Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Abrams and Superman

It's not much of a secret that back in about 2002, before Superman Returns, another Superman film was being written by J.J. Abrams, titled Superman Flyby. The film went through two directors and ultimately fell apart, even though Abrams wanted to direct his script himself (of course this was before Abrams struck gold with MI3 and Star Trek).

Abrams has recently made comments that he would be up to revisiting his concept for Superman Flyby if it was the direction Warner Bros. chose to go with the franchise. WB has till 2012 to produce another Superman film or else the rights of the character revert back to the Siegel family (one of the creators of Superman), and they could easily take the franchise to some other studio. So what about all of this?

WB claims that at the current moment nothing is happening with Superman, even though they have spent the past year-and-a-half hearing pitches for a new Superman film, but perhaps the right idea has been sitting in front of them the entire time.

Abrams retelling of the origins of Superman was intriguing, while it deviated from the source material in many areas, it was faithful enough to be considered a Superman film. Within Abrams Flyby script, which has since leaked online, Krypton is still in existence, Superman's powers are portrayed in a kung-fu, wirework-style, and there was an overall edge to the story that was never there in any of the previous films. Many die-hard fans detested the script, thinking it destroyed everything they love about Superman. While Abrams script was not entirely true to its source material, it shows enough clear reverence for the character that I can't help but think it'd be enjoyable to see brought to life.

Many of the fans' biggest gripe with Superman Returns (even though I loved it and thought it was perfect) was that the film was unoriginal and didn't move the character forward from the original Richard Donner directed film. I think the Abrams film would feel new and original, taking the character into some daring new directions, but it still has this innate familiarity to it which helps when working with such a character. The franchise needs to move on in order to regain its lost audience.

Personally, I'd love to see Abrams script revived with Abrams brought in at the helm. If it doesn't work, move on and try to return to the core concepts of the chracter, but if it does it could be flat-out amazing and forever change the perception of the character.

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