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A New Idea for Superman

Updated on September 2, 2019

I think that a new Superman (of my design) movie begins with the opening of Superman The Movie. Be sure to catch this clip from the very beginning.

Thereafter, I would hearken back to the old Christopher Reeves TV show -- even including a slightly updated version of the soundtrack. I would go through updated versions of "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, etc." But the total effect would be one to copy the early introduction from the TV series. If it were left up to me, I might shoot the entire movie in black and white. The plot? Well, it would be interesting to see how Superman could overcome Brainiac -- using all the CGI available today in a B&W mode.


The characters and dialogue would need to be upgraded, but not to the extent of squashing down the original TV series. For instance, Kent did not play a comedic role. He need not do so in a future role either. Why have Kent play the role of a flunky -- just to create a deeper separation between himself and Superman? I mean, come on, if you can't recognize Superman behind the glasses, having him act like a jerk isn't going to get you anywhere. One has to simply accept that Superman doesn't wear glasses, so Kent cannot be Superman.

Include some memorabilia such as Superman flying out windows along with a sound, as opposed to him merely floating away soundlessly. Someone who goes from standstill to hyper-sonic speed is going to create some kind of sound. Put someone in a NASA wind tunnel and capture the actual sound of a man's body going hyper-sonic (or near to it).


This would be a movie for the boomers who would be enthralled with an updated Reeves series. Such a movie would pre-date the Christopher Reeve batch of films, and so comparisons should be minimal. Christopher Reeve is by far and away the best liked and supported Superman, so why not try something drastically different? Film the whole thing in B&W, and draw heavily upon nostalgia. It doesn't have to be corny or dated -- just daring enough to show us old kids what the original series might have looked like if we had today's CGI plus a reverence for what brought the audience to see Superman The Movie in the first place. Let's face it. How much of an audience would Superman The Movie have pulled in if the boomers didn't have a latent, fond memory of the TV series? If this is true, then a movie loosely structured around the 50's-60's series should get a lot of boomers off their couch while simultaneously creating a lot of attention from younger generations because of its daring and radically different approach to a seemingly worn-out topic. Warner Bros. doesn't have a clue what to do with the Superman franchise. Instead of creating another mere slug-fest, they have the opportunity to take Superman back to his roots, back to when he was relevant, original and someone with whom you could identify.

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    • rjbatty profile imageAUTHOR

      rjbatty 

      23 months ago from Irvine

      John: I was never a big Dean Cain fan, but my list for Lois would put Teri Hatcher at the top. She was definitely the most sexy of the actresses who played the part of Lois Lane. From there, I would place Phyllis Coates, Kate Bosworth, Amy Adams, Noel Neill. Noel was crazy sexy during her early years. Although retaining a lovely figure, the TV show downplayed her to such an extent that she looked the part of a department store shoe salesperson. When you see photos of Noel with Kirk Alyn, you realize she was once a red, hot chili pepper.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      23 months ago from Gondwana Land

      Apart from George Reeves, I think my favourite version of Clark Kent was played by Dean Cain from the series Lois and Clark (alongside Terri Hatcher). Henry Cavill is my favourite recent Superman.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      23 months ago

      I love the old Superman series and remember watching it when I was very young with my older sisters! I would certainly go to a movie if it was based on the the original series from the fifties. I loved Clark Kent/ Superman, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen too. They all did such a good job of playing their characters. Your wonderful article brought back many fond memories of this great television series and some others too that were so popular back then. If a movie using these old clips were made, count me in on being one of the first to buy tickets! A great and fun article. Thank you!

    • rjbatty profile imageAUTHOR

      rjbatty 

      23 months ago from Irvine

      John, I obviously blundered. I meant to say George Reeves, not Christopher. And, hey, I was born in 1953 so only got to see the Adventures of Superman in reruns during the early 60's. At the age I watched the show, everything seemed new to me. We can't resurrect George, so I imagine my suggestion to DC/WB would of course star some new iteration of Superman. My first hope would be for Henry Cavill or Brandon Routh to take on the role, but that may not be possible -- I don't know. Either actor would be satisfactory in my estimation.

      I also doubt whether DC/WB would see retrofitting a movie based on an old but fairly successful TV series. I accepted George Reeves as Superman inasmuch as I watched the show on a daily basis, and he embodied the Superman role in my young imagination. He seemed more comfortable playing Clark Kent, and I always appreciated that he never dumbed-down the character (which I did not like beginning with Christopher Reeve). I thought Reeve was a superlative actor and I loved him as Superman but a bit less so as a bumbling Clark Kent.

      This failing (in my opinion) had less to do with Reeve but his directors and the script writers. They clearly wanted to maximize the differences between Superman and Kent, so Kent was presented as a kind of stooge, and I thought they went too far with this. The character (Kent) was supposed to be just some mild-mannered guy who would draw little attention to himself -- a gray flannel guy who basically just blended into the background.

      Anyway, the money guys at DC/WB would never consider my idea of doing a retro-Superman, so all of this is moot. But, you know, I think my idea could resonate on various levels and be successful.

      Think of the other possibilities -- another reboot (yawn) or some freakish, new character -- perhaps in line with the Tim Burton adaptation that happily never got a green light. Yet, consider this: At the beginning of every episode of The Adventures of Superman, the narrator announces that Superman stood for "Truth, justice and the American way," and we see see George Reeves standing in front of a large, waving American flag.

      Would audiences now see this as a nationalistic statement promoting white supremacy? Have we become so jaded that this slogan could be laughed off, or would the far left see it as a symbol of political incorrectness?

      You no doubt have witnessed that the JLA (the Justice League of America) has been diminished to the mere JL for fears of arousing anti-American sentiments -- since the comics and film were made to secure box office receipts in such places such as China. Marvel's Captain America was almost never referred to as such. He just became Cap. For me, it's sad that we have to curtail or mask the use of the word America even in our comic book lore for fear of offending someone somewhere.

      They didn't have comic books in the Soviet Union (I don't know if the Russian Federation allows comics from the US to flow into their country or if they have begun creating their own brands). The Russians are avid book readers but would probably consider costumed comic book heroes to be beneath their literacy threshold, although they sell thousands of hackneyed pulp fiction books. But, the thing is -- when did attaching the word America to a product become almost a pornographic term? Is it deserved? Are we okay about dropping Wonder Woman's star-spangled briefs because they make her look just too too much like a representative of the US? Are we just supposed to forget that many of the comic book characters were created to bolster the morale of GI's serving in WWII? Ultimately, are we supposed to be ashamed for just living in and having citizenship as Americans? The trend seems to be that America is increasingly the most hated country on the globe. This is the result of our political/military stratagem for planetary hegemony. Did we ask for this? Are we happy with the results?

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      23 months ago from Gondwana Land

      RJ, I know this is showing my age, but I just loved the original TV series starring "George" Reeves. You said "the old Christopher Reeves TV show."

      Yes, an updated version of the original would be an idea for the producers moving forward as it would provide totally new storylines for those too young to have seen the original.

      I'm not sure if George Reeves was the best Superman, but he was the best Clark Kent, in my opinion.

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