Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The history of Superman

posted by Rob at 4:17 PM

An interesting - for me - read was sent my way by a friend yesterday. It is long - very long - absurdly long - criminally insane long - and purports to outline the history of the new Superman movie.

You can read it here. You'll need a good 30 to 40 minutes to read it. Most of it rings true from reports I've read as far back as 1998 about the movie, which is finally set to debut next summer. ( You can see the new trailer here. I'm thrilled at the use of the John Williams music).

The theme of the Superman tome revolves around Warner Brothers desire for a "new, gritter" Superman saga, one in which he couldn't fly, he wore black, Jimmy Olsen is gay, Luther works for the CIA, Superman dies and visits heavene and Tim Burton was Lord of Metropolis.

Here's a taste of the read:
Nicolas Cage, having been fighting tooth and nail against Burton and Peters’ vision of Superman (even though he’d been putting on a happy public face about working with them), angrily demanded that he be allowed to wear the classic Superman costume and fly. So WB relented much to Burton’s dismay, ordering up a rubber Superman suit and flying FX tests. (According to Superman CINEMA, a chintzy, Sam Jones-as-Flash Gordon-type Superman suit was dished up as well, but it went over like a lead balloon.) However, when Cage tried on the rubber suit, it looked stupid. And when they stuck a long-haired wig on him, it looked even worse. And after Burton and Gilroy were finished with their rewritten script, WB looked it over and loathed it. Even worse, all of Burton and Peters’ screwing around and causing trouble resulted in the film being budgeted somewhere between $140-190 million. So, in April 1998, just weeks before the film was to start shooting, WB put the film on indefinite hold. By this time, about $30-40 million (including the pay-or-play contracts for Burton and Cage—$20 million for Cage, $5 million for Burton) had already been spent on the project, with nothing to show for it. [It’s well over $50 million now, given all the stupidity that occurred beyond this.]

I hate to admit I eat stuff like this up. If you enjoy comics and movies, this is a must read. I am now wondering whether the new movie is worth investing hype and longing (yes, I long for certain movies - I'm a nerd).

One other comment - Harry Knowles from Ain't It Cool News comes off as, litarally, a "studio whore." I can't say I disagree with that assessment. Harry's site was fun - if not completly a wreck with a shitty search function - a few years ago. It's now a cyber slut which will pimp any movie or concept as long as Harry gets some slurp.


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