Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 finale)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Servo, May 17, 2010.

  1. Servo

    Servo Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Part of me is starting to wish that the last 10 years of Smallville have all just been one big setup. They spend 10 years giving us a generally mediocre show, that has flashes of brilliance every now and again, and constantly teases us with Supes mythology, and by the time that show ends, the fans are literally dying for a legitimate weekly Superman show - Red and Blues, secret identity, Lex Luthor, the whole nine yards.

    What better time to release one?

    It's been joked often on the internet that Smallville should have been re-named "Metropolis" by now, seeing as the town of Smallville barely features in it anymore. Maybe that's not such a bad idea. For all people on the internet can moan about Welling's acting, or the writing, I think if they ditched the whole "No Flights, No Tights" mantra that seems to have plagued Smallville for the last 10 years, and they were allowed to cut loose and make a full on Superman show without tip-toeing around the mythology, I think they'd be capable of making a damn good show. It probably wouldn't hurt for a show like that to have access to a larger budget, but I think they could pull it off.

    It would be a bold move to "evolve" the show, and re-brand it from "Superman - The Early Years" into "Superman", but one that I think would really pay off.

    Basically, if the rumours of next season featuring Darkseid/Apokolips are true, then it would be an ideal opportunity to turn Clark into Superman. I mean, Apokolips would be such a massive threat to Earth - much more so than Zod's army ever were - that Clark has to fully embrace his destiny in order to defeat Darkseid. I'd love to see Clark, in the season 10 finale, pull on the Superman outfit, and give a Doctor Who-esque "This planet is protected" speech, before leading the JSA/JLA heroes against Darkseid.

    After that, use whatever maguffin to create Clark's dual identity (hell, they've been using them for 10 years, why stop now?), and re-brand the show as Metropolis season 1, with the same actors, bringing us a proper Superman show.

    I'm well aware that it would never happen in a million years. There'd be far too many things getting in the way of making it happen - budget constraints, the alleged fact that Welling won't wear the suit, the difficulty of getting the actors to commit to maybe another 5-10 years of the show if it's successful, the rumours of a Nolan-produced Superman reboot on the big screen... etc

    Hell, I can dream, can't I?
     
  2. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    I think some of the problems with that is Warner Bros. would probably not allow Smallville to be re-branded as a Superman show -- I think if that were to happen, it would have happened five years ago. WB wants the best of both worlds -- they want their Superman show, but without Superman, and they want their Superman movie franchise, with Superman, because it is more lucrative.

    I think so long as WB wishes to continue making Superman movies, Superman on the small screen is going to get short-sighted like it has been for the past ten seasons. Plus, as you mentioned, with the rumblings over a potential new Superman reboot under the guise of Christopher Nolan, I really doubt we'll be seeing Tom Welling don the Superman suit anytime soon. I think WB will try and drain Smallville for all its worth, even with rumors of next season being the last, and basically tease us periodically like they have been doing. I don't see how anything will change.

    Basically, I've come to the conclusion that the biggest "reveal" we'll see in terms of actually witnessing Tom Welling as Superman is going to be a really tiny reveal at the very end of the very last episode, and that will be it. I think it will leave fans generally disappointed, and overall honestly will leave fans with a bad taste in their mouths, and an overall bad opinion of the show when all is said and done. I just don't see how things can be rectified or turned around at this point. After ten years, Smallville has fans pretty conditioned to be constantly disappointed.
     
  3. Servo

    Servo Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    ^ Yeah, I can't disagree with any of that.

    It's a shame really, because it'd be great to see a weekly Superman show on TV again. Plus, if I'm honest, I'd be much more interested in a TV show, than another movie at this point.

    But, as you say, WB will never allow a TV and a Movie incarnation of the character to exist at the same time, so if they really are pushing for a reboot of the franchise in 2012(?), they'll never go for a weekly show.
     
  4. MeanJoePhaser

    MeanJoePhaser Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    WB wants to fail both ways.
     
  5. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    Actually, so am I. As for Welling, if he doesn't want to do it, chuck him and get somebody else. It's not like he's the first guy to play that part anyway. A new Superman show would be a golden opportunity to recast across the board.

    Of course, the downside is the producers would probably hire even younger "prettier" actors , and we'd be stuck with a cast who couldn't act their way out of a box.
     
  6. Servo

    Servo Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    I'd accept a re-cast character line-up if it was absolutely necessary to get a proper Superman show off the ground. However, for all Smallville's faults, I have essentially spent 10 years investing in these actors and their interpretation of the characters, so it would be nice to see them taken to the next level.

    Besides, I think fandom (or at least Procutus) would explode if anyone ever tried to re-cast Chloe Sullivan. ;)
     
  7. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    Oops. I forgot. Mack. We MUST have Mack. I agree completely.

    I should be slapped for that.

    And Erica Durance. The best thing to happen to Lois Lane since Teri Hatcher. Although, if by some miracle we actually could get Hatcher, to hell with Durance. Either way, I'm having serious drooling problems here.

    Okay, bring back Mack and Durance, but ditch Welling and Kruek.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    On the other hand, I choose to think of the title these days as a reference to Lois's nickname for Clark (which, by the way, this show cribbed from Superman: The Animated Series, just as it cribbed Jimmy's "CK" nickname for Clark from Lois and Clark). So it's not a show about Smallville, Kansas anymore, it's a show about Clark "Smallville" Kent.
     
  9. Servo

    Servo Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    I suppose I never really thought about it like that. It works in the context of the show as it is, but do you think it would work as the title of a show about Superman, as opposed to what it is now - a show about Clark Kent?
     
  10. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    I think if the show were to be reorganized and rebranded into an outright Superman show, the title would need to be changed accordingly.
     
  11. Servo

    Servo Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    ^ That's what I mean. "Smallville" is fine for a show about Clark Kent, but the title of a show about Superman needs a bit more gravitas, or at least be more relevant to the content of the show.

    "Metropolis" would be the logical choice if they wanted to keep it tied to Smallville. Hell, I'd be happy if they just called it "Superman".
     
  12. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    I think Metropolis is a sort of blasé title, but I like the simplicity of something like Superman. I don't think we've ever had a Superman TV show with that title.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    What I'd really like to see evolving from this universe is a Justice League show, anchored by Phil Morris.

    Actually that was the official title of the 1996 Warner Bros. animated series that's more commonly known as Superman: The Animated Series. It was also the name of the 1988 Ruby-Spears animated series.
     
  14. Servo

    Servo Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    It would fit with the current trent for one-word show titles, and (if you go with turning Smallville into a Superman show) with the writers use of one-word episode titles.
     
  15. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    All right. So we've never had a live-action Superman TV show with that title. 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).
     
  16. Servo

    Servo Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    Would you have Superman as a main character, or as a recurring one, or even on the show at all?

    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?
     
  17. Servo

    Servo Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    Technically, yeah, you're right. There was a 15-part serial from the late 40's that showed at movie theatres that was called "Superman", so there's been a theatrical version with that name, just not a feature length one.
     
  18. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    I think you have that reversed. The title of the 1996 cartoon was always Superman: The Animated Series, but was often times simply shortened to Superman for promos and TV listings.

    Interestingly, the show never showed its title during its run.

    As an interesting aside, the show was then later retitled The New Superman Adventures when it combined with The New Batman Adventures.

    The title as displayed in the film was simply Superman.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    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.


    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.


    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.
     
  20. Servo

    Servo Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

    ^ Ah, fair enough. I was unsure of their status in the comics at the time the pilot was made. I suppose it would be easier to get away with if it was a Smallville spin-off JL show. Again, no-one would expect Batman or Wonder Woman to be on the show, seeing as they never appeared or were mentioned in Smallville continuity. Superman could just be off doing Superman things, with the occasional appearance. Or have his absence be part of the story arc.
     

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