July 10, 2007
Spacey to reprise Lex Luthor role in "Superman: Man of Steel"

Anne Thompson has the scoop tonight that, not only will Kevin Spacey NOT be retiring from the screen (as was reported in a somewhat lax fashion here and there last month), but he also agreed to appear in two "Superman" films, the second, apparently subtitled "Man of Steel," is currently being prepped by director Bbryan Singer and Warner Bros. for a 2009 release. Singer has two other films in the pipeline before pre-production is set to begin on "Man of Steel."

Personally, I found Singer's "Superman Returns" to be a great film. Fun and exciting, it was still something unto itself in Singer's twisted, Donner-worship, a thing that doesn't belong in the continuity of a rebooted franchise. It might have been best to let Singer go off into the sunset having had his druthers with the mythology behind a couple of films he clearly admired. But this is the same studio that clearly got its act together on a "Batman" franchise just 8 short years after it collapsed under Joel Schumacher. Why so stale with the other big boy in tights?

Thompson's Variety story.
And more on her blog.


Sadly, I guess, I just don't care for another Superman movie. Superman Returns was not a good comic book movie, let along a good film. Singer should have rebooted the whole thing, not start out with the weird, Lois Lane has a baby thing. Luthor's real estate plot was silly, I'm not sure what Parker Posey was doing, Bosworth was miscast, and the action scenes were just okay. Will Alan Horn want to shell out significant bank for this?

My favorite scene in Superman Returns was the part where Superman is just flying by himself in the evening time, along a city street. No background music, just the sound of his cape colliding with the wind. Why did I like this scene? Well, it seemed very Chris Nolan like. Singer: Focus on Mayor of Castro Street. Interesting, topical, and Oscar possibilities...

I loved, loved, loved this film. It captured what is, for me, the most important theme in the Superman mythology and one that the Reeve franchise, which I loved as well, missed the boat on: Being Superman is pretty darn sad.

The Reeve films made us feel bad for Superman when he was exposed to Kryptonite, or when he struggled in the diner after losing his powers.

But Superman Returns doesn't need to meddle with his powers or threaten him with death (though it does this for good measure and effectively in Act 3) to convey the ironic tragedy of this man. And having the kid thrown into the picture only accentuates his impossible conflicts.

Mr. Gittes is right. The best scene in SR is when, after visiting Lois' house, he flies through the clouds and up into the heavens. There is background music but it's not obtrusive. He is entirely alone up there, obviously, but no more alone than he is at any other point in the film.

People say that Singer paid too much homage to the Donner films. I'd say he recognized how well they work and where they could be improved upon.

All that said, I'm worried about the second one. Where do they take it? Does he fight a supervillain? Foil a plot by an evil genius Luthor type? Both?

Just ratcheting up the special effects isn't going to do it. They can't risk losing the soul and sadness of the first.

Personally, I think they need to make three films, and I think the third has to end with Superman sacrificing himself. This still leaves open the question of what to do in the 2nd film.

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