Superman: The Man Of Steel cancelled, series reboot planned

Following months of rumors, Warner Bros honcho Jeff Robinov has finally confirmed that Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns sequel has been cancelled, and that the company is now planning to relaunch the franchise…again. The Wall Street Journal has the details:

“Superman [Returns] didn’t quite work as a film in the way that we wanted it to,” said Robinov. “It didn’t position the character the way he needed to be positioned. Had Superman worked in 2006, we would have had a movie for Christmas of this year or 2009. But now the plan is just to reintroduce Superman without regard to a Batman and Superman movie at all.”

Robinov goes on to say that Warner is hoping to have eleven big movies a year starting 2011, two of those based on DC Comics properties. No word on when we can expect the new Superman movie and who will be involved, but annoucements should be made within a month or so. Also, following The Dark Knight‘s mega success, they’re looking to make Superman (and possibly other superheroes) darker.

I thought Superman Returns (which took a freaking 13 years to see the light) was a decent movie, but it was still somewhat disappointing and did have its share of silly (*cough*Superkid*cough*). It’s too bad that Singer and team won’t get to follow through with their vision, but in Caesar’s words alea jacta est. As a Superman fan, all I can hope is that they get the franchise on its feet. Earlier in the year, Wanted creator Mark Millar has expressed interest in rebooting the franchise, though Warner will probably want to look at several pitches before taking a decision.

What I really wonder is what this means for Brandon Routh? Logically, if they want to sever ties with Superman Returns, Warner will have to let him go, which is a shame since he was simply perfect casting. If a new actor has to be found, could Tom Welling be a possibility? With Smallville‘s forthcoming eight season rumored to be its last, the new Superman film franchise could follow-up. I’m convinced this could be very interesting, what do you think?


33 thoughts on “Superman: The Man Of Steel cancelled, series reboot planned

  1. it’s now Tom wellings turn to shine. I also agree that Superman Returns was in deed lack luster. It did contain allot of fond memories of revees performance however. The main problem was his big entrance to save the day was to save a plane crash, how average for the man of steel.
    I hope we can see a better plot and either more comic like reality of smallville would make it a smash hit!

  2. Are you crazy!!! Tom Welling as the official Superman? He’s nothing in what Superman should be. That’s like saying you want Dean Caine to play Superman. Please don’t support turning Superman into a dumb teen-movie! Keep Brandon Routh or cast another Superman look-alike that can actually act.

    As for making Superman “darker”? That would be a very dumb idea. The dark theme is a Batman thing, while Superman is the opposite. Batman was so successful because it dealt with a sense of conflicting reality. In other words, The Dark Knight has no super powers and was not the typical superhero movie. Superman, on the other hand, is a real super-power superhero. So trying to copycat Batman wouldn’t fit. A new Superman movie needs great creative thinkers like what Dark Knight had.

    What should be done with Superman to imrpove things is to make the movie more sophisticated, smart, and action-pact, meaning have Superman fight villains that truly test him. And also, if Lex Luthor is the main villain, can they finally make him beat Superman without using Kryptonite (just too typical)?

    Great villains I would love to see are Doomsday, Mongul, Brainiac, and Darkseid; villains that actually match Superman. Plus, the studio should go with the strict 1990s comic-book themes.

  3. A new reboot? Why not just makes an action-packed follow-up to “Superman Returns”? While I agree totally in putting more action into the films and introducing new villians (like Braniac, Darkseid, etc.), I just think a reboot is not the way to go at this time. Superman does needs to be challenge to the brink, and since Bryan Singer did a fine job of X2, and I am sure he now understands he must deliver an epic for a second follow-up. With the write script he could also open it for a Justice League film, as well. In fact, a follow-up could have his ‘kid’ severly hurt or killed, setting up the movie for an ultimate showdown w/ the movie’s villain (example: Braniac or Doomsday)

    In regards to “The Incredible Hulk” reboot, you can find a lot of people who DISLIKED it as much as liked it. And my understanding is the producers are not going to make a direct sequel to it because it didn’t exceed the box office expectations of Ang Lee’s “Hulk”. So regarding of whether it was a great film or not, the studios don’t seem to feel justified to make another direct sequel. Instead they will opt for him returning in an “Avengers” movie.

    “Superman Returns” was a successful film in the same way that “Batman Begins” reintroduced the character, except it drew from Richard Donner’s previous films. An important note is that SR was in the red BEFORE Bryan Singer began even filming. While it is true the budget balloned up, Bryan Singer should still be given some credit for actually getting a movie made (which seemed to be in the Studio Development for eternity w/ so many script revisions, directors, etc.)

    I am a fan of Donner’s Superman and I understood what Singer was trying to do, but if a new Superman reboot can exceed expectations, that’s fine by me. I like the character of Superman, period; some incarnations of him more than others. SR was not a perfect film, but it was not a bad one either; it just didn’t have enough punch to sustain an action-oriented audience. If the spirit of the Superman character is left intact, then I am always willing to give a new film a shot if it deserves it. In any event, Brandon Routh should stay. With no offense intended towards anyone in particular, I am not an obsessed fan like so many internet critics and all the venom towards “Superman Returns” by some dissatisfied fans is just unnecessary. I imagine if and when the reboot is done of Superman, those very same fans will dispense a fair share of criticism pointing out every flaw (I am even seeing critics popping up against “The Dark Knight” already, despite it being a fine film…). In all cases, just keep Brandon Routh and I will be happy. He deserves another shot.

  4. Pingback: Mark Millar discusses his plans for the Superman reboot « The Movie Planet

  5. My concern really is that they will put Superman in a black suit and make him fight a giant spider.

    I very much enjoyed Superman Returns, I didn’t think it was perfect but still very good. Just like X-2 I am confident that Singer would of made a great sequel.

    I actually wouldn’t mind Tom Welling to be Clark/Superman he has been playing it for 8 years. They don’t need to do the same teen stuff and drama that is smallville for the movie just use the actor.

    While they are at it get Michael Rosenbaum to be Lex Luthor.

    I liked Keven Spacey, but Rosenbaum has more than proven himself to be the best Lex Luthor Ever.

    If they insist they make it dark than just do a movie version of Red Son. That is one amazing graphic novel superman series

  6. In relation to superman being revamped, I feel that they should start a fresh. People will always remember Christopher Reeves as Superman. I had grown up with superman as being the best character from the comics but when a someone starts having random ideas saying they want to make the superman’s character “darker” is nuts!! They should make Tom Welling as the new superman but only continue it from Smallville i.e. Build it up from smallville and finally give Tom the Red Cape at the end of the series and put him into the character he was meant to play that being SUPERMAN!
    I have watched the series of smallville form day 1 and yes you can have your own say but after looking at what Tom Welling has made of the series as Clark Kent he should only have a shot at making the film take off.
    Brandon was good but he was trying to fill a pair of boots which did not fit him.
    As well there has been talks about making a Justice League, i feel that they should sort out all of the characters and who will be playing them first rather than leaving it to the last minute and having someone die due to drugs etc. otherwise the role would have to be sourced out again making the film crap.

  7. Smallville (while being a good show) has ruined what comic fans have come to know about Superman. Hell, this season (season 8 ) they’re bringing in a human version of Doomsday. What the ****?! The timeline of Smallville doesn’t match up to the Superman mythos. Yes, I would like to see an eventual payoff as Tom Welling dons the blue and red (Superman outfit, not blue shirt and red jacket like in Smallville) and flies around protecting Metropolis, but it won’t happen. They’ve already confirmed that, and if it were to be thrown together and into theaters… it would be Smallville: The Movie… not the next big Superman flick.

    Truthfully, Brandon Routh was casted because of his look and the fact that he could pull off being Christopher Reeves. They tried to just drag on what we saw in Superman and Superman II, when they should’ve just started over like they did with Batman. “We already know where Superman came from, and who he becomes…” No ****! We also already knew who and why Bruce Wayne became Batman, but that didn’t stop millions of people from seeing Batman Begins. I, for one, would’ve liked to see a completely new take on the Superman origin. Show Jor-El putting infant Kal-El in a spaceship. Show Krypton’s last hope being sent from the planet before it explodes. Show Kal-El being found in a cornfield. Create Superman all over again. I don’t want to believe a man can fly… I want to see what I know come back to life with a whole new take on his origin. I want to see the comics come to life. Hell, make a trilogy. First movie: Origin and donning the costume, Second movie: Superman already established and fighting the villains we know… (Bizarro, Metallo, Brainiac, Conduit, Lex Luthor, etc.) Third movie: Death of Superman (Superman vs. Doomsday). With all the special effects they can do nowadays, I want to see a true-to-the-comics live action Superman/Doomsday movie. Not a cartoon take that (while good in its own right) was a change on the comics. Make Death of Superman into three movies if they want to. 1st movie: Death of Superman, 2nd movie: Reign of the Supermen, 3rd movie: Return of Superman. That would even work and guarentee make millions. It’s like the line from Spider-Man that Green Goblin says, “Everyone wants to see a hero fail, fall, die trying”.

    Truth is, they either have to revamp (again) or drop the idea, because while I may have liked Superman Returns, it really was a pointless movie. Bryan Singer was able to do a lot with the X-Men, but when he’s in charge of just one hero, he can’t do it. That’s obvious now. Give him Justice League to work on… just not the next Superman movie.


    $371,853,783 worldwide

    OVER $391 million worldwide

    How dare you compare the first movie to the sequel of batman…The second superman movie would easily dominate the box office.

    Let Bryan Singer make his sequel to Superman Returns. Hello….We HAVE to have some drama to reintroduce the characters. His follow up probably would have been nothing BUT ACTION!

    Superman Returns was an EXCELLENT movie with EXCELLENT casting. It was CREAM OF THE CROP on rotten!!

    If WB were smart, they would let him do it ONE more time!!!


    If the bare minimum…KEEP ROUTH!

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  10. i think tom welling would be a great pick with every passing season of smallville he looks more and more like the man of steel

  11. I’m totally disappointed that they may not use Brandon Routhe. I think the writing on Returns got way to convoluted. I think that it was a script by committee, and I think that Bryan Singer may be overrated as a writer. I like him for some of his successes like Apt Pupil, and in fact I want to like him.
    I really think Brandon Routhe has the potential to be a strong actor in this role given some experience and the right opportunities. If he only could have had the chance to watch an actor like Christian Bale up close, it probably would have been the best acting school in the world. His greenness isn’t the real problem with Returns though, it’s the writing. Unfortunately, he had the greatest opportunity in the world turn into a situation where he gets a lot of blame for it’s failure to wow.
    Darker isn’t necessarilly the answer for superman. It’s just a matter of hiring one good writer and let that person do the script -like Mario Puzo did.
    By the way, why did Superman’s hair look so different every time we saw him? Sometimes like it was a puffy hair-sprayed look? Reeve’s hair always looked like slick greaser hair when he was in the suit…and since it’s like superhair, that shouldn’t change unless Supe wants it to, right?
    And why was it necessary to show a dog eating another dog’s corpse? And why did they have to allow the child to KILL a human being, you know with the piano, even if it is a bad guy. That’s not a Superman thing to do. Why should my 4 year old have to see these things or skip the Superman movie?
    She can’t watch the Dark Knight, but she should be able to watch Superman, eat apple pie, and love her mom.

  12. By the way, no need to reboot. Spiderman 2 was way better and more successful than Spiderman. Word of mouth will bring folks out if the next one is good.
    You can do whatever you want with a sequel, even change some actors (see Dark Knight). I would likely prefer Routhe to any other actor, and you can bet he’s hungry to prove himself within a better script, and likely with a new director.
    Let’s give Singer credit for choosing Routhe in the first place, but after that something that could have been great was not quite what we hoped for. Here’s a tip: Let someone else decide who should play the main object of male desire as Lois Lane. Why shouldn’t we all be pining for her as straight men, and wanting to be her as women? That wasn’t happening for me or anyone I’ve talked to. She also seemed way to young for the role.
    By the way, Kevin Spacey was 7even times dark in Superman Returns. It was way to much to lay on an audience that had been waiting essentially since Superman 2 to see this film. A movie with Routh, but not so strenuously trying to connect to the old storyline probably would have worked better.

  13. I agree that making A new Superman movie or show or whatever “darker” would be a mistake. That is just not Superman’s nature. And please don’t disrespect Dean Cain’s performance. I think he brought a believable Clark Kent to the table. Remember “Superman is what I do, Clark is who I am.” Just because Lois & Clark was the victim of bad writing is no reason to dismiss Dean Cain as a viable Superman.

    I think that writers and directors need to let go of Saalkinds version of the man of steel. It was fine in it’s time but …please. Superman in the theater has yet to be challenged by the likes of the Parasite, Mxpltick, or Darkseid. et al. Lex Luthor is worn out. Give that storyline a rest. Superman is still popular after all these years because he is an alien, a misfit in our world, yet he is the best of us. All he wants to do is make a positive difference, make a living at the Daily Planet, and make some kind of connection with Lois Lane. Is he really that different from any of us?

  14. From casting to story to the new supersuit, the movie sucked. Routh only got the job because of a resemblance to a fondly remembered Christopher Reeve. Time to move on. I think Welling would make a great Superman, especially if the move was used to show his final transition into becoming Superman and finally donning the suit and name.

  15. I think a darker Superman would be the WRONG way to go, because as was already mentioned in an above post, Superman is so popular because he’s a happier character. I’ve already contacted Warner Bros stating my opinion, and I urge anyone who agrees to do the same. There’s far too many dark characters around now. I’d also like to see Brandon Routh back, as then it gives him a chance to develope the character.

  16. I also agree that killing a human being wasn’t a very Superman thing to do. I think that Superman movies should all have PG or U ratings, because I reckon that’s a major reason why Superman Returns failed, because a lot of children like Superman and wouldn’t have been able to see it because it was rated 12. They isolated a huge demographic.


  18. I think Tom Welling should get the job as Superman. I agree that the story should lead off from Smallville,without all of the teen drama. The whole Lana thing is getting kind of old. Michael Rosenbaum and Erica Durance are my pick for Lex and Lois.

  19. Reboot Reboot!! Start again put all the Controversy to rest! Nobody likes poor imitations! Establish a new Look and Feel to the Charactor with out deviating from the Comics too much. Superman needs to be viewed as Solid and Strong Not Feminine. Routh is to young and boyish. He would have been good as superman in College but not the “Man” that Superman is suppose to be! You need someone with Presence with Testosterone pumping through his veins For example, and don’t get me wrong, I am not comparing the two, But the way that Hugh Jackman Portrayed Wolverine Strong Manly Someone who won’t back down from anything yet still fights for the good and right. He Had Huge Screen Presence. Find that and build the movie around that. Enough said!!

  20. I think that a better substitute would be David Boreanz of Bones, Angel. He reminds me a lot of Christopher Reeve and the same boyish charm. I was really disappointed with Superman Returns. I guess we all got spoiled with Christoper Reeves.

  21. I don’t think the issue with Christian Bale’s Batman is about being “darker”. It’s just “seriouser”. While the previous Batman movies were all variations over the TV series, which was a parody of sorts, this one picked on the line drawn by the very Singer’s X-Men movie. I think Singer mostly got it. The down part was mostly the weakness of Luthor’s plot. But then that’s *the* narrative complication so that’s a headshot on the movie.

    On the other hand, I think Batman Begins went the same way. Good ambientation, awful plot (Ghotan taken by ninjas??? wtf?). The Dark Night was a much greater movie, and it was all about the Joker and the significantly clear reference to post 9/11 terrorism. In a way Batman Begins works as a prequel to The Dark Night, which effectivelly reboots the first Batman movie facing Batman with his main antagonist (ironically, Tim Burton kills his joker, while Heath Ledger’s is left alive only to be lost by the death of the actor).

    There is a paralel even in the titles. Batman Begins. Superman Returns. Now we need *the* iconic Superman movie to match “The Dark Night”. One that used the strongest comic title the character ever got (from Frank Miller’s) along with the most classic comic story (The Killer Joke, by Alan Moore). I’d sugest the next Superman to be titled “Kingdom Come” but I have no idea what classic story to draw from… Perhaps Watchmen? Because Watchmen has everything there, and grander than any superhero has ever been on screen. We have Superman on Dr. Manhatan. We have someone capable of outwitting him to make place for a complication: Ozymandias is Luthor. We have Batman split between the dark character, Rorshack, and the gadgety nocturnal flying animal Night Owl. We even have Wonder Woman going from Superman to Batman with Silk Spectre.

    As for the apple pie, no, I don’t think superhero movies should be restricted to children allowable themes. If there is such a need to grace children with a superman movie, give them a Smallville movie. Make it a High School musical, I don’t care. The current trend on superhero movies is to have them fit in with regular action movies. They are about superpowers being used to foil crime, so there’s got to be some level of violence that children shouldn’t be exposed to, if the movie is not to be a a silly pastiche.

    By the way, I would also credit Shymalan’s Unbreakable as being a great Superman movie. We have naive unlimited blunt force opposed by crafty lunatic brain power. Mr. Glass manipulates Bruce Willis for the whole story until being exposed.

  22. Superman Returns wasn’t the film it should have been because of bad writing, poor editing and music. Routh could have been given more space to inhabit the character. In interviews, he’s a lot like Reeve’s Clark Kent, but for some reason they reigned that aspect of him in and he gave a very flat performance.

    The script wasn’t really ‘about’ Superman , he was a guest actor in his own movie it seemed like Jimmy Olsen had more lines. For all the talk about it being a follow on from the Donner films, it wasn’t. Superficially the design and storyline were the same, but the ‘feel’, the intelligence and the heart of those films were sadly absent.

    Mario Puzo, though credited had absolutely nothing to do with the final draft of the screenplay that made it through to the screen. It’s well known that Tom Mankiewicz essentially rewrote the whole thing. Puzo was however a very powerful name to reign in finance for the film.

    I liked the first few seasons of Smallville, but more in spite of Tom Welling than because of him. No matter how much he looks like Superman (always a subjective point of view) he still has way too high a voice to be able to pull of the character convincingly. Rosenbaum is a terrific Lex, but he alone isn’t reason to bring Smallville to the big screen.

    I’d like to see Routh return, but with a far better script, and better supervision.

  23. superman is my all time fave..i can’t wait to see tom welling in tights but i’m afraid that isn’t going to happen…maybe in the last episode of the series..i didn’t like the movie either; cause the story line sucked….brandon is a very good superman though…the girl that played lois in that movie…not so much….to me lois is more like the teri hatcher charachter…anywayzzzz the new adventures of superman with dean cain was perfect except that it looked fake…like in smallville it looks more real….so my idea is after smallville i hope the cast will continue a spin off called…i dunno metropolis or the daily planet

  24. Tom Welling would NOT be a good choice. To see him in the blue tight-PLEASE. BUT if he was chosen put him in the Black Supe uniform with a cape. That would be dark start. (I like Smallville but it is so far of the Superman roots).
    Brandon should be given the reign. Chris Reeve had different directors. why shouldn’t B.Routh.

    My WORD WB wanted NICK CAGE of ALL people. I like Nick but Supes he is not.

    The DEATH of Superman would be a Great Film, if they followed R.Stern Novel and NOT the cheesy DVD animation crap they made. IF WB uses the Stern Novel Supe can then come back in a sequel as DARK then if it doesn’t work they can blame it on his death and let he be rejuvenated into the BOYSCOUT.

  25. Yes, ‘darker’ indeed. How original is that, especially these days. We need more ‘darkness’, doomsday, death, endings and killing. I am all for it! It would be very original. I think bright and exciting things are a waste of time. Why inspire a sense of hope of optimism about the future. Just make everything ‘darker’, yup, that will help make the world better. The original superman did, during the great depression when things were ‘darker’ people surely looked for a light to inspire hope. But now, ‘hope’ is uncool, so lets make it ‘darker’. Yes, I agree, lets give superman a black suit and kill off the earth with atomic bombs. Let show every form of ending and death possible. That should inspire everyone to have a sense of hope about the future. Lets make Super girl a Lesbian who cuts men’s privates off. That sounds good too! its all in good fun isn’t it? its not like these ‘darker’ movies are influencing people or governments in other nations to censor their internet. Or better yet, some people may even take such ‘darker’ films and culture as a sign of a hopeless, sick and demented society. Attempting to influence other nations with its ‘darker’ culture. Who knows? maybe buildings fall down because people are so fearful of spreading diseases. Not everyone wants a ‘darker’ world, or culture. hmmmm
    But its is great for children. I wonder what kinds of adults they will become? Oh well, who cares.

  26. i believe tom welling should continue on as superman..christopher reeve i believe would also endorse welling…as he basically past the torch on smallville

  27. If Brandon Routh returns to play the role, I guess I won’t b seeing the movie. I’m tired of them casting these moderately muscular people to play the Worlds Greatest Superhero. there are plenty of bodybuilders out there that are capable of playing the part. Its a disgrace the people the pick to play superman in this day and age. I can understand back in the 70’s, but we r not in the 70’s anymore. It’s time that Superman look like Supreman. Another thing the costume that Brandon wore is a joke. The S is to small, the boots suck. The whole costume looks Fruity, the might as well made it rainbow colored. If you can’t do the movie right might as well not do it at all. Look at Spiderman , the Darknight , even the trailers to the GreenLantern, why can’t they see that Superman should out do them all and as long as they got these Skinny lightweights Playing him this is’nt going to happen

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