13 June 2006

The Supe



Everytime I see a promo or a magazine cover or hear an ad for Superman Returns, I get a little melancholy. I just feel so conflicted about this new movie. It seems so wrong that the franchise should be resurrected when Christopher Reeve is no longer with us. It seems rather galling that there should be a new incarnation of the Man of Steel.

Maybe I'm upset because, having been born the year the first movie was release, Christopher Reeve is the only Superman I know. I was never a comic book reader, so my frame of Superman reference is basically the four movies. And regardless what one thinks of their individual quality, they represent my understanding of Superman mythology.

Oddly, I never had an issue with the television program Smallville, possibly because it dealt with something outside the realm of the movies or because when I watched it, I was more disturbed by my growing attraction to the anti-hero, Lex Luthor. Also, I found it comforting when Christopher Reeve guest-starred in a couple of episodes. It didn't seem so much as the passing of the torch, but rather the acknowledgement of a partnership.

The discomfort I have felt since I heard about the new movie only increased when I caught the cast presenting an award on the MTV Movie Awards and then commenting on a documentary about Superman on A&E. Brandon Routh - the new Superman - not only, despite brown eyes, reminds one of Christopher Reeve, but his voice sounds similar as well. It was a little creepy to hear a voice naturally echoing the timbre and cadence of a childhood hero.

I still haven't decided if I'm actually going to see the movie when it hits theaters. On the one hand it seems overly eerie, on the other like I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. It is, after all, only a movie and Superman is only a comic book character.

The irony of all this emotional turmoil is that Superman has never been my favorite superhero. I always preferred Batman, the self-made Caped Crusader dwelling in shades of gray, to the black & white certainty of the Man of Steel.

16 comments:

aquamarine said...

That just goes to show how out of the loop I am...I didn't even know there was a new one coming out! Oh, brother.

I can see how you feel like the "real" superman is being brushed under the rug! I grew up on Christopher Reeves as Superman as well. My dad loved them. So to see a passing of this era, it does have a tendancy to feel like we are saying goodbye for the final time to dear friend.

Scully said...

Keep an eye out for a promo on tv, Mama Darlin'. It will amaze you how much the new Superman is like Christopher Reeve - especially the voice.

Katie said...

I'm glad you brought this up, because I have been feeling this same conflict and have felt a bit guilty/silly about it. I'm glad someone else is struggling in the same way. And I agree, after seeing the most recent ads it's almost uncanny how much he looks like Christopher Reeve. I think I will probably still see it, but it does feel a bit strange.

Miss Parker said...

I knAOOOWWW!!!

oldladyme said...

What ever shall I do? I had an eye candy adult crush on Christopher Reeves. I will not be unfaithful to my Superman saves the day in my imagination. Besides, the wanna be would make me a fantisizing cradle robber, yes?

Scully said...

Considering the interloper is younger than I am, yes, you would be cradle robbing.

t said...

I also grew up on the Chris as Superman, but I married a guy who loves comics so I've got a bit of experience with the comic and cartoon Supermen. I'm actually quite excited to see a new Superman on the Silver Screen. I think it's a great way to pay tribute to Chris's memory also. I like that they cast a relatively unknown actor to play Superman so that I don't have any preconceived ideas about him from other roles he's played.

And Scully, since you love Batman, you should be used to seeing different actors playing the superhero. So it might not be too bad after all ;)

Anyway, I think this guy will be great. I'm just trying to figure out the premise.

And PS:
TOTALLY hate Kevin Spacey as Lex. Can't think of anyone else to cast. Except the Smallville Lex and I think he's too young.

Scully said...

But with Batman, there was the cheesy TV show and the many change ups while the actors were still alive. I think that fact that Christopher Reeve was Supe for 4 movies and then the movies ended for 2 decades and then CR died is what is so traumatic. The Batmans were always getting changed. From what I've heard, the new Supe movie supposedly happens after the events of Superman II and Superman has been gone for awhile. Or something. And I really don't care for Kevin Spacey period, but he isn't my biggest casting issue with this movie. Kate Bosworth is. She just doesn't have the presence that a Lois Lane should have.

Miss Parker said...

You mean, the Batmen?

Well, at least we have Parker Posey. I think she'll end up being the saving grace. If there is one.

Scully said...

Well, I guess Batmen is correct, except there was only one Batman at a time. And we were all supposed to believe they were all the same Batman. So I guess the best way to phrase that would have been "The actors playing Batman were changing all the time."

Grammar Nazi!

Esperanza said...

Okay, the only preview I saw for the movie was like 8 months ago or something at least it seems like, and it was weird because it was like they were making him a Christ archetype thing...seemed weird. Who knows, watch it and tell me what the scoop is!

Scully said...

In the documentary on A&E the creators were Jewish and actually made him kind of a Moses archtype, with the whole basket of reed/meteorite traveling to an adoptive family to then save the world. But people have been seeing Superman as a Christ figure for a long time, what with the whole sent-by-father-to-save-mankind aspect of the story. They played with that in the pilot episode of Smallville too - check out the box art on the Season 1 DVDs. The director of the new movie denied playing that aspect up, but someone else suggested the studio would play it up to drum up interest in the Red States.

t said...

I agree with the Kate B. comment. I guess I'm just used to Margot and it seems Lois should be older but whatev. I could see Parker Posey as Lois, she seems to have the look. Who's Parker P's character anyway? She is someone to look forward to. Always love a show/movie with Posey in it.

t said...

I almost put Supermans so don't feel bad ;)

Scully said...

CherBear, PP is LL's girlfriend/partner in crime. Her character's name is something like Kitty Kowalski or something.

aquamarine said...

Okay, so I saw the preview last night! Ummmmm, very weird!