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Zack Snyder: ‘Superman franchise is broken’

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Zack Snyder Calls Superman ‘Broken,’ Disses ‘Thor’

It seems Superman is a difficult character for creators to grasp, both in the world of comics and film. Hence the reason Bryan Singer made Superman Returns – it was so much easier to basically remake Richard Donner’s Superman (this time with Baby Superman!) than to branch out into uncharted cinematic territory.

Over the weekend, director Zack Snyder talked to our very own Roth Cornet about his approach to Superman: Man of Steel, a film he’s calling “the most realistic” he’s ever made – which isn’t saying much when you look at his filmography. Yesterday, Snyder talked to Hollywood Outbreak and referred to Superman as a broken concept, while managing to diss Marvel’s Thor in the process.

It should be noted that when Zack Snyder said, “Superman is broken and I think it needs to be fixed,” his wife and producing partner, Deborah Snyder, interjected with, “From a movie standpoint.” At which point Snyder repeated, “From a movie standpoint.” So Snyder isn’t calling the Superman of the comic books broken, even though many a comic book fan would have no problem saying just that.

Snyder continued to discuss Superman’s movie problem, going so far as to mock Thor by comparison:

“[Superman] is the freaking […] biggest superhero on the planet. He’s the father of every superhero. [Deborah and I] were just talking about this – I’m like, really? Thor? Thor has a movie? [Laughter.] Really? I mean, come on. And there’s no Superman movie? This is, like, the world’s out of balance. It’s like, we’ve lost our minds here, people, come on.”

Listen, there’s no doubt that, cinematically-speaking, Superman has a massive problem. The fact that there hasn’t been a truly successful Superman film since 1980 is both astounding and sad. That said, there’s no reason in the world to denigrate the Marvel version of Thor, who was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and perhaps the greatest comics creator of all time, Jack Kirby. Hell, at least Superman has had quality representation in film – twice over. The last time Thor was seen in a movie theater was The Adventures of Babysitting.

Superman Versus Thor in JLA Avengers Crossover

Zack Snyder also discussed the meeting he had with producers Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas before he took the directing job:

“When [Christopher and Emma] asked Deborah and I out to lunch [to tell us] what they wanted to do with [Man of Steel] – I’ve got to say, [beforehand] I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can [do Superman]. [Afterward], I was like, ‘This is right.’ […] I didn’t need to hear that much before I went, ‘Okay, that’s right, that’s the right way to do it.’ […] I’m a fan of the character. I want him to be awesome.”

Check out the full audio recording at Hollywood Outbreak.

While I agree with Zack Snyder that every Superman film since 1980 has been insignificant or just plain bad, I’m not sure the way toward creating the best possible Superman film is realism. After all, the best iteration of Superman in the past twenty years was Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman, which was all kinds of strange, ridiculous, and about as far away from realism as a story can get. In the end, realistic or not, Man of Steel’s quality will be determined not by its style, but by – well, everything else.

Superman: Man of Steel hits theaters December 2012.

Source: Hollywood Outbreak

Superman art by Alex Ross and George Perez

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American comic characters come to life at Chicago convention

by Jing Zhao Cesarone

CHICAGO, March 19 (Xinhua) — Stepping into Chicago’s McCormick Place on Friday is like diving head-first into a fantasyland, where America’s favorite superheroes like Spider-man and Superman are guests of honor. Comic fans can be kids again at the annual pop culture convention.

After much anticipation, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) kicked off Friday and continues through Sunday at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago.

The worlds of comics and film, collectibles and games combined into the biggest pop culture gala to hit the shores of Lake Michigan, bringing the heartbeat of American pop culture to the core of America’s heartland.

The expo connects comic and pop culture aficionados, media and industry professionals with the newest and most exciting products, personalities and characters in the world of pop culture and entertainment.

Besides a bevy of booths for the top names in publishing, some event highlights include celebrity guest appearances and new 2011 releases such as “Thor.”

Many accomplished high profile writers, artists, and creators including Brian Michael Bendis, China Mieville, Paul Cornell and Scott Snyder join or have plans to join the show.

Bendis was an obvious center of attention at the increasingly crowded booth of Marvel, a well-known American comic publisher. Wearing a big smile and in high spirits, he signed autographs and shook hands with his fans, saying “Thank you very much!”

Bryan Loltz, a graduate student and hard core comic fan, could hardly contain his excitement at meeting Bendis and getting his autograph. Enthusiastically showing his growing collection of comics and an iPhone photo of his room full of comic posters, Loltz said “I am just so excited to be here! It is unbelievable.”

Loltz’s friend Dan Latham, an actor who appeared in multiple hits such as “The Dark Knight,” was in the middle of a long line wrapping around the Marvel booth.

“We are waiting for autographs from Michael Bendis, one of the best writers in the field. He is my favorite Spider-man writer. I have loved Spider-man since I was a kid because he is just a regular guy trying to do good things, and one of the most relatable superheroes,” he told Xinhua.

“They (The comic companies) almost have everything here, like movie screenings, comics, gaming, and celebrities.”

Walking around the expo, one cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the variety of characters and personalities dressed in shining, brightly-colored costumes.

A couple of characters from X-Men: Ages of Apocalypse told Xinhua that “Every five feet we walk, we get stopped by people to talk and take pictures with us.”


Kevin Costner Confirmed As Pa Kent In Zack Snyder’s ‘Superman’

News popped up a few weeks ago that veteran actor Kevin Costner was in the running for an unnamed role in Zack Snyder‘s upcoming DC Comics adaptation, “Superman.” The word at the time was that there was a “heightened interest” in having him step into “a key role” in the movie. Now both the casting and the role have been confirmed.

Costner will play Clark Kent’s adoptive father, Jonathan Kent, according to a Warner Bros press release. He joins the recently cast Diane Lane, who is set to play Clark’s mother, Martha.

Costner and Lane’s characters will be offering parental wisdom to Snyder’s Superman, confirmed in late-January to be played by “The Tudors” star Henry Cavill.

Snyder said in a statement, “Jonathan Kent is the only father figure Clark has ever had, the man who was there to help Clark understand what he was meant to do in the world as Superman. Kevin will be able to communicate the quiet strength of this rural American man who raised the greatest super hero of all time.”

Costner is no stranger to playing the “rural American man.” He was just that in “Dances With Wolves,” which earned him two Academy Awards for producing and directing, and which he starred in. The down-home middle American is an attribute that is characteristic of many of Costner’s performances, in films as diverse as “Field of Dreams,” “Bull Durham,” “Swing Vote” and even the post-apocalyptic drama “The Postman.”

Given Costner’s past experience with similar characters, would you say that he’s a good fit for the role of Jonathan Kent? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!

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Kevin Costner closes deal to join "Superman"

Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:07pm EDT

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Kevin Costner has closed a deal to join the cast of Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ new “Superman” movie being directed by Zack Snyder.

Costner will join a group of actors that so far includes Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel and Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Superman’s adopted Earth mother. Costner will play Jonathan Kent, the hero’s adoptive father.

In comics lore, the Kents are portrayed as the two people who most influence Superman, helping give direction to his moral compass and teaching his honorable values. In varying runs of the many comic books, Jonathan Kent is portrayed as having passed away after Clark Kent graduated from high school to being alive and well when the older Clark has his adventures as Superman.

The part of Pa Kent was famously played by Glenn Ford in the Richard Donner Superman movie; the character suffered a heart attack, lending the movie some of its poignancy.

Whether Costner will have an on-screen death is being kept very tightly under the cape by Warner Bros. and producers Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder.


DC Comic Book Bits: Early ‘Wonder Woman’ Logo Revealed; All Five ‘Superman …

We’ve got quite a few little updates on comic book related projects today — enough that DC Comics characters get their own post. First up is a possible logo for Wonder Woman, seen above. This was snapped on set, but that doesn’t mean it is final. It will, however, give you a general idea of the design for the new David E. Kelley produced show, which stars Adrianne Palicki as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman and Cary Elwes, Tracie Thoms, Pedro Pascal and Elizabeth Hurley. [WonderWomanTV]

After the break, Diane Lane talks about her role in Zack Snyder’s Superman, and the existing Superman films get one big blu-ray release.

Diane Lane is one of the few officially announced cast members for Zack Snyder‘s new Superman. She plays Martha Kent, adoptive mother to Henry Cavill‘s Clark Kent. There’s a chance that Kevin Costner will play her husband Jonathan Kent, but that isn’t confirmed. Over the weekend the actress spoke in vague terms about the film, with USA Weekend writing:

“I love 300 and I’m very flattered to play Martha Kent and live up to his vision. It’s pretty cool.” Lane, who can be seen next in the HBO film Cinema Verite, airing April 23 (and which we’ll have more about next month), is stoked about having Superman as a son. “I’ve always wanted to raise a good man,” she quips. “I thought that was the biggest challenge a woman could have, and so I get the embarrassment of riches.”

Finally, Bleeding Cool points to an Amazon UK pre-order page for The Superman Motion picture Anthology, which has a June 13, 2011 release date. The set is listed as a five-disc package on Amazon, but is also said to be region-free, which means that if the release doesn’t hit quickly in the US, you’ll be able to safely import the discs. (The old issue with UK PAL DVDs not being playable on most US NTSC players is largely gone, thanks to HD and Blu-ray, though there’s a chance some US players will run into an issue with PAL content in non-HD bonus features.)

Now, there have been previous reports that the set would be six or eight discs, including both versions of Superman II and up to two discs of extras. This listing seems to counter that rumor, but we don’t have all the details yet. If this is a five-disc set, it may include simple reissues of existing BR discs, plus the blu debuts of Superman III and Superman IV.

The Digital Bits confirms that the Anthology will be released in the US, but we don’t know if it will be the same  set, or if the release date will be the same as the UK version.

Here’s the box art that’s making the rounds:

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