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“Superman” fans react, speculate after Zack Snyder announcement

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The news that Zack Snyder will be helming the next “Superman” film for Warner Bros. triggered a wave of reaction and speculation from online film writers. Plot points, villains, casting, script issues and more were discussed. Let’s try and round up what was said as Snyder works to get “Superman” off the ground.

Vulture reports that the film’s plot would follow a young Clark Kent traveling the globe as a freelance reporter and wrestling with the idea of whether or not he should become Superman.

This plotline is similar to comic book writer Mark Waid’s story, “Superman: Birthright,” so ComicBookMovie.com posted an interview with Waid to explain the motivation behind “Birthright” and how it might influence the new movie.

Vulture also goes so far as to say that Snyder was hired over, say, Darren Aronofsky because he’s better suited to take the David Goyer screenplay – which they say is “still a bit of a mess” – and turn it into a workable feature without obsessing over every little detail. This could tie into the fact that Warner had to have a “Superman” movie in production by 2011 or else they’d face potential lawsuits. Or it could tie into the Renaissance of D.C. Characters that was hinted at over at The Wrap.

As for a villain, Heat Vision was the first to say that Snyder’s film would feature General Zod – a character portrayed by Terence Stamp in Richard Donner’s original “Superman” and Richard Lester’s sequel.

Elaborating on that choice, Drew McWeeny of HitFix says that the choice finally “gives Superman someone or something to punch. That is one of the most important things you can do with a Superman film. He has to have an enemy that gives him a real physical challenge. It’s the only way his super strength is interesting.”

That reminded me so much of two classic Kevin Smith rants about “Superman” (here and here), which address the challenges of making a “Superman” movie, and all of the fingers that get stuck in the pot when trying to produce a tentpole picture of this size and scope.

It’s worth watching both. And it makes me wonder if Warner would be well served to hire Smith to give Goyer’s screenplay a pass if it’s in bad shape, as reported. Smith knows his Superman stuff. It can only help.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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  • October 6, 2010 | Permalink |

    I am excited by the prospect of Snyder, and even more thrilled by the potential use of Birthright as source material.

  • October 6, 2010 | Permalink |

    Agreed, Michelle. It all looks good so far.

  • October 12, 2010 | Permalink |

    So give him Darkseid or Brainiac to punch. As for Vulture’s report, isn’t that what the show Smallville was? I’d be OK with it, but at least use Tom Welling if they’re going to do that.

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