In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, WB Pictures President Jeff Rubinov confirmed the Superman franchise will be rebooted once again.
“‘Superman’ didn’t quite work as a film in the way that we wanted it to,” says Robinov. “It didn’t position the character the way he needed to be positioned.”
“Had Superman [Returns] worked in 2006, we would have had a movie for Christmas of this year or 2009,” he adds. “But now the plan is just to reintroduce Superman without regard to a Batman and Superman movie at all.”
The Batman/Superman movie he’s talking about is the very real possibility of Batman vs. Superman, an idea that was thrown out due to the “disappointing box office returns” of Bryan Singer’s Superman. (The movie made $200 million domestically.) Also scrapped was the much-talked about Justice League movie due to script problems “among other things.”
WB is still high on their Dark Knight success, unaware that it hinges on the brilliance of Christopher Nolan’s vision for a traditionally darker hero. But that won’t stop Warners from trying to replicate it. They want to adopt the same “brooding tone” for their other heroes. “We’re going to try to go dark to the extent that the characters allow it,” Robinov said, including Superman in the discussion.
What a terrible, awful idea. Superman is the great American hero, a farm boy with powers. In other words, the complete opposite of Batman. To make him a dark, brooding character is abandoning pretty much 70 years of comics based on the success of an unrelated franchise. Not to mention the realism is what makes the series unique, something impossible for a movie about a guy who has super strength, can fly, shoot lasers from his eyes, deflect bullets, and bust out x-ray or heat vision.
The studio plans to announce an aggressive comic book slate based on their subsidiary, DC Comics. They plan to release four new superhero movies in the next three years. These three would include the third (and probably final) Batman, a new re-introduced Superman, and two other DC characters. Movies featuring Green Lantern, Flash, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman are all in active development.
By 2011, Robinov plans for DC Comics to supply the material for up to two of the six to eight tent-pole films. Looks like comic book movies won’t be going away any time soon. Especially if they keep re-doing the same ones over and over.