Tuesday, March 11, 2003

So what are they keeping?
Yahoo! News - "Superman" Tights Hard to Fill
Also causing controversy is the screenplay from Alias creator JJ Adams, which is coming under fire from comic book geeks for its modifications to the Superman mythology. Over 11,000 aficionados with time to spare have signed an online petition protesting the changes.
At stake are: Jimmy Olsen's sexuality (in the new movie he's gay); Superman's new status as a player (he flirts with Lois instead of saving people); an intact planet Krypton (in the original movie the planet explodes); the red and blue suit emerging as the superhero's source of power; and, finally, Lex Luther as a Kryptonian bent on destroying Earth.

Ah, I see. You'd have to be a "geek...with time to spare" to object to any of that. Or even to point out that none of the movies are the original, or that it's "Lex Luthor". Next thing, they'll be giving "The Scarlet Letter" a happy ending... No, wait...

Every now and again, Hollywood gets an urge to "fix" something that isn't broken. There isn't a producer, writer, or actor working who has the kind of lonegivity, good will, and name recognition that Superman has. All they have to do is play it as written.

Oh, chill. I know why they release articles like this, it's to generate "buzz". I'm not that naive. I remember the rumors about Chris Rock as Jimmy Olsen. Heck, I remember the rumors about the Mario Puzo draft of the first Chris Reeve "Superman", in which the Fortress would supposedly be decorated with hunting trophies. They spill things like this to make publicity. And apparently it works: I'm writing about it.

The mythology is pretty well defined by now: All they have to do is get it right. "Spider-Man" worked because, for all the minor changes, Sam Raimi obviously had some affection and respect for his source material. "X-Men", which looked nothing like the comic, remained true to the characters that inspired it.

Marvel movies are getting closer to their roots... and DC movies are getting further away. Marvel movies are setting the box office afire; DC is having trouble getting off the ground. Coincidence?

Keep it up. Keep telling those "geeks...with time to spare" that you don't need or want their attention. Tell those who are, currently, the only people inclined to go see this movie that the only thing you intend to keep is the name "Superman". And then wonder why your "buzz" isn't buzzing the way you wanted it to.

No comments: