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Is Superman Movie Reboot Inspired By Superman: Secret Origin?

Warner Bros. has so far kept details of Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot tightly under wraps. Heck, the studio hasn’t even confirmed it will be called Man of Steel. But with the release last week of DC Comics’ Superman: Secret Origins Deluxe Edition, we may have our first clues to the movie’s direction.

In his foreword to the hardcover, which collects the 2009 miniseries by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, screenwriter David S. Goyer reveals that a scene from the comic, billed as the “definitive” origin of Superman, helped him to understand the character:

There is a heart breaking moment halfway through the first chapter in which young Clark is told the truth about his heritage. He races out into the night, sobbing, stumbling through the cornfields. Eventually, his foster father, Jonathan, finds him.

“I don’t want to be someone else,” says Clark. “I don’t want to be different. I want to be Clark Kent.”

“I want to be your son.”

Right there in that moment, Geoff contextualized Superman in a way that I’m not sure has ever really been done before. I had an “aha” experience when I read that. For the first time I was able to grasp how lonely Clark must have been when he was growing up. And what a sacrifice Clark must continually make by being Superman.

As I write this, I am midway through my first draft of a new Superman screenplay. It’s a task that has stymied many talented fimmakers in the years since Donner’s film. And for all I know, it will end up stymying me as well.

But I’ve got one advantage that the screenwriters who came before me didn’t have — and that’s access to all the wonderful Superman stories written by Geoff Johns — first and foremost being the SECRET ORIGIN issues reprinted in the very volume you are now holding.

That, of course, seemingly contradicts Snyder’s earlier assertion that the new Superman “will not be based on a comic book in particular.” However, Secret Origin is particularly notable, at least within the context of the movie franchise, in that it doesn’t begin with the doomed planet of Krypton. Also, it excludes General Zod, whose rumored inclusion in the next film has been denied by Snyder.

But there’s always the possibility that we’re reading too much into Goyer’s foreword, and that the moment between Jonathan and Clark merely helped him to get to find the core of the character(s). We’ll find out soon enough, as Superman is set to begin production in June for a planned holiday 2012 release.

(via Comic Book Movie)

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Comments

  • JMC

    I think that you and many other movie-related websites across the internet ARE reading too much into Goyer’s foreword in Secret Origins.

    If anything, Goyer is crediting Johns for remembering the quintessential Superman that captured the world’s imagination as demonstrated in his Superman stories. Those stories contain not only great action and spectacular set pieces, but also contain moments of great characterisation, that reveal Superman as a well-rounded character. Goyer may be keeping these stories in the back of his mind to ensure an even tone to his Superman screenplay. He wouldn’t be lifting parts from Johns to place in his own screenplay. It was already established that the approach to Superman was developed with Goyer and Nolan in a brainstorming session a while ago.

    Stay tuned for Geoff Johns’ comments downplaying any impact on Goyer’s screenplay – it’ll be arriving soon.

  • Alex

    Well, as long as the it’s not the Stracynsi one. I didn’t read either ones, but Johns is cleary a great COMIC BOOK WRITER! He didn’t come up writing episodes of Murder SHE WROTE before doing some other things and then ruining famous characters….

    Good luck with the filmmakers on this one. Funny, this is probably the one new superhero adaption I want to see. I’m all a bout the comic books.

  • http://twitter.com/MichaelSacal Michael Sacal

    So first the movie is going to be based on Man of Steel (a telling of the origin which combines the Siegel and Shuster original with the Fleisher cartoon in a (then) modern context), then it’s going to be based on Birthright (a piece of derivative felgercarb that didn’t offer anything original and only served as a fanboy’s imitation of the 60s and 70s version of Superman), and NOW it’s going to be based on Secret Origin (another derivative piece of felgercarb that serves as a fanboy’s imitation of the Donner movies and 1960s comic books).

    What if the movie will take elements from all three? That seems more credible.

  • 2000filmfan

    hmmmm, felgercarb?

  • http://twitter.com/MichaelSacal Michael Sacal

    Caprican for excrement.