Comic-Con 2005 - Superman Returns
Okay, it's two days after getting back from San Diego and I'm home before 11pm, so let's do this.
This past weekend, Neal and I headed south for Comic-Con 2005. It was the first two-day sojourn to the nerd haven that is the San Diego Comic-Con International for either of us. (Is it "international" because some attendees will, no doubt, take the short drive down to Tijuana for cheap Kahlua, prescription-free Viagra and to search for the mythological donkey show? Does that make it international?) Calling it a "nerd haven" should in no way make you think that we do not count ourselves among the dorks, nerds, geeks and dweebs who frequent these types of gatherings. Just calling a spade, a spade.
If you've been there before, you know that the dealer room is massive. You have your choice of everything from gold and silver age comics from Marvel and DC, to replica swords, lightsabers and other film props, cheesecake art books, indie emo comics, any of a myriad of off-kilter plush character dolls and action figures, video game demos and ways to archive and store all of the above. It's a like a mega-Walm art for fanboys and nerdygirls. I could easily spend the entire weekend and an entire paycheck or six in the dealer room.
That said, I spent most of my two days in the cavernous and chilly environs of Hall H. This is the big room where all the panels and presentations on upcoming movies were held. I got in there before 10:30am on Saturday and didn't leave until 2pm... and I went back later.
The first event was the presentation on Superman Returns. Director Bryan Singer came in from London for the weekend just to show off a little of his new film to the fans. He talked a bit, did some Q&A, but what everyone wanted to see was a piece of the film and he didn't disappoint. He screened a few minutes of what could be called the first teaser trailer. It gave a good taste of everything from Smallville to Metropolis to the Fortress of Solitude to the man in blue and red himself, hovering above the atmosphere of his adopted planet.
Where I used to be a person who wanted to know everything about a movie before it came out, in our Age of Information, I have to say that now we can easily have access to too much information. So, now I intentionally deprive myself, so that I can go into a movie with fresh eyes. Not that any normal person should know anything about a movie a year before it comes out, I had managed to stay away from hearing any rumors about Superman Returns before this past weekend. I knew Singer was directing and Kate Bosworth was cast as Lois Lane and some guy I didn't know was going to be Clark/Supes/Kal-El and there was a rumor that old footage of Brando as Jor-El was going to be used, but beyond what you could read n Entertainment Weekly, I was pretty much in the dark.
Singer's appearance was very enlightening. He talked about how he had been toying with a script idea for Superman, but thought that it was all for naught because IF the film was finally going to be made, it'd be written and directed by one of the other hundred or so writers and directors who'd been attached to it over the past ten years. Well, about a year ago, he got the chance to pitch his idea, not even considering that it would happen, yet somehow it did. Singer's idea was that Superman Returns would be a sequel to Richard Donner 's Superman the Movie (1978) and Superman II (1980).
Superman has been missing for a few years and then, oddly enough, returns. Clark and Superman have to deal with both Lois Lane and a world that asks if they need Superman anymore. At the same time, Lex Luthor played by Kevin Spacey, is on hand to further F with the Man of Steel. Storywise, that's all I know and it's really all I want to know.
The scenes that Singer screened for the fans didn't give away a lot more and I'm glad for that. The fans loved it enough that he asked if we all wanted to see it again and was met with thunderous applause.
A few of the things that stood out for me:
- We heard it in the "trailer" and Singer confirmed that though they have a new composer scoring the film, they will be using the John Williams' composed main theme from the 1978 film. That's one of my favorite themes and it kind gave me chills to hear it again along with these new images of the Superman universe.
- Also confirmed was that some of Marlon Brando's dialogue as Jor-el that was captured during the filming of Supermen I & II would be used in the new movie.
- Jack Larson, Jimmy Olsen of the George Reeve's Superman movies and TV show makes a cameo as a bartender and according to IMDB.com, Noel -- that's Lois Lane to you and me -- Neill will be making an appearance as well.
- Much of the production design and styling mirrors the 1978 film, evident in Kal-El's spaceship, the Fortress of Solitude, and Brandon Routh's Clark Kent. His look and his mannerisms bear significant resemblance to Christopher Reeve's version.
- Kate Bosworth looks like, from the very short clips that I saw, she'll be able to hold her own as Lois Lane. I was skeptical when I heard her casting, but seeing her briefly in the role, I'm inclined to give her a chance.
...and not that I doubted him, but Kevin Spacey should make a great Lex Luthor.
Going into the panel, I knew very little about the new Superman. Coming out, I was a kinda bummed that I'd have to wait a year before seeing what looks to be a very good new Superman.
Snazzy little pin for all attendees of the Superman panel
More to come...
King Kong and...
oh yeah.. maybe some comic books too.