Work begins on sequel to Superman Returns
Official confirmation of a sequel to 2006's Superman Returns finally came last week from director Bryan Singer.
Singer's Superman Returns had received its fair share of criticism from critics, Superman fans and moviegoers in general. Many of whom found the man of steel's return to the big screen to be a little too nostalgic and romance-based.
Having cost an estimated $200 million to produce, Superman Returns fell short of the epic impact required for a Superman movie. It went on to gross approximately $400 million and though that's no small feat, it fell far short of Warner Bros. expectations and many doubted if the studio would give Singer an attempt at a sequel.
That however has proven to be hearsay as in an interview with Empire magazine, Singer said:
"I don’t know what constitutes under-performing these days...Look, I can understand, I suppose, what some people mean. Perhaps some people went in with the expectation of it being like an X-Men film, and Superman is a tougher character than that. Especially bringing him back. It really goes back to the fact that you can only please some of the people some of the time. But, yes, I’m just getting back with writers after the strike. We’re just in the development phase. I’m starting to develop a sequel...with the intention of directing it."
"The first one was a romantic film and a nostalgic film. I’ll be the first person to own up to that without making any apologies for it. I knew it was going to be that from the outset. And now that the characters are established, there’s really an opportunity to up the threat levels...Clearly there’ll be a body count. From frame one, it will be unrelenting terror! All those teenage girls who found the movie and mooned over James Marsden or Brandon? Well, I’m going to wake them up!"
It's welcome news to Superman fans such as myself and personally, I enjoyed Superman Returns. I found the nostalgia to be the perfect means to provide continuity with Donner's truly memorable work on 1978's Superman The Movie.
Though we're happy to hear that Singer is directing the sequel, currently titled Superman: Man of Steel, writers for the project haven't yet been confirmed and it's widely believed that Returns' writers Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris won't themselves be making a return.
Brandon Routh, who filled Reeves' boots as both Clark Kent and Superman effortlessly, will return for the sequel and is expected to be joined by Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane. A villain for the sequel hasn't yet been confirmed, but we'd be surprised if Lex Luthor didn't feature in some form.
Now that Singer has the characters already established and the foundations placed, he'll have the freedom to create the epic Superman feature that we fans demand. Will he ever be able to meet the expectations set by Donner's 1978 Superman? We'd like to hope so.
Despite widespread complaints, I found that Superman Returns wasn't too far from the ideal mix of story, romance, nostalgia and action. I'll only hope that Singer doesn't take the complaints to heart and ultimately create a sequel that provides plenty of thrills but no real substance.
My one wish for the sequel would be the further inclusion of Smallville and the Kents. Though Jor-El was featured on various occasions in Returns, I'd liked to have seen more mention of Jonathon Kent, the father I believe had the biggest influence on Kal-El as a person. Rather than visit the Fortress of Solitude to seek guidance, I'd like to see Superman visit Jonathon's resting place in Smallville.
Still, Singer can't please all fans right? Let's just hope he delivers a movie that can please most.