Monday, February 21, 2011

The New Superman Movie

Apparently all the people who make comic news take Presidents' Day off. That's not really fair. I mean, I don't get the day off. I still had to go into school and try to instill a joy for 17th century samurai culture into a bunch of kids who would rather be doing keg stands while dressed as Abraham Lincoln.

But I digress. The only remotely comic related news I can find is this article mentioning that Kevin Costner -- yes, that Kevin Costner -- has apparently been linked to a role in Zack Snyder's Superman reboot.

Let us consider this for a moment. Set aside the fact that I'm not sure that's a good idea. Consider another fact we know about this film: all rumors point to Zod being the villain.

Now before you stop me, I'm not suggesting that Kevin Costner is up for the role of Zod. I'm just saying that there seem to be some serious deficiencies in some of the things we hear about this film (setting aside the apparently excellent casting of Henry Cavill).

Here's my problem with all signs coming from this film: It seems to be making some of the same mistakes that Superman Returns (which I liked well enough) made. One of these problems is connecting it too closely to the original Superman movies. Superman Returns did this by making it an explicit sequel. This new movie almost seems to be doing the same with having Zod as the villain.

Why would they make Zod the villain? There are a lot of Superman villains (good villains) that have never made it to the big screen. Zod has had his shot. And that's exactly the problem. Zod has probably been chosen because the general public is aware of the character from Superman II. A lot of people who know nothing about the Superman mythos know the phrase "Kneel Before Zod."

That brings me back to Kevin Costner. There's a real problem in my eyes with casting actors that are better known as themselves than they are as their characters. Superman Returns had this problem. Never once while watching this movie did I ever think of Kate Bosworth as being Lois Lane. She was always just Kate Bosworth pretending to be Lois Lane. I was never able to suspend the disbelief and think she was really Lois Lane.

Kevin Costner is that same kind of actor to me. It's always "Kevin Costner as Robin Hood" or "Kevin Costner as Elliot Ness." Those characters were never simply those characters when I was watching the movies. They were always Kevin Costner playing those characters.

Now, I'm not saying this new Superman movie should have all unknowns or anything. But it needs actors that I can believe. Despite not having a great script to work with, Kevin Spacey was a believable Lex Luthor. I was able to forget that I was seeing Spacey on the screen.

And when I see the new Superman movie I don't want anyone pulling me away from the story. I want to believe that Superman and everyone around him are real for an hour and a half. I don't think that's too much to ask.

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At 3:06 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Oh, not Zod again? How about Brainiac or somebody new? To movies that is.

I feel the same way about Barbra Streisand that you feel about Kevin Costner. She can never NOT be Barbra Streisand.

At 8:06 PM, Blogger Tom Foss said...

What little speculation I read about the Kevin Costner rumor pegged him as a potential Pa Kent. And you know, I don't think that's a bad choice.


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