Last week we brought you a first look at DC Universe’s next upcoming animated feature, All-Star Superman, based on the award-winning series from writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely.
Today, courtesy of MTV, we have the first trailer for All-Star Superman, and my initial impression is that we’re going to be getting an animated feature that honors the themes of Morrison and Quitely’s series, while simultaneously taking some “creative liberties” for the sake of the animated feature format.
If you aren’t familiar with the source material, All-Star Superman was a twelve-issue comic book series that ran between 2005 and 2008. The premise was that Superman, while on a mission in the sun, is tricked by Lex Luthor into absorbing too much of the solar radiation that powers him, resulting in a slow breakdown and conversion of his cells into “solar-radio consciousness.” With only a year left to live, Superman creates a bucket list of ten accomplishments he wants to achieve before his demise, and sets out to fulfill them. Defeating an approaching planet of Bizarros, teaching Luthor a sense of humanity and giving Lois Lane superpowers for a day are just some of the highlights of The Man of Steel’s quest.
Check out the trailer for All-Star Superman below:
Those who have read All-Star Superman are surely wondering (as I am) how the filmmakers at DCU hoped to convert this story into an animated feature. Every issue of the comic was meant to serve as a deep mediation on the nature of Superman’s character, and although there was an over-arching storyline, each issue of the comic (except for one two-part story) was presented as its own complete standalone tale. Not exactly fertile ground for an 80-minute animated action movie.
But an 80-minute action movie is exactly what that trailer indicates DCU is going with. The whole Lex Luthor scheme that bookended the All-Star Superman comic series appears (Note: “appears”) to have been streamlined into being the main focus of the plot, with the quests Superman undertakes during his last year of life tossed in as little asides and fillers to fatten up the middle. I’m usually a big fan of DCU’s animated works, but if my speculation about All-Star Superman is correct, I’m going to disappointed. After all, not EVERY great comic book storyline needs to be converted to film. Great pieces of writing are usually great pieces of writing for a reason.
James Denton (Desperate Housewives), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) and Anthony LaPaglia will be voicing Superman, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, respectively. Ed Asner (Up) and Francis Conroy (Six Feet Under) will play Perry White and Ma Kent, while Linda Cardellini (ER), Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy) and Matthew Gray Gubler (500 Days of Summer) will also lend their voices.
Longtime DC Universe Guru Bruce Timm will be producing and Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths writer/director team Dwayne McDuffie and Sam Liu will be onboard as well.
You can catch All-Star Superman on DVD/Blu-ray in Spring 2011.