"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Film, Comic Books
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)