One of the biggest comic events of the early 90s was The Death of Superman, which saw the Man of Steel fall at the hands of Doomsday. Superman #75 sold out multiple printings and reshaped the DCU, leading to Reign of the Supermen event that teased out the return of Kal-El with four potential candidates.
The story was eventually adapted as an animated film called Superman: Doomsday in 2007, but it was highly condensed in order to fit the plot within the film’s short runtime. It was also used as the premise for the final act of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Now, DC Universe Original Movies is creating a new two-part adaptation that promises to be much more faithful to the original story.
Revealed at the Batman and Harley Quinn premiere at San Diego Comic-Con (and followed up by an official DC press release), the two-part film breaks the story up into its core components, echoing the original dual events. The Death of Superman will be the first film, releasing in late 2018; it will stay truer to the comic story of Doomsday’s rampage than Superman: Doomsday was, and will feature a number of scenes from that storyline that were cut from the previous film. It will be followed by Reign of the Supermen in early 2019, which will go into full detail of all four Supermen (as opposed to the one that was featured in Doomsday).
This isn’t the first time that DC has adapted classic stories as a two-part animated film; The Dark Knight Returns was similarly adapted in 2012 and 2013, with a deluxe edition that combined the two films into a single volume being released later in that year. It’s possible that Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen will get a similar combined edition in late 2019, though DC has made no announcements along these lines as yet.
Some fans may worry about how the storyline will be adapted following the backlash against Batman: The Killing Joke and its handling of Batgirl. Unlike that adaptation, however, the death and return of Superman didn’t come from a single graphic novel. The changes made to The Killing Joke were made to provide more material and fill screentime. These stories were presented in full arcs across multiple comics, so there won’t be a need to add additional material. In fact, the stories will still need to be condensed somewhat to fit them into just two films. With any luck, the films will provide fans with the experience that they missed out on with The Killing Joke.
The Death of Superman will be released in late 2018. Reign of the Supermen will be released in early 2019.
Source: DC Comics
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