April 17, 2011 4:40pm PT by THR staff
Bryan Singer: Why 'Superman Returns' Didn't Work
The 2006 movie Superman Returns was supposed to reignite the comic-book character for big-screen audiences and make a star out of unknown actor Brandon Routh. While critics praised the film, it underwhelmed at the box office, earning $391 million worldwide.
Now, with another Superman film in the works -- Zack Snyder's Superman: Man of Steel, which stars Henry Cavill in the title role -- Superman Returns director-producer Bryan Singer is admitting that he made some mistakes with his own film.
Many moviegoers criticized the third act, in which Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) stabs Superman with a shard of kryptonite, but then the two characters don't appear onscreen again for the rest of the movie. In defending the scene, Singer said he tried to insert a religious analogy his storytelling, which was probably too "heavy" for a summer movie.
"I've always felt that the origin of Superman is the story of Moses -- the child sent on a ship to fulfill a destiny," said Singer, a producer on the upcoming X-Men: First Class. "And this was a story about Christ -- it's all about sacrifice: The world, I hear their cries. So what happens? He gets the knife in the side and later he falls to the earth in the shape of a crucifix. It was kind of nailing you on the head, but I enjoyed that, because I've always found the myth of Christ compelling and moving. So I hoped to do my own take, which is heavy s--- for a summer movie."
Singer said if he were to take on another Superman film, he would do a reboot of the franchise by remaking the original and would make it a more "balls-to-the-wall action movie" with a different pace from Superman Returns.
"There are a bunch of movies I've made where I'm, like, 'Yuck, that was weak' or 'That could've been better,' and I can see why. But with Superman Returns. ... If I could go back, I would have tightened the first act."