Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Like It When Warner Bros. Does Exactly What I Want Them To Do

I got my wish. Warner Bros. Studios is planning to reboot its tepid Superman franchise, hopefully in a similar manner to the way the Batman franchise was revived. I was fairly disappointed with Superman Returns, and for two years I've been talking the ears off of anyone nearby about how Warner Bros. dropped the ball with Superman Returns. Now they're starting from scratch, and here is the list of what I think has to happen in order for the movie to live up to its potential:

1.) Kevin Smith must write the script. He definitely has the necessary familiarity with the comic lore, and at one point he was even tapped by Warner to write a Superman movie script. One of the perennial problems with comic book movies is an abundance of stilted dialogue, and Smith's adept skill at writing dialogue would elevate the script to a higher level of film. Don't ask him to direct, though. He's not right for a blockbuster action film, and he knows it (see: The Green Hornet). Who should direct, then? Well, I'll tell you:

2.) Len Wiseman must direct the movie. He has less than a handful of films under his belt, but with that small sampling he has proven to have the best eye for action sequences in Hollywood (well, maybe he's tied with Christopher Nolan, but Nolan's talents are obviously needed for a third Batman film). Both of the Underworld movies, as well as Live Free or Die Hard, are shot in such a way that we can actually SEE what's happening in the amazing action sequences. Wiseman doesn't subscribe to the "shaky camera = ACTION!" school of thought whose disciples include Paul Greengrass and Michael Bay. He knows how to use angles and cuts effectively to provide a perfect framing for the big stunts. His dedication to practical special effects would cut down on the CGI factor as much as possible, and help the audience to accept the Superman universe as some form of reality.

3.) Cast another unknown actor as Superman. Just don't try to find another Christopher Reeve doppelganger. Find someone who looks like he's between the ages of 32 and 35, but has an ageless quality about him. Find someone who will likely look exactly the same in the third or fourth film (7-10 years down the road) as he does in the first. Basically, find someone who was the "Brendan Fraser" factor. And make sure he can ACT.

4.) Place the story in a post-Crisis framework. For all of you non-nerds out there, that basically means that we need a movie about the CURRENT Superman universe, not the 1970s version. That means that Lex Luthor should be a prominent and powerful public figure who is secretly a master criminal. He should be a successful businessman in the public eye, whose illegal activities are known only to a few people who are unable to expose his misdeeds. I don't have a definite recommendation for an actor to play Luthor, but I will say that I wouldn't mind bringing Kevin Spacey back. He was the one bright spot in Superman Returns, and I think he could handle a post-Crisis Luthor role very well. However, some sticklers may insist on Luthor being closer to Superman's age, in which case a slightly younger actor would be needed. I'm just not sure who, right now.

5.) Cast a better/older Lois Lane. Kate Bosworth was just too young, and she wasn't right for the role. If Warner Bros. wants to do this the right way, they will cast Anne Hathaway as Lois Lane. No, there are no other options. It has to be Hathaway. Just look at her. She IS Lois Lane. I know she's not much older than Kate Bosworth, but she has an air of maturity about her that would allow her to play slightly older. Oh, and I wouldn't mind if Warner Bros. let her gain back the 20 pounds or so that she recently lost. Whoever told her she needed to drop weight needs to be punched in the throat.

There it is. The recipe for an incredible Superman movie. Let's just hope Warner Bros. keeps following my advice.

Here's what I think we'll ACTUALLY get in the movie:

-Written and directed by Brett Ratner
-Starring Shia LeBeouf as Superman
-Dane Cook as Lex Luthor
-Jessica Simpson as Lois Lane

Let the ball-dropping begin.

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