Warner Bros. Unsure About Where to take the Man of Steel

It is clear that Warner Bros., the keymasters to the DC Universe, are looking to bring Supes back to the big screen, but to what effect?
By  · Published on August 19th, 2008

I suppose the most important question with the Superman movie franchise is whether or not fans still have an appetite to see the Man of Steel on the big screen anymore. Then again, it is easy to forget that with all its faults, Brian Singer’s Superman Returns did reel in almost $400 million worldwide at the box office. And despite being a very bland, almost stale taste in the mouths of many fans, the film succeeded enough to spawn sequel talks. On top of all that is the almost insatiable hunger for superhero movies that has swept through Hollywood, leaving every studio grabbing at any and all potentially successful properties.

With that in mind, it is clear that Warner Bros., the keymasters to the DC Universe, are looking to bring Supes back to the big screen, but to what effect? As Anne Thompson over at Variety is reporting today, the debate is raging over what direction to take the next film:

Today I was told that it is a priority at the studio to find the right direction and if Bryan Singer is willing to do that, fine, but if he gets in the way, he may not stay on the project. There are no writers working on a Superman script now. The studio wants to figure it out. “It might be better to start from scratch,” one exec admitted.

At this point, that might not be a bad idea. While Singer’s film wasn’t a complete blunder, he did fail to reboot and/or reinvent the Superman franchise similar to what Christopher Nolan has done with Batman. And with the success of The Dark Knight, it appears that Nolan’s formula is quickly becoming the new benchmark for big franchise reboots, one that Warners is currently trying to apply to the Terminator franchise with McG’s Terminator Salvation.

Should WB go away from Singer and find a new filmmaker to bring a renewed, rebooted Superman to the big screen? Or should they try and get Singer to dig in and deliver the movie that he promised to deliver back in 2006? My thought is that Singer and WB should part ways, and both go in a direction that will make them both more successful. Superman Returns was just okay, making it not quite good enough to stand in this new era of superhero cinema, one that has been altered quite a bit by the success of The Dark Knight.

What do you think, should they go a different direction or stick with Singer? And if they go a different direction, to whom should they turn?

Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)