Thursday, August 05, 2010

Retain Routh?

With Inception currently sweeping the turnstiles and likely headed for its fourth week sitting atop the box office, the rumors surrounding Christopher Nolan's third Batman flick and his Superman revisitation are surely going to fly so thick between now and their planned 2012 release that we'll need a sieve to sort through them.  The one question that's already arisen though surrounds which actor will don red cape and blue tights for the Man of Steel re-reboot.

Naturally, at this point it's way too early to even be thinking about casting concerns, especially when you consider that they're not even at the script phase just yet.  Still, that hasn't stopped EW.com from not only arguing case that Brandon Routh, the cinematic Superman of record following Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, should be given another shot, but also that Routh's Superman adventure itself is worth another look after being largely discarded by fandom (though, I gotta say, 76% at Rotten Tomatoes isn't exactly anything to sneeze at).  Say they:
...the more you watch Superman Returns (and it seems to be on TV constantly), some of the film’s flaws start to seem appealingly gonzo. James Marsden plays a character whose only purpose is to be the coolest man alive – people, he owns a prop plane. And Lex Luthor’s henchman are so stupid, they might as well be carrying bags imprinted with dollar signs.

Okay, (SPOILER ALERT) the whole Super-Baby subplot is bananas, but it’s actually a little bit bracing to see such a strenuously anti-canonical plot twist in a superhero movie. Especially when films like Iron Man 2 and Watchmen seem hermetically sealed in their attempts to stay “faithful,” it’s pretty darn cool that Singer just decided to really go for it. Superman and Lois Lane had sex! Without protection! And now he’s a deadbeat dad! And she still doesn’t know he’s Clark Kent. It’s like a Kevin Smith riff come to life.
Sheesh, talk about damning with faint praise... 

As I've stated here before, despite my initial admirationSuperman Returns holds less appeal for me the more times I see it, with Singer's technical proficiency and love for the source material standing in direct opposition to the same baffling story decisions elucidated above.  However, I've also previously voiced my support for Routh, who you may recall sunsetted out of his Superman sequel clause a little over a year ago, to get one more try at the cape.  He did the best he could with a fairly unwieldy premise, and while Warners and/or Nolan will likely want a blank slate to work from, it'd be nice to see Routh's efforts rewarded.  Probably won't happen, but it'd be nice.

5 comments:

Omar A. said...

I didn't hate Superman Returns. (How's that for an endorsement!?)

With that said, the best thing about it was Routh - he was really really good. They should bring him back.

On the other hand, if they present a different (more macho, less geeky) take on the character, then a different actor may be in order...

J.R. LeMar said...

Routh was the best thing about that film. A true worthy successor to Christopher Reeve. However, I don't think he should be brought back. If they're going to start over, they need to completely start over. All new cast. Otherwise, no matter what, folks will think it's just a sequel to Superman Returns.

It's like with the Hulk films. Eric Bana is a fine actor, but in order to make a better movie, they had to replace him and everyone else from the first film.

Glenn Greenberg said...

A reboot could work with Routh still in the role. He did a fine job and deserves another shot, with a better script and a director who understands that while being Superman is a huge responsibility, it can also be FUN. Look at how much of a good time Chris Reeve's Superman has throughout the first two films. He doesn't always seem like he has the weight of the whole world on his shoulders. Routh's Superman was overburdened and morose--but I don't blame him for that. He showed sparks of charm and humor--and his Clark Kent was very, very good.

Zaki said...

I agree, Glenn.

That said, if recasting is deemed a necessity (which I'm reasonably certain will turn out to be the case) I'm throwing my backing now behind Matt Bomer, the star of USA's WHITE COLLAR. He was Brett Ratner's choice back when he was going to direct JJ Abrams' much-criticized script, but was nixed by the studio. Glad that version didn't get made, but also disappointed that Bomer didn't get a shot. He'd be perfect.

J.R. LeMar said...

If we're going to look back @ previous possibilities, I'd go with Henry Cavill, who was once attached to the McG Superman film. He was fantastic on The Tudors.