CCI, Day 3 - Superman Truly Returns at CCI with Bryan Singer

Mon, July 18th, 2005 at 12:00am PDT

TV/Film
Jonah Weiland, Executive Producer/Publisher

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It's clear that one of the most anticipated panels at Comic-Con International in San Diego was the pf for "Superman Returns" held at 10:30 AM on Saturday morning. Fans began lining up more than 2 hours before the panel began to assure themselves a seat in Hall H, which holds 6,500 bodies. By the time the panel began, security was in the unfortunate position of telling hundreds, and I mean hundreds, of fans that they couldn't let anyone else in. It didn't matter if you were press, a VIP, wearing a Superman outfit yourself or a visiting dignitary, you just weren't going to get in. Unfortunately CBR was one of the many that got shooed away, despite having got there close to 45 minutes early. That's how highly anticipated this panel was. BUT, we're not going to let that stop us from filing a report on the panel. We caught up with one member of the audience, who wished not to be named, and he shared with CBR News his impressions of what he saw inside. For another perspective, check out the panel description at BlueTights.net.

"Superman Returns" director Byran Singer ("X-Men," "The Usual Suspects") attended the panel and brought with him some footage to show the assembled masses.

So, tell us about the panel. How was it?

The panel was very strong and a lot of fun. Bryan started off cold taking questions from the audience who asked some good questions. Then he showed a clip that was a couple of minutes long. When it finished the crowd went nuts and got a standing ovation. A standing ovation in a room with 6500 people is a pretty thunderous thing and you can't underestimate that.

The footage that was shown had a lot of the kind of things people were wanting to see-- to see Superman doing a couple of things that were superheroic and to see innerplay between Lois & Clark and Lois & Superman. You got to see a bit of Jack Larson's cameo [Jimmy Olson from the "Adventures of Superman" TV series]. You got to see the Kent family farm. You got to see the Daily Planet and to go inside the building. You saw the famous globe with the letters in that ring of Saturn style aspect. It was a very modern looking Daily Planet, but it was also clearly a working newspaper office.

And you got to see in here that they're using some of the John Williams' theme from the first movie and they're using Marlon Brando's voice as Jor-El.

Did you get to see any scenes of Superman in action? Flying around? How did it look?

It looks very good. In the Q&A Bryan said that visually he's taken some inspiration from the way Alex Ross draws Superman. There was a shot that seemed very reminiscent of an Alex Ross shot where you're looking from an omniscient or from the God point of view, where Superman is almost like stationary as a satellite over the big, blue earth in a kind of down shot. Then you have the Jor-El narration from Marlon Brando pulled from the existing material that basically says he's sending his only son. It's very, very strong material.

Talk about how Brandon Routh looked in the Superman costume? It seems the biggest reservation fans have are the costume and the, what some consider, small sized S shield.

It seems to me that people hearing Bryan talk about the costume and seeing Brandon in action, wearing the costume, in motion, doing a couple of things, or even in the end just being stationary before flying and before the incredible titles they used at the end to slam home the point, helped allay any fears they might have had. It didn't seem like people had any problem believing in that look. Bryan talked about the Fleischer Superman cartoons, in particular, for the look of the character. He said we needed an S shield that was in the right place, for the proportions of this actor and for the type of shots they're doing.

And you got the see Kevin Spacey in one of the first shots of him as Lex Luthor.

Thanks! We should add that not only did they show the clip package, they showed it twice, much to the delight of those in attendance. We also received a number of reports that a number of those leaving the panel after it completed had actual tears in their eyes. Now, considering the powerful slate of super hero based films we've had these past couple of years and the success they've experienced, is this an indicator that "Superman Returns," starring the biggest icon comics has to offer, will blow them all away? I guess we'll all just have to wait see what happens next summer when Superman truly returns to the silver screen.

 
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