Sunday, March 21, 2010

Superman Rebooted

It's apparently more than idle rumor that Christopher "Batman Franchise Messiah" Nolan has taken on the job of rebooting Superman next. In a recent interview, he said the idea came while he and his writing partner were stuck with a particularly thorny problem in developing the third Batman movie. ("Gee Chris, you had such a great idea about the Joker busting out of Arkham for the third movie... what do we do now?")

The interview also quotes Nolan as saying the studios felt he "knew the milieu" for comic book superheroes.

Wait a minute, here. Just because Nolan had an uncanny understanding of how to update Batman doesn't mean he's going "to get" Supes. Superman is an entirely different creature. For one, he's an Optimist. Now, some may say Batman is an Optimist in a pessimistic world, I could see that, but the pessimism of that world view pervades everything. You want to understand Superman? All you need to do is watch the last few minutes of Superman II (let me specify the original cut). That image of Superman returning the flag to the White House and apologizing to the President has it down pat in terms of tone.

Batman apologizes to no one if he got the job done.

Nolan also said that he doesn't plan to connect the two series. While it's a safe choice, I think that's a big mistake in some ways. Superman and Batman are Yin and Yang for superheroes. They can be used to define each other. Frank Miller understood this perfectly. Go back and read The Dark Knight Returns to see what I mean. Connecting the films needn't be cutesy or forced, and doing it as a throwaway would be wrong too. But there are ways to make the connection work for the storyteller.

On the Batman III front, rumor abounds that the Riddler will be the next villain. I'm cautiously optimistic about this. While some see the Riddler as a downscale Joker, there is the potential to really open up the Batman's "world's greatest detective" angle working against the Riddler. I hope they don't overstuff the film with villains.

And now for something really super...


jrf said...

Oh, I almost forgot... Let me put one simple plug in here about the Superman movie:

Keep the John Williams "Superman Theme." It's perfect. You can't do better. Don't screw with this.

mlk said...

What makes you think anyone gives a fat, steaming turd what you think about making movies?

gene simmons(no relation) said...

Dear Teacher,

I am an unworthy worm for being away from your teaching for so long. Greetings from Baltimore Maryland. The train has brought me here today. Just jumped off of the CSX at the Howard Street tunnel (I think) and have found my way to a small cafe with internet. Yes I know, you must be disappointed that I am riding the rails again, but I like the life style. This last winter was kind of rough but now that the weather has broken, it is not so bad.
I hope this finds you and my fellow students well. So much has changed.. yet stayed the same. I have been trying to cram as much of your writings in my head this afternoon as I can before my prepay card runs out. Fortunately, I have gathered many skills to earn money on my way. Sorry I have been gone so long, but, well...... truth be told..... I was ashamed to face you all. I haven't been the best of students lately. I was really sick for a few months ( lung stuff) and when I got better, well I fell in with some underground fist fighters for some money. We traveled the southern US for a while. Fighting for the pleasure of onlookers. I did ok I guess. But deep inside I heard your teachings. Haunting me. Chastising me. And yes, still teaching me. The night I finally quit, was so fraught with physical and emotional pain that I hardly remember it. I woke up in a box car, flat on my back, bloodied, with pockets full of money in the darkness, headed to parts unknown.

Just that quick I was on the trains again. Well, the money is gone now and I am back to a more wholesome existence. A traveling monk type thing I like to think. Catch as catch can. I hope someday to meet you face to face. But until then I will try to get back here as much as possible. I think that I am gonna spend a little time in Baltimore and rest for a while. The air smells good and the prospects just might be endless. Anyway, thanks for the wisdom. Spring is in the air. Ever ride a train Dear Teacher?

jrf said...


You have been away a long time... Training as an underground barknuckle brawler is among the best possible "Alive" training you could hope for. Please remember you Nietzche:

That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.

Your ascetic lifestyle, the cold, hard winter, the bout with lung infections, the frequent no holds barred fighting has turned you into a master! I really have no more to teach you...

Except this: First, if you intend to continue your Kwai Chang Caine/Itinerent Monk ways, you should visit the Baltimore Zen Center and look up my good friend "MuSaang." He will square you away with the spiritual stuff that I can't help you with. He may be contacted through the website.

Second -- and I know this will be extremely difficult for you, my child -- you must never contact me again. I'm sorry. But I will only hold you back now. Your enlightenment through the truth of combat has surpassed my ability to guide you. Even just sending fond greetings will be a detriment to your development.

Thank you for sharing your journey with us, my son. I hope the others will learn as well as you did.

And yes, I have ridden a train.

gene simmons(no relation) said...


I must disobey your request just this one time to say goodbye. And to tell you just a couple of things.

First, I cringe when I read your words calling me a master. Funny, I don't feel like a master. I remember when I was lost and first found your teachings on the computer. Gone to gone. On my way to on my way I was. Drifting.

But, If you say it is so now, I will do my best to earn such a title. Everyday.

Second, I unfortunately will be unable to call on the sage you mentioned here in Baltimore. Things have come up during my short stay in this city that require me to leave. I will not shame you with the details.

And finally, although you wish no further contact, I will still visit when I can to read and learn. To watch from the shadows I guess. Watching from the shadows. Learning under the cover of anonimity. That sounds kind of familiar but I can't quite place where I have heard it before. Some master, huh?

Anyway, as I stand around a canned fire tonight waiting for my transport out of here I will remember. I hope that the account I give of myself will measure up to the honor you have bestowed. Goodbye Dear Teacher.

ps- I have adopted a small dog here in this city. A small puppy who found me and just would not go away. I think we will travel together now. His name is Lucky.

jrf said...


"Take my number off your phone!"