventor, driven by anger and resentment toward Superman and the world, and he generally worked alone. Here's a look at how he was portrayed in the '70s. I really have no idea where the screenwriters got the idea for their version of Luthor.
And here is where the mainstream expectation, of how a comic book universe should be, may have been what trumped the actual contemporary comic book portrayal, to determine the structure of the film adaptation.
No, I don't think so, since a lot of comic-book villains at that time were pretty broad and comical. It's just that, for whatever reason, they didn't get Lex Luthor himself right. There were a lot of bizarre decisions that went into the first couple of movies, a lot of plot holes due to all the different script drafts and different hands working on them, so there are a lot of issues with them that can't be explained simply in terms of "not getting comics."


As far as I know, and unless I'm mistaken, Otis and Miss Teschmacher were created for the film.
Yes, they absolutely were. Nor were they ever added as comics characters after the movie, as far as I can tell, except that there is an Otis appearing as Lex's assistant in the Smallville Season 11 digital comics, and the character of Tess Mercer in Smallville was loosely inspired by both Eve Teschmacher and Mercy Graves (though owing much, much more to the latter, and eventually turning out to be also based on Lex's sister Lena).


By the way, while thinking about this, I realized (belatedly, I know) the parallel between Zod, Ursa, and Non on one hand and Luthor, Eve, and Otis on the other: strong male leader, beautiful female subordinate, and idiot male subordinate.
I think I've seen that remarked before, although Zod and Ursa are much more competent and believable foes than Luthor and Eve.

Ursa and Non were also original to the film, although they've been added to the comics in recent years. Ursa was basically a renamed version of the Phantom Zone villain Faora, though why they changed the name is beyond me. The film's Zod was sort of a hybrid of the comics' Phantom Zone villains Jax-Ur and General Zod; the original Zod was more of a military man and not an entirely malevolent figure.
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Old July 24 2012, 08:43 PM   #4697
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
Applying the word "naturalistic" to any aspect of Donner's Superman is incorrect use of the term.
Maybe Christopher could clarify, as I was thrown by that too, but I decided that he (probably) just meant to say "realistic."
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Old July 24 2012, 09:42 PM   #4698
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

Well, naturalism doesn't mean actually being like reality, it means creating the feel of reality. Donner's buzzword in the production of Superman was "verisimilitude" -- a word that literally means "similarity to the truth." I.e. not actually being the truth, but resembling it, looking and feeling like it. Yes, the characters acted in broad ways and did physically impossible things, but Metropolis had the feel and texture of a real city, the Planet felt like a believable newsroom rather than a Hollywood set, and when Superman took off, it looked like he was actually physically rising into the air. Not to mention that Christopher Reeve acted like he was really, matter-of-factly Superman instead of giving a campy or self-conscious interpretation of Superman. So yes, it was a naturalistic take on a superhero film -- certainly a damn sight more than Burton's or Schumacher's Batman films, say.
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Old July 24 2012, 11:04 PM   #4699
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, naturalism doesn't mean actually being like reality, it means creating the feel of reality. Donner's buzzword in the production of Superman was "verisimilitude" -- a word that literally means "similarity to the truth." I.e. not actually being the truth, but resembling it, looking and feeling like it. Yes, the characters acted in broad ways and did physically impossible things, but Metropolis had the feel and texture of a real city, the Planet felt like a believable newsroom rather than a Hollywood set, and when Superman took off, it looked like he was actually physically rising into the air. Not to mention that Christopher Reeve acted like he was really, matter-of-factly Superman instead of giving a campy or self-conscious interpretation of Superman. So yes, it was a naturalistic take on a superhero film -- certainly a damn sight more than Burton's or Schumacher's Batman films, say.
I completely agree. These are things I tried to express above.
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Old July 24 2012, 11:43 PM   #4700
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

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I perfer the Lester version of Superman II, the Donner version has the same ending of the first movie and there's some nice bits in the Lester version that's missing in the other one. Lois was better fleshed out in the Donner version but, the rest of the movie feels badly edited and disjointed at least to me.
It has the same ending because Donner envisioned a two-part film from ther beginning and the "turn-back-time" sequence was supposed to be at the end of part two, not one.

The editing and unevenness is a side effect of how the Donner version had to be reconstructed, as it was never truly finished.
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Old July 24 2012, 11:48 PM   #4701
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, naturalism doesn't mean actually being like reality, it means creating the feel of reality. Donner's buzzword in the production of Superman was "verisimilitude" -- a word that literally means "similarity to the truth." I.e. not actually being the truth, but resembling it, looking and feeling like it. Yes, the characters acted in broad ways and did physically impossible things, but Metropolis had the feel and texture of a real city, the Planet felt like a believable newsroom rather than a Hollywood set, and when Superman took off, it looked like he was actually physically rising into the air. Not to mention that Christopher Reeve acted like he was really, matter-of-factly Superman instead of giving a campy or self-conscious interpretation of Superman. So yes, it was a naturalistic take on a superhero film -- certainly a damn sight more than Burton's or Schumacher's Batman films, say.
I completely agree. These are things I tried to express above.
Hiya, FSM...

The biggest drawback to "Superman Returns"...

It's mentioned how Reeve really lived the part and became Superman...what happened to Brandon Routh's portrayal was instead of letting him be Brandon Routh playing Superman, you can feel he was made to play Christopher Reeve playing Superman.
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Old July 24 2012, 11:48 PM   #4702
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

I love Donner's original Superman film, and I understand that eh shot scenes for the second to make them one big film apparently. That said I hate the Donner cut of Superman 2. The scenes Lester added added a bit of levity to the proceedings. And I listened to Donner's own commentary, and, man what an ass.

The scene where Superman save Lois falling out of a building was unbelievable to me. Sure, superman can go that fast, but I'd always imagine that he wouldn't be able to move quite that fast (like the speed of electricity) without building up to that speed for a least a few seconds.
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Old July 25 2012, 12:02 AM   #4703
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
I love Donner's original Superman film, and I understand that eh shot scenes for the second to make them one big film apparently.
The original plan was for Donner to shoot the two films back-to-back and release them in succession, as was done with things like Back to the Future Part 2 and Part 3 or the 2-part Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- or as Richard Lester did with his two Three Musketeers movies for the Salkinds. But there was a falling-out between the Salkinds and Donner when he was about 70 percent through filming the second film, and Lester was brought in not only to finish the film, but to reshoot enough of Donner's material that the majority of the final film would be Lester's and he could get sole director credit, shutting Donner out entirely. They also cut out Marlon Brando's scenes from the second film due to, I believe, a salary dispute.

Originally the plan was for the nuclear missile Superman tossed into space to release the Phantom Zone villains, so one would lead directly into the other.


The scene where Superman save Lois falling out of a building was unbelievable to me. Sure, superman can go that fast, but I'd always imagine that he wouldn't be able to move quite that fast (like the speed of electricity) without building up to that speed for a least a few seconds.
But it's much better for Lois from a character perspective than the version Lester gave us. As I put it in my blog review linked above:
The Donner version of S2 opens with Lois simply looking at Clark Kent and noticing that he resembles Superman. Unlike virtually every other incarnation of Lois Lane, she is actually perceptive enough not to be permanently fooled by a pair of glasses. Then she does an experiment to test her notion, drawing Clark clothes onto a photo of Superman. Thus convinced, she dramatically risks her life to prove her conclusion, jumping out a window to force Clark to change to Superman and save her. He manages to save her without revealing his identity, and she’s left uncertain, but ultimately clings to her conviction when Superman shows up at Niagara Falls, and then she enacts another bold ploy to force the truth from Clark, shooting him with a blank so he thinks he’s been exposed and gives himself away. Throughout, she’s perceptive, strong-willed, and in control.

But in the Lester version, she’s so much less of all of those things. She doesn’t even begin to suspect the resemblance between Clark and Superman until she accidentally gets a glimpse of him without glasses. Instead of being observant and deducing that they’re the same man, she stumbles upon the discovery. She then tests it in a variation of the window-jump scene from the Donner version, but instead, she merely jumps into the rapids — still dangerous, true, but not as extreme and unambiguously life-or-death a gamble, and it’s not that hard for Clark to rescue her while still remaining Clark. And at that point, Lois is completely convinced she was wrong, and doesn’t even suspect anything further until Clark “accidentally” stumbles over the rug and his hand lands in the fire. Lois is taken completely by surprise. They rationalize the stumble by suggesting that maybe Clark subconsciously wanted her to know, but that makes Clark the initiator and leaves Lois far more passive. All in all, she’s a far less impressive character in this version.
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Old July 25 2012, 12:08 AM   #4704
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

I think both versions are bad, groanworthy, and against character.

A truly intelligent and independent woman would test her theory without putting herself in peril, and recklessly so, while at the same time willfully reducing herself to a damsel in distress.
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Old July 25 2012, 12:13 AM   #4705
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

therealsb63 wrote: View Post
The biggest drawback to "Superman Returns"...

It's mentioned how Reeve really lived the part and became Superman...what happened to Brandon Routh's portrayal was instead of letting him be Brandon Routh playing Superman, you can feel he was made to play Christopher Reeve playing Superman.
Routh's Clark was a clear imitation of Reeve, but I never got the sense his Superman was. It felt very much like his own interpretation to me-- much more inward and conflicted and mysterious.

Reeve's Supes was a lot more open and friendly and direct.
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Old July 25 2012, 12:15 AM   #4706
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

therealsb63 wrote: View Post
DWF wrote: View Post
I perfer the Lester version of Superman II, the Donner version has the same ending of the first movie and there's some nice bits in the Lester version that's missing in the other one. Lois was better fleshed out in the Donner version but, the rest of the movie feels badly edited and disjointed at least to me.
It has the same ending because Donner envisioned a two-part film from ther beginning and the "turn-back-time" sequence was supposed to be at the end of part two, not one.

The editing and unevenness is a side effect of how the Donner version had to be reconstructed, as it was never truly finished.
But at the time the first movie was edited and released Donner was still working on the second one, so I have to wonder how the first movie was originally meant to end. Lois' car wasn't swallowed by a crack and there's really no reason for her dialogue about falling electric poles since the earthquake didn't take place after Superman went back in time.
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Old July 25 2012, 12:23 AM   #4707
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

The only really cool thing for me about Lois' fall from the building in the Donner version was that the stunt woman who played Lois in that scene was Ellen Bry, who at that point in time was also playing Juile Mason on The Amazing Spider-Man.
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Old July 25 2012, 12:52 AM   #4708
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
I think both versions are bad, groanworthy, and against character.

A truly intelligent and independent woman would test her theory without putting herself in peril, and recklessly so, while at the same time willfully reducing herself to a damsel in distress.
Sounds nice in theory, but... how? The only way to guarantee Superman's appearance is by putting a life in danger, and you wouldn't have wanted her to endanger someone else, would you? I don't think it makes sense to say she's reduced to a damsel in distress (i.e. an intrinsically passive and subordinate role) when she's making a deliberate, calculated choice to create a danger in order to take control of the situation and force a desired outcome.

Besides, it's been a fundamental character trait of Lois Lane for 74 years that she'll unthinkingly plunge headlong into danger to get a story. So this was perfectly in character, especially since she had deduced, correctly, that Clark was Superman and thus she was in no danger. Her only miscalculation was in underestimating Clark's ingenuity at hiding his identity -- and even so, in the Donner version, she wasn't fooled and continued to believe he was Superman, eventually tricking him into giving it away. The whole time, she was the one who took the initiative and had the edge. Unlike the Lester version, who was far more passive and easily fooled.
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Old July 25 2012, 01:32 AM   #4709
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

How about poking him with a needle?

If she's so damn sure of herself that she'll jump off a building, to her death if she's wrong, which by the way ceases to leave her in control once she's entered free fall, then trying to puncture Clark with a sterilized needle is by comparison an infinitesimal risk.
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Old July 25 2012, 02:10 AM   #4710
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

I had no problem with the hand in the fire scene in the second movie since Clark did love Lois and had to be truthful to her about who he was. Right after the interview in the first movie and he showed up as Clark, Lois went to go get ready to go, Clark straightened up lowered his and took off his glasses to tell Lois then and there who he was, I think that was just part of his upbringing that he be honest with his loved ones. I think Clark had falled for Lois right off the bat but it took Superman to geet to her.
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