A few years ago, I wrote this letter about DC’s new “Man of Steel” movie…
“Dear Man of Steel,
I really wanted to love your newest movie. It had so much potential! Zack Snyder as director! Christopher Nolan as Producer! David S. Goyer was in there somewhere. It had a huge budget, great actors like Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, I even liked Henry Cavill from “The Immortal”
But… I just didn’t care. I wanted to care, but I just didn’t. Maybe whenever I watch the movie again, I’ll care.
Maybe it was the over-the-top promotion. Jolly Ranchers? Gillette? Dodge Ram? What the hell do they have to do with the movie? Supes didn’t drive a Dodge, or even use one to clobber the bad guys! And the question of how Superman shaves distracted me. And from what i can remember, no one was enjoying Jolly Ranchers. Maybe that would have made the movie more fun…
OH! That was it! The movie wasn’t fun! There was no wonder or awe! The movie was too gritty, too based in reality. Sure, Nolan’s reality worked on Batman, because Batman is just a rich kid who can’t deal with his parent’s death, thus training himself to be a vigilante. It could potentially happen. But Superman isn’t based in reality. He’s a superhero. The original superhero! Making the Man of Steel into the Dark Man of Steel was a HUGE misstep.
Then there was the ending.
Superman doesn’t kill. That is what separates him from the rest. He has a moral code that he upholds, regardless of who he faces. That’s what makes comic book heroes like him rare and precious. When most comic book heroes are out there killing left-right-and-center, Superman doesn’t, and shouldn’t! He stands for something. He, as the movie said early on, should be an example for others to follow. Snapping Zod’s neck doesn’t sound like the Superman people, from 4 to 74 idolize.
Hopefully, the sequel will politely push Mr. Nolan out the door, and allow a little wonder and awe back, cause the gritty reality doesn’t suit Superman.
Maybe DC/ Warner Brothers/ Legendary Pictures should take a page from Marvel. They seem to be doing their movies right.”
It seems like nothing will change with the up-coming “Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” movie, especially when looking at the sneak-peek poster they are using.
Cool image… although it looks like they already lost. That’s probably debris from Metropolis blowing around them.
Now, compare the style of the previous image, to the following one, the way I got to know about the Justice League.
Yeah, they’re cartoons, but they look a hell of a lot more heroic than the previous bunch of gloomy guses. I won’t even go into comparisons between anyone playing Superman and the guy who did it right, Christopher Reeves.
But here is my point (tada!). DC characters were the originals! The first! Superman! Batman! Wonder Woman! The holy trinity of superheroics! Those three alone have created iconic ideals and images that have stood the test of time, despite what some movie producers and writers think.
Wonder Woman is a feminist icon. She inspired so many woman by showing them they were just as tough, courageous and powerful as the men, more so! Batman was dark and brooding, but beneath it all was a guy who used his wits and intelligence to beat pretty much every superhero out there (especially if you ask many Batman fans).
But biggest of all was Superman. His was the typical story of someone from a strange land coming to America to make himself better and make his world better. He stood for something. He stood for an ideal that others should aspire to. Sure he could be corny, simple, and a boy scout. But back when he was created, as today, maybe that is what the world really needs. If he was too complicated, he’d could be more easily corrupted and use his powers to obliterate the world. He would be feared and questioned… sorta like in “Man of Steel”.
For me, that’s the biggest problem with what DC and Warner Bros. are doing with Superman, and all of their forth-coming DC comic book characters. They are trying to make them realistic. Sure it worked for Batman, because he’s not really an overtly fantastical character. But Superman is an alien, Wonder Woman is a warrior/ demi-god, Green Lantern is an interstellar cop, Aquaman is the king of Atlantis, and so on. They are bigger-than-life beings. They should be treated as such!
Even Batman is The Dark Knight, a mythic being, of sorts. But with the recent rumour that in the new movie, Batman may go so far as to kill someone, that goes against everything Batman has come to be known for. He is human that walks that fine line between good and evil, the light and dark. What makes his character great is that he looks into the abyss and doesn’t blink. But if he starts offing people in this new movie, he’ll blink, and become just another vigilante. May as well paint a white skull over his bat logo.
In my opinion, breaking them down too much into gritty, realistic characters belittles them. Clark Kent has to deal with the reality of life. But as Superman, he rises above it all, becoming a beacon to others, showing that doing good, no matter the obstacles, is possible.
There’s hope that those behind the DC Cinematic Universe will remember the origins of these characters and do right by them, their creators, and the fans who truly love and admire these comic book icons. But if these early images, rumour, and trailers are any indication, it doesn’t look promising.