Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel revealed

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JacksonArcher, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    Keep in mind that the vast majority of the audience for a superhero film will consist of people who don't read the comics or watch the cartoons. Plenty of people who saw Batman Begins had never heard of Ra's al Ghul before, but the reveal still worked for them, because Ra's was established and defined as a character early in the film. The key would simply be to make the reveal effective in a way that didn't depend on name recognition. They could've handled Brainiac the same way Nolan handled Ra's, by having a scene early in the film where Superman learned of a dangerous Kryptonian AI named Brainiac (perhaps while browsing the Fortress's database, similarly to how he learned of the Phantom Zone villains in Superman II). Or they could've had the surprise of the revelation depend, not on who Brainiac was, but on what he was -- the fact that this supposedly heroic Kryptonian was actually a murderous AI would be perfectly effective as a surprise revelation regardless of the AI's name recognition.
     
  2. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    As someone who was never into comics, I honestly don't care who the villains are, so long as they work effectively in the context of the film. Beyond Luthor and Zod (and only from the Donner films, at that), I really have very little knowledge of Superman's rogue's gallery -- so for me, the reveal would depend entirely on how it was executed in the film.
     
  3. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    They could homage the robotic "Terminator" Brainiac and build up the mystery by having the robot skull version attack Earth, until the new Kryptonian Guy saves him. This instantly earns him brownie points and is his example for why Earth should be saved by him: to make sure they're prepared for the next hostile alien attack.

    This makes the revelation that he IS Brainiac and the prior one was just his pawn/creation more effective.
     
  4. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    :guffaw:
     
  5. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    I see several problems. Granted it's not even a full treatment but...


    I assume this is all in the first 10-15 minutes of the film. Fair enough.

    Early big action sequence - in which Supes does what? Stands by and watches? "Krypto buddy lays waste to two armies" - that's a lot of people dead.

    The world rejoices at an all-powerful dictator enforcing peace at the end of his heat vision? WTF?

    TALK to him? He's just murdered numerous soldiers, declared himself dictator of earth and promised to end hunger, famine and disease, um, how exactly? Is he going to become a farmer and a doctor? These aren't exactly problems to be fixed by being able to lift heavy objects. Okay, share technology... nifty Kryptonian technology which apparently has the amazing ability to - grow big crystals when added to water? Fabulous!

    I know comic book movies can gloss over logic, but, seriously - how is the movie going to show him spreading the knowledge to build the technology to solve problems like famine and disease? Will it stop for 10 minutes in the middle to show Barniac's "Solve all the World's Problems University" being founded?

    Here's my biggest problem. Braniac perfects worlds - and then destroys them. And why does he destroy them? Because that's what eeevvvvilllll villains do?

    I can't even get into the whole Superman sacrifices his son (who has gone the way of so very many heroic offspring - directly into plot device territory) because the first half of the plot doesn't make much sense.
     
  6. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    In the Timm animated series, Brainiac would go around collecting all possible information on alien cultures he'd encounter and then destroy the planet. His reasoning being that "The fewer beings that have the knowledge, the more precious it becomes.", which is why he let Krypton be destroyed and prevented any evacuations from happening.
     
  7. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    I used to be confused as to why WB didn't let Singer have another go. SR did not less than decent box-office, and many superhero sequels improve on the first movie's take anyway, so why not?

    Now I know. :p
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    Does the hero have to be in every scene? A lot of stuff happened in The Dark Knight without Batman being involved.

    Unless he does it superhero-style and just "lays waste" to their weapons, tanks, missiles, etc. without harming the people.


    In the Silver Age comics, Superman wasn't just superstrong but superintelligent as well. I recall an imaginary story where Superman was dying and dedicated his last days to devising solutions to the world's major problems (most likely this was an inspiration for All-Star Superman).

    A lot of the famine and disease in the world are the result of warlords and dictators preventing food and medical supplies from reaching populations they don't like, or the result of wars destroying infrastructure and depleting national treasuries. If war and oppression were ended, then a reduction in famine and disease would be a logical consequence.

    As for finding cures for incurable diseases, well, this is Brainiac whether he admits it or not, so it stands to reason that he would have the intelligence to achieve that and would be able to demonstrate as much to the world.


    Hmm... a lot of the characters in this movie work for a newspaper... you don't suppose there's any way a movie could use the reporting of the news as a means of providing exposition, do you?


    I think the key may be the phrase "taking their technology." It sounds to me like the perfection he offers is the bait for the trap -- he lures them in by making it look like he's helping make their lives better, but it's to disguise the fact that he's stealing from them. Kinda like V.


    Well, it's a secondhand account of a rough premise for a story that never got out of the early development phase. Working out the bugs in a story outline is just what the development process is for. I'm sure plenty of the greatest movies had initial proposals that were about as cursory and problem-filled as this. You don't judge an oak by its acorn.
     
  9. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    ^ Is that why actors playing Superman wear a codpiece?
     
  10. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    I really doubt this was why WB said no to Singer. It looks to me like there would have been PLENTY of room in this story for the kind of action and excitement the studio wanted.

    More likely, they just realized that there wasn't enough enthusiasm out there for Singer's version of Superman, and it would be best to just try again later on with a new director.

    As much as I loved SR and wanted a sequel... I kind of have to agree with their reasoning.
     
  11. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    Do we know for sure that Singer was actually told no thanks for a sequel? I know that after "Superman Returns" Bryan had next on the docket his remake of "Logan's Run" which had been written by Chris McQuarrie but there were delays on that which led him to eventually working on "Valkyrie". WB seems to have just let everyone's contract on the sequel to expire. I highly suspect that over the course of pre-production that if this sequel had gone into production that this plot would have been reworked and extensively rewritten which makes me think that this is the initial idea for the sequel.
     
  12. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    Bryan Singer still has a very strong relationship with Warner Bros., who is distributing his next film Jack the Giant Killer. It was probably more of a case of Warner Bros. deciding to go in a different direction, similarly to how Tim Burton wanted to do another Batman movie after Batman Returns but WB talked him out of it (at least, according to Burton).

    The same thing probably happened with Singer- after all, he did talk to some degree about his plans and desire to do a Superman Returns sequel, and obviously based on Michael Dougherty's comments, and based on this story treatment, there was enough development work on this to confirm that at some point or another Singer thought he was going to make another Superman movie.
     
  13. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    That's not what I meant. Is Superman seriously not going to intervene as this guy interferes in a war? That seems remarkably uncharacteristic.

    I suppose that's possible - but the treatment says "lays waste to the armies", not "lays waste to the armies' equipment."


    I wasn't criticizing the idea of talking out a problem - I was expressing incredulity that after what Braniac has done, anyone would consider just a stern talking to an appropriate response.

    War and oppression are not ended by someone stronger coming along and killing governmental leaders - or did you miss the war in Iraq that we've been fighting the last 9 years? War and oppression are not ended until a functional government is in place with an infrastructure that can see to the distribution of food and medical supplies. As I said, I know a comic book story often glosses such finer points - but I would have a problem with any movie that suggested war, oppression, hunger and disease were ended in a short period of time by a single powerful person imposing their will on the world. That is beyond my suspension of disbelief.

    See my last point. I was asking how was the movie going to explain the more complicated aspects of fixing the world's problems in a short amount of time? Is he going to personally manufacture enough AIDs medicine to take care of everyone in Africa? Is he going to personally change the behavior of all the people who don't use condoms for cultural reasons to prevent further spread of the infection? How exactly would he do that?

    My issue is, the story appears to be hinging on the highly unrealistic idea that all the world needs is brute force and a big computer to solve everything. That's patently ridiculous and a poor premise for a story - even something as fantastical as a Superman story.

    And I think that is very kindly speculation on your part. This treatment has a barely even cursory explanation for the villain's motives.

    You do when it's placed on an internet bulletin board. Isn't giving our opinion of the treatment the point of the thread?
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    Depends on the nature of the intervention. If he's stopping the fighting without killing anyone, I don't see why Superman would object. Remember, in the Donnerverse (or Donneresque Singerverse), Superman was bound by Jor-El's "Prime Directive" not to interfere in human destiny. So he might be reluctant to interfere in anything that isn't endangering lives, especially if it's actually preventing death.


    No, the treatment doesn't say that, because this isn't the treatment. What you've been quoting is an IESB article summarizing the treatment. You can't assume that the IESB reporters' word choices accurately represent what was in the actual treatment they're describing.

    And even it were the verbatim text of the treatment, it's still just a treatment, a rough proposal in which nothing is carved in stone. It should be taken as read that every single word or concept is subject to change. So to dwell on specific word choices in a treatment, let alone a secondhand article describing a treatment, is misguided.



    Huh? My comment was in response to your statement that hunger and disease couldn't be solved by lifting heavy objects. I was saying that there's precedent for the Kryptonian power set including hyperintelligence which would enable solving such problems.


    I'm not saying they are. I wasn't making any such generalized point. I was simply responding to the one specific topic under discussion at that point -- namely, the question you posed of how Brainiac proposed to cure famine and disease. I was pointing out that, IF war and oppression were eliminated -- a purely hypothetical premise for the sake of argument -- a reduction in famine and disease would logically follow. Therefore, Brainiac's claim of being able to eliminate famine and disease tends to follow from his claim of being able to eliminate war. I was offering no opinion on whether that claim was valid in practice.



    No, the story hinged on the idea that Brainiac could convince the world that he was capable of solving all its problems. It only says he promises to end famine and disease; it never says he actually fulfills those promises. If you don't think it's realistic that someone could convince the public to believe in a patently ridiculous premise, then you must have missed the entire Bush administration.


    No, the Internet article summarizing the treatment has a barely cursory explanation. We don't know how detailed the actual treatment was. And it's a given that a treatment lacks detail that is developed in the scriptwriting process.
     
  15. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    One would argue that this version of Superman does not possess the hyper intelligence other versions have. There is nothing in the Donner versions or Returns that would suggest this is included as part of Clark's powers.
     
  16. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    ^ Well, he does speed-read a whole stack of newspapers in a SR deleted scene, but I otherwise agree.

    I think the main take-away here is that Brainiac is a villain as lame as his name.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    I think the DC Animated Universe established that Brainiac can be one of Superman's most effective adversaries. Superman doesn't really have that deep a rogues' gallery, and Brainiac's near the top of the roster.

    As for the name, I think it sounds corny to us because we're used to hearing "brainiac" used as a facetious nickname or insult. But that usage is in direct reference to the character of Brainiac. And the fact that the character's name has become a generic term in popular culture says something about its effectiveness, I think.
     
  18. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    Geoff Johns in my opinion aside from the DCUA has used Brainiac the best, making him truly fearsome and once more restoring his connection to Krypton. The cold, calculating machine aspect of Brainiac, the absolute desire for knowledge is something that is compelling to me.
     
  19. Saul

    Saul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    That is why I was saying a reveal wouldn't work.

    Exactly and also because it was publicised that Ken Watanabe was Ra's and Neeson would be Batman's trainer Ducard. So Ra's is advertised as being in the film. The twist worked because it was two actors playing two different characters and what works with the audience was that the beginning of the movie established Neeson in a more heroic light than Ra's so seeing him come back at the end as the actual villain was a surprise to all.

    Having this Krypto guy ordering people about in the world already sets him up as an obsticle to Superman whether or not he becomes Brainiac.

    What would work better is having Superman's son being Brainiac all along.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Full story for Bryan Singer's planned SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel reve

    Not if it's handled in a way that he initially appears to be a benevolent figure, which was evidently the intent. After all, a similar story has already been told, as the premiere episode of the DCAU Justice League series. In that story, Superman worked with Senator (and former astronaut) J. Allen Carter to execute a plan for global disarmament, which the world responded to positively (though with some dissenters). Ultimately it turned out that Carter was an alien infiltrator using Superman as a dupe to render Earth defenseless against an invasion. So it's not impossible that a story like this could be structured in such a way that Superman considered the character an ally at first. Again, it's important to remember that what we're reading here is only a secondhand summary of a rough treatment, and its handling of the tale doesn't necessarily represent the tone, approach, or level of detail that the hypothetical movie might have had. There's an enormous amount of room for interpretation here. (Indeed, realistically, there's no guarantee that the final movie would've borne more than the tiniest resemblance to this treatment. Very few preliminary treatments in Hollywood reach the big screen largely unchanged.)
     

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