Director Bryan Singer walked away from the ‘X-Men’ franchise in order to direct ‘Superman Returns‘ the 2006 attempt to relaunch the Superman movie franchise. Singer’s approach? Ignore ‘Superman III’ and ‘IV’, but acknowledge the first two and carry on from there. Unfortunately, the movie came across as too derivative especially of ‘Superman II’. The movie underperformed at the box office and didn’t impress many viewers, so the series was not continued. The hero finally soared again in last year’s ‘Man of Steel’, directed by Zack Snyder and with Henry Cavill in the title role, which, while causing mixed reaction, made enough money that Warner Brothers is pressing forward, not just with a sequel but a launch of an entire universe based on DC Comics.
Singer was obviously stung by the lack of love his movie received and while promoting ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Singer reflected on the experience and discussed the plans in place for a sequel which never materialized.
Coincidentally, Singer planned to name the follow-up to ‘Superman Returns’ ‘Man of Steel’.
(“That was the title. Actually, my buddy, one of my two best friends, came up with that.”), while Darkseid would have been the villain. We did explore it a little. Just hammering out ideas. I think Darkseid was going to be the villain. It was pretty world-destroying, actually. I ended up having the opportunity to go and make ‘Valkyrie’, and I think the studio lost interest at that point. I can’t say it was all the studio’s fault and I can’t say it was all my fault. It just fizzled out.”
Henry Cavill’s name was actually in the mix to play Superman in Singer’s film, but he explains why he went with Brandon Routh, instead.
“I think Henry Cavill is great. I knew Henry. He and I were friends years ago. Oddly enough, the reason I didn’t cast him was because I was making a sequel to Christopher Reeve and I wanted somebody who embodied Reeve more.”
And how did Singer respond to last year’s take?
I am in awe of the world building and the scope of that picture. It’s tough for me. I’m not a critic and it starts to get into a weird thing where one director is talking about another director. I know how hard it is to make a movie, especially one of these movies and especially a Superman movie, and there was so much I was impressed with in that movie. There were things I might have done a little differently just because of the way I view the character. Don’t misinterpret that as me not liking something. It’s not ‘Bryan Singer’s review of Man Of Steel’!”
Do you think Routh should have been given a shot at redeeming ‘Superman Returns’? Or was it better for the studio to simply move on to a different approach? Comment below!