'Superman Returns' Scribes Running From Their Own Failure

by Paul William Tenny

Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris aren't coming back to pen the next Superman screenplay, which is probably a good thing. Getting the job in the first place raised their profile to the point where I'm sure they can pick pretty much any project they want, even though the movie sucked and they should be punished by having to write nothing but commercials for the next six months. I'm deadly serious about that - Superman Returns was one giant cliche on the entire franchise, there wasn't one single original thought in that entire movie.

You could have made Superman Returns just by splicing together scenes from previous films in a new order - it was that dearth of originality - and as a bonus it would have been made for free and you'd have gotten better acting performances.

As a result, WB is now taking pitches for Supe's next outing from other scribes -- just as the studio is trying to figure out which actor will don the character's tights in "Justice League."

Industry chatter claimed the studio would start fresh with a new take on the Man of Steel, as if the previous pic never happened. Reasons mentioned were the introduction of Superman's son with Lois Lane, as well as the film's less-than-expected domestic haul of $200 million and another $191 million overseas.

I refuse to lay this one at the feet of Bryan Singer because we already know this guy is just a stellar director, and yet no amount of directing talent can make a bad script good, and this one was terrible. Terrible in the way that everything was "just good enough" that it was shiny, but that wore off so amazingly fast that I desperately wish Kevin Smith had been allowed to do something with it. Perhaps the studio will apologize for booting him off the project at the behest of Tim Burton, who never even ended up doing the flick in the first place.
in Film


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