Saturday, February 05, 2011

BREAKING: Is Every Villain Actor in Hollywood Practicing The Phrase "Son of Jor-El!" In Front Of Their Mirrors As We Speak!?

A big hurdle (maybe the biggest) for anyone making a new "Superman" movie is that unlike other comic-heroes you've got a general-public that has JUST as strong an impression of what the character "must be" as the fans do - except said impressions are entirely different. Superman is the most iconic fictional figure on the planet Earth, everyone who knows him also "knows" what he's supposed to be... and for the mainstream audience, the "supposed to be" framework is largely limited to the everybody-knows origin story and the various movies and TV  shows; with ONE simple question hobbling even the most earnest of attempts: How do you "refresh" Superman for today without simply revisiting "Superman: The Movie?"

According to Latino Review, Zack Snyder (director), David Goyer (writer) and Christopher Nolan (human fanboy-proof-shield) have apparently found the answer: By revisiting "Superman II," instead.

Earlier today, word "leaked" that the new "Superman" movie was casting a major female part... but that it wasn't Lois Lane. In fact, the "shortlist" seemed to be favoring blondes. "Who could this be!?," wondered The Internets. Lana Lang? Cat Grant? Supergirl!?

Sez Latino Review: It's actually URSA, the female member of the troupe of Kryptonian ex-cons led by General Zod in "Superman II."

This makes a lot of sense, really. Zod etc. are really the only Superman enemies other than Lex Luthor and MAYBE Brainiac that non-comic readers have heard of, so it's familiar for "everyone else" while fans can likely look forward to the "Superman fighting someone/something else with super-powers" movie they've been demanding since before "Returns." The obvious question now becomes "so is Zod in there, too?" Probably, yeah... if for no other reason that I can't imagine them having the ONLY combat in the film being Superman punching the crap out of a woman, super-powered or not. The still-secret storyline supposedly involves a younger (20-ish) Clark Kent traveling the world (in-between leaving Smallville but before settling in Metropolis) trying to decide exactly what form his "use powers to help world" form will take; so make of that what you will. "Clark doubts powers can actually be helpful, same-powered heavy threatens world, Clark realizes purpose and becomes Superman," maybe?

Actually, Zod could be the "teased for the sequel" bad guy, too... or would that be Luthor?


Christopher said...

Ugh, this news trickle is going to kill me considering how long it's going to take for the damn movie to come out.

And are you up late or early Bob?

Popcorn Dave said...

Makes sense. Luthor is a good comic and TV show villain, but he's pretty lousy as a movie villain, even though Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey were both great in the role. He works well as a cool manipulator in less action-heavy stories, but you never really believe he's got a chance against Superman unless the story is really well put together. And if you're hiring Zack Snyder you're required by law to have overly-stylised fight scenes anyway.

Mason said...

I'd really love to see a Darkseid in the upcoming movie, even though I know that'll never happen because most mainstream audiences aren't familiar with him. Still, it would allow for the Super-clash we've been missing.

Dave said...

How is this breaking when it has been known for months?

Zod and go to hell and die. he's easily the most worthless villain in the superman mythos.

We won't get a proper superman movie until directors stop idolizing the cheesy donner films, recognize that pre crisis superman sucked and was far to overpowered to be interesting, and try to make a superman that's halfway relevant.

Honestly anyone making a dc movie should be forced to watch everything that paul dini and bruce timm did together just so they can see what originality is. Maybe then we won't get people picking the carcass of 40 year old movies that are only loved because of nostalgia for when their special effect were actually impressive, and because christopher reeve was inspiring pretty much everywhere BUT the screen.

Dave said...

@ mason

This is going to come off harsher than it is intended so juts know I'm not mad at you. But that line of reasoning is BEYOND retarded.

The mainstream is only familair with the characters they see in movies and maybe tv hsows form when they were younger. You think the mainstream knew who magneto was? Green goblin? Iron man? ANYONE in the hulk movies? The only reason they know about general zod is because of superman 2. And the only reason they remember him is because terrence stamp is awesome.

Zod was a c list superman villain in the comics. he wasn't even the only kryptonian criminal superman had to fight. But the worthwile superman villains are hard to film without cgi. Parasite, metallo and darkseid are hard to do justice without cgi.

The way to get audiences familiar is to show the characters in the movie. No one knew who Ra's al ghul and scarecrow were before batman begins, and I can't tell you how many people complained to me that joker should have killed batman's parents because everyone knows that's how it happened.

Darkseid would be an excellent villain for a final movie, though not with snyder at the helm. A character like that requires subtlety to do justice to and snyder seems to think that subtlety means you do closeups and slow mo at the same time.

jameshayes said...

I think I speak for all of us when I say, Dave, for once, try not to be a douche.

Daniel said...

I like Zod and all but I think Snyder should try something fresh and new. I'm tempted to say Darkseid but to me he always felt like a "better left for the sequel" villain. I'm also tempted to say Doomsday just to see the crazy ass fight scene Snyder would cook up, but I don't think one awesome fight could make up for such a mundane villain.

If I had to choose a villain to appear in a Superman movie it would probably be Metallo.

But thats just my opinion I could be wrong

Also concerning the unspecified female role;
Please be Lori Lemaris, Please be Lori Lemaris, Please be Lori Lemaris!

Sssonic said...


Why do film-makers seem unable to even CONSIDER the possibility of using Bizarro as a villain in these? Nevermind that, thanks to "Seinfeld" at the very least, the whole idea behind Bizarro is generally well-known in the mainstream; even if you had no clue who Bizarro was from the original comics, the idea of a screwed-up clone of Superman is immediately understandable on its face, especially if you go with the Post-Crisis/DCAU version of the character wherein he's a failed experiment of Lex Luthor's. And of course, Bizarro has the same perks as Zod, giving Superman an opponent against whom he has to really let loose against in order to defeat.

carter said...

Lobo would have been a perfect villian; Physically Supe's equal PLUS charismatic. Would have been like what the Joker was in The Dark Knight.

Its a shame that Deadpool, a rip-off of Deathstroke and Lobo, is more popular than Lobo & DS combined.

Curtis said...

Gah, fuck "everyone else", I (and I'd imagine others) want to see Superman fight Darkseid! Or hell I'd even settle for Mongul

KingOfDoma said...

I'm gonna have to throw my support behind the (admittedly non-existent) choice of Brainiac. He's everything a Superman movie needs: brilliance, physical prowess, excellent planning skills, ties to Superman's origins, and (limited, but still present) recognizability. I just wish, as has been stated, the filmmakers could cut their ties with the Donner films, excellent though they may be, and dig into the Super-mythos to tell some truly excellent stories.

Martín Cerón said...

"Superman is the most iconic fictional figure on the planet Earth"

You sure, Bob? Wasn't that Jesus?

KevinCV said...

I loved the Richard Donner "Superman" films, as well as "Superman Returns". I don't care what villain they choose, so long as they suits the story they're going to tell. Not to mention casting an actor who understands what kind of role this is, and why it's such a big deal.

The only thing I'm very emphatic and frankly very adamant about this upcoming film is that they continue to use John Williams' "Superman March" in some capacity for the score. It's such an awesomely iconic piece of music as well as so undeniably "Superman", so you'd be a fool NOT to include it in some capacity, even if you are trying to distance yourself from the Donner films.

Daniel said...

@Martín Cerón

Really, Martín, really?!

You think the Moviebob Movie blog is the place to make some quick jab about Jesus being fictional. Really?

I'm not offended by the jab, I'm offended by the lack of any relevance in you're comment. I mean, at least contribute to the conversation.

Hell, do you really think you're going to find a lot of religious nuts in Bob's audience to be offended by you're insult. I consider myself one of Bob's more religious fans and even I hate lean more towards the secular side of the argument. If you're looking to insult religious fanatics why don't you just skip on over to Movieguide and comment away.

Back on topic; I've thought it over and SSsonic has a point, Bizarro could work. I mean "He's an evil Superman" is an easy enough concept to explain to an audience and he does give Superman a threat big enough for him to let loose all of his strength for an epic fight. What I'm worried about is Bizarro's lack of depth, granted I haven't had much exposure to him but on the surface he seems to just be Superman's evil twin. Not being an avid reader of the Superman comics I'm inclined to ask anyone who is; Is Bizarro an interesting villain in the comics or is he just a mindless hunk of meat?

Daniel said...

Sorry, tiny mistake in my recent comment

" I consider myself one of Bob's more religious fans and even I hate lean more towards the secular side of the argument."

Mistakenly wrote "hate" before lean, it used to be a different sentence and I changed it.

Also; I apologize for the lack of relevance this comment has to the broader argument. I just had to make sure the message wasn't misconstrued.

Bob said...


Bizarro has had a bunch of different iterations. The original and most "iconic" one was more of a dark joke than a threat for the most part: He was "the perfect imperfect duplicate" of Superman, meaning that he was so much Superman's opposite that his entire perception was reversed: He'd put kittens IN trees, PREVENT old ladies from crossing the street, etc., and from his perspective he was committing heroic acts - it was basically the same gag as the Addams Family. He'd also use the improper-reverse of context-specific words, like saying "Hello!" when he meant "Goodbye!"

Eventually there was a whole PLANET (cube-shaped) populated by Bizarro-versions of Superman side-characters, and they were a hugely popular part of Silver Age Superman books, until it was removed from continuity by The Crisis (Bizarro had originated as a Superboy character, and Superboy no longer "happened" post-Crisis.) The Byrne era "rebooted" Superman had a new Bizarro early on, but (I believe) he was killed-off in the same story that created him.

The Bizarro currently running/flying around the DCU is a "semi-retarded bruiser" clone created by The Joker; who's again not so much evil as he is dangerous and easily-manipulated into evil plans. I lost track of exactly where he ended up.

This is one of those less-admitted "Superman Problems" when it comes to the bad guys: The comic writers ran into the "nothing can threaten him" problem like everyone else, so MOST of the great Superman foes are less about engaging him in epic battles and more about setting up no-win scenarios (Luthor) preposterous confusions (Myxzptlk) or making messes that require a super-cleanup (Bizarro.)

Dave Kraft said...

Ugh...... you see, the problem is that the wide general audience doesn't really care about who the villain is, as much as they want to see Superman - the all-powerful God that he is - beat the stupid out of some giant alien mothership or something.

In all the movies, he's been fighting people his own size. In Superman II, we saw him take on three of his own kind. In Superman Returns, he never even bothered to throw a punch. And in one of the latter Superman movies from the original film series, he fights off.... what was it, Nuclear Man or something? Ehhh, I don't know. Not important.

The thing is, if you get Brainiac in there, you could not only pique nerd interest but you'd also give the wide general audience the spectacle they want to see - Supes going up against something HUGE that threatens to blow up the world.

The problem with the filmmakers is, a lot of them come from some kind of fan background *cough* Brian Singer *cough cough*, hence why the creative choices tend not to be so creative...... or intelligent..... fandom is at once the best and worst thing to happen to comicdom..... :/

Plus there's Hollywood with its head shoved up its ass. But that's a different story.

Ten bucks says nobody gives a damn about Ursa, and there might be some big media/Gail Simone backlash about making Superman's big villain a woman who he has to beat up.

Daniel said...


So by you're description the Golden-Silver Bizarro would be a perfect antagonist for some kind off Superhero dark comedy á la "The Green Hornet"

While the current Bizarro would be better left of as a henchmen or secondary villain.

Not sure either character could work for this film, but its an interesting concept nevertheless.

Also; Did you catch that new "Captain America" trailer?
In case you haven't it's right here:

Pause at 24 sec to get a semi-good look at Red Skull!


CraftyAndy said...

think I lost hope to ever see a movie reminiscent of the animated series or comics. I couldn't be any less interested in seeing Superman II the remake. How bout you get Doomsday in there instead I mean come on what the fuck!

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