Bryan Singer Responds to ‘Superman Returns’ Criticism; Wanted Darkseid for Sequel

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brandon routh in superman returns Bryan Singer Responds to Superman Returns Criticism; Wanted Darkseid for Sequel

Before the 2013 Man of Steel reboot of Superman made the Big Blue Boy Scout a viable big screen franchise again, X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer gave it a shot with the 2006 film Superman ReturnsWe remember that film as a disappointment now, but at the time it was met with generally favorable (if not exactly enthusiastic) reviews and earned $391 million worldwide on a production budget of roughly $270 million. Now, that might not sound like much of a disaster, but when you take into account marketing, percentage of ticket sales that went back to theaters, and back-end deals, the film likely wasn’t all that profitable at the box office.

On paper, it must’ve sounded like a surefire hit: the celebrated director of The Usual Suspects, who ushered in the modern superhero blockbuster with X-Men and X2: X-Men United, would take on the most iconic hero of them all, picking up the continuity established by Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman: The Movie and the Richard Lester-directed Superman II.

Bryan Singer and screenwriters Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris would ignore the last two films with the late, great Christopher Reeve in the role but follow in the original series’ footsteps by casting a talented unknown (Brandon Routh) as Clark Kent/Superman and a veteran star as nemesis Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey). It didn’t really work.

bryan singer kevin spacey brandon routh superman returns set Bryan Singer Responds to Superman Returns Criticism; Wanted Darkseid for Sequel

Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer on the set of ‘Superman Returns.’

In the wake of Man of Steel‘s success, Bryan Singer has chimed in (again) on what he might have done differently, looking back. While talking about his return to the X-Men universe with Days of Future Past, Singer was asked how he feels about the ongoing perception of Superman Returns as one of the worst comic book movies ever made. He told Empire Magazine (via CBM): 

“Half of that I understand and half of it I never will. It was a movie made for a certain kind of audience. Perhaps more of a female audience. It wasn’t what it needed to be, I guess.”

And if Singer could do it over again, what kind of changes would he make? He had this to say:

“I think I could lop the first quarter off and start the movie a bit more aggressively and maybe find a way to start the movie with the jet disaster sequence or something. I could have grabbed the audience a little more quickly. I don’t know what would have helped. Probably nothing. If I could go again, I would do an origin. I would reboot it.”

This is not the first time Singer has talked about his film in relation to Man of Steel, and it seems he intended Superman Returns to be more accessible to audiences who generally prefer to stay away from superhero movies. Unfortunately, it seems he went about it in the wrong way.

Man of Steel superman Bryan Singer Responds to Superman Returns Criticism; Wanted Darkseid for Sequel

When it came time to cast the Man of Tomorrow, Singer had a very specific type in mind for Superman Returns, and while he evidently knew Henry Cavill at the time, he didn’t cast him for a reason:

“Um…I think Henry Cavill is great. I knew Henry. He and I were friends years ago. Oddly enough, the reason I didn’t cast him was because I was making a sequel to Christopher Reeve and I wanted somebody who embodied Reeve more.”

As mentioned above, Singer’s sequel would’ve shared the title of Zack Snyder’s, but not the villain. Singer originally wanted Jude Law to play General Zod in Superman Returns, but when Law turned down the role, Singer dropped the character altogether. As for the sequel, Singer opens up on the idea they were kicking around:

“We did explore it a little. Just hammering out ideas. I think Darkseid was going to be the villain. It was pretty world-destroying, actually.”

One of the main problems many fans had with Superman Returns was the emo tone and generally passive nature of its hero. We longed for a movie which showed Superman actually throwing a punch - pitting Supes against Darkseid, a powerful New God from the planet Apokolips, probably would’ve leveled the playing field and given fans a good fight.

Superman vs Darkseid Bryan Singer Responds to Superman Returns Criticism; Wanted Darkseid for Sequel

A good fight is what fans witnessed with the city-decimating finale of Man of Steel, and while Superman’s neck-snapping defeat of General Zod proved rather controversial, the eye-popping level of destruction had a purpose to it. Bryan Singer ultimately sings his praises of Zack Snyder’s vision, but hints at criticisms as well, saying:

“I am in awe of the world building and the scope of that picture. It’s tough for me. I’m not a critic and it starts to get into a weird thing where one director is talking about another director. I know how hard it is to make a movie, especially one of these movies and especially a Superman movie, and there was so much I was impressed with in that movie. There were things I might have done a little differently just because of the way I view the character. Don’t misinterpret that as me not liking something. It’s not ‘Bryan Singer’s review of Man Of Steel’!”

Bryan Singer is a great filmmaker, with no reason whatsoever to feel insecure or inferior, but he seemingly can’t let this Superman thing go. He has made similar comments about X-Men 3, but his defensiveness with Man of Steel feels more personal. To his credit, Singer never tries to argue that Superman Returns was misunderstood or blame its current unpopularity on fans or critics, but he perhaps just won’t face the fact that it’s a mediocre film at best. Is it a Batman & Robin-level debacle? No, actually - Superman Returns was clearly crafted with love of the world and character and respect for its lore and fans.

Superman Returns was well-intended, but so many aspects of it were miscalculated, from the inclusion of a bland and miscast Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane to keeping the age-old (clearly dated) screwball comedy dynamic to Lois and Clark’s relationship. Man of Steel had its flaws, but it contained many sharp, logical updates instead of rehashing or paying homage to a forty-year-old film.

Singer at least has a chance to channel these frustrations through the X-Men universe, and perhaps signing on for Days of Future Past was a way to exorcise his Superman demons. We’re looking forward to it, at any rate.


Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters May 23rd, 2014. The next Superman film, Man of Steel 2/Batman vs. Superman, hits theaters May 6th, 2016.

Source: Empire Magazine (via CBM)

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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  1. It being a homage to the original films was what ruined it for me. I know Singer is a fan and was trying to pay homage, which is fine, but intentionally making the movie like the old ones was a mistake. The lack of action, kid sub-plot, and stalker Superman were pretty poor decisions.

    However, I did like that plane scene, and I thought Brandon Routh and Kevin Spacey were both fine in their roles.

    • I always liked Superman Returns and felt like Singer needed to make the film a love letter to Donner and then it would have freed him up to take the character to new places. I got why it left some people unimpressed but to me it felt like the first act of something bigger, and I am disappointed I will never get to see the rest of it.

      • I agree. I really enjoyed the cerebral nature of Spacey’s Lex Luthor.

  2. “I would reboot it.”

    Ignoring, of course, that his Superman Returns is the original conception of what constituted a reboot before marketers realized that the term tested better with audiences than remake and started using it for everything you can think of -even films with only a single previous film.

    • I remember it being described as a “vague sequel” to Donner’s Superman, at the time…

      • It surely is. Because it picks up (as a sequel) at a particular point by excising the latter two films, it fills the role of adhering to a point of previous continuity while continuing on by ignoring any continuity after that point.

        Then it was considered a revamp to reinvigorate a film series. However, the term is was used to describe restarts that have only had one previous entry. I’m not sure how one film constitutes a series.

        Marketing gurus now apply it in lieu of, or as a euphemism to, the words remake, re-adaptation, and re-interpretation.

  3. Superman Returns – 76% on Rotten Tomatoes, 72 on Metacritic

    Man of Steel – 55% on Rotten Tomatoes, 55 on Metacritic

    Superman Returns is actually one of the better reviewed superhero films (by comparison Nolan’s Batman Begins scored a 70 on Metacritic). I’ll never understand why people constantly refer to this movie as being inferior in quality to Man of Steel. It was a totally different movie with a totally different goal which, as most critics agreed, worked.

    • Another example of why Rotten Tomatoes is horrible and why I stopped going to it.

      • It’s called perspective, and that’s what RT is about. Movie goers treat critics as if they committed murder. So I guess I’m horrible because I thought Superman Returns was better than Man of Steel. Sure, both films weren’t good, in my opinion, but at least Superman Returns had some restraint and cared about developing the characters (though the development wasn’t done all that well). Man of Steel, again in my opinion, tried going for something philosophical, but had absolutely NOTHING to say about actually being a superhero and was only interested in action scenes. People say Richard Donner’s movies were boring, but at least we got to know who Clark Kent was and the kind of man Superman chose to be. We’ll never get that from Zack Snyder, he’s more interested in Batman and Wonder Woman being marketed than actually telling a worthy superhero story.

        • Its called they let anyone review anything, sorry but I dont care what thinks.
          Crappy site, stay away from it.

          • @cody

            Don’t worry, I don’t think Art actually saw MOS since he/she clearly thinks Snyder failed to explore Clark as a person and the man he chose to become as Superman.

            And yeah, Donner’s movies ARE boring now because they don’t hold up to modern viewings. As a child, sure, they were brilliant but as an adult with experience of the real world and not the one shown in movies released back in the day, Donner’s films just seem too cheap, too cheesy, too fluffy and light-hearted and with the goofiest threats (Luthor for example became a goofy, comic relief style villain rather than a ruthless, cunning and dangerous threat).

            • Well if your an aggregate, you should make sure your using good reviewers reviews.

        • No, RT isn’t about perspective at all.

          It’s a website for professional critics to put in their opinion and then allow the “normals” to chime in with their own opinions and then wants to think that it’s the be all and end all of movie critique.

          It also seems to me that anybody who isn’t a professional critic but who sing the praises of RT as a website, using its scores as part of their reason why a movie sucks or doesn’t, shouldn’t be allowed to comment about movies because it’s obvious that they have no opinion of their own and rely on a ridiculous, unimportant website to tell them whether or not to spend $10 or more for a movie ticket.

          That may sound harsh and you know what, I hope it does because I’m someone blessed with a little something called “freedom of thought” and I can use it to decide whether I’ll take the train or the bus in the morning when I go to work, I can use it to decide which of many things I do as a hobby I will dedicate my precious free time doing on a particular day and I can use it to watch a movie trailer online or at the cinema, judge whether or not I’ll watch it when it releases based on the several minutes of material provided by the studio’s marketing department and either enjoy the finished product or feel glad that I’m doing something else rather than going to the cinema when there isn’t something that interests me playing on a particular week.

          RT never plays a part in my life and neither does it play a part in the lives of others who possess freedom of thought.

          The only people who rely on that website are people who probably get confused with whether to push or pull the cinema doors open to get inside the building and need somebody else (like RT perhaps) to tell them what to do.

          For the record, I’ve seen both Superman Returns and Man Of Steel and while I wasn’t impressed by Man Of Steel, it was still a hell of a lot more entertaining than Superman Returns.

          Do I need RT scores to decide which I enjoyed more? No, I use freedom of thought. Maybe some of you should try using it yourselves at some point?

          Percentages are only important to professional critics and movie studios, box office takings are only important to movie studios. Unless you fall into one of those two job descriptions, just ignore percentage scores and box office profits because they’re not a good indicator of whether you personally as a viewer will like or dislike a movie.

          • That was kind of harsh… but I have to applaude your opinion anyway. Very well put (mostly).

          • I was only pointing to Metacritic & Rotten Tomatoes to try to underline the fact that the movie was not widely viewed as the critical failure it’s often seen as now. I personally don’t use the site for anything other than reading other people’s views on the film after having seen it myself.

            Having seen both movies, I commend Singer’s attempt to do something different and more reflective with a superhero film. While I loved the first half of Man of Steel, it devolved into typical Snyder-esque action and my eyes just glazed over about 10 minutes into that long-winded fight scene. Overall, I do feel that Superman Returns, while by no means a great or even good movie, is a bigger triumph as a film than Man of Steel. And all the overt religious symbolism, blech.

            But yes, freedom of thought all the way, I support you on that Dazz.

            • Also, just for clarification, I was saying that both movies were way too blunt about Superman being a Christ-like figure. I wasn’t pointing to either, both are guilty on that count.

          • I beileve your precious time was just used on typing out your “menstral cycle” *ahem…rant”. Dude or what ever, its just a comment section. Coming in here all like cocky as he*l, its a place for people to put there opinions out there and not to be insulted by a random, such as yourself. Oh and maybe you should try getting a car instead of taking the bus or taxi/train etc…Cause heres what you jsut did. One, you came in here putting down your opinion (which is perftectly fine). Two, insulted anyone who thinks different than you about this subject (not fine). And then three, stated your daily decision making or lack there of, which could give one the impression your some nobody thats sitting at the library’s computer throwing down your mad writing skills cause you lack all the other basic needing skills in your life, who knows? Now, if your mind was as open as your mouth was, maybe you’d know that when putting something down on here, your speaking to a plethora of different kinds of people…food for thought.

            • That was to Dazz btw….sorry to anyone who thought different.

    • But how many people loved Superman Returns? I suspect that the average viewer might have a higher opinion of it over Man of Steel simply because there is a group of people who (often bizarrely IMO) hate Man of Steel and give it lower marks than they would ever give Returns.

      In brief, I think that Returns is commonly held as mediocre-to-decent, thus averages out to a mild positive, while Man of Steel is love-or-hate, thus averaging out to neutral. But I bet that there are more who actually love (read: feel strongly positive about) Man of Steel. That’s my theory, anyway.

  4. Superman Returns gets a bad wrap. I didn’t think it was that terrible.

    [begs forgiveness for linking to something related in the comments]


    • Its flawed but Superman Returns at least felt like superman, even if that came from emulating a bit too much of donner’s films. MOS lost focus of what superman is.

      • So, in your mind, Superman is someone who floats outside windows looking forlorn?

        I ask because I thought Superman was someone who saved lives and sacrificed his integrity when he had no other choice in the pursuit of saving innocent bystanders. Snyder’s Superman embodied that much better than both Singer and Donner.

        • You must be confusing the two. Superman in Superman returns had the daily planet logo falling and he managed to prevent it from hitting a car. Superman in MOS did not care about the destruction. Yes Superman returns had flaws like him focusing too much on lois lane. However, I feel that you disregard any flaws of MOS while just one flaw causes you to hate superman returns.

          • How many times do we gotta go over this? He was a complete noob fighting genetically engineered warriors.

            • Doesn’t mean he shouldn’t help to cause property damage.

              • So Zod said he was gonna kill every human on earth but he needs to worry about property damage while fighting.

                Now Is that realistic? Have you had a fight and worried about causing property damage or focus on winning the fight and not get beaten silly or seriously hurt.

                • He couldn’t have taken the fight somewhere else? He didn’t even try to take the fight out.

                  • “He couldn’t have taken the fight somewhere else?”

                    When you sit and analyze the predicament Superman was in then you’d see how nonsensical that sounds. Do you really believe that “taking the fight somewhere else” was even an option? Superman who is basically novice has to contend with several beings as powerful as himself. Beings that don’t care one iota about human casualties and/or property damage. Not to mention the fact that they are aware of Clark’s propensity to preserve human life, thus exploiting what they perceive as his “weakness”. It becomes evident that taking the fight elsewhere was not an option for him.

          • I’m totally with you. The destructo-porn of demolishing buildings/entire cities was unnecessary.

            Compare the same fight from Superman II, and watch Superman lead the three of them *away* from Metropolis. He cares about human life. People are like ‘Oh, but the property damage!’ – I’m like ‘Wait, so there were NO PEOPLE in that property!?’ – hundreds died in that fight, if not thousands. Superman would never have allowed that. Ever.

            • Their excuse is that this is superman’s beginnings. Sorry but in other versions of superman, he saves people from day one. Then they will say this is meant to be more “realistic.” Doesn’t mean its better.

        • Superman would sacrifice his integrity when he had no other choice in the pursuit of saving innocent bystanders. Superman would have saved his father from a tornado.

          MOS did nothing.

      • I strongly disagree about Man of Steel losing focus. Just saying.

      • Totally agree with you.

        • It’s not even that them liking mos bothers me. It’s when they shoot you down and resort to insults instead of just saying they disagree and that they should agree to disagree.

  5. I didn’t think Superman Returns was terrible by any means but I didn’t think it was any good either. It was just plain boring for me.

  6. I watched “Returns” over again. It’s not the film I hated 8 years ago, it’s actually not bad in fact. But like the article said, Clark is too passive and the tone felt like it belonged in a different movie. I like Man Of Steel more for what Superman and CBM fans expect to see in a film.

    “Returns” also missed out on showing what Superman’s powers really looked like on film. I mean what he is really capable of. MoS capitalized on that and that’s all I was looking for when it came to MoS. Singer’s film just didn’t deliver to it’s intended audience.

    • I tried to watch Returns when BBC1 aired it around Christmas 2012 and my god, apart from the usual criticisms and lack of anything interesting going on, it went on for far too long.

      BBC basically have no commercials and I remember reading my on screen TV guide and being shocked that the movie was on for almost 4 hours.

      I ended up putting the BBC News channel on midway through, couldn’t stand any more of it. What’s funny is, I actually enjoyed Returns when it first released but now that I’m older and wiser, I see it for what it truly is and think it’s utter crap.

      The plane and machine gun sequences were the highlights but still, terrible movie, just like his X-Men films that people seem to have nostalgia glasses on for when they claim those films were great too (they weren’t).

      • Just checked…Wow, the film is almost 3 hours (probably extended for TV). No wonder I couldn’t stand it before! Returns has good moments, twinklings of solid moments, but yeah it’s largely just unimpressive.

        I gotta agree with you on X-Men also. The films weren’t that impressive thematically and visually…but X3 is so bad, it makes the first two look like they were masterpieces.

  7. Perhaps Singer keeps bringing it up because he keeps getting asked about it. Seeing a how SR is writing this article in the first place, you’re clearly still interested in the subject. So drop the sanctimonious tone.

    • Maybe you should drop the sanctimonious tone.

      Singer was being interviewed for DOFP, he was asked about Superman in the interview and if SR had ignored that part of the interview, people like yourself would probably complain that they HADN’T reported on it.

      • Someone didn’t read the article. I to find it funny that the writer claims that Singer “can’t let it go” which is foolish as he is only answering questions that he was asked.

        So yeah it comes off as a bit pompous. I guess if he didn’t answer the question he would be a jerk.

        Dazz you love to play white knight, to bad nobody cares 99% of the time.

  8. Female audience?
    Sequel to reeve film?
    thats where you went wrong.

    • It’s enraging that he throw women under the bus like that. First of all, it’s insulting for him to imply that women are somehow NOT a valid demo for Superman. Screw that. Women have sustained the Superman brand for decades on television. The love story has been one of the driving forces of the Superman brand for decades bc of women. Second, what he misses is that he got the love story WRONG and that pissed people off.

      Singer’s mistake was not on trying to make a romantic movie. His mistake is that he miscalculated how people would feel seeing Lois LAne and Superman put in such a crappy, terrible situation that couldn’t possibly end happily for anyone. Who in the heck wants to see that? IT was depressing. And yes, Singer, as opposed to taking responsibility for what he screwed up with the love story has the AUDACITY to keep blaming the female audience for this? That takes some serious arrogance.

  9. it accomplished exactly what it was made for i think…a nod to the originals and fans get to see Superman with new filming technology, i liked it as a continuation of the other movies, but it didn’t do anything groundbreaking or make you hate it…it was on the fence.

  10. Superman Returns wasn’t terrible but it could’ve been great. Main thing that bothered me was Superman having a son & how the film was too much like a rehash of Donnor’s film instead of a true return story of “Why The World Needs Superman” especially in lois’s eyes. A villain like Darkseid or Brainiac would of done that.

    On a different note id add Tim Story’s F4 films are worse than Schumacher’s Batman films. Not that im defending the guy because im stating a fact because WB is partly to blame for the latter Batman films as Schumacher Bat films as he is.

  11. It is beyond insulting that Bryan Singer continues to blame his mistakes with Superman Returns on the FEMALE audience. That is, without question, one of the most sexist, crappy things I’ve ever heard and it perpetuates this LIE in Hollywood that women aren’t valid demos at the box office and that they don’t like superheroes. It’s a lie.

    I’m a FEMALE Superman fan. I know countless FEMALE Superman fans. The problem with Superman Returns was not that it appealed to women, Singer. On the contrary…the problem with Superman Returns was that it was a love story done WRONG.

    Superman Returns took one of the most beloved love stories—if not THE most beloved love story—in comics history and put both players in an impossible position. Millions of people fell in love with Lois and Clark on TV in the 90′s. People fell in love with them again on Smallville. All Singer had to do was tell a MODERN love story that honored the last 30 years of comics in which Lois Lane and Clark Kent were on an equal playing field where Lois KNEW who Clark was and they were a team. That was all he had to do. That story tells itself.

    There WAS barely any interaction AT ALL in the film between Lois and Clark. “screwball comedy dated?” What screwball comedy? They barely talked in the movie. Singer did nothing with Clark Kent at all. Routh hardly ever spoke.

    Stop blaming women for your mistakes, Singer. Stop implying that it’s a “problem” to market films to women because that’s insulting. Women have been sustaining the Superman mythos for decades. Your problem was that you put an impossible obstacle between one of the greatest love stories in comics and people didn’t like it. That’s on you. Not them. And not us.

    • I didn’t take his comments as blaming the female demographic at all, I took it as him surmising that the “hardcore comic book fan” generally didn’t like it.

      I thought he made the film he wanted to make, and I for one, enjoyed it. I don’t think it missed the mark, because it was intended to restart a franchise, so whatever didn’t happen in that film could have happened later on i.e. different villains, more action etc.

      • Which is a mistake when it comes to big budget movies. Never make the movie you want to make, save that for more intimate movies that will likely receive praise at Sundance and Cannes and gain a small but loyal fanbase rather than take in billions of dollars during general release.

        • That is a fair point. I wonder what the film would have turned out if Law accepted the role of Zod. How much did removing him from the original story effect what ended up in theaters…

        • Indeed. It seems to me that any filmmaker needs to consider their audience and not just themselves. After all, movies are made to be seen, and if you’re spending hundreds of millions it needs to be seen by as many people as possible. One of the very few times I agree with you Dazz.

    • You are beyond deluded. Singer said it was targeted for a more female audience, not female Superman fans. And please elaborate on how he blamed females? He just said it was more popular in that demographic, not that it was their fault that Superman Retuns was a failure. A matter of fact, Singer blamed himself saying the story was too slow and not realing what the fans wanted.

    • Nice comment, Superfan. Regardless of what Singer may have meant, I think you’re well-justified in your feelings.

      For what it’s worth, I’m a MALE Superman fan and love stories are cool with me. Like you say, though, they need to be good to be appealing.

  12. How was he going to bring Zod back if he was dead after Superman2? Plus no way would I wanted to see him bring Darkseid to the screen I think he’s going to make Apocalypse mediocre at best and the only reason why he’s using him in 2016 is bcuz he never got the chance to use Darkseid which is pretty stupid.

  13. I have a feeling screenrant enjoys looking up for superman returns/MOS articles because they often get the most comments and debate.

    Superman Returns had its share of flaws and it was more focused on emulating the donner films rather than doing something new. However, superman actually did feel like superman with his heroic acts still on display and they actually do show emotion like when kal almost dies of krypotnite after his “sacrifice.” Superman may not throw a punch but this shows the more human aspects of him. Flawed but I thought it was good.

    While I thought MOS was an ok film, it was a disappointment as a superman film. Very little of the superman charater we know and instead is replaced by cgi and emo. I had more of a problem with superman not doing a thing to stop destruction rather than him killing zod. Still, I had high hopes that MOS would be the first truly great superman film since Superman 2 and at the end, actually prefered superman returns over this. The casting news isn’t doing much to inspire hope for the sequel. We have an actor who’s a better director than an actor, a female known for her sex appeal and not for her resemblence to wonder woman, and the role of a cold business man now played by a young actor who looks like he just graduated from high school.

    • MOS is not Superman yet! it’s a origin story showing fans how he will eventually grow into being the Superman we all know…it was a fresh approach to a stale character, i don’t know about you but i don’t want to see him pulling cat’s out of trees, i want them to show me why he decides to help humans

      • And yet, other heroes like iron man have been shown to save people on their first day of their job if necessary. Iron man saved a bunch of kids from terrorists in the first film. I’m not saying see have save cats out of trees but I want the action to stay true to superman’s character. Not just push away superman’s character for the sake of showing off cgi.

        • before Tony Stark became Iron Man do you think he cared about those kids? no he built the bombs that dropped on them, we got to see the switch in character in Iron Man…we still haven’t seen Clark switch to Superman yet which i believe Batman will have something to do with that who knows

          they do show glimpses of Clark wanting to save people when he was younger but is told not to show his powers

          • Was Stark out there personally dropping the bombs himself? NO!! Besides, Tony Stark had character development, caring more about people, something that MOS lacked.

            I think his father messed his mind up. Yes he did save kids but I believed that his father scarred him mind after with “maybe.”

            • before her became Iron Man he did not care about anyone other then himself

              no Tony wasn’t dropping bombs personally, but he felt guilty after seeing what his company inadvertently caused..that is the switch to becoming a superhero.

              Clark/Kal El has not made that switch yet, the damage to the city or Batman will give him that guilt for the switch.

              you have to remember he isn’t the boy scout just yet.

              • In iron man, there’s a thing that mos lacked. Its called character development. Starks character changed. Superman character did not change. And this should have been addressed in mos instead of waiting for the sequel.

                • that is why it’s called Man of Steel and not Superman: The First Alien….i agree with you, i wanted more by the end of it, i enjoyed the first 2/3 of the movie because i like origin stories, not a fan of the action sequences…made me dizzy actually, the shakey cam was brutal in my opinion and i can’t stand 3D which was my fault for seeing it in that format.

                  if this movie was created before all this superhero universe building became the norm then we would have seen the character switch, but just like almost all CBM made after Iron Man they leave you hanging, Iron Man got flushed out character wise because they didn’t know it would become so popular…it could have been considered a standalone.

                  anyways bah

                  • Just because its not called superman does not mean there shouldn’t be character development. Even some of the decisions are mind boggling.

                    • so you didn’t witness any character development? no struggles with being a outsider/alien?

                      i am not trying to be a dick but can you tell me how Superman became Superman in the 1978 film….it has barely any character development, hear hears a sound in the barn, then goes to the arctic, gets a suit and saves the world. I’m not knocking the original but it sounds like you want the same old story told to you over and over.

              • you also have to remember that Iron Man took place over a period of weeks (I cant remember how long he was in the cave) where he had Yinsin telling him that his legacy would be about killing people and that he needed to change that legacy!!

                MOS took place in what 1-2-maybe 3 days? that is NOT a very long period of time in which to change his way of thinking from being just someone that is not from earth to being a Kryptonian with (his actual Superman suit) the power to change the Earth and human-kind. ONCE he got the suit the rest of the movie took place in 24-36 hours!

                Im not saying either of you is right or wrong but just that Tony Stark had weeks to decide WHAT he wanted to become, Clark had found the ship, then got his suit, found out he can fly and met Zod and the destruction Metropolis within 24-36hours! At least that is how I interpreted the events of MOS! I believe in the next movie we will see more development and will take place in a much larger time period than the events of MOS did.

      • Plus, he saved the planet from an alien invasion and battled a group of trained super powered beings on his first day in the suit. And that isn’t accounting for the fact that he never used his powers to such an extent in his life. It’s a kinda overwhelming situation, something I’m glad they showed on the big screen.

        • You guys understand. It’s a shame Chris Etrata doesn’t seem to get it.

          And yeah, of course SR would report on this. Readers would wonder why they ignored that part of the interview if they hadn’t and it seems to be that the slow news day has leaked into Saturday this weekend so they need to keep up the hits when there’s little else to report on.

          Did you know there’s a Superbowl happening in the US tomorrow? That will be the dominant story in the American media until Monday night so movie fans have to take what we can until more news and rumours come out of Hollywood.

          • More like half and half. Some understands my point of view while the other half doesn’t. That’s ok. Just don’t bash my opinion on this. It’s not that I don’t “get it.” I do get it and it was a disappointment.

        • YOu are setting the bar of success too low. What if it was you caught in the situation where superman doesn’t care about destruction, your girlfriend’s life ended because of collapsing buildings, yet you still praise superman just because.

        • Sounds sensible when you put it that way but why would he talk with a priest before consulting with his holographic father on how to handle Zod and his followers? He could have prevented a lot of things from happening without putting himself in that overwhelming situation.

          • Needed those religious comparisons since superman is apparently supposed to be a “god” (which, BTW, wouldnt allow people to die.)

            • Religious comparisons? There was no need for him to be at a church talking to some random priest he has never met before. If the priest was a childhood friend then I could understand somewhat why he is there but at the same time the world is being threatened and he is asking a priest for advice? If they wanted to reference Jesus there were better ways to go about like a scene where the Pa Kent takes him in for baptism and the priest senses something peculiar but special about the little boy.

              It just shocks me how people defend this crap of a movie and I’m not here trying to defend the Donner films the only thing great about them was Christopher Reeves other from that they are pretty laughable compared to modern day cartoons with their rich in depth story telling.

              • Im not even defending mos. I just said they “needed” the religious comparisons they don’t really need.

                • Why does that scene bother you? Clark grew up in Kansas… smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt. It humanizes the character when he goes to a church in his home town to seek advice. That scene shows the inner conflict of which part of his dichotomous heritage to defend,the Human or Kryptonian. I rather like that scene…

    • “I had more of a problem with superman not doing a thing to stop destruction [...]”

      Not doing a thing?

      • Nope. He didn’t even try to take the battle somewhere else.

        I have a feeling most of the people that liked MOS were never fans of superman (character) to begin with.

        • You assume a lot and it’s a bit insulting. I’ve been a fan of superman most of my life and I absolutely loved the movie. I have to agree with Dazz, I just don’t think you get it. It’s a different take. The whole invasion was his first day as superman. Growth happens over time and I’m personally very happy that he wasn’t just “the big blue boyscout” right out the gate. I prefer him being shown as this more complex character that has to grow and understand his place in the world instead of just being the embodiment of everything good right out of the gate. In fact I would say that Man of Steel is my favorite super hero movie. There I said it.

          • Stop saying that I dont get it. Thats what fanboys use when they have no arguement. The growth should have happened in mos instead of waiting for a sequel. Personally, im getting tired of you telling me im wrong. Just agree to disagree and call it a day.

            • Dude, you suggested that “most of the people that liked MOS were never fans of superman (character) to begin with” – I don’t mean to drag the argument out, but you’re telling other people that they don’t get it, just like they’re telling you.

        • Why do people keep on insisting on this?

          HOW was he supposed to do that? Fly away and say “Hey, you! Follow me conveniently out of the city?!” Or grab several Kryptonian warriors and fly them away when they are nearly as strong as he is? There was nothing he could do but take them head on and it something gets smashed in the process, so what? Better to have a few buildings crash than the whole planet.

          That’s called putting a character in a tough situation. It makes for great conflict.

          That’s a bit ignorant of you to write off the people who enjoyed MoS, by the way.

          • Of course zod isn’t going to follow superman. Thats when superman should have pushed zod away and keep doing so.

            • ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Now that is one IGNORANT comment… LMAO just push zod away and keep doing so!! WTF?? that just sounds stupid and sounds like something a child would say, things are NOT JUST BLACK AND WHITE!
              If someone is hell bent on killing every soul on the planet and Superman is just supposed to push him away?? did you even think about what you were typing before you typed it?
              NOW I will say that you don’t now and never will “get it” and probably never were a superman fan. DOH!! Just push him away…DOH!!

        • “Try to take the battle somewhere”…Really?

          Tell me, why would Zod follow Superman?

  14. Honestly, aggregate scores on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic are not a good way to judge how “good” or “bad” a movie is. For example, if you study fan and critic opinions the only reasons that Man of Steel got a lower rating than Superman Returns was simply because of three things: not enough “Nolan trilogy” levels of character dissection and dialogue (which at times I find necessary) the controversial Zod neck breaking scene, and the abrupt ending afterwards which clearly had “SEQUEL!” written all over it. If it wasn’t for those three things I’d be willing to bet a month’s worth of paycheck that the scores would have been higher. Still, considering the end results I found MOS much more engaging and exciting than the boring, mopy/emo, dead-beat dad story of SR with the mildly idiotic plans of Lex that, when it boils right down to it, were just plain silly. So, in short SR was a great character piece but in the end was just a boring rehash of the 70s-80s films, while on the other hand MOS was an exciting and engaging Superman flick that could have used more characterization. See a pattern? So clearly neither movie is perfect, but despite what some might say about MOS it was just time to move on and do some things differently. It’s success and quick sequel green-light proved that.

  15. The problem with SUPERMAN RETURNS can be summed up in two words for me: Kryptonite Island.

  16. “He and I were friends” Ouch, that was NOT nice Singer… at all.
    I wonder how long will it take for him to say the same thing about Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Jackman or any of the cast in X-Men?

    Anyway, it’s probably embarassing, but I haven’t even had the desire to watch Superman Returns. It’s the movie that Singer chose to work with so that he in the end butchered the X-Men by making Brett Ratner did The Last Stand, right? Idk why, just didn’t have any urge to watch it, and I actually like Brandon Routh better than Henry Cavill. He was really good in Scott Pilgrim XD. Hey, he’d make a great Cyclops (physical wise), but oh yeah… that character has been obliterated.

    • You know the funny thing?

      Henry Cavill and Brandon Routh auditioned to play Clark Kent in Smallville but lost out to Tom Welling.

      Henry Cavill and Tom Welling auditioned to star in Superman Returns but lost out to Brandon Routh.

      Out of the three, Cavill has been the only one to play a version of Superman that isn’t cheesy and unwatchable.

      • Tom wellings long ass 10 year run on Smallville says your a fool, and I’m not a Superfan of Smallville…but common sense says he wasnt too cheesy or unwatchable…maybe you dident understand the sheer adulation or obsession people in the United states had with that show.

  17. The main problem Superman Returns is that the plane scene was the only good action sequence with tension. Every other action scene just got worse and worse.

  18. I’m a huge fan of Superman. Have been ever since I was little. I watched Superman Returns ONCE. Someone gifted me the DVD. I never watched it on the disc and ended up throwing it away. I think Singer is more a fan of the first two Superman movies and not as much a fan of the comic book character. Horrible adaptation.

    And he was catering the movie to a FEMALE audience? Wuh?

  19. Kinda funny people seem to love or at least enjoy the first two films despite their flaws and then say Returns should have never modeled them.

  20. I thought Superman returns was an average movie at best. I think singer had the right idea about superman…but the execution was pretty bad… And Luthor’s big plan was the real estate market..? like after flooding millions of people…other’s would just wana live on that crazy rocky and uninhabitable piece of kryptonite..? that was silly…
    It had its moments…i still like the bullet in the eye scene….but other than that….pretty average…

    • Worse is that he could have made the planet out of gold or diamond.

  21. Singer was in love with the Richard Donner Superman, while the rest of us wanted the John Byrne Superman with a dash of Jack Kirby’s Darkseid thrown in for good measure.

  22. The first Superman movie I have liked has been the Man of Steel latest one. It was pretty good. Not great, but not too bad. I would like to see Doomsday, Darkseid, and Brainiac as villains eventually, against Superman and the Justice League. An appearance by Time Commander as a villain would be welcome by me as well. And I hope we eventually get Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Flash (Barry Allen) against Sinestro and professor Zoom.

  23. Glad it didn’t work out. Darkseid should be reserved for the Justice League, similar to what Thanos is to the Avengers. We need a build-up towards Darkseid, a complex plot, and make Darkseid the center of everything bad that is happening in this new Superman/JL universe.

  24. Automated comment thingy won’t let me post because “it appears to be spam.”

    • “I think I could lop the first quarter off and start the movie a bit more aggressively and maybe find a way to start the movie with the jet disaster sequence or something. I could have grabbed the audience a little more quickly. I don’t know what would have helped. Probably nothing. If I could go again, I would do an origin. I would reboot it.”


      • Superman Returns makes TWO fatal mistakes. The FIRST AND WORST is that Clark left on purpose. For the rest of the movie, it doesn’t matter how much he’s hurting while he’s stalking Lois and watching her with another man because the only thing going through the audience’s head is “You left, what did you expect?” When he finds out Luthor is free, “You left, what did you expect?”

        The film should have begun with Clark crashing in Kansas, much the same as it does, but from there found out that Clark has no idea just what the hell he was even doing in space. With that as a setup, suddenly you feel every gut check he gets. And then when Luthor’s monologing to Lois we find out that he was Responsible. Suddenly Luthor ain’t just a real-estate scammer that ties woman to railroad tracks, HE’S THE GUY THAT BEAT SUPERMAN AND TOOK HIM AWAY FROM HIS FAMILY FOR FIVE YEARS.

        • While we’re at it, how about start the film with a flashback to Superman II, and recreate the scene where Clark erases Lois’s memory, and have the camera track Clark this time as he leaves the room, and as Lois asks the other girl “what’s going on in the world?” have Clark pull out a glowing crystal that then serves as a plausible explanation for how HE JUST FRICKKING ERASED HER MEMORY. This is important, because when Lois takes that whack to the head on the boat she can get that memory back, making the ending make sense – now it makes sense for Lois to be bringing her son to see him in the hospital. It makes their relationship work again. He didn’t leave by choice AND they have a kid. They have hope for the future once Captain Seaplane is out of the way.

          • SECOND problem was that Singer made all the mistakes of the Chris Reeve era Luthor wasn’t a super-villian, he was a joke with a gangster’s moll(that should have been replaced with Mercy) still after land, land, land more land. Lex Luthor should want IT ALL. Not a cut. Next, Lois is a star reporter that still can’t figure out that Superman just saved her, oh and hey look Clark’s back too. And CLark is the same height and build, same eye color, same hair color…..

            • Also, would it have killed him to have a quick shot of a blur snagging a radiation suit from a nuclear power plant before lifting the island? Be a great moment when Luthor reaches the copter and can’t figure out HOW IS HE STILL ALIVE AND DOING THIS… then catches sight of Clark in the rad suit and “Ah, hell.” Then the Kryptonite crystals can start poking the suit providing dramatic tension, etc.

              But instead of identifying the real flaws in the film, Singer has decided that he needed Clark to catch/lift something sooner. He DID NOT need to reboot the Chris Reeve era. He could have FIXED the Chris Reeve era and given it a worthy send-off.

              • And one last thing – the kryptonite island should not have been about “land. It’s the one thing they aren’t making more of.” It should ALWAYS have been about killing the kyrptonian and making the world uninhabitable for any more of them. The island should have been specifically said to be a test, and that Luthor intends to leave no square inch of dry ground on Earth that’s safe for a kryptonian to be exposed to. Saving Earth from rogue kryptionains(so that they can’t challenge him) should be Luthor’s entire reason/justification for the project.

                “You said you’re the last son of Krypton Superman, but oh hey you meant last son besides the general, right? No, there’s more of you out there, but Earth will be safe from your kind once and for all.”

              • While the ‘radiation suit’ theory works to take care of the ‘how is Superman still super powered surrounded by a kryptonite island!?’ question, it doesn’t resolve the problem with the chunk of kryptonite left inside of him when Luthor tossed him off the island!

                Here’s the problem with Singer’s film: Singer.

                He stumbled upon making one great movie (and producing a few good television shows) and then got caught up in the hype that he’s this great dramatist, ensemble guy. Then comes along X-Men and what does he do? Buys the hype that he’s great and HEY! so is Wolverine so he completely dismisses the X-Men and DECADES of story so that he can just focus on the Marvel cash cow – thereby completely screwing up every other character in the movie.

                Then comes Superman Returns. Which I should have known was going to suck. I saw it with a group of friends and, before going in, was explaining that Superman was always the telling of the Messiah myth from a Jewish perspective (hell, even the NAME comes from that perspective). I’m groaning while watching the movie (okay, seriously HOW THE HELL is a five year old Clark Kent’s son when he’s been GONE for five years…did everyone forget gestation period for a baby)? And again tell my friend that it’s just a bad retelling of the Christ mythos. Which, at the scene after he throws the island into space and falls back to Earth, with Marlon Brando calling him the ‘light’ of the world, the crucifixion pose my friend agrees. Even the ending – three days in the ‘cave’ (sorry, hospital room) and then…oops, it’s suddenly, mysteriously empty with the ‘loved one’ finding it? Please.

                Singer can’t create a decent movie to save his life. X-Men Last Stand may have completely sucked but it was a damned masterpiece compared to the first two. At least there, supporting characters were being drawn as they should have been – unlike the complete milquetoasts of the first two movies. And Days of Future Past? One of the GREATEST stories of the X-Men EVER TOLD? In Singer’s hands? It’s already ruined. Completely.

                He’s pulling stunt casting (Peter Dinklage) and adding characters for no reason other than to do so (Quicksilver?)

                However, from a story standpoint, SR is much more comprehensive and put together than the incredible mess that MOS is. While people continue to debate the morality of the ending, I continue to question the stupidity of the ‘family’ threatened by Zod. Y’know the ones that conveniently, for story sake, cowered in the middle of wall instead of running away when given the chance? And exactly WHAT tied Zod tot he ground that Supes couldn’t have just leapt him up and away from the family? Why the hell does Supes cry over killing one guy when he’s directly and partially responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of others? That’s just the stuff that makes sense!

                Other places in here, people discuss Supes failing to save his father as a pivotal moment. Yeah, sure, he saves a busload of kids he can’t stand without caring about revealing his powers…but let’s his father die? Yeah, awfully story convenient isn’t that?

                Bottom line is this: as long as we keep letting directors who are all sizzle, no steak helm these movies, we’re going to get crap out of it and what are we left to enjoy for good, comic book movies? Frikken CGI raccoons.

                • can you cry any harder?? NO ONE on this planet is making you go see these CBM’s and if you don’t like a CGI raccoon (now this is a NOVEL idea)…. don’t “Frikken” go to see it!

                  I certainly do not want to hear you crying 3 rows behind me. Because all you seemed to do here was to B**ch about most CBM and whine about the rest.
                  @ least most of the ppl in here like most CBM’s and are happy we get them at all, because 15 yrs ago there was NO real CBM out there, sure we may B***h about certain movies but most of us like them as a whole. I would rather have the CBM’s that we do have, then no CBM’s at all!

  25. Superman Returns is by no means one of the worst superhero films ever made. It was just victim of a series of compounding miscalculations, and a missed opportunity. But it’s a beautiful film visually, and has a lot of class. That said, I absolutely prefer Man of Steel.

    Recast Clark with Cavill, Lois with Claire Danes, fix Lex Luthor by losing Kevin Spacey (way miscast) and writing an actual interesting, plausible villainous plot that doesn’t retread Superman: The Movie…and Superman Returns could’ve been a great film. It still might not have pleased everyone, but it would’ve been beautiful and poignant.

    Ultimately, though, Superman needed to be truly updated. I’m glad that it has finally happened.

  26. Am I the only one who thinks Superman Returns is better than Man of Steel? I’d take character development over mind numbing action anyday.

    • So, you only saw the final 40 minutes of MOS then?

      Because other than the Battle of Smallville, there was more character development going on than in the entire Superman Returns running time.

      Hell, I’d say one scene between Jonathan and Clark had more character development than Returns ever had.

      • Nope, I saw the whole movie. All action scenes (minus the Krypton one) all had meaningless death and destruction (designed that way, I may add). You start hating a movie when it’s killing off thousands and thousands of people, and you feel nothing. Oh, and where was Superman when thousands of Metoroplis citizens were getting killed? Fighting this disco hentai alien octopus that shoots lasers.

        The only redeemable part of the film is when Kevin Costner and Russel Crowe are giving Clark some speeches, but those speeches don’t mean anything by the end of the film. Clark never becomes the ideal of hope, the symbol of the city, the “SUPERman”. Instead he destroys the entire city, makes out with a chick in the middle of all the destruction (and makes jokes), and all the military can say is “I just think he’s kind of hot.” Wow. What brillliant writing.

  27. Superman returns stunk period…. he would not put logan in his costume cause he thought it was
    ridiculous and yet used bright red drawers for superman returns.

  28. I liked Superman Returns, I love Man of Steel. Singer should have avoided the re hashed plot, avoid casting Kate. The rest was ok. One thing I truly loved was how Singer captured the effortless grace of Superman flying, it just seemed so elegant when he was silently flying, all you heard was his cape and visually it was breathtaking. Again, I love Man of Steel, but the flying was not as elegant

  29. Bryan Singer:
    I LOVED “Superman Returns”
    I wish you had continued.