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For many, myself included, Christopher Reeve was the definitive Superman. Following the third movie in the original trilogy, Reeve hung up his cape and tights. But his post-Man of Steel career didn’t exactly take flight. Four years later, Reeve was ready to reprise his signature role. The rights to Superman had been bought from the Salkinds by Cannon Films in a bid at legitimacy. To entice Reeve back to the part, Cannon offered him creative control over the story. But Superman IV suffered from massive budget cuts as Cannon went out of business.
In the February 1987 issue of Starlog magazine, Reeve discussed his return to Superman. At the time, production was less than two weeks away and the actor had no idea the movie wasn’t going to work out. The article notes that Superman IV was scheduled for a 1988 release to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the character. Instead, Cannon dropped in in theaters just a few months later.
Today’s fun packs include some heavy hitters from the DC Universe. All three of these characters come equipped with some pretty useful skills. What do you expect from a bunch of superheroes? They aren’t necessarily going to open up any new gameplay since everyone has access to the DC Comics adventure world through the Lego Dimensions Starter Pack, but you’ll probably find yourself reaching for these guys as one-stop shopping for a lot of skills. Plus, who doesn’t want the Justice League as part of their collection?
These days, it seems like there’s a new superhero movie every few weeks. But forty years ago, the genre was in its infancy. Superman: The Movie is largely considered the first modern super hero movie, but it was still in development in 1976 when Starlog published this article about the brave new world of movies based on comic book characters. The article, from the magazine’s second issue, lists Burt Reynolds, James Caan and Robert Redford as candidates for the Man of Steel and Guy Hamilton was still attached to direct.
The pickings were relatively slim in the seventies. Aside from Superman, most of the movie projects mentioned here never actually came to pass. The ones that did were delayed for years and had little impact when they were finally released. Most of the article deals with TV shows like Wonder Woman and the old Batman series or instances in which TV characters like The Bionic Man were adapted to comic books.
It had been almost two decades since Superman had last appeared on the big screen. During that time, Warner Brothers had repeatedly tried and failed to find ways to reboot the franchise. Finally in 2006, Superman flew into theaters again in the aptly titled Superman Returns. The studio thought they had scored a major victory when they successfully poached director Bryan Singer from Fox’s X-Men series. Singer was a fan of the old Superman movies and he set out to pick up where Superman II had left off while ignoring the less-loved third and fourth Christopher Reeve entries.
There was reason to be optimistic. But unfortunately, Superman Returns didn’t quite deliver the goods. People have probably forgotten that critics mostly liked the new Superman. It performed reasonably well at the box office, but not up to Warner Brothers’ expectations. Ultimately, Singer’s take on Superman was scrapped in favor of Zach Snyder’s. In retrospect, that was probably a mistake. Ten years ago, Starlog Magazine was still excited about the upcoming return of the Man of Steel.
At long last, Batman and Superman are finally sharing the silver screen. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice finds the two heroes at cross purposes. If you want to see how that plays out, you’ll have to see the movie. Or you could just watch the trailer and assume that they team up with Wonder Woman to fight Doomsday and form the Justice League in the already-announced follow-up movies. But where’s the fun in that? Like most cinematic prize fights, this one will probably end inconclusively. But that’s not how we roll here at Le Blog. We’re having a Super Hero Smackdown which will end with a definitive victor. Who will it be? The Man of Steel or The Dark Knight?
Coming out in April 1983, the 69th issue of Starlog magazine was not surprisingly all about Return of the Jedi. But it contained an interview with screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz. Mankiewicz had previously written or rewritten several Bond movies and was tapped by Richard Donner to rewrite Superman: The Movie. In 1983, he had written a script for a Batman movie that would never be made. He discussed details of the script with interviewer Lee Goldberg.
In anticipation of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, I ranked all of the Superman movies from worst to first. Naturally, I asked readers to do the same. And once again, the readers and I were mostly in agreement. But while the overall rankings were pretty close to my own, there was one movie in particular where readers were extremely conflicted.
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Later this month, Superman and Batman will appear on the big screen for the first time. Leading up to the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, we’ll be looking back at the cinematic history of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight. To kick things off, we’re going to rank the Superman movies from worst to first.
Let me start off by saying something that is very hard for me to say as a lifelong Superman fan. Most of the movies featuring the Last Son of Krypton aren’t very good. There’s really only two that are worth watching. For the rest of the bunch, we’re splitting hairs to determine which belong at the bottom of the barrel.
The Batman Vs. Superman trailer leaked yesterday. It’s being shut down all over the Internet. If you haven’t gotten to see it yourself, I have a summary.
It has been said that we are living in a Golden Age of super hero stories. The genre is certainly experiencing a boom in popularity at the movies and on TV. But the seventies were no slouch in the super hero department either. Some of the seeds of our modern day super hero explosion were sown back in the 70’s.
I have to hand it to this kid. He picked the best scene in the entire movie. Man of Steel is not a favorite of mine. But watching this 16-month old react to Superman flying melts my cold, cold heart. Note to his Dad: Show him the Richard Donner Superman. Bet he’ll love it.
DC has a lot going on right now. “Arrow” is wrapping up its second season and “Gotham” debuts this year, but it’s really hard to focus on anything when you have “Batman vs. Superman” looming in the distance. And all that talk of a “Justice League” movie is now just a fading memory.
Imagine an Avengers movie without all of the character development that took place in Marvel’s individual superhero films. It could have been a decent effort, especially in the hands of Wizard Whedon, but it would have been missing substance and foundation. That’s why the world wasn’t ready for a Justice League movie. DC needs to create the universe first, before tackling such a complex assembly.