Monday, September 1, 2008

Superman's Doomsday...

If you've been spending too much time in your Fortress of Solitude, you may not have heard that Warner Bros. recently announced it's plans for the future of the Superman franchise. Indeed, it's ambitions for the multitude of DC Comics properties in various stages of development by them. If you really want all of the details, you'll have to google them, but the highlights include the fact that the planned sequel to 2006's iffy Superman Returns is officially dead. Instead, WB and DC are concentrating on a complete 'reintroduction' of the character, in the same way that Marvel recently re-vamped the Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton this summer only a few years after the iffy Ang Lee/Eric Bana film from a few years ago. Likewise, the first effect of the box office mega-hit The Dark Knight (which just passed the $500 million mark this weekend, and has broken more box office records than any other film in history) is that WB and DC are going to try to adapt the "dark, real tone" of TDK to it's other properties.

What in the hell does that mean for Superman, an alien who can fly and shoot heat lasers from his eyes, and is indestructible unless you have a glowing green hunk or radioactive rock that's actually a chunk of his smashed home world? Who the hell knows. I just like the sound of it. What Christopher Nolan has done for comic book films is akin to what Frank Miller did for the character of Batman in the 1980's with his re-invention of the character in 'The Dark Knight Returns' - the ground-breaking graphic novel that 'gave Batman his balls back' after years stuck in Adam West and 50's comic book camp mode. Realism and darkness (likely of the villains) will now be a focus rather than wild fantasy without any explanation. Another important item is that the on-again, off-again Justice League live-action film has been likewise killed. Though it is planned to eventually do such a film, just how, when, and in what form is now in question.

So in lieu of the 'death' of one branch of the Superman franchise, and it's pending return in another form, I thought it might be appropriate to share the score from the fantastic recent animated feature Superman: Doomsday. The story for the direct-to-DVD film is, of course, Superman's apparent death at the hands of the creature known as Doomsday. What happens beyond that I'll not say, as, even though it's obvious Superman could never truly be perma-killed, it's more fun to watch the film than to hear me spell out the plot. It's out now, so go buy it, and give a listen to it's great original score.