Superman Reboot Script Partially Inspired by ‘Secret Origin’ Comic?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 12:47 am,

Director Zack Snyder made a name for himself by helming extremely literal film adaptations of the comic books 300 and Watchmen. He’ll evidently be taking a departure from that approach with his upcoming Superman reboot, Man of Steel. Although Snyder has previously insisted that the film will not be based on any specific comic or graphic novel, it would probably be impossible for screenwriter (and bona fide comic book geek) David S. Goyer not to at least draw inspiration from them.

Before producer Christopher Nolan departed Man of Steel to focus his attention on The Dark Knight Rises, he frequently mentioned that it was Goyer’s unique approach to the material that had attracted him to the project. But when dealing with a mythology as universally well-known as Superman’s, how exactly did Goyer tackle the challenge of delivering a contemporary and compelling take on a character?

A member of the Comic Book Movie community has offered some insight on the matter.  He got his hands on a Collected Edition of the Superman: Secret Origin miniseries that debuted last week and noticed that it includes a foreword by Goyer. There’s one portion of it in particular that fans will likely be very interested in. Goyer expresses his admiration for Secret Origin‘s author Geoff Johns (Green Lantern) and reveals what an impact this series’ version of Clark Kent had on him:

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.”

[And here's the kicker...]

“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.

He goes on to state rather explicitly that this revised take on Superman greatly informed his script for Man of Steel:

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.

superman secret origin Superman Reboot Script Partially Inspired by Secret Origin Comic?

A previous rumor suggested that the film will begin with Clark in West Africa and that immediately reminded me of the Superman: Birthright series (another recent take on the early days of Superman that Secret Origin actually retconned upon its release). There are elements of both series I enjoy considerably and it’s exciting to get a sense of the direction Goyer is taking the story in. It sounds like there’s a bit of Birthright‘s first arc mixed in with The Boy of Steel chapter from Secret Origin – and if you ask me, that’s not a bad foundation to build on.

I think Goyer is a pretty hit-or-miss writer who has intriguing ideas that often get a rather lackluster execution. However, it’s encouraging that he seems to be picking and choosing the aspects of Superman’s story that really resonate with him from a multitude of comics.

I know this might not be as exciting as learning who the villain will be or who’s going to play Superman, but I believe that the characterization of Clark Kent speaks volumes about what we can expect from this film.

Superman: Man of Steel is scheduled to hit theaters in December 2012.

Source: Comic Book Movie.

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TAGS: superman, superman man of steel

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  1. Hmmm interesting…

  2. “I don’t want to be someone else, says Clark. I don’t want to be different. I want to be Clark Kent. Right there in that moment, Geoff contextualized Superman in a way that I’m not sure has ever really been done before.”

    Wrong. About the only good moment of Returns was when Supes flies into the stratosphere to escape it all, yet he can still hear the cries of man like he was God himself. You see him hesitate and then make the choice to be the hero. In that moment you truly appreciate the scope of the weight on his shoulders. That’s the very first moment I actually cared for the character.

    • Sounds like an episode of smallville to me.

  3. I think the Superman: Secret Origin will have to start with Clark Kent how he came from ? Like, Clark grabbing some drive-thru burger special at Burger King in Smallville and that makes his High School Bud Pete Ross working as a Employment

  4. Another original story, and more lex luthor? No wonder why supes is the most boring comicbook character ever made. hey zack, if you want people to actually go and see this new version of supes, you better be thinking trilogy,which the first film is the coming of Doomsday, the second film deals with the Death of Superman, and finally, to end up with the Rebirth of Superman, or NOBODY will be interested and the theaters will be empty, except for children and comicbook geeks.

    • Fortunately, neither of these is true. Many people LOVE the character of Superman and what he stands for. Also, there are a great many stories that will appeal to MANY film-goers…so, wrong on both counts.

  5. Firstly, if a trilogy is going to happen then the first film needs to be origin related – be it flashbacks or linear.

    Secondly, if Tom Welling did play Supes then we don’t need the whole cast, just Lois. Everyone else can be quite easily written off.

    Thirdly, I really hope they use the John Williams main theme or else it won’t feel like Superman.

  6. Rix, I agree on all three comments….but Rosenbaum would also make a good lex too…but I feel Lex should be a bit older….

    • Absolutley! Micheal Rosenbaum is the best Lex ever but I think it would be good to avoid a Lex in the movie this time (at least not in the first one anyway!)

  7. I said it once, I said it again, and I’m saying it now: Forget about origin and have Supes kick some serious butts! We all know his origin, we all know he went through soul searching, the only thing we haven’t seen is a knock down, drag out, mountains crumbling dog fight. This man can move worlds; if he sneezes, he could knock the Hulk over; we blow out candles, this dude can blow out stars! WHAT ARE THESE GUYS (producers, directors, writers) WAITING FOR???!!! I WANT DOOMSDAY; I WANT DARKSEID; I WANT FRAKKING PLANETS TO SPLIT IN HALF!!!! STOP MESSING AROUND!!!!!!!

    • Agreed…but I still feel they will touch on the origin for about 1/4 to 1/3 the film before gettin’ busy.

  8. If this is yet another origin story, and worse, another story with Lex Luthor as Supes arch enemy, I’ll pass. I’m so sick of this same old garbage they try to pass as a legit movie now a days. As far as I’m concerned, unless Warner Bros makes this the first film of a Trilogy, with the Title, “The Death of Superman” then the next two films, yep, you guessed it, “Superman’s Funeral” and finally “Superman’s Rebirth” after being killed by the main foe, Doomsday! Warner Bros can make this Trilogy bigger, more exciting than the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, with cross-overs into seperate films, like Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern II and so on. Have all the DC Universe in this Trilogy. The Marketing alone will surpass Star Wars, Superman the lunch box, Superman Toys, Doomsday Power bars and so on. But, if Warner Bros thinks they will get by with another Origin story, I hope Warner Bros goes Bankrupt.

  9. Every time there is a Superman movie I get sooooo excited but then I get soooo depressed, because I know the directors are going to give a valiant effort but ultimately….. fail my favorite super hero of all time… Why? I’ll tell you why…. The reason why every Superman movie that comes to light only remains so so… is because they always turn Superman into a mild mannered Captain Kirk… saving damsels in distress…. catching falling building pieces, falling people, blowing out fires and getting into a battle of wits against Lex…. which he loses all the time because no matter how strong superman is he abides by all laws. -and when dealing with Lex , one is dealing with a level 12 genius that happens to be a jealous psychopath. That’s not Superman, not the real Superman…. Any true Superman fan knows that Superman has had many close calls and when I say close calls, I mean CLOSE calls with his life – When I say close calls I men Darkseid…… I mean Metallo I mean Braniac I mean Doomsday!!!!! Every time there’s a Superman movie they waste the whole hour and forty minutes on Superman doing everyday things that the police and fire department can handle… Although superman was a mild mannered, clumsy, stuttering Clark Kent he also realized that his humanity only stretched so far…. He knew he was an alien, and speaking of which he was an alien from a race of warrior scientist…. (WARRIOR SCIENTIST) not only scientist but WARRIORS… if you check out some of the dealings that superman got into just to keep Lois, The Daily planet.. the whole world out of danger you will see that Superman regretfully but was more than willing to get his cape dirty, when he knew that was his only option, which in the comics( the REAL story of Superman) came every once and awhile… Of course this is only my opinion but no matter who you are you got to see the fact in what I speak…. thx for letting me share……

  10. I agree with your points Kal-el and feel the same way. Superman “man of steel” needs to expose his, for lack of better word, weaker side(you know what i mean) Have him battle someone that he can’t just beat with his pink finger….like darkseid, braniac, doomsday…etc. And i think i speak for everyone when I say we want to see superman punch the hell out of someone…..

  11. Its called amallville,had this story line since 2001 till its final run,im afraid this man of steel is just a big production of smallville

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