An extended interview with filmmaker Bryan Singer for the upcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past”-themed issue of Empire Magazine has revealed a few interesting quotes about a previous film of his – 2006’s “Superman Returns”.
Following the success of “Batman Begins,” the Singer film attempted to relaunch Superman in an unexpected way – by delivering a more romantic adventure story that served as a pseudo-sequel to the previous Richard Donner/Chris Reeve film series.
The film flopped critically and commercially, derided for its lack of action and some questionable choices in regards to casting, character, storyline and tone. Looking back on it, Singer says he’ll never truly understand all the flack the film received at the time:
“Half of that I understand and half of it I never will. It was a movie made for a certain kind of audience. Perhaps more of a female audience. It wasn’t what it needed to be, I guess.
I think I could lop the first quarter off and start the movie a bit more aggressively and maybe find a way to start the movie with the jet disaster sequence or something. I could have grabbed the audience a little more quickly.
I don’t know what would have helped. Probably nothing. If I could go again, I would do an origin. I would reboot it.”
Before it launched, the plan always to follow “Superman Returns” with a sequel and for that Singer says he thinks Darkseid was going to be the villain and that the film was going to be “pretty world-destroying, actually.” The sequel didn’t happen though:
“I ended up having the opportunity to go and make ‘Valkyrie,’ and I think the studio lost interest at that point. I can’t say it was all the studio’s fault and I can’t say it was all my fault. It just fizzled out.”
Current Superman and “Man of Steel” star Henry Cavill was previously up for the role of the famous Kryptonian when Singer’s “Superman Returns” was casting. Cavill ultimately lost the role to Brandon Routh. So why wasn’t Cavill cast back then?
“I think Henry Cavill is great. I knew Henry. He and I were friends years ago. The reason I didn’t cast him was because I was making a sequel to Christopher Reeve and I wanted somebody who embodied Reeve more.”
Nevertheless he’s seen the Zack Snyder film and came away impressed:
“I saw [‘Man of Steel’] when it came out. I am in awe of the world building and the scope of that picture. There were things I might have done a little differently just because of the way I view the character.”