‘Superman: The Man of Steel’ Countdown: Super News Roundup (Summer 2011)

‘Superman: The Man of Steel’ Countdown: Super News Roundup (Summer 2011)

Aug 02, 2011

Jeffrey Taylor is a staff writer/moderator at The Superman Homepage, co-host of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast, available at the Superman Homepage, iTunes and The Superman PodcastNetwork.You can find his new Man of Steel Countdown column here at Movies.com every other Tuesday.

BIG NEWS: Release date Extended!

 The US release of The Man of Steel was pushed from December, 2012 to June 14, 2013.  Hopefully that additional six months will give the writers and director enough time to make a truly amazing film.  Although Warner Brothers has not given an official reason for the change, there are several possibilities.

The easiest explanation is that Warner Brothers didn’t want to compete with The Hobbit which comes out December 14, 2012.  So far nothing in the way of recognizable franchises are set for June, 2013.

Or the schedule came up too short to complete the film properly and Warner finally recognizes that their superhero properties need time and money to be done correctly.  And don’t forget that Superman: The Movie with Christopher Reeve was released in December 1978 instead of the scheduled Summer 1978 premiere.  But they also had to invent the technology that would make the audience believe a man could fly, and that alone was reason enough to expect an extension.

When Superman Returns came out in 2006, the finished film played out quite differently than the original script.  If you can find a copy of the novel by Marv Wolfman, several essential plot points and side stories played out with those storylines because it was based on an earlier script.  The point is that director Bryan Singer and his team had a difficult time bringing their Superman film from concept to completion.  And let’s not even look at the many false starts and failed scripts that cursed the character’s film franchise for years beforehand.

You can now watch a deleted scene from Superman Returns here.

Regardless, this additional six months of production and post will most likely change the quality of the film for the better, so you won’t hear me complaining about the delay.

SPECIAL UPDATE -- Laurence Fishburne Cast as Perry White

Just as this article was posting, Laurence Fishburne was cast as Perry White, the lovably no-nonsense editor in chief at The Daily Planet newspaper offices where Lois Lane and Clark Kent work.  Fishburne will be the first African American to play the character, who has traditionally been Caucasian.  He's certainly fitting for the role and a welcome surprise addition to the cast list so far. We look forward to lines like, "If you call me 'Chief' again, I'll make you wish you took the blue pill."

MORE BIG NEWS: Screenwriter David Goyer removed from duties.

It does not sound as though Goyer was fired for incompetence as some have suggested.  Although there’s always a chance there may have been an irreconcilable creative difference about the story or perhaps Warner Brothers or Zack Snyder were unhappy with the progress.  The official reason is that since the film is now in early production, the need for rewrites have become evident and Goyer is already set to write the next Godzilla movie.  He is best known in the film industry for writing the screenplays to the Blade and Batman: Dark Knight movie trilogies.

Goyer can be hit and miss in his work anyway, so this is probably for the best.  He wrote the first two successful Blade films, but wrote and directed that atrocious Blade: Trinity flop.  He’s also responsible for the sci-fi plot problems in Batman Begins, such as the fear agent that plagues Gotham City in the third act.  It had been pumping into the water system for a month, but was only activated when turned to steam, which supposes that nobody in Gotham took a hot shower during that time.  Or that microwave emitter weapon that turned the water supply into steam, but failed to explode the people who are also made of mostly water.  If you haven’t thought about those things before, watch the movie again.

New Superman Henry Cavill commented that, “It’s one of the best scripts I’ve ever read.  I’m quite humbled by the whole experience and can’t wait to get started.”  So here’s hoping that Goyer created a stunning script that another talented writer can brush up during production.

Enter Kurt Johnstad who will cover the rewrites.  He has worked with director Zack Snyder on a number or projects in the past, such as 300, the upcoming 300: Battle of Artemisia and The Last Photograph, which stars Batman actor Christian Bale.  Johnstad’s career is still too small for an accurate sampling of his work or style, so we can only hope he’ll inject new fire into the storytelling during Man of Steel’s production.

EVEN MORE NEWS: Filming begins!!!

Just last week, filming began in an industrial park in West Chicago. A shooting set in Plano, Illinois is nearly completed while La Salle County Bridge near Serena, Illinois was closed for three days . A temporary production base is now set in Aurora, Illinois and should stay until early September (see images of the Kent's Smallville home here).  Also Amy Adams has reportedly been seen filming Lois Lane shots near an IHOP restaurant, also in Aurora.

Since filming has officially begun, we can expect more and more news and rumors, but the big question on everyone’s mind is: WHAT DOES THE NEW SUIT LOOK LIKE?!  Barring any major news updates, expect that subject in this column on August 15!

And a little something everyone should know…

Starting in September, after 21 years of Lois and Clark sharing the burden of Superman’s secret identity and 15 years of marriage, the couple will no longer be together in the DC’s new universe.  They are not divorcing.  The continuity is simply shifting so that the marriage never took place.  Lois even has a new boyfriend, which makes me feel like my parents just got divorced and Mom’s new boyfriend isn’t nearly as cool as Dad.  But I’ll be giving it a try.  I’m often asked for my thoughts on DC’s relaunch and all I can say is that my expectations are mid to low, but as always, I hope to be blown away by it.

Will this affect the movie?  Possibly.  Remember that we haven’t seen the costume yet and when DC relaunches Superman #1 and Action Comics #1 in September, that Superman’s uniform will look a bit different.  There’s a chance the new suit in the movie will reflect that change.

What would YOU like to see Superman’s suit look like in The Man of Steel?

For more news on the upcoming Superman movie news, go to the main page here at Movies.com or Supermanhomepage.com for everything you ever wanted to know about The Man of Steel and more.  You can also post messages on this page and I’ll do my best to respond to questions or suggestions for upcoming columns. 

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