For a film that no-one really seems to much like and everyone thinks of as fairly unmemorable, the filmosphere sure does do a lot of talking about 2006’s Bryan Singer-directed Superman reboot, “Superman Returns.” We right here have debated its merits as a Superman movie, trashed it, and speculated about the sequel to it that never was on account of its having underwhelmed more or less everybody. And, really, Singer’s been doing the same thing for a few years now too: musing on the film’s failings and throwing out ideas about a never-to-be sequel, something that’s becoming more interesting since we saw Zack Snyder‘s much less retro take on Supes in “Man of Steel,” As it happens, that would apparently have been the title of Singer’s sequel too.
“That was the title. Actually, my buddy, one of my two best friends, came up with that… We did explore it a little. Just hammering out ideas. I think Darkseid was going to be the villain. It was pretty world-destroying, actually,” he told Empire magazine. That being said, screenwriter Michael Dougherty reckons it would have been Brainiac. (And while we’re here, let’s just remind that you Darkseid is the rumored villain for “Justice League“). But more interesting are Singer’s reflections on the film (“I am in awe of the world building and the scope of that picture”) and where it went wrong.
“Half of that I understand and half of it I never will. It was a movie made for a certain kind of audience. Perhaps more of a female audience. It wasn’t what it needed to be, I guess,” the director ruminated. “I think I could lop the first quarter off and start the movie a bit more aggressively and maybe find a way to start the movie with the jet disaster sequence or something. I could have grabbed the audience a little more quickly. I don’t know what would have helped. Probably nothing. If I could go again, I would do an origin. I would reboot it.”
Singer’s candidness is refreshing and given his success in the X-Men realm, one wonders what the results of his Superman would be if he’d more eagerly broken from tradition. Either way, we’ll never know, and with Snyder continuing to put his, uh, distinctive stamp on cinematic Superman by doing things like casting Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and moving Superman far, far away from anything at all like subtlety, “Superman Returns” looks more and more like an interesting road not taken.