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David Poland

By David Poland

Superman v Thursday

Looks like Superman Returns did around $11.4 million on Thursday.
But here

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66 Responses to “Superman v Thursday”

  1. Colin says:

    Men in Black II probably isn’t a fair comparison because, I believe, it opened on Wednesday, July 3, 2002, with Thursday thus falling on July 4th. At least that’s what I remember, but I could be wrong.

  2. Blackcloud says:

    Maybe it is another “King Kong” after all.

  3. ManWithNoName says:

    Word of mouth is going to kill SR. It’ll do well over the holiday weekend, right up until next Friday, but I don’t see it having legs past then.
    I’m the movie buff in my circle of friends and family and I’m not encouraging anyone to rush out and see it. I never discourage, but I’ll definitely let everyone know this isn’t necessary to see until it hits DVD/HBO.
    I predict $145 million total by July 5th, with steep drops in subsuquent weekends.

  4. ManWithNoName says:

    Superman Returns is also a tale of how Lex Luthor (Ben Kingsley), who is now out of prison, again plots and plans to destroy Superman and billions of humans in the process of acquiring — you guessed it — land
    Taken from the CAP piece linked at the top of MCN right now. Ben Kingsley?

  5. David Poland says:

    Kevin Spacey in Gandhi II: This Time He’s Pissed.
    Silly Christians… all bald people look the same to them… that explains all the wigs, I guess.

  6. Telemachos says:

    It’s really interesting to hear all the various comments coming in. I know two die-hard Superman fans — one is a close friend, the other is a co-worker: both of them gave pretty mixed reviews (one moreso than the other). They both said there were some truly awesome moments, but also that the film had severe problems.
    So, how will the casual/general public see it? I’m quite curious about how the rest of the weekend plays out — though it does seem like SR will play out like KING KONG.

  7. Blackcloud says:

    So just how much did SR cost? I’ve seen so many figures I don’t know which ones to believe. I find the ones that put the total over $300 million (including the failed earlier attempts and marketing) more credible, as they don’t come from WB, but should I?

  8. MASON says:

    Geez, rooting for this movie to fail much, DP? We get it — you didn’t like it.

  9. JckNapier2 says:

    as usual, the CAP ALERT is inaccurate. The film loses a bunch of points for ‘many murders of police by automatic gunfire’. Alas, if you watched the scene in question, you never actually see any of the cops being hit by any gunfire. Lots of cars being peppered with bullets but no actual fatalities.
    Scott Mendelson

  10. Colin says:

    What do you guys mean by another Kong? Kong opened to $9m on Wednesday and the dropped to $6m on Thursday. SR opened to $21m (or so) on Wednesday (+ Thursday sneaks) and dropped to $11m (or so) on Thursday. In other words, the SR opening was much better.
    I do agree, though, that it’s possible that Superman Returns doesn’t gross more than King Kong. But that would be based upon worse legs.

  11. David Poland says:

    Odd Mason… I thought this report was pretty generous actually. More to the point, I am just getting back on the horse after Tuesday night’s bad info. But please, tell me how to report this in a more supportive way…
    BC – As for the cost, with marketing, the costs are waaaay over $300 million. The studio has copped to $270 million with burnt offerings to earlier versions. Marketing is no less than $125 million worldwide. Both figures are conservative.

  12. Blackcloud says:

    Hugely over-inflated expectations in reality yield disappointing opening Wednesday returns.
    That’s how SR is like Kong.

  13. ManWithNoName says:

    I also questioned that part of the CAP ALERT. They were talking about how violent this movie is and make a huge point about that relatively minor scene.
    Meanwhile, we have an extended, brutal gang-style beating of a depleted Superman that gets ignored.
    Like DP said, silly Christians…

  14. Telemachos says:

    Yeah, Blackcloud’s got the KONG/SR comparison. Because it’s summer and up against POTC2, I also think SR will struggle to pass KONG’s final numbers — unless, of course, the film rebounds to a stronger weekend than expected.

  15. Blackcloud says:

    So would $400 million be in the ballpark, if I posited a really large ballpark?

  16. TheManWho says:

    Yes, advice your friends and family to stay away from a film featuring…SUPERMAN. That’s heady advice right there. Still, this film, has never had that much HYPE attached to it’s box office. It’s never been expected to win Summer, but to be a solid earner. That it’s a film that lacks cynicism in an age full of cynical people. Well, that’s an incredible selling point, to say the least.
    That aside, Poland has put on the HULK HANDS and FEET, and has decided to continue his fun with Superman. You can hear him in the distance screaming out; “POLAND SMASH SUPERMAN! POLAND SMASH! POLAND SMASH! POLAND SMASH PUNY BRIAN SINGER MOVIE!”

  17. palmtree says:

    “Still, this film, has never had that much HYPE attached to it’s box office. It’s never been expected to win Summer, but to be a solid earner. ”
    EW put it at the top of its predictions for the summer…above Pirates.

  18. Telemachos says:

    ManWho, you’ve gone off the deep end.
    In terms of cynicism-free blockbusters, the LOTR films were completely un-cynical, and it didn’t seem to damage them at the box-office. So far Supes is underwhelming because right now only the fans are rushing to see it, and because of an unwieldy and confusing marketing campaign (and now, mixed WOM), the huge crowds are staying away.
    “It’s never been expected to win summer.”
    Maybe not on Krypton, but here on Earth there was wide expection that it’d challenge not only for the top summer spot, but possible the top spot of the year, period. Why else do you think WB spent $300 million and change to make and promote it? Not for it to be a “solid earner”, that’s for sure.

  19. David Poland says:

    Does that image in your head get you hot, Man Who? Have you been imagining Jeff Wells in a Magneto helmet too?
    Some people have expected SR to win the summer… I never have… really haven’t moved off my first number by much (or at all?).
    Superman is the story of this week and I understand how you and other might feel there is a pile on happening and I get to be the target of your angst, but it is the story. If it was a bigger hit, it would be the story. If it was a bomb (which it’s not), it would be the story. WB has worked hard to make it THE story this weekend.
    It was a story when I panned it. It was a story when I said people should lower their expecations and give the movie a break if it doesn’t get to $600m worldwide. It is a story now. Sorry if you are exhausted by it.
    The good news for you is that by this time next week, it will not be the story anymore.

  20. Hopscotch says:

    last year everyone thought that King Kong would win it all…looks like Superman will meet the same fate.
    i think the most interesting story this summer is The Da Vinci Code…. How in the hell did an adult movie THAT BAD make so much dough??? It’s STILL in the TOP 10 after a month of release. remarkable. I have yet to meet a single solitary person that said something nice about the movie.

  21. Martin S says:

    Before Kong, there was Hulk. That’s been my barometer for a long time because it’s eerily similar.
    I’m not counting on as massive as drop as some of us were predicting. Unless the rain is unrelenting this weekend, the Tri-Staters will hit the cineplexes all next week for POTC2, which will be sold out and force the overflow into SR. Under normal conditions, I’d say this has 70+% drop written all over it, but now, it should be in the low 60’s.
    Poland – if your numbers are right, WB is not going to recoup until DVD. If Horn lets Singer go ahead with the sequel, he should be fired. You would have gotten the same box office results – because females would have actually wanted to go – and better ancilliary with Welling, Rosenbaum and a Smallville connection. Instead, the DVD release is going to come out in the midst of next TV season, every review is going to compare the two, and SR will get good grades for its FX but trashed for everything else.

  22. Martin S says:

    ManWho – “”It’s never been expected to win summer.”
    Telemach – “Maybe not on Krypton, but here on Earth there was wide expection…”
    That is a funny damn line.

  23. EDouglas says:

    You could also use the Lord of the Rings movies for comparison as most of them dropped off 47% on Thursday.. I don’t think it really matters whether it counts Tuesday or not. What really matters is how many people go see it today and if the Friday (no work on Saturday) bump will get it back over $20 million on Friday. Both Batman and WOTW made the same amounts (or close) on their opening day and first Friday.. and then how much of a dropoff on Sunday will also matter. I think Superman’s looking at around $65 million for the weekend, which isn’t huge, but also isn’t terrible.. probably should end up around $130-140 million by the time Pirates opens.

  24. ManWithNoName says:

    “Yes, advice your friends and family to stay away from a film featuring…SUPERMAN. That’s heady advice right there.” -TheManWho
    Umm, if I didn’t enjoy the movie and am asked an opinion, I’m not going to lie to my friends. They can still make up their own minds, but I don’t think it’s worth rushing out to see.
    BTW, cynicism isn’t the only thing this film is lacking. (MANWITHNONAME SMASH SUPERMAN! MANWITHNONAME SMASH SUPERMAN!!)

  25. Sandy says:

    I’m going to see Prada this weekend. I’ll see about Supes but the whole angle with Lois and their son doesn’t interest me at all.

  26. Geoff says:

    This film is pretty much on the same trajectory as War of the Worlds, at this point. That film had massive hype, bigger stars, less of a brand name, and about the same mixed buzz and word of mouth.
    Looks to me like Pirates is going to shoot high above all other blockbusters, this summer, at over $350 to $375 million.
    And the rest of the top five will be a pretty close pack with DaVinci, Superman, Cars, and X3 all grossing between $220 and $235 million.
    Is there any possibility of another film breaking into that group, for the rest of the summer? Just doesn’t look that likely.
    You, Me, and Dupree, Talladega Nights, and Miami Vice could all surprise, but I really see their ceilings at $120 million. The only real intangibles are Lady in the Water (which could possibly gross $50 or $150 million, who knows), World Trade Center (same thing), and Snakes on a Plane (if anybody can turn that into a blockbuster, it’s New Line.)

  27. MattM says:

    Here’s an interesting tidbit. You can easily get tickets for Superman Returns at many theatres in Manhattan tonight. (Though looks like Imax is sold out through Monday.) In contrast, good luck if you’re trying to get tickets for Devil Wears Prada. Here’s a representative theatre. I’m not sure how Prada will play outside of NYC, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

  28. Sandy says:

    Thanks for the tidbit on Prada – I expect it would sell out in NYC (just a movie-loving town it is) because of the fashion world connection.
    Probably tons of women and gay men going in groups.
    I expect it will sell out here in LA for the evening shows too, so I’m going to the matinee 🙂

  29. jeffmcm says:

    Of course Superman was always considered to be one of the two or three biggest hits of the summer. You don’t stake out a 4th of July release date otherwise.

  30. EDouglas says:

    Yeah, New York and L.A. theatres are not going to be representative of the whole country on Prada… I’m laughing my ass off at the message board where people are proclaiming a $30 million opening based on NY/LA theatre sellouts.

  31. James Leer says:

    Martin S, you need to get over the fact that Singer didn’t make Smallville: The Movie with Welling, Rosenbaum, et al. It would not have done the same business — Smallville is not highly rated (except by weblet standards) and it would have diminished the appeal for non-viewers. Not to mention, I’d take Routh, Bosworth and freaking Kevin Spacey over the cast of Smallville any day.
    You know why virtually no reviews compared Superman Returns to Smallville? Because it’s not even on the radar screen of most critics. And it won’t be when the DVD comes out, either.

  32. jeffmcm says:

    James, you are completely right. It’s like suggesting that Spielberg’s WOTW should have made use of the cast of the 1980s series, because there’s a built-in audience right there.

  33. Citizen R says:

    Most superhero films make more domestically than internationally, but Superman Returns will likely be a mjor exception. It’s opening after Pirates 2 in most markets, and well after it in some markets, which will probably help it.
    SR has only been released in four territories so far, but the results have been very good. It had the second biggest opening day ever in the Philippines, scoring $ 408,000. To put that in perspective, War of the Worlds made $ 1,945,760 in the Philippines after its entire run.
    SR also had a $ 919,000 opening day in Australia. A very strong number for the Aussie box office.
    If SR shows similar strength in every territory, it should end up with a good worldwide total, even if the domestic numbers are a bit wobbly.

  34. Blackcloud says:

    As I said before, they could have made a “Smallville” movie or a “Superman” movie; but not both. They made the right choice.

  35. Martin S says:

    James, I brought it up in this thread because this one is about the business of SR and not the movie itself. From a business standpoint, it was an unnecessary gamble on Horn’s part to let Singer go this route, and the tracking is panning out to prove it. The female quotient is miniscule because Routh is a nobody. Say what you want about Smallville, but Welling would have pulled in twice the numbers of females that SR is now and that is what should have mattered with this flicks budget and franchise importance. If I wanted to compare the two as Superman translations, I would have done it in the other thread, but why should I when everyone is pointing out that it’s weaknesses are Smallville’s strength?
    And if you don’t think you’re going to see the comparisons this fall, just wait. It’s an easy column to file. If you want an idea as to what it will be like, go to Dark Horizons and read Garth’s review.
    And jeff returns. The man who doesn’t give a flying F about the character just can’t stop chiming in about him. Seen the movie yet?

  36. James Leer says:

    But why go to the mat for Welling when he’s not even that good an actor? Routh’s Clark Kent was surprising and memorable (this is coming from someone who was expecting a total blank based on the trailers). Welling’s is bland as toast.
    Tom Welling didn’t pull in much of that vaunted female audience when “The Fog” premiered, and in fact, Smallville has a higher demo with males than females. Yes, Welling is more known than Routh (by virtue of Routh being a total unknown) but I don’t see why Routh would turn off women that would be game for Welling. If anything, Routh is the more traditionally masculine.

  37. Tofu says:

    Welling would have pulled in twice the females?!?
    Martin, are you even trying anymore?

  38. Geoff says:

    Ok, I just saw it.
    Better than I thought, but really a film to be admired more than enjoyed.
    Despite the length, there really seemed to be some missing scenes, especially ones with Eva Marie Saint as his mother. And is it me or just about every character have more dialogue than Superman/Kent?
    The effects and visuals were very impressive, Spacey was perfectly menacing, and Bosworth, though still obviously miscast, did a solid job.
    Singer has the chops and knows how to build tension(the scenes on the yacht are nicely done in this manner), but man, where is the fun release that you expect from this kind of film?
    Routh probably did as good a job as could be expected, but honestly, I don’t see the Poland opinion of the character being a creep or the Wells opinion of him representing purity. The character is mostly an empty vessel.
    That might have been what Singer intended, making Superman more of what people get from him or how they react to him, which just ratchets up the Jesus comparisons, even more.
    The crowd seemed to be into it, and the woman were just swooning for Routh and gushing for the kid. This really IS chick flick superhero film. And in that regard, does it accomplish what Singer set out for it? Probably. But just not what I would have wanted from this type of film.
    Hell, gotta admit, but I found Batman Begins more rousing, even at the end. And that film even had more sly humor.
    One of you guys had it right. Where are the moments in this like, “Man, that’s a BAD out-FIT!” in this movie. Metropolis does not feel nearly as lived in. And I know the praise has just been loaded on Reeves and Kidder, of late, from critics who are railing against this movie, but they really did bring a sense of fun to those roles that this is sorely lacking.
    Spacey DOES have some fun with the role and he really has as much screentime as any body else. But his later scenes with the henchman do go on a bit too long and lay it a bit thick with how much the main characters are victimized.
    The continuity issues really did not bother me as much as I thought they would. I don’t see the big deal. But man, can any one explain to me how Lois Lane does not get a broken limb, concussion, or even a visible bruise from all of the abuse she takes in this film. I mean, that plane stuff alone should have knocked her unconscious. What is she, SuperWoman and we dont’ know it, yet?
    Not really a bad film, kind of does what it wants to accomplish in telling an emoting story of a superhero and what he means to those around him. Very well done action scenes, but just not enough fun to it.

  39. Aladdin Sane says:

    I saw Prada tonight. Talk about an estrogen heavy theater….it was probably close to being 85% full. I couldn’t resist the offer to see it since my friend sweetened the deal by saying she’d pay for it. Never turn down a free meal. Anyhow, it’s fun to watch. Anne Hathaway does an admirable job…and Meryl Streep is great in it (of course every reviewer seems to be falling over themselves to praise her)…anyhow, I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. And I don’t feel guilty about it either.

  40. jeffmcm says:

    Martin, excuse the hell out of me for having multiple jobs and not having the luxury to see this movie on a weekday. I do, however, have enough time to realize when someone keeps beating the same tub for no apparent reason. Studios don’t make event movies with $300m budgets out of moderately popular television series. I don’t know how anyone could be more plain.

  41. Geoff says:

    Oh, and one more thing about the movie.
    Just caught Harold and Kumar on cable, recently, for the first time, found it very funny.
    With Superman, I found the casting of Kal Penn as a henchman to be very bizarre. I don’t see why Singer couldn’t give him any dialogue and have some fun with him, maybe making him a techno-hipster, like Hans Gruber’s lockbreaker guy in Die Hard. Would have been a perfect fit, since the guy never looked that menacing and always seemed on the verge of saying something.
    Just an observation.

  42. Martin S says:

    For a bunch of people who like to play Inside Baseball with the movie industry, I am truly surprised that the stock answer is “it’s a TV show”.
    Do you really think WB A&M would say “put the show brand before the character”? Do you think the execs would want a script that one could only follow if you watch the show? Considering the production timeline, don’t you think Lois, Perry, and the other villians would have been casted with bigger names? Can you not see how Singer’s script could have been easily, easily re-tooled to encapsulate the show, thereby eliminating the vast majority of the inane logic that plagues it? I gave Singer the benefit by thinking he must have a solid reason for choosing his direction. And what is it? Welling would have blurred his Donner-centric focus.
    For as sharp as the majority of you are, I can’t believe that no one has picked up on the precedent this movie has set. It’s not a remake or a sequel. It’s the co-opting of another director’s vision as one’s own. When Emmerich and Sommers glom a scene from Lucas or Spielberg, it’s because they want to re-create that sensation. When PJ made Kong, he funnelled the entire concept through his memory and came out with a film that is a crossbreed of KK and Mighty Joe. But with SR, if we removed all the Donner elements, we’re left with a bunch of animatic Alex Ross paintings. The only original element to this film, the visual. I think the farther people get away from it, the more obvious it will become, which is why I say the DVD is going to be treading into the reviews of some ugly waters. Think of what Singer’s big get for the DVD is supposed to be? More FX. A longer film – which is not going to solve a goddamn thing.
    Like the dropping of “American Way”, the decisions made were done from ego, not what best served the story, the characters or even the franchise. The length is ego, for it was Bryan’s way to show he now does epic films on par with PJ and Ridley. The story is ego, because the director’s own issues replaced, not infused or layered, the original character. We’re given a Superman who’s so self-centered, he apparently goes back on his promise from Superman2 and *does* leave. Why? for a personal journey to Krypton, even though the whole F’ING POINT of the Fortress is so he has Krypton with him wherever he goes, whenever he wants. Instead of doing something logical that gives the same thematic meaning, (like going into the Fortress for years and remerging), Singer needs him to crash in a rocket so he can do his take on the classic moment. Ego. Ego. Ego. This whole film is about how he Singer can’t get over the fact that he was orphaned. And if you don’t think the dual idnetity is his homosexual “coming out” issue, consider his relationship with Lois; Totally sexless, yet it somehow, someway, produced a kid.
    And a note about Lois – Halle Berry was right. The guy can’t shoot women because he does not find them attractive. Like Berry, Paquin and Jansen in X, Singer stripped the sex appeal from Bosworth, the quntessential Cali blonde. Oh, sorry..I forgot about Romjin. He did a great job eroticzing a sexually amorphous blue-scaled mutant.
    So, I hope it’s clear; this isn’t about some unying love for Smallville. The show has major problems with its Whedonesque tones. But the elements, fused with Singer’s visual template, were there for a great Superman film. But it would have helped if the people involved actually understood the F-ing character outside of one film shot in the late 70’s.

  43. anghus says:

    16.2 million for Friday
    should they start panicking now?

  44. Telemachos says:

    Time for WB marketing people to start updating their resumes.

  45. James Leer says:

    Martin S, you’re really stepping over a line here. Not only are you fabricating a Halle Berry quote to serve your theory (Berry never said that about Singer — she was alleged to have confronted him on his prescription drug abuse and indecisiveness during X2, but never copped to that on the record), but to essentially say “gay people can’t shoot women because they don’t find them attractive”…well, you’ve managed to say something that’s both offensive and mind-bogglingly ignorant of film history at the same time. Kudos.

  46. Martin S says:

    Leer – It was a complaint of Berry’s from the first film and a stipulation for the second that she have approval over her part in X2. Where the hell do you think the deal for a spin-off came from? And I could care less if she went on record about it or not. On the record is an anathema during negotiations.
    As for you trying to alter my words because you cannot defend Singer’s record, let me list the following – James Whale, Almodovar, Van Sant, Shumacher – all can/could shoot women, and are gay. How about this one – Clive Barker. Do you know how beautiful he made Famke look in Lord of Illusions? Compare that to Bryan’s female Spock in X2. I did not write “gay people”. I wrote Singer, Bryan Singer. Clear?
    You want to take it personal, be my thin-skinned guest, but don’t start altering words as an attempt to slander me. “Essentially” my ass.

  47. jeffmcm says:

    Martin, your exact words were:
    “The guy can’t shoot women because he does not find them attractive.”

  48. Martin S says:

    “The Guy” = Bryan Singer, Jeffrey. Compare what I wrote to what Leer claims I did:
    Mine- “The guy can’t shoot women because he does not find them attractive.”
    Leer- “essentially say “gay people can’t shoot women because they don’t find them attractive”
    To say that’s a massive assumption on Leer’s part, would only apply if he asked me if that was what I meant. Instead, he writes a blanket accusation.
    Here’s the real problem – Singer’s record proves my point and since it can’t be defended, Leer needs to change the argument. Instead of one individual director, it’s now all gay directors. That’s the equivalent of implying I said hetero female directors can’t shoot women because they have no attraction to them. If Leer wanted me to clarify, I would have said no one shoots Julia Roberts better than Shumacher. No one has shot Famke better than Barker. Instead, I get slandered as a way to try and shame me into not stating the apparent.
    Do you really think Singer looked up at the premiere of SR and said “Damn, Kate looks drab”. It was a calculated look from months and months in advance. So yes, because he is not attracted to her, he could not find how to make her attractive. Look at Halle and Famke from X/X2 to X3. Some directors can, some can’t.
    But please, keep digging your hole.

  49. James Leer says:

    Martin S, the only outrageous slander here is your implication that Bryan Singer’s sexuality makes him incapable of shooting women attractively. Your last post is particularly ironic because you point out in your comparisons why such an assertion is absurd, then go on to state it again. How can you possibly pin claims like yours on Bryan Singer’s sexuality and not realize how foolish it is? I mean, I know you don’t like the guy, and feel free to critique his movies, but man! The reaches people will go to in order to pin EVERY LAST ELEMENT of Superman Returns onto Bryan Singer’s sexuality is mind-boggling.

  50. Wrecktum says:

    I don’t want to get involved with this, but I’d like to note that in the past I’ve said the same thing on this board….that Bryan Singer is bad with female characters.

  51. jeffmcm says:

    Here’s the deal: Martin S. is right and wrong. Like Wrecktum says, Singer’s filmography contains exactly one good female performance, Famke Janssen’s.
    That said, Martin’s explanation for Singer’s inability to get good performances from actresses (because he does not find them attractive) is worded in such a way as to not be specific to Singer’s individual qualities. The wording implies that any person who does not find women attractive would have the same problems; James Leer’s reaction.
    Does this make sense?

  52. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    You’d think a gay man would mean he worked well with women, especially in Hollywood.
    If all gay directors couldn’t get good performances out of women then Pedro Almodovar would be out of a job.

  53. Martin S says:

    I mostly agree with the last three posts, but I stand by my original statement due to Singer’s final delivery. Because there is no personal appeal, he cannot deliver her appeal to the audience. This is not an accusation of misogyny, closer to apathy. And I don’t hate the guy. I think what’s happened is that he’s had so many people blowing smoke up his ass since X1 that he’s lost all perspective as to his strengths and weaknesses.
    It’s like James Cameron and kid parts. He’d write these really integral kid characters, then shoot them as pissy and whiny, especially the teens. I was never sure if that’s how he percieved teens, if he didn’t realize how bitchy they came across, or if that’s how he was.
    As for Singer, let me detail. Since X1, I thought he directed towards more maternal females, but SR just pushed aside his subtext and brought it to the surface. This wouldn’t be an issue if he was using maternal characters, like Sue Storm from FF, but he’s not. Yet instead of expanding his style to find the character, he adjusts the character to fit his tastes. Lois Lane is about as far as one can get from a maternal character. If anything, she was the prototype working woman.
    But what are we given? A drab single mom who apparently needs a man no matter what. She was ditched by Superman. *Superman*. Yet here she is, five years later, with just some really good guy. That’s an interesting statement about female independence, when the reason Lois could never deduce Clark as Superman was because she didn’t perceive Clark as her equal, which she saw Superman as. This is without getting into the parallels now drawn between Martha Kent and Lois, which negates the difference between Clark and Superman. It’s subtextual in his X films – Jean’s feelings for Logan are always nuturing, her relationship with Scott is borderline asexual, Storm as Mother Earth – because there were story plot points in place, from the comic, that he had to follow.
    Say what you want, but Singer is involved with a project, its character development, for months into years. His choices are not arbitrary or happenstance and this is without even getting into the Routh issue.

  54. palmtree says:

    I thought Eva Marie Saint was shot well and the performance was good. In fact, I would have liked to see more of her, since she provided an emotional anchor to Superman.

  55. jeffmcm says:

    Martin, what you say backs up something I’ve thought since X-Men 1: that Singer, for all his talents, is still pretty immature as a director. I like his movies in general, but I still have never gotten how he made the jump from ‘talented small-scale thriller director’ to Summer blockbuster director’.

  56. Martin S says:

    Jeff, I’m with you. The way I saw it, which is similar to yours, is that he made his place with X *because* he shot it as a small intimate character interaction and not what was still atypical of the day, the big, bombastic 90’s Batman-style films.
    As cliched as it sounds, agent and ego have to driving the guy at this point.
    It’s unfortunate, IMO. I really wanted him to take over Trek.

  57. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I still wish he’s just made X-Men 3. I really don’t understand why he jumped ship if it wasn’t for greed. I’ve heard all about the troubles he had with trying to get X3 started, but it’s not like Superman didn’t have issues.

  58. Blackcloud says:

    I’m not sure Singer’s right for Trek. I know Abrams isn’t.
    Trek deserves to be revived. It is a venerable franchise. Who should resurrect it?

  59. jeffmcm says:

    Singer seems to be more of a liberal humanist than Abrams, which is what would be needed: someone who is interested in Star Trek’s classic values and seeing them promoted. Dunno who in Hollywood that is.

  60. Joe Leydon says:

    Before we decide upon a director, shouldn’t we decide which “Star Trek” mythos we want as the basis for a new movie? That is: “Next Generation,” “Deep Space Nine,” “Voyager” — or “Enterprise”? Some combo or 2 or 3? None of the above?

  61. Joe Leydon says:

    Er, that should read: “Some combo OF 2 or 3?”

  62. jeffmcm says:

    Trek is best when it reflects our current times. If only the war-ridden, turbulent Deep Space Nine was still running now. What I _don’t_ want to see is anything to do with Kirk or Spock at Starfleet Academy. New characters, please.

  63. Joe Leydon says:

    With all due respect Jeff, I don’t think that will happen. If Paramount ponies up the big bucks for a new “Trek” movie, I think they’ll almost certainly want to cover their backside by relating it to at least one of the TV series.
    Maybe a time-tripping drama that involves ALL of the shows….?

  64. jeffmcm says:

    I’m sure you are right, which is lamentable. I wonder how much they would have to pay Patrick Stewart for another Next Generation movie, if that well wasn’t poisoned by Stuart Baird.

  65. Blackcloud says:

    I agree with what jeff says about Trek’s liberal humanist values. Singer might be able to pull that off, I don’t know. I haven’t seen SR yet. I’ll have a better idea of his suitability after that, I’m sure.
    Matt Damon as Kirk = WTF?! Who came up with that brilliant idea. I do not want to see “Star Trek: The College Years”.
    Paramount can’t do a new concept in the next movie because a movie just doesn’t offer enough time to lay the foundations and introduce the characters. With the earlier movies, the TV shows had already done all that groundwork. But the TV shows have been done to death, so that’s out. Hence this half-arsed Star Fleet Academy idea, which allows them to use the old characters in a new setting. It’s both new and old. And totally stupid. The worst of both worlds. Personally, I’d like to see them just do something new, maybe in between Enterprise and TOS. Or a century or two after the TNG era.
    To me, Trek wasn’t about the ships or the captains or anything else. It was about boldly going where no man had gone before. Somewhere along the way, they forgot about that. All they have to do is remember it again, and they’ll be fine. Remember. Remember.

  66. Cadavra says:

    Put me down as one who’d like it to be a DS9 movie. It was my favorite of the post-’60s series for a variety of reasons: it was the only one that pretty much stayed in one place (as opposed to the Planet-of-the-Week plots common to the others), many of the regular characters seemed to genuinely dislike each other–which made for a refreshing change-of-pace–as well as displaying capacity for real growth (particularly the Ferengis and the Andrew Robinson character), and its edginess was also a nice break from the pixie-dust optimism which was also the norm for the other series. It remains sadly underrated, and a feature version might well finally give it the props it deserves.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon