Saturday, August 23, 2008

Superman, "Officially" Re-Booted!!

On Tuesday of this week, I had done a story on the status of DC and WB's film property Superman. WB and DC were at odds over whether to re-boot the superhero or continue with Bryan Singer's "Superman Returns" storyline and make a sequel which had been called "Superman: Man of Steel." The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that WB has made a final decision on the status of the franchise, and the final conclusion is "re-boot."

Jeff Robinov told The Wall Street Journal, "Now the plan is just to reintroduce Superman." Robinov stressed his and the studios disappointment in Bryan Singer's 2006 "Superman Returns" by saying, "'Superman' didn't quite work as a film in the way that we wanted it to." He continued, "It didn't position the character the way he needed to be positioned." Clearly WB wanted the same or similar success of Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" for "Superman Returns" and will now seek to change the tone of all of its further prospective DC tentpoles. Mr. Robinov said, "We're going to try to go dark to the extent that the characters allow it."

One thing that had better cross WB's mind, is they need caliber directors to helm the major superhero tentpoles! George Miller isn't going to cut it! Marvel has realized that, and hired worthy directors like Jon Favreau (Iron Man). Like Marvel, WB has shifted gears and decided to make a feature film for each of its major heroes before making a team film. "Along those lines, we have been developing every DC character that we own," Mr. Robinov stated. The studio plans to release four superhero films in the next three years which includes a re-introduction of Superman, a third Batman film helmed by Christopher Nolan, the Green Lantern which was recently announced, and another un-named DC property (I assume this is Green Arrow: Escape From Super Max). These titles are all outside of WB's "The Watchmen" which slated for a 2009 release. Warner Brothers will be releasing more information on the status of it's other DC properties within the next month. WB has also been in active development of Wonder Woman and The Flash, so one can expect word on these two properties quickly.

Warner Bros. realizes that superhero films are a hot commodity now and need to move fast and take real care of the properties. Robinov added by saying, "The long-term goal of the studio is to take advantage of what has become a very global market by focusing on bigger films that require a bigger commitment," DC president, Paul Levitz commented further, "Superheroes are more global than ever in today's commercial world, existing in 30 languages and in more than 60 countries," making superheroes, "a world-wide export."

Mr. Robinov did not say whether Bryan Singer would continue to be aboard the Superman project, but based on the comments made to The Wall Street Journal, it is highly doubtful! Word was also not given if Brandon Routh would continue as Clark Kent/Kal El, but I would also bank on the fact that WB will try to distance itself as far as it can from Singer's "Superman Returns," meaning Routh is out and the hunt can begin for a new lead to fill the iconic role.

Plenty more to come on the Superman reboot and other DC properties being adapted to film! What are your thoughts on a Superman reboot?