Superman Begins

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Admiral_Young, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    ^You're not making much sense. How big a role could Superman play in the 1/2 to 2/3 of the movie that he's a baby? Nolan's Batman movies are about Batman's adult world, a world that he actively participates in via both identities. Krypton isn't Superman's world, it's the world he came from. There's a difference. All Krypton needs to do is explode in short order, just like Thomas and Martha Wayne just need to get shot sooner rather than later. Give us a couple of brief scenes so we'll give a crap about them, and then they're gone. Krypton doesn't even need that much. We don't need to care about Krypton.
     
  2. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We do need to care about Krypton since one of his rouges originates from that place and is an old enemy of his fathers. Krypton is an important piece of who Superman is and where he came from, just as Vulcan is for Spock who is part human. Krypton's politics and sociological state is just as important as how Clark Kent was raised since it is basically resulted in sending him there. I'm not saying focus the entire first half of a movie on Krypton...although I would dig that if it was done properly, but to say we shouldn't care about Krypton isn't exactly a prone statement.
     
  3. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    No, we don't need to. You can go there and examine it in greater depth if you want, but it is simply not necessary. Krypton died in the first panel of Superman #1. That was all we needed to know about it.

    If you're doing a Zod movie, sure, you need to know more. If you're not, it's superfluous detail. A movie has to focus on the story at hand.
     
  4. Galactus

    Galactus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ok I am not following what you are saying. We needed to know how Bruce became Batman complete with his training, yet we don't need to know how Clark became Superman including where his powers come from especially if they want to expand on the idea or make changes?

    I don't see why that is a problem at all. It would be like doing a King Arthur movie but not show him pull the sword from the stone.
     
  5. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think what people are saying is that Superman's origin has been covered A LOT in TV shows/movies about him, particularly in Superman: The Movie, which gave us a very detailed, well developed version of it.

    On the other hand, Batman was never given such an elaborate origin in a movie until Batman Begins. Before that, we pretty much just got a view of Bruce's parents being killed and then jumping forward 20 or so years when he's already Batman. In the media, we were never shown why he decided to become Batman (he didn't have to become a costumed hero) or how he developed his skills and technology to become Batman. He simply was with no explanation. And for those earlier interpretations, such as the Burton movie, it worked and wasn't ultimately needed.

    I think that is what people are suggesting for a future Superman film. As it stands, there really isn't any major reason to give movie goers another detailed origin tale. Other people in this thread are suggesting that maybe we are given an already established Supes, but have a quick flashback to his early life if the film calls for one.

    Now, not doing a detailed origin would defeat the purpose of a Superman Begins, so if that is what you are worried about, we can call it Superman: Already Begun, But Still Kinda New.
     
  6. Galactus

    Galactus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I understand what they are saying, I just don't agree with it. You are assuming the entire movie public either knows everything about Superman or doesn't want to see a new origin tale of Superman.

    I think people here are biased because they have taken in a lot of Superman and have seen his origin the way that they want, so they don't see a need to do it again. That is the same thing Singer felt and did which is why we got SR in the first place. Instead of starting from the beginning and telling his own tale, he just pick up from the place he wanted to in his Superman world that he liked. If you don't start over again, you are going to make assumptions about the character that may or may not be true for this version. We need to know why Clark chooses to be Superman just as much as why Bruce became Batman because he did not have to make that choice.
     
  7. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    I think it's too soon to do something like this... because they've already tried it (and are STILL doing it) with "Smallville."

    Now, had they ended "Smallville" after three seasons, this would've segued into a "Superman Begins" thing perfectly... but they didn't... and now "Smallville" is some sort of alternate-universe thing. But it's still on the air... and I can hardly imagine another "Young Superman gets his start" so close to the current one.

    Give it another five years or so, and I'd say it'd be perfect for a "Superman Begins" approach. Of course, John Byrne did this in the comics with "Man of Steel" way back when... and that's been used regularly since then (most notably with "Lois and Clark").

    The question is... how do you do it in the course of a MOVIE? While "Batman begins" was basically a combination of the books "Batman Year One" with two others ("The Long Halloween" and "The Man Who Falls"), and thus was suitable to a single story... "Superman Year One" would really need to be a miniseries at the very least, I think... at least without making it too "trite."

    I was SOOOO hopeful that "Smallville" was going to get it right (and I think Tom Welling looks sufficiently "Superman-ish" to play the role). But I've stopped watching that completely now.
     
  8. Galactus

    Galactus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But who is actually watching Smallville. It is not like it is a top 10 show. It really is no different than if a cartoon was on.
     
  9. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd Vice Admiral

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    Live action shows like Smallville have more "legitimacy" than cartoons and they target the same demographic as the movies. With Smallville, I think WB flooded the market with too much Superman, thereby decreasing demand for Superman Returns. The public wasn't as hungry as it could have been for another Superman movie.
     
  10. Galactus

    Galactus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It wasn't that long ago that people were saying the same thing about "superhero" movies not being legitimate when compared to normal movies. I would say Disney put that argument to rest a long time ago. The work just has to be good.
     
  11. TheArsenal

    TheArsenal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I read comics, although not many Superman titles, and have seen the cartoons and the Donner films countless times. So I feel like I've seen the Superman origin thousands of times already. Accordingly, it's difficult for me to be objective enough about this to say what the "average movie goer" (my favorite make believe concept used around here) feels. But I can't imagine anyone would be willing to have adult Supes sit on the sideline for the amount of time it would take to get through a straight forward origin that takes up a large part of the film. Even heavy use of flashbacks would tax my patience. We may not have strictly seen an origin story on film in 30 years, but SR more or less renewed that version - and it didn't even give us a fully formed Superman in action but spent its two hours reestablishing him and his current world - which makes yet another retelling of the origin feel that much more like spinning wheels. At some point you just have to get on with it.

    Assuming a reboot, if his origin is needed for story purposes, get Superman up and running in one good film with out it, and circle back on it during a second film after viewer goodwill has been reestablished.
     
  12. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If there is a reboot, restart, or redo, the origin should be dispatched with great ease as it was at the beginning of Superman Returns or better yet the manner in which it was dealt with in All-Star Superman. It could have a series of quick images, like comic-book panels, with narration or captions that read: "Doomed Planet. Desperate Parents. Last Hope. Kindly Couple."

    Then move into a story that truly tests the heart of Superman in a well-crafted nuanced script that doesn't pander to just fist fights and costumed theatrics. Superman, like Batman, can be treated maturely. SR attempted to do just that, but failed in a great number of places. Nevertheless, I enjoyed that movie and its visual representation of the world of Superman.
     
  13. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Even before the concept of Superman Returns was announced, I didn't see the need for a retelling of the origin story. As has been pointed out, we've had the 1978 movie, Smallville and Lois and Clark among others.

    I would simply take the Goldeneye approach, rather than the Casino Royale one. The lead character may have been off screens for some years, but everyone knows who he is. Everyone knows who Q, M or Moneypenny is and everyone knows who Lex, Lois and Perry White are. There's no need for concessions to the audience - everyone knows who James Bond is and what he's about and everyone knows the same about Superman. You have a slap bang intro, maybe have 5 or 10 minutes of exposition to bring us up to date on where the hero is now, then just stick him in an adventure. Goldeneye was a real old-fashioned, crowd-pleasing traditional 007 adventure and I think that's what The Man of Steel needs.

    As Casino Royale was the first Bond novel and there'd never been a movie telling of Bond's origins before, you can see why they went for this approach when Eon finally got the rights to it. But there's no such gap in Superman's history to be filled.
     
  14. Galactus

    Galactus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The thread should be Superman Ccontinues instead of Superman Begins. I am starting to see why Superman Returns turned out the way that it did. I am guessing Singer felt like a lot of you and I am thinking a lot of people around him felt the same way which is why they went with continuing the story instead of telling a new one.

    There are too many versions of Superman with too many different abilities for you to do a reboot of Superman without establishing what this Superman is. I guess I will just have to give up on this argument.
     
  15. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    I tend to agree, but I'll even go a step further.

    The story shouldn't REQUIRE the audience to know the history of the character. Yes, it should do everything possible to avoid overtly contradicting things that people do know... but a GOOD "Superman" film won't need to rehash anything... and ideally will "fit in" to whatever version of the origin that a particular reader remembers most fondly without having to reference any of them.

    Start off with an adult, established, Clark Kent. Don't bother to tell us everything about his past, or to dwell on ANY prior incarnation (but avoid contradicting them). And tell us a NEW STORY which stands on it's own without requiring huge amounts of canonical knowledge.

    Oh, and of course make it a good story... that ought to be obvious. ;)
     
  16. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    I was arguing against the proposed movie that would spend 1/2 to 2/3 of its time on Krypton. I know you want another all-out origin movie, but can you honestly say that you would support that? I've seen you argue that Batman '89 was an origin movie...yet it didn't get into Batman's background with anything like the detail of BB. Why wouldn't the same approach work with Superman? The most detail that the audience needs to know about Superman's origin can be recapped very quickly, a la the intro of the first Fleischer cartoon, or the one- or two-page origins in the early Superman and Batman stories. The origin doesn't need to be the focus of an entire movie again. If the focus is on an established Superman, the origin can be a brief bit of exposition.

    A-fucking-men!

    Indeed. That gels with my idea of having an established Superman who doesn't yet know where he's from. He could encounter Kryptonite in the first movie, possibly being used by Metallo, which would provide clues that would be explored in the second film.

    You've argued that most people don't know the details of Superman's origin. I'll up the ante and argue that most people don't care about the details of Superman's origin. Give them a good Superman adventure with minimal origin details and they'll be perfectly happy. The only people who have to know every detail of how the current movie incarnation of Superman differs from all of the previous versions of Superman, are the people who are familiar with various versions of Superman. The fine continuity details that you as an informed fan require are going to be lost on Joe Public.

    Indeed...similar to that World's Finest trailer, which draws implied continuity from various sources. Keep the origin and background details vague enough, drawing from a number of sources, and you potentially disappoint less fans who'll be looking for "their" version of Superman.
     
  17. Galactus

    Galactus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ok so are we arguing the length of the origin or no origin at all. Those are two different arguments. Since we are talking Begins, I was thinking of that type of origin with different aspects being shown, something I wanted to see with SR. I am coming at this like it is the first Superman movie ever done. It doesn't matter if you have seen or read everything ever done about Superman. My goal would be to simply make this the best take on the character.

    I think that is what Nolan did with Batman, based on all the praise the movie has received. Ledger followed Nickelson's Joker, which despite what people think here, was well liked and for a lot of people is still the best Joker.

    So it doesn't matter if people care if a origin story is told or not, the person that does the movie should care and should try to tell the best Superman story ever told, even if it is the millionth time it has been told. They should want to create the defining Superman.
     
  18. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    There are a number of different ideas being thrown about it this thread. I like quite a few of them to varying degrees. The one with the majority of the first movie taking place on Krypton is the one I would support least. My second least favorite would be to do the beat-by-beat full-length origin in chronological order al la the Donner film and the origin episode of the George Reeves TV series. It's been done many, many times, and it's old and stale. If you want, as it seems, a new take on Superman for a new generation, why not break the old paradigms and tell the origin in a different way, at least?

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. One person's "best take" might suck mightily to others.

    And does the best Superman story necessarily have to be his origin? Why constantly reinvent the wheel when you can go somewhere fresh? There are more stories to tell than the origin.
     
  19. Galactus

    Galactus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    When I say I want an origin, I am not saying I want a life story. I do want a telling of this Superman and who he is. That is the superhero story telling formula, since the beginning. Can you do a Superman movie without telling his origin and it be good sure. But you don't have to give it up just because other people have done it in the past, which is what I hear a lot of people saying.