Yesterday the news broke that Zack Snyder will direct the Christopher Nolan-produced David Goyer-scripted Superman movie for Warner Bros. But what is David Goyer’s pitch on the project?The answer might possibly be revealed, after the jump.
Okay, so first a bit of the backstory.
Four years ago Goyer was quoted as saying that he doesn’t think he’d “ever be good to write Superman because it is the opposite… [the interviewer says “he’s angst free”] Yeah. And I wouldn’t know the angle because I’m so angst ridden so I wouldn’t know what to do with a character like that.”Nolan has since said that Goyer had figured out “how you approach Superman”
“..What it is, while David Goyer and myself were putting together the story for another Batman film a few years ago, you know thrashing out where we might move on from the Dark Knight, we got stuck. We were just sitting there idly chatting and he said ”by the way, I think know how you approach Superman”.. and he told me his take on it. I thought it was really tremendous. It was the first time I’ve been able to conceive of how you’d address Superman in a modern context I thought it was a really exciting idea. What you have to remember about Batman and Superman is that what makes them the best superhero characters there are, the most beloved after all this time, is the essence of who they were when they were created, when they were first developed. You can’t move too far away from that.”
There are two interesting things of note in this quote. First off, Nolan believes that Goyer has finally figured out a way to “address Superman in a modern context.” One of the big problems with Superman, is that his attitude/design is almost too corny for the post-9/11 era. Secondly, Nolan basically says that you can’t move far away from the essence of who Superman was when he was created. Snyder was quoted yesterday by Deadline having said the following:
“It’s early yet, but I can tell you that what David and Chris have done with the story so far definitely has given me a great insight into a way to make him feel modern. I’ve always felt he was kind of awesome.”
And yesterday we also learned that the villain of the screenplay is General Zod, a character most famously portrayed by British actor Terence Stamp in the feature film adaptations Superman: The Movie and Superman II.
So with all of that said, what could Goyer’s Superman pitch possibly be?
New York Magazine’s Vulture has learned that the story will follow Clark Kent, a journalist traveling the world “trying to decide if he should, in fact, even become Superman.” Sounds like an interesting take on the material, right?
And it certainly speaks to some of Goyer’s previously spoken concerns over the character. But it does sound like another dramaticly centered character storyline, and the main criticism of Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns was that it didn’t have enough action. And why hire Zack Snyder if it isn’t going to be the complete opposite of Singer’s Superman, really? Who kows, that logline might just be the starting point.
The pitch isn’t too far off from a twelve-issue comic book limited series called Superman: Birthright DC Comics released in 2003 and 2004. Written by Mark Waid and drawn by Leinil Francis Yu, the story attempted to retell the Superman origin story for the 21st century. In the story. Clark Kent is a freelance reporter in his early twenties, traveling the world to cover news stories. While covering an ethnic conflict between the fictional Ghuri and Turaaba clans in West Africa, he is forced to use his super powers to attain a fleeing assassin. This results in Kent returning to Smallville to learn more about his alien heritage and make the decision to become Superman.
Vulture also reports some troubling news: the reason Warner Bros. supposedly picked Snyder for Man of Steel is that David Goyer’s script is a bit of a mess as it was rushed, and Snyder is looked at a man who can get the movie completed for 2012. You see, the studio doesn’t have time to go through extensive rewrites as they need to get a new Superman movie in production by 2011 or they’ll lose the rights to make said film.
Warner Bros. needs someone who won’t spend months or even years trying to get it just right (i.e. Aronofsky), because time is the one thing they don’t have … We’re told that Snyder was not really Warner’s first choice to direct Superman, but that a director needed to be hired imminently. Privately, even Snyder has confided to agency sources that the current Superman script needs work, but clearly Warner Bros. believes he can get it done faster than Aronofsky.
Aronofsky is great at what he does, but most of his projects have had considerable development time. And Snyder can work fast on his feet, and turn in a glossy product. But if this report is true, this doesn’t sound good for the upcoming film. You can’t rush greatness.
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