Monday, November 27, 2006

Superman: Man of Steel Plot Speculation

So I just finished watching the DVD for Superman Returns, an alternately thrilling and frustrating--but beautifully made-- film, and my main gripe: the extras suck. There's no commentary. There's a making of, which is kind of interesting, but nothing too special. And there are deleted scenes (all of which are good and would have, all things being equal, enhanced the film--they really seem to have had a helluva time settling on a final cut of this thing).

One bit at the end, when Richard convinces Lois to go visit Superman at the hospital, contains an especially tantalizing bit of exposition: Lex's shake-and-bake continent is "settling into an orbit between Mars & Jupiter, still growing." Apparently, "they're calling it Planet 10," but Perry wants a better name. Lois tells him to call it "New Krypton."

There's no way New Krypton doesn't figure signficantly in the next one (which has a working title, Superman: Man of Steel).

Another interesting tidbit, and one which perhaps points the way forward: the original opening is not among the deleted scenes. This is an expensive--and finished--FX-heavy sequence detailing Kal-El's short return to examine the ruins of Krypton.

That it's not in the deleted scenes pretty much guarantees they're intending to use this sequence in Man of Steel (possibly as the opening).

I assume they're gonna want to alter the sequence to make it relevant to Man of Steel's plot, possibly to help launch the plot. If so, there's really only one way to go: Brainiac, the intergalactic scourge who goes around miniaturizing and stealing alien cities for, ah, study. Yes, Superman has other space based adversaries, but Brainiac is the classic. (Anybody who says Doomsday right now gets smacked.)

So instead of just random Kryptonian ruins, Superman also discovers a Borg-like scene on Krypton ... as though someone scooped a whole city right ouf the ground. The city of Kandor, we would later find out, Krypton's capital.

He has no idea he's being watched, and with kryptonite radiation levels reaching critical, no time to examine the ruins, so he beats a hasty retreat. And Brainiac follows him all the way back to earth, where he decides to add Metropolis to his menagerie. Luthor gets involved, naturally.

And maybe they make their base on New Krypton--where Superman can't get at them.

In the comics, though Brainiac escapes, Superman is able to rescue Kandor and install it in the Fortress. But he's unable to reverse the miniaturization--it remains a city in a bottle--which would be a cool, sad, ending: he saves the last Kryptonian city but he can never go there (again, that is, 'cause he'd probably end up there during Act 2 of the film), and they can never come out. So he's still alone in the universe.

...Unless they give into the temptation to retcon Supergirl into a Kandorian. (She technically came from Argo City, but wouldn't the Kandor plot be more interesting if Kal-El has *family* in that bottled city?)

Anyway, that's what I'm hoping to see as a basic plot for Man of Steel.


Blogger dirk.mancuso said...

I like your idea. A lot.

But I'm just jaded enough to say that that sequence has been held back for the inevitable SUPERMAN RETURNS - DIRECTOR'S CUT with Bryan SInger's commentary and "all new extras and over 11 minutes of new footage...the way the director intended for the movie to be seen!"

Look for this to come out sometime next spring.

11/27/06, 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Yen said...

When I saw it on the big screen, I was hugely disappointed. Sure he was cute and all, but where was the plot????

11/28/06, 6:59 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Dirk, someone told me via email after I made that post that Singer has said he intends to use the sequence in "Man of Steel," so that part is no longer speculation.

11/28/06, 7:18 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

And Yen--The movie was flawed. It was too melancholy, it was overlong. But it was, IMO, *very* well plotted.

11/28/06, 7:21 PM  
Anonymous erik said...

That would be a great Superman movie. It would be such a great movie that it could never possibly be made. Nope, the only Brainiac we'll ever see on the big screen was Richard Pryor's evil computer. Instead, look for Orlando Bloom as "Metallo" because puns sell movies.

12/10/06, 2:21 AM  

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