Sunday, November 28, 2004

super, though unidentified, man

I don't really consider myself a fanatical collector, per se, of superman stuff, but I'd be willing to bet that when it comes to the last son of krypton I know more than the average bear. yes I've been to comic book conventions, but I've never written fan fiction. yes, I taped the cartoons when the wb or cartoon network showed them, but I never wrote angry letters to the networks when they so callously dropped them. yes, I once owned superman pajamas, but I almost never wear them anymore.

I know what martha kent's first name was. ("mary" - it was changed because they didn't want superman to be too much of a Christ figure.)
I know why there are so many characters in the superman universe whose initials are "LL".
I know where julius schwartz wanted to build "Supermanland" and why they never did. so sad.

so yeah, speaking of sad, I'm a big old dork. but I bet if we opened up your cranium and poked around we’d find that you have some great addiction as well. seinfeld? winnie the pooh? sailor moon? modest mouse? ‘fess up, because we’re all big old dorks about something.

since I don’t exactly hide this obsession, I’ve had a lot of people ask me about this new superman movie they’re talking about. first of all, “they” talk big. this movie has a lot more red tape to muddle through before it’s anywhere near the big screen, so I’m not going to get my hopes up. Superman Returns has gone through a billion different production teams and leading men and will probably go through another billion before it gets it right. remember when it was going to be nicholas cage and tim burton? warner brothers has literally spent $50 million trying to get it off the ground since then.

In case you’re curious, here’s my take on a few of the casting possibilities:

nicholas cage – I’m really ready for him to make another good movie, but this wouldn’t have been it. he needs to call the coen brothers.
matthew bomer – interesting look to him, but he’s a soap actor through and through.
brendan fraser – one of my favorite young actors today. I think he could give the part a certain life that a lot of other actors couldn’t. but even if he nails the part, he’d still be encino man.
david boreanaz – a local favorite, and he might look the part, but he’d really have to step it up in the acting department to impress me.
josh hartnett – please dear God in heaven no.
ashton kutcher – I’d rather have hartnett.
jerry o’connell – pftht. maybe in some similar, alternate universe.

my pick? it’s a tie between cillian murphy and billy crudup. yeah, you’d really have to beef either of them up a little, but they had to put a lot of weight on reeve too. my advice is to pick someone who can act, and then go from there. on that note, if there are any Warner Bros execs reading this, I’d be more than happy to read for the part if hartnett or kutcher is your best choice otherwise.


Jess said...

well...? why the abundance of L.L. characters?

Garvey said...

there are a few theories: one interesting one is that it was in honor of the first editor that gave siegel and shuster a job. another is that shuster's first girlfriend had those initials. still another says that simon and shuster wanted to take attention away from their combined initials ("SS", a nazi buzzword) and instead focus on a letter almost opposite in shape: the "l". I don't know if I buy any of these. naming the characters after one guy or woman would've gotten too old too fast, and if superman started in '32, didn't that predate the waffen? then again, these were two jewish newspapermen who were pretty close to a global source of news.

regardless, I think it's a more literary (and marketing) answer. if all of these characters have the same initials, they can't very simply be reduced to abridged symbols. if a critic is forced to write out each name, that name stays attached not only to the character, but to the superman universe as well. did it work? probably didn't hurt. lex luthor, lois lane, lana lang, lori lemaris - these are household words today...

well, for big dorks like me, anyway.

Cecilia said...

Ah, Mikey, you are a big old Dork...but look who's talking -- NHLDork herself :) Do you really still wear your superman pajamas?

Anonymous said...


Superman has been cast. Bryan Singer went with a nobody for the part. Personally, I think it was a good call. Here's the press release (dated 10/22):

Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Brandon Routh, a 25-year-old native of Iowa with television and film acting experience, has been cast as The Man of Steel in the Studio's upcoming Superman epic, to be directed by Bryan Singer. The announcement was made today by Jeff Robinov, President of Production for Warner Bros. Pictures.

The untitled Superman movie is expected to begin principal photography in Australia early next year for release in summer, 2006. It is produced by Jon Peters, Bryan Singer and Gilbert Adler from a screenplay by Michael Dougherty & Dan Harris. No other casting has been announced.

Stated Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer of Warner Bros., "We are so pleased to have put this extraordinary team of filmmakers and talent together and to be moving forward with a project we've all anticipated so much. I think we're going to make a Superman movie that all of us can be very proud to bring to our audience around the world."

Routh was chosen for the role of Superman following an exhaustive search that spanned the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Thousands of candidates were interviewed before the final selection was made.

Singer commented on his choice of a star, saying "Contrary to speculation, it was always my absolute intention to hire an unknown for this role. Brandon is an extremely fine actor who possesses the physical qualifications of Clark Kent/Superman. But he also embodies the legacy and history of this character in a way that makes me certain he's the right choice."

"We respect and appreciate the intense interest that our fans around the world have in Superman, and we went everywhere in search of a talented actor who would represent his look, character and presence," said Robinov. "We think Brandon is a gifted young performer who can re-energize this iconic character and excite new audiences about the legend of Superman."

Routh's television credits include One Life to Live, Gilmore Girls, Will & Grace and Cold Case. He recently wrapped his first feature role in the upcoming film Deadly, starring opposite Laura Prepon.
If you want more info, should be sufficient in giving you the lowdown and what not.


Garvey said...

yeah, I'd heard about this too. imdb has a little bit more on the rocky road that is Superman Returns. I didn't mention this guy though, since I don't know him from adam. then again, they could put dom deluise in the part and I'll still be first in line.

on a similar note, I'd like to shake the hand of the casting agent for Batman Begins. I'm reluctant to jinx it, but it just seems like they're doing everything right.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Batman Begins has no strikes against it...thus far. I daresay it will be a quality flick.