It’s not always easy being Superman, especially when it comes to film. Despite two strong efforts in Superman and Superman II, subsequent Superman films have had some difficulty getting off the ground. Superman III and IV were downright atrocious. Superman Returns received a less than perfect response from critics, and only grossed a modest $391 million dollars worldwide on a budget of $209 million, hardly the soaring success that was expected. But with the latest installment, Man of Steel, being released on June 14, 2013, here’s five reasons why the fans, finally, have a Superman film to look forward to.
5. It’s a new beginning
It may seem unheard of now, but before Batman Begins, the word “reboot” was rarely used in Hollywood. Now there is something of a reboot craze, with everything wanting to be a ‘dark and gritty origin story’. Michael Bay and Jonathan Liebsmann are doing this with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, of all things. Sheesh.
Unlike many of the other pointless reboots coming our way, however, Superman is one of the few characters who would actually benefit from a re-imagining. The first Superman film, directed by Richard Donner, was released in 1978 to huge critical and financial acclaim. The sequel, however, was less successful, suffering from having Donner, who was the original director, drop out partway into filming in favor of Richard Lester, who claimed never to have heard of Superman up until that point, and believe me, you could tell by watching the film. Donner released his own cut in 2006, which, despite using raw audition footage, is much better than Lester’s outing.
Most fans pretend that the second the third and fourth films never happened, and when Superman Returns was released in 2006, it was too late to carry on the already dead franchise. Brandon Routh bore a remarkable strong resemblance to Christopher Reeve, but simply did not have what it took to make both Superman and Clark Kent into believable characters. Likewise, Kevin Spacey seemed be unsure of whether or not Lex Luthor was intended to be a sinister villain or a campy cartoon bad guy. Similarly, much of the film’s ‘humour’ did not work, such as having Kal Penn play a bumbling, silent henchman who crashes toy trains into one another.
But Man of Steel (notice that like The Dark Knight, it does not feature the hero’s name in the title) will be a fresh new beginning which will keep everything fans love, such as the character’s origins and the action that you would expect to see in a Superman movie whilst at the same time being new, exciting and offering today’s generation a fresh introduction into the most well-known superhero of all time.