MovieBob - Intermission
Advice From a Fanboy: Superman Edition

Bob "MovieBob" Chipman | 8 Oct 2010 16:00
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As such, any and all complaints and questions in the vein of "Didn't that already happen on Smallville?," "That villain was different on Smallville," and especially suggestions that anyone from Smallville should reprise their roles in the new movie should be greeted with roughly the same reaction that most of the culture has consistently reserved for the series: refusal, followed by derisive laughter and an inquiry in the vein of "What the hell is Smallville?"

Do Not Listen To Fans

It's a good idea to study fandom. Learn to understand it. Grasp what it is about the property that made them fans of it in the first place - all the better to figure out how to make more fans, after all.

But under no circumstances should you go trolling the web for suggestions, or looking at popularity polls or the saleability of certain characters and story- arcs. That way leads to failure. That way leads to squeezing the Electra storyline into the first Daredevil movie. That way leads to thinking you can build a good Spider-Man movie around Venom. And in the case of Superman, that way might lead you toward Doomsday ... and if you thought Venom was the nadir of one-note "gritty" 90s comic book flotsam, I promise you Doomsday makes Venom look like The Great Gatsby.

Go Nuts

There's really no joke to this last one. Superman is not Batman. You can't strip him down to some kind of barely-superheroic realism and still get a good movie. They're trying it right now in the comics, having him go on a walking tour of the United States in order to "reconnect with ordinary people." Thus far - it ain't working.

You're dealing with a character here whose origin story involves an exploding alien planet and whose core elements include flying, shooting lasers out of his eyes and being able to bench-press a city. He's strange, fanciful and abnormal, and everyone going to see the movie already knows and has accepted this.

In other words, this is a chance to cut loose and make the big, insane spectacle people imagine movies like this to be even though they seldom actually are. There's no such thing as thinking "too big" on this. He's Superman - there's no such thing as "too big" for him, that's the whole bloody point!

Have him walk on the surface of the sun. Have him defeat an entire nation's army by sneezing at them kinda hard. Let him foil a terrorist bombing by picking up a building and moving it slightly to the left. Remember that big battle from the end of the third Matrix? Make that look like a backyard wrestling undercard. Think huge. Think Godzilla huge. Hell, think Roland Emmerich huge - remember Independence Day? 2012? Imagine that, but if Superman was there.

That's something that'd have people talking.

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.

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