Superman Returns: Movie to Beat this Summer

Warner June 30

Bryan Singer, the helmer of the successful “X-Men” series, hopes to bring a fresh take to the old Superman franchise.

For Singer, as for most viewers, of the four “Superman” movies made, only the first two were worthy: Richard Donner’s “Superman” (1978) and Richard Lester’s “Superman II” (1980).
Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. All four movies starred Christopher Reeve, and for many, the series will forever be associated with this courageous actor.

Singer claims that Donner’s “Superman” and Spielberg “Jaws” were among the movies that inspired him to become a filmmaker in the first place. Like the old “Superman” series, which launched the career of Reeve, this one boasts a new actor in the lead, Brandon Rout. The supporting cast has “name actors, such as Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, a role played with great panache by Gene Hackman a generation ago.

In fact, the first two Superman movies boasted superlative casts, from the lead all the way down to the smallest role, including the aforementioned Hackman, the great Marlon Brando as Jor-El, Ned Beatty as Otis, Jackie Cooper as Perry White, Glenn Ford as Pa Kent, Trevor Howard as 1st Elder, Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, Jack O’Halloran as Non, and Valerie Perrine as Eve Teschmacher.

Why did Singer abandon the popular “X-Men” series While vacationing in Hawaii with “X-Men 2” writers, Dougherty and Harris, Singer learned that Warner was interested in relaunching the franchise, the same way they did with “Batman Begins” when they assigned it to Christopher Nolan.

Several directors, among them McG (“Charlie’s Angels”), came and left, before the movie was given to Singer. With his writers, Singer devised a new outline, which treats the first two Superman pictures with respect and preserve the mythical figure of Superman.

Their central idea is to make Superman more relevant to today’s viewers, to which goal they changed the secondary characters around Superman rather than the hero himself. The details of the plot are held in utmost secrecy, but we do know that the movie begins with Superman/Clark Kent returning to Earth after five years in space, upon which he finds out that Lois Lanes (Kate Bosworth) is a single mother and that Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) is a villain. We also know that the graceful Eva Marie Saint plays Superman’s widowed mother, Martha Kent.

With a rumored budget of $180, Warner hopes “Superman Returns” would be the most commercial movie this summer, grossing worldwide in the neighborhood of $500 million.