A Gay Superman?
Dan Didio of DC Comics announced late last month that one of DC’s prominent characters would be changed from straight to gay in the coming month. Although he specified that it would NOT be anyone who had already been introduced by the “New 52” reboot from last year, that didn’t stop Fox News from jumping to the conclusion that Superman could be that character.
It turned out to be Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern from the 1940s, although this version was from another universe. Coupled with Marvel’s announcement that Northstar, an openly gay X-Men character, would be marrying his fiancé as well, this sparked a debate among gay advocates and the One Million Moms. For a full report, read this.
Justice League Movie AND MORE
Last week, Warner Brothers made its first of several announcements regarding their plans for upcoming films. Will Beall (Gangster Squad) is penning a draft for a Justice League film. This may be a direct reaction to the success of last month’s Avengers film. At the same time, the studio is in the early planning stages for other projects like Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Shazam!, Suicide Squad and Lobo. Whether any of the projects will see fruition is still up in the air, lest we forget that George Miller was set to direct a Justice League film in 2010, but it was never to be. For that matter, there have been dozens of failed attempts at Superman, Batman, The Flash and Wonder Woman in the past several decades, as well as Spider-Man, even though that’s a separate studio.
There’s also the question of what we can expect from Green Lantern’s future. Will Ryan Reynolds be recast for a complete reboot or will he be brought into the League? If I were a betting man, I would guess that the Green Lantern film franchise as it currently exists is over. Odds are, we will see one of Earth’s other GL’s like John Stewart in a Justice League movie if there’s a Green Lantern hero in it at all.
What we know to expect so far is that Christian Bale will not be Batman in the film. The rest is speculation. There is even a chance that Superman and Batman will not be included among the Justice League heroes at all, which would more than likely hurt the film’s success. In 2010, it appeared that the George Miller film might have been a setup to spring-launch other characters into solo films, which is quite the opposite of Marvel’s Avengers franchise. There is also an equally good chance that this piece will be meant to stand on its own, possibly with sequels, but that even Superman will be recast while Henry Cavill remains the face of the solo films. However, this could aid or hurt potential sequels to Man of Steel as well. We’ll just have to wait and see.
For more on this, I sat down with Batman-on-Film’s Chris Clow and Movies.com managing editor Erik Davis for a 25-minute discussion of the possibilities.
Plus you can read Chris’s full write up and speculation.
Man of Steel Licensing Partners
It’s official, Warner Brothers has taken on its licensing partners both for Man of Steel and The Hobbit. Lego, Mattel, Rubie’s Costumes Co., Noble Collection, Kinetix, Junkfood, Bioworld, Converse and Hallmark have all signed on to release products. Some will be toys and costumes, while others will produce various apparel. The Noble Collection already has a line of Superman items from rings and cufflinks to letter openers and money clips.
Coming Soon has revealed a few of the Man of Steel costumes currently on display at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. Check 'em out below, and click images to enlarge ...
Here's the costume for the female villain, Faora
Of course the big question is whether there will be a video game, and only Lego has a monopoly there. The Lego games tend to have a fast production turnaround if they decided to do one, but it still seems unlikely and certainly won’t include the kinds of features I discussed in a recent column.
It looks as though Warner Brothers is going even further with its super-licensing by attempting to repopularize Supergirl in the mainstream media. Moviehole.net has learned that Supergirl is undergoing a massive clothing and merchandising launch at stores like JC Penney. It goes on to suggest that Warner Brothers may be considering a new Supergirl film, but that may depend on the success of Man of Steel next year.
Supergirl was originally Superman’s cousin from Krypton when she first appeared in Action Comics #252 in 1959. The success of the character varied over the years until she was killed off during 1985’s "Crisis on Infinite Earths" in order to make way for a Superman who would truly be the last survivor of his home planet Krypton. By the 1990’s there was a new version of Supergirl who was considerably different and not at all Kryptonian. Her story continued to grow and change for that decade until Jeph Loeb reintroduced the classic Superman’s cousin as a new character for the ever-expanding DC Universe in 2004. Even after a few alterations since then, that is essentially the current version in the comics. So there are a myriad of ways that she could be portrayed if a film is going to be made.
She will be one of the many playable characters in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes later this month.
Superman vs. The Elite
Based on the marginally controversial Action #775, “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way,” readers saw Superman pushed to what some considered to be “too far.” The story introduced a new team of heroes known as “The Elite” led by Manchester Black. The in-story controversy dealt with Superman’s relevance in the face of a team that had no problem killing enemies so they could never threaten the populace again. Superman’s never-kill stance was studied in depth, especially for a single-issue story. Ultimately Superman took care of the whole team, but had to compromise an aspect of his character in order to do it.
Obviously, this explanation is kept spoiler-free for those planning to watch the film, but I highly recommend taking a look. Manchester Black returned in the comics and revealed Superman’s secret identity to Lex Luthor in a later story.
Justice League Video Game
Although the release date has not yet been announced, NetherRealm Studios is completing a new fighting game starring DC Universe characters including Superman. This is the same company that makes Mortal Kombat games including Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe in 2008.
Full spectrum of environments and characters have not been released yet, but NetherRealm Studios’ Creative Director Ed Boon assures fans that the story will help everything to make sense so that Batman can reasonably have the ability to take on a powerhouse like Superman.
“Our goal is really just to make the most insane, over-the-top, blockbuster, superhero experience packaged in a fighting game.”
The announced characters so far appear to include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Harley Quinn and Solomon Grundy. Although with so many characters to choose from the likes of Joker, Lex Luthor, Green Lantern and more can’t be far off.
With Man of Steel only one year away, we are sure to hear some more real news and announcements about the film soon. Until then, which of these projects are you most excited about?