Bryan Singer finally admits his Superman Returns mistakes

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012

Looking back at his time putting Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor through their paces, the director realizes that—in his effort to reach a female audience that traditionally ignored comic-book movies—he might've alienated the fans who were looking for a rollicking good time.

While fielding questions about the upcoming X-Men: First Class, which he produced, Singer answered some Superman Returns queries from a site called Voices From Krypton. In so doing, he revealed some of the missteps he took while trying to gives audiences a familiar Man of Steel:

"I think that Superman Returns was a bit nostalgic and romantic, and I don't think that was what people were expecting, especially in the summer. What I had noticed is that there weren't a lot of women lining up to see a comic book movie, but they were going to line up to see The Devil Wears Prada, which may have been something I wanted to address. But when you're making a movie, you're not thinking about that stuff, you're thinking, 'Wow, I want to make a romantic movie that harkens back to the Richard Donner movie that I loved so much.' And that's what I did. ... It's hard, because I'm proud of it for what it is. I mean, there are a bunch of movies I've made where I'm, like, 'Yuck, that was weak' or 'That could've been better,' and I can see why. But with Superman Returns. ... If I could go back, I would have tightened the first act."

As for the problem with the third act, where Lex Luthor stabs Superman with a kryptonite shard and then you never see the two characters together again, that Superman never holds Luthor accountable, Singer turns to religion:

"I've always felt that the origin of Superman is the story of Moses—the child sent on a ship to fulfill a destiny. And this was a story about Christ—it's all about sacrifice: The world, I hear their cries. So what happens? He gets the knife in the side and later he falls to the earth in the shape of a crucifix. It was kind of nailing you on the head, but I enjoyed that, because I've always found the myth of Christ compelling and moving. So I hoped to do my own take, which is heavy s--- for a summer movie. But definitely the nostalgic, romantic aspects of it worked against people's expectations of it in the climate. And if I was going to do another one, it would be a reboot. I would go back and redo the original, but I only thought of that recently. It would be a much less romantic, more balls-to-the-wall action movie. It would be a very different pace than Superman Returns, which I can say at this point because I have distance from it now."

(via Comic Book Movie and Spinoff Online)

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