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Bryan Singer Still Thinks Superman Returns Failed Because He Tried to Make it for Women


In 2011 Bryan Singer gave a interview in which he revealed some of the reasons why he thought Superman Returns failed critically and at the box office, and among them he included what he considered an attempt to make a Superman film to interest the Devil Wears Prada crowd: i.e., women. And while Singer’s language isn’t that of blaming, I still wish he’d come up with a different wording in the intervening years between then and now, when in the newest issue of Empire Magazine he says again that Superman Returns was a movie made for a female audience.

First of all, I think it’s important to distinguish between the two reasons why folks like to hate on Superman Returns. One, perhaps the smaller more obsessed with Hollywood minutiae one, is that SR was the movie Singer made instead of continuing his successful shepherding of the X-Men franchise, leaving the third movie in the trilogy to Brett Ratner and his uniformly panned X-Men: The Last Stand. As the sages say: Superman Returns is the worst thing to happen to the X-Men franchise.

But to focus on that as a reason to hate Superman Returns partially excludes the fact that it was simply a bad movie, full of a number of what might generously be called “unintentionally implied moral and intellectual lapses on the part of various characters” but more accurately be called plot holes. It couldn’t even be redeemed even by the masterful casting of Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. Seriously, I’d buy a full price DVD of just his scenes. (Then again, I’d do the same thing for all of Sir Ian McKellen‘s scenes in The Golden Compass.)

For Singer to say that part of the movie’s failure lies in his attempt to pull in an audience of women who don’t normally go to see superhero films, it asks the listener to imagine what parts of the movie were intended for that audience. Here’s Singer’s most recent statement to Empire:

Half of [the reception to Superman Returns'] 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’y know what would have helped. Probably nothing.

Singer seems honestly regretful and bewildered by his mistakes in Superman Returns, and I feel for him. Mistakes happen even to professionals, and even with blockbuster franchises and millions of dollars on the line. But in an industry that believes, against a continuously growing mountain of recent contradictory evidence, that women are not a significant enough portion of the audience for the action genre to pander to or even acknowledge, statements like these are very easily twisted to support the status quo.

Could an attempt to entice the folks who would “line up to see The Devil Wears Prada” have led Singer to make some decisions about Superman Returns that he might otherwise not have? Sure. But that probably wouldn’t have kept the movie from giving us a Superman who chooses to be an absent father because it’s “safer” for his super-powered son to not know his own dad, or one where Superman saves the day by apparently lifting a continent made out of kryptonite with his bare hands. And for heaven’s sake, even if the kid was thrown into the movie in a weird bid to get lades interested, the least that could have been done was to not have Lois Lane have a baby after having her memory of banging Superman erased in Superman 2. That’s just creepy.

Ironically, that audience of women was much more into X-Men and X-Men 2, films that happened to feature multiple female characters of various races and archetypes, and, and this is important, were primarily decent movies as well. That female audience, even the ones lining up for The Devil Wears Prada, would undoubtedly have followed a Bryan Singer X-Men movie featuring Jean Grey and the Phoenix force heavily, as was hinted at the end of his X-Men 2, further than they followed Superman Returns.

(via Comic Book Movie.)

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  • Anonymous

    I read that as him saying “It needed more explosions.” I think what it needed was a better script.

  • blu girl

    I saw his stupid quote and thought what women did he make Superman Returns for? It certainly wasn’t me. The trailers did nothing for me so I didn’t even bother seeing in the theater. When I finally watched it I was bored out of my mind. He was more concerned with nostalgia for the Christopher Reeve Superman movies that he forgot he had to actually make an enjoyable movie.

  • blu girl

    Exactly. So he’s insinuating that women don’t like action movies with explosions? Or that it’s not possible to make a good superhero movie without over the top action/effects? Either way he fails.

  • aerinha23

    Sidebar: “As the sages say: Superman Returns is the worst thing to happen to the X-Men franchise.”

    YES.

  • MarthaThompson

    I refused to see it because I’m tired of seeing multiple versions of the same dude movies–Superman, Batman, Spider-man, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Thor, Iron Man, etc. etc. What about Wonder Woman?

  • Anonymous

    Why won’t he just admit Superman Returns failed because it was a boring, BORING movie? After all the progress we’d made with fight scenes and choreography people were expecting Superman kicking some ass, not becoming a creepy stalker and lifting heavy objects.

  • Steven McDade

    Personally I thought it was a good way to end the Christopher Reeves movies. With the Richard Donner cut of Superman II, there wasn’t a better way to end a trilogy, ignoring the terrible 3 and 4. I enjoyed the throwback to a more campy light-hearted Superman. We have had too much darkness in the movies lately. At least with Amazing Spider Man movies, they have a bit more campy quips to balance the dark stuff. The last Batman movies were WAY too dark.

  • Charlie

    I think the key word is ‘tried’. Stop blaming women for your failures Brian.

  • Jamie Jeans

    Congrats, Bryan Singer, for beating on the dead horse that women ‘just don’t like superhero movies’ so you added in a beat dead dad who ran away from his responsibilities to entice them into seeing Superman.

    Dude, you made two good X-men movies… people, as in both men and women, saw them because they were good movies, period.

    And more women would see more superhero movies if there were actually more superhero movies with women in them that were well done.

  • MisfitsTamara

    It wasn’t so much nostalgia as it was supposed to be an ode to Richard Donner. The few action sequences that were in there were very good though – I watch The Plane & Metropolis Rescue sequences every time it’s on tv.

  • HamsterMasterSamster

    It’s sadly not infrequent for me to look at stuff ‘made for women’ in quizzical bemusement. ‘Made by men who think they know what women want’ is usually a more accurate tag.

  • Anonymous

    In fairness, it needed *either* a better script *or* more explosions.

  • Jamie Jeans

    I’m sure they’ll never make a GOOD Wonder Woman movie in our lifetime, or at least until all the old white men in WB die off.

  • Anonymous

    what women did he make Superman Returns for?

    Women who like terrible movies?

  • Troy Lenze

    We can only hope Gadot knocks it out of the park in the new Superman movie and is seen as bankable. Of course, that requires her character to be well-written and in a fair number of scenes…

  • glyssix

    I watched it in the theater and was horribly disappointed. Seriously, Superman is a deadbeat dad?? What woman is going to love that? The ending didn’t even make sense. I can see that he went for all sorts of lousy chick flick tropes, but that doesn’t make it a good movie for women or anyone else.

  • http://elisabethflaum.wordpress.com/ Elwyne

    so… his idea of making a movie for women is making a bad movie?

    wtf, Singer???

  • Anonymous

    It failed because Parker Posey was not playing Mercy Graves.

  • Jeyl

    Because women like stories about women being knocked up by over-powering men who abandon them and their child without saying a word and later turn to stalking them at their own home?

  • Guest

    The corollary being that men dig bad movies…

  • WonderScott

    That’s annoying and cloying logic. Because, you know millions of women didn’t enjoy the action, adventure, intrigue, romance and soap opera-y elements between humans or superhumans or human-like beings in The Lord of the Rings and Dark Knight Rises trilogies.

    Just cater good, emotional, exciting stories to human beings please.

  • .GONNY

    I get what he’s saying but I’d interpret it differently. Singer made a film that he felt would entice the Devil Wears Prada audience, without really understanding what enticed the Devils Wears Prada audience.

    In other words, he made a film for hypothetical women, without running it by any actual women. And failed in the process.

  • Charlie

    Yeah a story about being stalked by a guy with X-ray vision is something that every woman dreams of :|

  • Kay

    “hello I am director Bryan Singer and I am going to blame the failure of
    my movies on ‘failed demographics’ or something so I don’t have to
    learn from my mistakes”

  • Mark Matson

    That is how I think of it. Perhaps in his own head he really is blaming women — who knows — but I trust his basic statement is true. He tried to make a movie for “the Devils Wears Prada audience” and failed. He focused on something false, this hypothetical woman who doesn’t exist, and thus failed to provide what is true.

    If this was a legitimate learning lesson for him, I’d give him an A for effort and assume he can do better in the future. Unfortunately, I’m not convinced he learned the right lesson.

  • Anonymous

    The problem is that he is probably right. He tried to make it a movie for his perception of women, instead of just trying to make a good movie. And rather than interpreting that as “He has no idea what women want,” people will read it as “See, this is why women ruin everything we like.”

    As for what would have helped – drop the kid; tell Brandon Routh that this is Superman, not a documentary on Christopher Reeve, so stop trying to be Christopher Reeve; and give Luthor a better plan, one that isn’t so boring.

  • MeatyStakes

    I believe him that he tried to draw a more female audience, a more sensible approach if you will.

    Of course it has little to do with the fact that the movie was bad at best, his attempt to court a new audience baffling while actually loosing what you would consider the built-in base.

    I dunno if his knowledge of women comes from Lifetime movies or what, but it might as well with the thing he ended up pulling together.

  • Anonymous

    Singer wanted the movie movie to be a sequel to the Donner cut of Superman II (not the theatrical version) so he instructed Routh to act like Reeve.

  • Jamie Jeans

    Yeah, that’s my fear too. It’s not Gal Godot, but whether she’s given good enough writing, direction, and scenes.

    Otherwise, if this movie fails, it’ll be dumped right on her feet as yet more ‘proof’ that Wonder Woman does not sell and women aren’t interested in superheroes.

  • locuas

    the problem was that superman fans, both male AND female, did not want to watch a movie about superman having an illegitimate son.

  • Travis

    I think it needed both.

  • Deggsy

    It felt like a movie of many great small scenes – the plane rescue, the leaps over the cornfields, deflecting the machine gun bullets, hovering over the Earth listening to everything – but held together with a substandard main plot.

  • Travis

    Are you doubting Zack Snyder’s ability to deliver a compelling female character…

  • athenia45

    Please tell me by “perhaps women”, he means, “most definitely for the religious crowd.” Cuz THAT would certainly explain a lot! LOL

  • Anonymous

    I have a much bigger problem with Superman’s kid killing one of Luthor’s henchman with a piano to save his damsel in distress mom than with Superman remorsefully killing Zod..

  • MisfitsTamara

    Agreed. There were a lot of great ideas there that sadly weren’t built up properly.

  • MisfitsTamara

    Or Lois.

  • Skol Troll

    Men DO dig bad movies… just not movies made badly.

  • Alexa

    OK I liked Superman Returns, but it still had major problems. Its pacing was weird, Superman was kind of a creeper, and instead of making a brand new Superman they just basically tried to rehash the Donner movies, that’s kind of lazy IMO. Again while I liked Superman Returns, I can’t say it was better than MoS because they both had major problems. But I think one of the reasons why I think I enjoyed SR more was because it didn’t rush things, even though yes it dragged but I rather a movie kind of drag than rush yet somehow feel like its going on forever. And I really liked Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. Plus to SR’s credit it had humor that worked to a degree, which I really can’t say for MoS. But yeah that’s just me as an individual explaining my reasons, which has nothing to with my gender. They’re both bad Superman movies, I just so happen to like SR more because in my opinion its the lesser of the two evils, but only by a slight margin.

  • Guymelef

    Batman is supposed to be dark and angsty. On the flip side, Supes and Spidey and I-can’t-think-of-who-else are supposed to be more lighthearted. Not sure I’d be too interested in a lighthearted Batman, although I suppose plenty of people have major love for the Adam West incarnation.

  • Skol Troll

    Gals and guys! It’s NEVER a director’s fault for a bad superhero movie. You’re missing the point! If Singer hadn’t watched “Devil Wears Prada” right before he worked on Superman Returns, he would have made a better movie!

    I mean, c’mon! It makes sense:

    If Martin Campbell had never seen 2 Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, he would never have written a story about Ryan Reynolds ego.

    If Richard Lester never sees Stir Crazy, there’s no Superman III.

    If Tim Story doesn’t see a Scrubbing Bubbles commercial in the middle of an FX “Matrix” marathon, no one ever sees Fantastic 4: RotSS.

    And if Barry Sonnenfeld isn’t inspired by Johnny Depp being completely messed up on drugs all the way through Fear and Loathing, he’s gonna make Wild Wild West while sober.

  • Hugo M

    Honestly I thought the movie wasn’t that bad, I actually liked it more than Man Of Steel, which felt soulless and cold. Brandon Routh and the movie in general, in a way, brought back the warm, comforting feeling Christopher Reeves radiated, and Kevin Spacey as Luthor was great as well. The two big mistakes in my opinion were the whole baby plotline and Kate Bosworth as Lois. Lois is a rather difficult character to nail and to make likeable (both Margot K. and Teri H. made an excellent job at this), and she just utterly fails at it.

  • http://www.gradientcomics.com/ Rob Payne

    Oh, man. She would have been a perfect Lois Lane. Especially for that movie. Where were you when we needed you, MisfitsTamara?

  • Anonymous

    I’m a woman. Superman is my favorite superhero. I hate everything about this film — he made superman into an inconsiderate, self-absorbed monster (who happily fights in the middle of populated areas causing mass damage and death without even a blink — which is totally out of character), among all the other ways he completely showed how little he actually knows about what makes Superman SUPERMAN.

    I guess that means he failed twice, in my case.

  • http://www.gradientcomics.com/ Rob Payne

    At the time, I thought Singer’s take on Superman was the right one. I was a film student, the Donner Cut had just been released, and I hated the original third and fourth movies (obviously), so getting a chance to set that record straight seemed like a valid goal and a worthwhile effort. Alas. I still like the movie, as a Superman movie, better than Man of Steel, but it is a bizarre film. A pair of dogs devour an old woman! Why was Kal Penn even there?

    As for darkness and all that, well, it works for Batman. It doesn’t have to be the only way to do Batman, but you can’t go from Batman and Robin to anything other than Batman Begins and get people (non-Batfans) interested in the character again. And once you do that, if successful, you have to let that take run its course. It has, but Snyder and co. didn’t get that memo.

  • http://www.gradientcomics.com/ Rob Payne

    I still think that sequence with the plane is fantastic, as well as when Supes stops the bank robbery. But, yeah, you’d think audiences’ frustration with Returns would have clued the Smallville people into the fact that they want to see Superman punch something and not just push geological constructs out into space. Then, of course, Snyder stopped the punching and went straight to the neck snapping. We need a middle ground here.

  • MarthaThompson

    lol. I.fear.THIS!

  • MarthaThompson

    Perfectly stated “his perception of women”. Anytime a movie fails and they scratch their heads like…the ladiez should have love this…it’s based on THEIR perception of what women like.

  • Anonymous

    As a fan fan of the X-Men comics & cartoons, I would not use the X-Men movies as an example of superhero movies for women done right.

  • Jennifer

    Yes because women are a homogenous group and we all like the same thing. *headesk*

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, just look at Avengers that was really successful with female moviegoers – it really suffered at the Box Office as a result!!
    No, wait…
    Don’t blame your poor story and world building on “making it for women” SInger. Just don’t!

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sold. I think the OP makes the point well that the PradaDevilWomen probably don’t like giant plot holes either, and that those don’t show up because you’re trying to cater to one demographic or another. They show up because you’re a mediocre filmmaker.

    MEDIOCRE.

    When you try us with a sorry script like that, that’s the result you gonna get.

  • Ashe

    *pulls string*

    Well the women *I* know…

    He has a right to his opinion…

    Not every movie needs to be for wom…

    *pulls string*

  • Saraquill

    Does “Birdemic” and “The Room” count as movies made badly?

  • Anonymous

    Then the mistake was on his part. I spent the entire movie being impressed by his rendition of Christopher Reeve instead of being impressed by his rendition of Superman.

  • http://melancholywise.tumblr.com/ Sophie

    You know, I genuinely like romance, and I have more or less given up on it in film, because I am sick to death of watching films created ‘for me’ by sexist hollywood dudes, who are apparently only capable of producing the same cliched script over and over again with slight variations. Why do these men think I want to watch yet another film in which the female character is the same old two dimensional stereotype who doesn’t get to do anything more interesting than make out with the male lead? Most romances I’ve seen lately are just really bland.

  • Anonymous

    I think you’re talking about Man of Steel, not Superman Returns. Man of Steel is the latest one where he fights Zod. Superman Returns was from several years ago and had Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor tying to drown the world by building a giant island out of Kryptonian crystals in the middle of the ocean. Or something, it was dumb. But Superman wasn’t an inconsiderate, self-absorbed monster fighting in the middle of populated areas in that one. He was a bland cardboard cutout who didn’t fight anything at all except an island.

  • Ashe

    I’m sure those old white men will find like-minded individuals to replace them.

  • Anonymous

    I think women are less likely than men to enjoy a movie that’s solely or primarily explosions (e.g., the Transformers films). Both men and women will go to see a great action movie – something with fun action sequences, a strong plot, and engaging characters. But “just explosions” seems to attract more of a male audience.

    It’s the difference between liking cake and sitting down to eat a whole bowl full of sugar.

  • Eve

    I think the success of Captain America, Thor and The Avengers proves that we gals like action movies. Most of people’s complaints about “Superman Returns” have to do with characterization and script, not lack of explosions.

  • Nick Gaston

    No, Singer, I think it failed because you make dignified, well-produced respectful to the source material comic movies…that are also utterly dreary, shell-shocked allegory pieces punctuated by muffled explosions.

    At least in X3, the characters were showing initiative, DOING big impressive things, and the story explored and expanded upon it’s world in it’s own right, rather than just “…you get what the ‘superpowers’ stand for, right? You get it? You get it?”

  • Zeuel

    If by badly you mean awesomely then yes. :P

  • Nuuni Nuunani

    I can’t help but feel some sympathy ^^;
    It can be quite baffling when something fails that you put alot of effort into and if you were really invested on specific elements that you considered vital, then it would to the victim, be quite rational to suspect the fault lay in the elements that you were unsure of from the get go.

  • Todd Carney

    Exactly, Susana Polo. I completely agree!

    But I should say that while I admit the movie has a lot of flaws (especially a really drawn-out ending), I have to say I have fond memories of seeing it with my friend Katie. I shall watch it again now with a more critical eye. Besides, it’s the only disc of my Ultimate Superman movie boxset I have yet to watch!

  • Jordan Ruttle

    Maybe, but a large number of ‘explosion films’ are heavily catered towards men already. Transformers is very much a ‘boys’ film, ie normal guy that saves the day & has a super sexy (rather objectified) romantic interest.

    My guess is that it’s less the explosions that are a turn off and more likely that we unconsciously associate explosions with all the things that usually go along with them.

  • Charlie

    So all the time we have been asking for a wonder woman film this guy has been going around saying to important people ‘You know my film failed because I made it for women’ ugggggggh.

  • http://pontoonification.blogspot.com/ AverageDrafter

    Trying to continue the Donner Superman twenty some odd years after the fact was a conceptual disaster – particularly so soon after Reeve’s death.

    Keeping Luthor as your heavy was also a mistake, especially if you aren’t going evolve him further than a mustache twirling Snidely Whiplash.

    Also, not ever picking up a post-crisis Superman book was probably not a great idea either.

    I’d try that next time someone asks you, and I’d have a cheat sheet ready for DoFP – start with “we were trying to accomplish too much with one movie…”

    Thank god he didn’t get a chance to mangle Darkseid, I hope Snyder keeps his mitts off of him too.

  • Todd Carney

    Okay, it’s hard to get all the way through, but it’s still fun. Watching through them all again (not MofS) has made it impossible for me to see any Lois/Clark dialogue scene without the suspicion that Lois REALLY knows the truth deep down, and this is just a romantic role-playing game for them. As awful as Superman IV Quest for Peace was, there’s this scene where Lois tells Clark what she wants to tell Superman, and the way it’s written, she HAS to know it’s him! Of course, this is after he’s “super kissed” her again after revealing himself AGAIN. So it’s totally a little sexy game they like to play.

  • Warren G Harding

    There was nothing IN it for women, and women hate Kate Bosworth, so you were screwed from the word ‘Go,’ Bry-Bry.

    Honestly, I thought this issue was settled long ago– It doesn’t matter what directorial choices you make, the original Superman I&II were written by Mario Puzo, “Superman Returns” was written by your buddy from college. If you hadn’t stolen X-Men back, Mr. Singer, your career would be over. Lucky you.

  • Avril111

    my uncle recently got a nearly new black Volkswagen Touareg
    SUV by working off of a pc… blog link J­u­m­p­9­9­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  • kinoumenthe

    I had never seen the movie before, so after reading all the comments, I decided to, and now I have. And it wasn’t very good.
    But the worst thing of all is that all the “romance” stuff that is quite clearly there to target a so-called “female audience” is litterally cringe-worthy from begining to end. That’s what we’re supposed to crave for ? Blech.
    And I’m not event talking about the plot-holes and the Prometheus-grade WTF of a journalist taking her 5 years old boy with her on a potentially dangerous exploration of a mysterious boat. Seriously ?
    Double blech.

  • myverysarcasm

    My main problem with SR is that it got the Lois/Clark relationship completely wrong. Singer turned Lois into Lana and then had his own version of Smallville’s star-crossed romance.
    And you know what? I like SV’s Clana because it forces Clark and Lana to grow up and realize that a healthy relationship is not what you imagined as a 15-year-old.
    Clois otoh? They’re fun. They bicker and fight, they’re frienemies, they get on each other’s nerves but they also get each other, they’re rivals in the work place but then make out in the elevator, Clark proves to Lois that kindness and honesty still exist in this world, and whenever Clark takes himself too serious Lois is there to punch him in the arm and buy him a beer.
    That’s Clois and when you get their relationship wrong, then there’s something wrong with your Superman film.
    I know many people disliked Man of Steel, but I loved it because it got Clois right. Maybe there wasn’t enough bickering, but it was still about Clark being all “I’m so lonely because I’m not part of this world and I have to keep my secret to protect the people I love” and Lois was all “nice try, farmboy, but now I’ve got to save the world and you’re gonna help me because I also have to keep a deadline”. And at the end they were grinning at each other like the idiots they are and after the credits Lois probably ravished him in the copy room.

  • http://www.commonplacebook.com electrasteph

    Like, by a guy who doesn’t understand a female audience at all? Because just “making a movie for a female audience” doesn’t mean crap if you don’t actually ask any women what they want. Or better yet, let them make the movie in the first place.

  • myverysarcasm

    Where did you think SR was light-hearted?
    Man of Steel was dark, yeah, but at least it enden with Clark having a big grin on his face.

  • myverysarcasm

    His Lois was pretty great. Maybe that was just Amy because she’s made of awsome… But, you know, the more interviews I read with Gal, the more I’m convinced that she really likes WW and is gonna put in alot of effort to do the character justice.

  • Jake Mertz

    This just in: Some women actually like action and super hero movies, more then you’d think! Film at 11!

  • Marina

    Bryan Singer can’t handle female characters. How could he handle female audience?

  • Anonymous

    I would rather watch “Birdemic” again than “Man of Steel.”

  • kbroxmysox

    So is this why the X-Men movies are so male heavy despite it being a female rich franchise? Or why the female characters do exist either have no personality or have a character dependent on a man? Well at least that question is answered

  • TheChief

    So does that mean we blame Superman Returns for Singer cutting Rogue from the new X-men movie? sigh.

  • Anonymous

    Would love Singer to explain to me why the millions of women who loved “Lois and Clark” and Smallville were supposed to love a movie that put the two lead characters in an impossible situation where both of them came off looking bad.

    Also, 44% of Man of Steel’s audience was women. Women have been sustaining the Superman brand for decades. We deserved a better story for Lois and Clark than Singer gave us. Period.

  • Anonymous

    The success of Man of Steel proved it. It had the highest female audience of any comic book film.

  • Anonymous

    Part of that is that he didn’t understand the relationship. His mistake wasn’t making a film for women who wanted to watch a love story between Lois and Superman. Because yes, that does sell, people. 20 million people watched “Lois and Clark” regularly in the 90′s.

    His mistake was not understanding ::why:: people liked it and why women were drawn to the relationship. His error was in not getting the characters and therefore, telling the wrong story.

  • Anonymous

    The example here is within the Superman franchise. You don’t even need to bring up other properties. 20 million women watched “Lois and Clark.” Women made Smallville the second highest grossing TV show in WB history. 44% of the audience for Man of Steel was women. The original Reeve movies (1 and 2) also prove the point.

    Women :: do:: like media that focuses on the drama of the relationship in this mythos. It’s not speculation . It’s fact. Singer’s error was in telling that relationship wrong. He was wrong.

  • Anonymous

    I really don’t appreciate Lois Lane—the first woman of comic books—being referred to in such a derogatory manner even within the context of a flawed film. The movie was flawed but the child in question was about to watch his mother be killed and was panicked. It’s really not that simple not is it right to refer to Lois that way considering she saves the father of her child from drowning in the climax of the film .

    Talk about the flaws of the film. But that’s an insulting commentary on what Lois’s actual role is even in the most flawed movie and really doesn’t enhance this conversation at all.

  • Anonymous

    Again, I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think the son was the problem. I think the script putting him in an impossible position with the son was the problem. Blaming the son is a scapegoat too as there are plenty of great books that have been written about Clark and Lois with a child.

  • Laura Truxillo

    “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”

    Yeah, Singer, it wasn’t GOOD, and that’s what movies need to be.

    Ugh, don’t blame this on the fact that you tried to make a movie for “a certain kind of audience.” Blame it on the fact that you *tried* to make it for “a certain kind of audience” and FAILED MISERABLY AT IT.

    Seriously, I can’t even think of what part in Superman Returns was supposed to be “for” women. (Heeere’s your ex, stalking yooooou. You can’t see him if he don’t want you toooo…)

    More than that, though, dude, what the hell? I know this movie came out years ago and the stench has mostly wafted away, but haven’t the past couple of years proven that this kind of thinking is just plain wrong? Didn’t women flock to see Avengers? Hunger Games? Hell, pretty sure ladies went to check out DKR in better numbers too, and that was a lousy movie. Women like Superheroes. Please, Singer, don’t fall into that “Ooh, I just don’t understand these strange, alien women-folk” trap. You made a bad movie. Don’t blame it on your audience not being receptive. Blame it on your bad decisions as a writer and director.

  • Anonymous

    Lois is a difficult character to get right because she’s complex and layered in a world of storytelling where often the woman in the equation is not complex. The “like able” stigma is linked to misogyny and should be retired. It’s deeply related to the stigma we place on women to be accommodating to men, soft and pleasing at all times. No one who cares about feminism should be pushing strong women to be like able. It’s a sexist stigma. Lois doesn’t have to fit the cultural (patriarchal) definition of what makes women “like able” to be a complex woman worthy of Superman’s love. If she were a man it would never even come up.

  • Laura Truxillo

    I like the part where she was in an emotionally unfulfilling marriage while her ex Watched Her at night!

  • Anonymous

    This is what I said above . People are totally missing the point here. Singer’s mistake wasn’t focusing his movie on a relationship. His mistake was getting one of the most iconic love stories in comics wrong.

  • Laura Truxillo

    “Perhaps women. Perhaps Scientologists. Perhaps wombats? To be honest, I have no idea who I made this movie for…”

  • Laura Truxillo

    Is this reminding anyone else of that Mel Gibson movie “What Women Want?”

  • Laura Truxillo

    The Brave and the Bold did a light-hearted Batman pretty well. They also made his origin story exponentially more depressing (I didn’t think that could happen) and added even MORE guilt to it, and did the Emperor Joker storyline.

    But for most of the show, it kept a light-hearted tone. That’s probably part of what helped make the hard moments his harder.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. Honestly I think some people are taking the wrong message from this.

    Man of Steel had the biggest female audience of any comic book film. More than Avengers. More than DKR. The answer here us within the Superman franchise and people add missing it completely.

    Women like Superman. Women like Superman and Lois Lane. Women ::do:: like romance between Superman and Lois Lane. Not speculation. Fact. We have actual data from years of TV to prove it. Women don’t want to watch a movie where Superman and Lois Lane are put in a no win situation and look bad. That’s the issue. That’s the real convo at okay here.

  • John W

    Maybe he should have tried to make a movie that was MORE like Devil Wears Prada because at least that movie was good.

  • Lorna

    I think Pacific Rim would be a nice counterpoint to that theory. Women don’t like explosions and action? They like romance? Wooooah, well how come PR has action and lack of romance? I’d like to slap Bryan Singer with a fish right now. XD

  • Janelle S

    I agree with the assessment of the Lois casting. She’s a particular kind of character that you have to work to pull off correctly.
    I actually like Kate Bosworth as an actress BUT she was all wrong for the role, a particularly confusing fact if Singer wanted this to be a spiritual successor to Donner’s Superman II. There is *nothing* of Margot Kidder’s Lois in Kate Bosworth’s performance. She was too young, too wrong, too “young girl in her mom’s clothes”.

  • Ivan

    You mean you saw superman returns, man of steel is a full reboot.

  • Silvermoonlight

    My mistake that is what I meant I have corrected that error.

  • Janelle S

    Women hate Kate Bosworth? Is that a thing? I’ve always liked her, residual positive feelings leftover from the all-too-brief “Young Americans” show. And “Blue Crush” is a guilty pleasure.
    However, I feel like she’s sufficiently under the radar that I’ve never had conversations about her with others so I have no idea what the general feel for her is.

  • Anonymous

    He’s been blaming women for years. No. Both Superman the Movie and Superman 2 had romance and it did just fine.

    Superman Returns was a debacle because it made no sense. The crux of the problem was Singer wanted the reveal of the Super kid to be a shock (it wasn’t) for everyone so he wrote a convoluted story to make it happen. He also wanted to piggy back on the Donner/Lester verse for reasons only he and the suits at WB who green lighted this mess understand.

    Singer couldn’t even address Jason’s conception clearly. He couldn’t answer if Lois even remembered it. And if it happened in the Fortress, did she also remember Superman was Clark or what? How soon after Superman left she she get together with Richard? Did Richard think Jason was his kid?

    He wrote a story about two very unlikable people (Superman and Lois) who behaved completely out of character. Who were these people? Why would Superman be afraid to tell Lois he is leaving?

    Never mind the brain dead Lex subplot which made no sense at all. Why would Lois endanger her own child by taking him with her to break on the yacht??

    Lois’s anger towards Superman was petty and served no purpose to the story. Why couldn’t both of them have behaved like adults? Superman could have gone to her before he left and told her he has to see if Krypton really exploded (REEALLLLY?? Why couldn’t they make it some kind of intergalactic war he had to help save the universe or something?) Lois could have offered to wait, but Superman tells her no.

    He comes back five years to find out she has moved on. We the audience should have known that she did so after a few years and Richard knew that Jason wasn’t his child, Superman didn’t have to know this, but we should have. But we couldn’t because Jason was a surprise for us. It wasn’t.

    Once it all comes out, neither party should have been bitter. The flight scene on the Daily Planet roof should have been mature adults saying good-bye with deep regret at the way things worked out. Instead of that immature whining we got.

    The problem here is exactly what the Superman books are going through. If you mess with the core Lois/Clark/Superman dynamic, if you have them behave in ways that are not true, if you don’t understand the people you are writing, you lose the characters and it just doesn’t work.

    Singer can blame whatever he wants but Smallville, a show which had a sizable female audience worked, Man of Steel which had a sizable female audience worked.

    This is pure sour grapes. He’s blaming a demographic rather than his own ineptitude.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I’m loving the glimpses of LegoBatman in the trailers of The Lego Movie. “Bruce Wayne? I’ve never met him, but he seems like a cool guy.”

  • Anonymous

    Well, I saw SR in the cinema and I found it bland, boring and uninspired. While I would not necessarily MoS a “good” Superman movie at least I didn’t found it boring.

  • Anonymous

    She was in distress during that scene. It didn’t allow Lois to use her renowned ingenuity to rescue herself & her son. She tries to get a weapon to dispatch the henchman with (which is great idea & should happen in more horror movies), but everything she reaches for is bolted down or too heavy. Meanwhile the henchman has plenty of free weapons to attack her with in addition to his superior strength. Lois is reduced to crawling away from a suddenly violent stock character (this reflects poorly on Lex’s hiring process) who controls the the situation. It’s only because her son manifests his Kryptonian powers at that moment that she’s rescued from imminent peril.
    At the climax of the movie Superman becomes a garcon in distress.

  • http://www.angelahighland.com/ Angela Korra’ti (Highland)

    Count me as another woman who has no idea what Bryan Singer thinks the female demographic was wanting out of that movie. I wanted to like it. I really, REALLY did. I thought it was visually stunning, and yeah, I thought Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor was genius.

    But. I found the heavy-handed imagery of Supes-as-Christ-figure really, _really_ tiresome, and yeah, I wanted a way better movie than I actually got.

    (And GOD YES I so very, VERY much wanted a better Dark Phoenix film than the one X3 actually gave us. I loved X2 so very, very much. *sniff*)

  • frodobatmanvader

    You know, for a long time I’ve suspected that the reason why man of the women in the X-Men films didn’t seem well-cast or well-executed is because Bryan Singer just doesn’t like women all that much.

    This… doesn’t help in disproving that theory.

  • athenia45

    ZING!

  • Anonymous

    Obviously the thing it needed was a giant effing spider at the end.

  • Hugo M

    Don’t get me wrong, I do love Lois! I love her strenght, her no-nonsense attitude, her arrogance, her willpower. When I say she’s hard to portray in a likeable manner, I’m NOT saying she must be turned into a safe, non-threatening pretty doormat in order for male audiences to like her. I’m saying the actress playing her must do a very good job in order to convey all those character traits I mentioned before and still be the charming, fantastic character she is. Margot Kidder and Teri Hatcher both nailed it,
    Kate B., while being a good actress, didn’t, and being such a central character, that’s a big flaw the film has.

  • Hugo M

    I agree 100%. If I remember well, she was, like 22 at the time!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, this.

  • Tony Caroselli

    “Superman Returns” was not a box office failure. Singer has never claimed it was or explained why it was or, quote-unquote, “blamed women” for it being one, because it wasn’t. It grossed $200M domestic. Granted, that was supposedly against a $290M budget, but that budget reflects the 10 years the movie was in pre-production with drafts written by J.J. Abrams and Kevin Smith, among others. The actual money Singer had to work with was much less than $290M, and in an era when the home video and TV sales markets were still generating a lot of revenue (which 2006 would be just barely at the tail-end of that time), it would have broken even. At the very least, it was financially solvent enough that they were still considering doing a sequel with Singer attached a year or so later.

    “Superman Returns” was not a critical failure. Singer has never claimed it was or explained why it was or, quote-unquote, “blamed women” for it being one, because it wasn’t. At Rotten Tomatoes, among “Top Critics,” it is at a safely fresh 76%, with an average rating of 7 out of 10. For a point of comparison, “Man of Steel” stands at a rotten 53%.

    What Singer has always tried to explain are two things: 1.) Why didn’t it do BETTER? And 2.) Why is it that among the sort of people who make this pronouncement, it is so often cited as the “Worst. Superhero movie. Ever.” And his answer to the former is that he didn’t make the film as well as he could have, and to the latter that the sort of people who make that aren’t the audience. And they are predominantly male, and they generally aren’t interested in romantic drama-heavy movies.

  • Tony Caroselli

    What? No he hasn’t.

  • Charlie

    You totally know he has.

  • Tony Caroselli

    No, I totally know he has not, for starters because his film didn’t fail. It was successful enough that they considered a sequel for a year or two after. And as for the critics, it has a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, for crying out loud! Especially these days in Hollywood, “important people” don’t spend a whole lot of time discussing movies that did fine but slightly under-performed expectations eight years ago. The only “important people” Singer says he’s discussed the film with is Quentin Tarantino, and Singer and he didn’t talk about why it “failed,” because Tarantino is an ARDENT admirer of the film who said Singer would have won his Best Director award for 2006.

  • Charlie

    It might be an okay film but it’s a horrible superhero movie.
    ‘It wasn’t what it needed to be, I guess.’

    Exactly Mr Singer.
    If he is going around telling people that’s because he made it for women then no wonder we haven’t a female superhero movie for years.

  • Tony Caroselli

    It’s not about it being an OK film but it being a horrible superhero movie. That’s your opinion. Hollywood doesn’t care about your opinion. What Hollywood pays attention to is this: It made enough money that they considered a sequel, although it didn’t make as much money as they hoped. You know what else made money but not as much as they hoped? “Man of Steel.” (They wanted “Iron Man 3″ money and fell about halfway short.) You know what else? “The Phantom Menace.” (They wanted adjusted for inflation “Star Wars” money.)

    As for opinions, “Superman Returns” is fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and “Man of Steel” is rotten. Nobody cares about opinions, but if they did, “The Phantom Menace” is also fresh on RT.

  • Tony Caroselli

    As for why we don’t have a Wonder Woman movie, Bryan Singer could personally visit the house of every studio in Hollywood and say that he made “Superman Returns” specifically for the women, whose houses he had visited one-by-one, and it wouldn’t affect Hollywood’s view of female superhero movies. You know what affects Hollywood’s view of female superhero movies? In 2004, “Catwoman” starred an Oscar winner in the title role and took in $81M on a $100M budget. Does that make any sense? No. But it’s how Hollywood operates.

  • Tony Caroselli

    As for why we don’t have a Wonder Woman movie, Bryan Singer could personally visit the house of every studio in Hollywood and say that he made “Superman Returns” specifically for the women, whose houses he had visited one-by-one, and it wouldn’t affect Hollywood’s view of female superhero movies. You know what affects Hollywood’s view of female superhero movies? In 2004, “Catwoman” starred an Oscar winner in the title role and took in $81M on a $100M budget. Does that make any sense? No. But it’s how Hollywood operates.

  • Tony Caroselli

    You didn’t find MOS boring? You’re in the minority, my friend.

  • Charlie

    Well the Phantom Menace is horrible, so that clearly doesn’t prove anything.

    The only thing I hated about Man of Steel was that I’ve seen Superman’s origin story about a bazillion times.

    And no Bryan Singer might not visit every person in Hollywood but if he’s mentioning it casually in parties or even in meetings then he’s influencing people.

    Catwoman had awful writing but you know, no one cares about that, if it had a woman protagonist it has to be her fault right? pff.

  • Tony Caroselli

    What are you, allergic to the point? “The Phantom Menace” got two sequels. “Man of Steel” has a sequel in the works. If Bryan Singer is telling “important people” that he made “Superman Returns” for women, and “Returns” was a money-maker – which it was – eez a good teeng. Speak-a deee Eng-u-lish?

    Yeah, way to reiterate my point on “Catwoman.”

    And the only thing I hated about “Man of Steel” was literally everything about “Man of Steel.”

    None of which is relevant, because (making hand gestures) “Superman. Returns.” was. not. a. failure.

  • Charlie

    Yeah but everyone hated it apart from you and a few critics apparently.
    Which is what Bryan Singer thinks too, you know if you read the quote in the article.

    My point was that Phantom Menace is ‘fresh’ and a terrible horrible movie. So saying that Superman Returns was an objectively good movie because it got the same rating is ridiculous.

    I liked Man of Steel, though I found it a little boring, It’s a billion times better than ‘emo superman is a deadbeat dad’.

  • Tony Caroselli

    “A few” critics would be upward of three out of every four professional critics. And I read more than the quote in the article. I read the full interviews. They weren’t asking Singer why “everyone” hated it. They were asking why a few Internet commenters hated it. Did YOU read the interview?

    I didn’t say that “Superman Returns” was an objectively good movie. The only movie that is objectively good or bad is “Man of Steel,” which is objectively the worst movie ever made by humans. I said “Superman Returns” objectively made money, which is all Hollywood cares about. Full stop.

  • Charlie

    Really? Then it’s funny they dropped Singer and rebooted the whole franchise.

    Maybe it’s because he made a terrible Superman movie.

    Professional critics also gave Phantom Menace good reviews as YOU pointed out so…yeah.

  • Tony Caroselli

    They didn’t drop Singer. They were considering a sequel for a year or two after. The interviews. You should read them.

  • Charlie

    But they didn’t. Because it was awful and the fans hated it.

    Which Bryan Singer blames women for.

  • Tony Caroselli

    Also, FYI? I do kind of have friends at WB, and I do kind of know why they made “Man of Steel” and not “Superman Returns 2,” but it’s not really relevant, because your point is addressed in the articles you haven’t read.

  • Charlie

    Well aren’t you a rockstar.

    You can tell them from me that Superman Returns was awful.

  • Tony Caroselli

    No. They didn’t because they thought the comic book movie was going out of style, and because Bryan Singer was working on other projects.

    The interviews. I’m not even joking anymore. Seriously. Fucking read them.

  • Tony Caroselli

    I can tell you from them that they don’t really give a shit about a movie from a decade ago that did fine.

  • Charlie

    You clearly do though since you are arguing rabidly about one on the internet.

  • Charlie

    I have read them, sigh.
    What I’m saying is that he shouldn’t blame women for why geeks didn’t like his movie (which he is doing in that quote) because it’s going to influence people to avoid the female demographic.

    I don’t know why that is hard to understand.

  • Tony Caroselli

    Hollywood studios don’t care about geeks.

  • Charlie

    Yeah we are only their audience…

    Might be why Marvel does so much better than DC though…

  • Tony Caroselli

    I’m rabid now? Cool. Since we’re reading into things, I’m going to assume you just wander around, reading into things.

  • Tony Caroselli

    If we were their audience, they’d be trying to remake the success of “Daredevil,” because geeks are literally the only people who saw that movie.

    No, we are a fraction of their audience. They don’t want “Daredevil” money. They want “The Dark Knight” and “Avengers” money. Not that hard to figure out.

  • Charlie

    Actually I just get pissed at shitty directors stopping me from getting films I like.

  • Charlie

    Daredevil was terrible movie.
    I don’t know anyone who liked it, including my geeky friends.

  • Tony Caroselli

    And Marvel does better because its license was owned by Paramount, which had the time to develop a franchise rather than unnaturally force it, and then taken over by Disney, which was handed an already successful franchise. Whereas DC has been owned since before “Superman: The Movie” by one studio that is trying to force its property into “Avengers” success.

    On the other hand, Marvel doesn’t do “so much better” than DC. ONE MOVIE has done “so much better” than DC – and not THAT much better. Until “The Avengers” came along, the third highest grossing movie of all time was something called a “The Dark Knight,” which was based on something called a “Batman,” whom sources tell me is a comic book character published by DC Comics.

    By the way, “The Dark Knight” was almost as non-existent a move as “Superman Returns 2.” Both were sequels to WB comic book character movies which had barely met expectations. The difference was Christopher Nolan harangued WB into giving him a sequel, because he had a vision, whereas Bryan Singer got wrapped up in “Valkyrie” and other projects, and eventually, WB just gave up on the Superman franchise and hoped the Batman franchise would do OK.

    Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. Yo, Joe!

  • Tony Caroselli

    According to the people who wonder what my fascination is with the awfulness of “Man of Steel,” I shouldn’t watch a movie I hate that much. I tell them that my fascination with the awfulness of “Man of Steel” has become scientific curiosity at just how bad a movie can be.

  • Tony Caroselli

    And yet, they made a sequel. Starring a female character. That made money.

    Guess what Hollywood cares about? (SPOILER ALERT: It’s not your geeky friends.)

  • Charlie

    It’s clearly not about making good movies either -.-

  • Tony Caroselli

    Not really, nope. If it were, they wouldn’t be making a sequel to The Single Worst Thing Ever Produced by Humans, or as you like to call it, “Man of Steel.”

  • Charlie

    What did you find bad about it? Like apart from everything I mean ;)

    Like I said I thought it was a bit boring to someone who has seen his origin story a lot but that’s about it.

    I’d be interested in your opinion.

  • Tony Caroselli

    This is the shortest answer I can give you: Almost every single part of it is ill-conceived. But whether it’s ill-conceived or well-conceived, literally all of them are executed poorly, and once executed, all of them are undermined by the events shown immediately after.

    Like, take the cast. The cast is phenomenal, no question. They have (to date) 11 Oscar nominations between them – not that Oscar nominations are the be-all end-all, but you know that a five-time nominee like Amy Adams or a three-time nominee like Russell Crowe has some chops to speak of, right? And then that cast spends the entire movie speaking in exposition that is pointless and ultimately directly contradicted by everything shown on screen. So rather than its cast being a point in its favor, it’s just embarrassing and tragic how much fantastic talent they wasted.

    It fails as a Superman movie, because even forgetting that Superman straight-up kills a guy when he had at least two dozen options from that position (a “no-win scenario” Batman somehow managed to find a way out of in a Joel Shumacher movie), even forgetting that Superman is supposed to be a symbol of hope whose very presence on this planet is directly responsible for 9/11 times a thousand (remember, Zod comes here SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE Superman is here), Superman has no agency at all and only does what other people tell him to do.

    But before that, it fails as a superhero movie, because superhero movies are at their heart morality plays, and this has no morality to speak of. Seriously, honest question: What’s the moral of the movie? In “Spider-Man,” Uncle Ben tells Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” In this, Jonathan Kent tells Clark in answer to, “Should I have let those kids die?” and I quote, “Maybe.”

    But before that, it fails as an action movie – even as a disaster movie – because the central, rather insulting deceit of a disaster movie is, “Millions of people are dead, but no more than one or two of the characters we care about.” The characters we are supposed to care about are never REALLY endangered, and we don’t really have any reason whatsoever to care about them, at any rate.

    But before that, it fails on the fundamental level of a story as defined by Aristotle 2500 years ago. The hero has no goal and no internal conflict. To the extent that he does, his goal and his internal conflict both go out the window the moment the inciting action (Zod coming to Earth) happens.

    And to put the cherry on this shit sundae, it’s not even so silly as to have camp value. Or so ambitious, sincere or heartfelt as to have “interesting failure” value. It’s a bloodless, cynical, coldly calculating mess that forgot to put anything worth watching in there.

    I’m not joking when I say it’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen. It has literally NOTHING to recommend to even the most die-hard fans. I can’t even imagine the sort of person who wants to see this swill.

  • Charlie

    I always see people bringing up the destruction aspect but really if a big villain like Zod comes to the planet what do you think would really happen? Look at 911, humans did that, with no special technology or powers. I mean Darkseid is terrifying for example, I don’t even want to think about that.

    I think that’s a running theme in DC’s movies, that superhero universes would actually be really horrible in real life. (Marvel seems to do the flip of this) and I don’t feel like it’s really that different from other Superhero stories I’ve seen in the past (the aspect of escalation, the hero is more powerful so the villains get more dangerous)

    I can forgive them for that. The ‘killing Zod’ thing? yeah he probably could have flown straight up and I agree I didn’t like seeing Superman kill someone, they also removed an excellent villain from their universe. So I agree that was lame.

    I thought the storyline was a bit boring as I said, It feels more like a set up for another movie but I did love the casting, Amy Adams in particular and the Clark and Lois relationship seemed well done.

    Most of what I loved about the movie was how they portrayed Superman and his powers. The flying was amazing for example and the fight with Zod was good.

    As for the moral of the film Clark figures out that his dad was wrong all along he can reveal his hero persona to the world. He can make it work. The moral of the film is ‘Hope’ (before Clark was an aimless wanderer despairing at his own existence) I think maybe you missed that connection. But I see what you are getting at.

    I think if they get the balance of story and action right (I found Superman Returns way too far on the story side for example) they can make a truly great Superman film.

  • Tony Caroselli

    Oh, dammit. My comment isn’t going through, because I used the B-word. From now on, I’ll replace it with “[horrible human beings].”

    So yeah. Your first paragraph directly contradicts your last paragraph. Superman represents “Hope,” but HOW? As the funny folks at Honest Movie Trailers – featuring my good friend Hal Rudnick – say, “It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… coming right for us! OH, MY GOD, RUN!”

    Also, how is, “If you have godlike powers, reveal them to the world,” a moral? Unless you have godlike powers, or are likely to get them soon, that’s not a moral. I don’t know you, but I’m pretty comfortable betting you do not have and will not soon have godlike powers.

    And I’m going to single this out, because this is a site about female fandom in Hollywood: How is the Lois and Clark well done? That’s a serious question.

    While you’re pondering, let me remind you of the Lois and Clark relationship:

    Lois is brash. We know she’s brash because she says “dick” in her first scene. We know she’s brash because right after that, she shows a reckless disregard for her own safety immediately afterward as she photographs a strange, blatantly hostile alien device and nearly gets killed, because of course she does. Clark comes in and saves her by performing first aid because she’s an idiot with no sense of self-preservation, just like Clark has been saving Lois for 75 years, and just like Lois has had no sense of self-preservation.

    Lois goes to Perry White and asks to run the story, and he turns it down. So Lois takes it to Not Matt Drudge. Because she’s brash! Only in the movie, Lois says directly to Not Matt Drudge’s face that it’s because she’s hoping to see Clark again, because the male film creators have mistaken “brash” for “ovulating,” apparently.

    The rest of the film is: Lois receives pointless exposition. Lois gets captured. Lois receives more pointless exposition. Lois gets RE-captured for no discernible reason from the people who captured her originally. Lois is handed Clark’s Space Dad’s phallus and sticks it in the first hole she sees (ew!) for no discernible reason. Lois receives more pointless exposition. Lois is directed around a spaceship like Lara Croft by some creepy Ghost Gamer. Lois is rescued. Lois receives more pointless exposition. Lois goes to do the task she is given and fails until a man (Toby from “The West Wing”) steps in and does it for her. Lois gets captured. Lois falls out of a plane. Lois is rescued. Lois shows up solely to provide moral support to a guy who has just murdered another guy right in front of her. (She doesn’t get a line even in the scene. She just hugs the murderer.) Lois goes back to make [horribly human being]-y remarks to a guy at her office who is being rejected by the woman whose life he literally just SAVED FROM BEING BURIED UNDER RUBBLE BY LIFTING THE RUBBLE UP PHYSICALLY – WHICH BY THE WAY SUPERMAN NEVER DID – 24 or 48 hours earlier, just to underscore what [horrible human beings] Lois, the other woman and probably by extension all women are, because at this point… what is going on? Lois sees Clark – with whom her entire relationship is, “He performed first aid on me in his first scene with me, and he was hot, and then he dumped exposition on me” – and she makes a coy remark.

  • Charlie

    You do realise that Superman doesn’t cause any of the destruction right? It’s all Zod. It’s kind of disturbing you blame him for that. (Are you really J Jonah Jameson :p)

    He represents Hope because
    1. He’s the last member of a dead race.
    2. He can be a hero to the human race and guide us away from the mistakes the kryptonians made.

    I didn’t say revealing his powers was a moral but it’s a message that says ‘sometimes your parents don’t know what’s best for you’ which I can relate to.

    Lois and Clark have always had a sassy relationship. Lois knows who he is at the end she is pretending not to know him ‘Welcome to the planet.’
    She has always been reckless in pursuit of knowledge that’s practically her main character trait. I thought leaking the article was really smart (she gets her name on something she KNOWS is happening and doesn’t damage Perry’s reputation) Don’t you think after all the stuff happened with Zod everyone was like ‘Wow give her all of the reporting prizes she knew before anyone else!’
    So yeah I think Lois was very well done.
    And yeah I don’t see what is strange about having an object, being trapped, seeing an object shaped hole and going ‘yeah fuck it why not?’
    It’s weird you see the film so differently to me. But I guess everyone has their own opinion.

  • Tony Caroselli

    You do realize that literally the only reason Zod comes to Earth is that Superman is there, right? That is a very important plot point. It’s not even a minor plot point. It’s central to the film.

    Which it would be one thing if Superman had been around, saving people for the majority of the 33 years he’s been here. (Again: Plot point.) He hasn’t been. When Zod says, “There’s an alien on your planet. We want him,” Earth is like, “There’s a what where?” And nobody says, “Oh, hey, alien with godlike powers. It’s 2013. Don’t suppose you could’ve been here, oh, I dunno… TWELVE YEARS AGO THIS SEPTEMBER! What with your godlike powers and all. Those would’ve come in REAL handy.”

    And yes, I do blame Superman for the destruction. But it’s not just me who does. The movie does. Forget Metropolis for a second. What about Smallville? Superman is fighting Zod on a farm in Kansas. In other words, Superman is fighting Zod in a place with a population density damn near close to the Moon. Have you ever flown over Kansas? Did you look out your window and see all that unpopulated area which would just be ideal for two godlike aliens to have a fight in? So Superman LITERALLY picks Zod up, carries him to one of the few populated areas within miles, JUST TO have this fight. You’re telling me you don’t see a single problem here?

    (Oh, and by the way, if you’re going to say he was carrying Zod away to fight him in a place where his mother wasn’t – never mind that he could have traveled the same distance in any other direction and been away from both his mother AND any other people – he leaves behind, at his mother’s house, not one, not two, but THREE other godlike aliens who could burn his mother to a cinder with their eyes before following him to this populated area to continue their battle.)

    Yeah, Lois’ decision to run the story WOULD HAVE been smart. If only the movie said it was smart. Again I remind you, the movie says she is acting because of her attraction to a man. That is what the movie says. That is her line of dialogue. “If I run the story, he’ll find me.” There’s no kittyfooting around about that fundamental fact. ACCORDING TO THE MOVIE, she runs the story because she has the hots for the guy who threw her to the ground, administered half-assed first aid for her and then left her on top of a mountain in the Yukon.

    No, I don’t think after all the stuff that happened with Zod, everybody would have wanted to give her reporting prizes. I think when a genocidal alien shows up on Earth and says, “Give up this alien who’s living here, or I destroy the planet,” and it turns out a woman who has known about the alien and did not pick up the phone and say, “Oh, this alien that these other aliens are looking for and for whom they will destroy literally everybody everywhere? He can be found at 221B Baker Street, Anytown, Kansas, 60001,” had to be captured by the FBI and STILL didn’t reveal where he was when – again, plot point – THE ENTIRE PLANET IS KNOWN TO BE AT RISK, all because the alien was handsome and she wanted some of that action. I don’t think she’d be given awards. I think she’d be lucky to be treated like a French woman who collaborated with the Nazis.

    My point about the object and the object shaped hole is the phallic shape of the object. Haven’t you noticed that in Zack Snyder movies? Snyder has a thing for phalluses. (And a woman who sticks her phallus in the first hole she sees is a very disturbing subtext.)

    These are not opinions. These are objective facts about the movie as it is portrayed. It is objective fact that “Man of Steel” undermines everything it tries to depict, most of which objectively should not be depicted.

  • Tony Caroselli

    And as for him being the last member of a dead race, he’s actually not. Not until he kills all the other last members of the dead race AND destroys the Codex, that is. I mean, NOW he’s the last member of a dead race.

    So hey, folks, the moral of the story is: If you wipe out every other American and any chance of there ever being another American, you’ll be a symbol of hope.

    Wait. WHAT?!

  • Charlie

    I think you are nitpicking rather a lot. Something I’ve realised lately is that writers do things for tension and drama. The reason why the fight was in Smallville was because they wanted it to be a bit more interesting. Like you said Kansas is pretty vast. Also they wanted to reference Smallville too. For someone who clearly knows a lot about films I find it strange you don’t realise that.

    Zod came to the planet yeah, but it that Supermans fault? No.

    He had no control over that at all and he did everything to try and stop him. He turned himself in and even turned himself over to Zod before he realised what he was going to do.

    I don’t think Lois did it because she was attracted to someone she did it so she could find out more about him. Because she’s a reporter and he’s an alien. That’s something you are reading into it.

    As for 911 Superman couldn’t fly. Maybe he wasn’t in New York. Actually he’s what 30 odd? He would be a teenager in Kansas at that time right? Is he supposed to be psychic?

    And the penis thing? If your penis is that shape you might have to see a doctor. :p

  • Charlie

    So what was he supposed to do? Let Zod kill the entire human race?

  • Tony Caroselli

    Yes. Writers do things for tension and drama. I’m a writer. I do things for tension and drama. The “things” I do are called “character development” and “plot twists.” Having a supposedly heroic character move a fight from the middle of nowhere to a populated area are neither. That’s the kind of thing a writer doesn’t do. That’s the kind of thing a hack does.

    Am I nitpicking? OK. Let’s talk about the big things. Again I ask: What is the moral of the film? (For the record, I can find fault with literally everything about the movie, big or small. So saying I’m “nitpicking” doesn’t deter me. There is not a single good line of dialogue in it.)

    Zod came to the planet because Superman was here. Full stop. Stop pretending that’s not a plot point, because it is.

    OK, sure. She wasn’t attracted to him, she just wanted to investigate him. So then in the VERY NEXT SCENE, when he finds her, and she says, “I always knew I’d turn around one day, and you’d be standing there” – in a totally investigative sort of way – and he tells her how he stood idly by and watched his dad die, and her response was to kiss him, that was… what kind of kiss? An investigative kiss? A story’s not complete unless you kiss your interview subject? Do you know how journalism works?

    And I told you how old Superman was. The movie did, too, a couple of times. He’s 33. (It’s part of the ham-fisted Christ imagery, because David S. Goyer and Zack Snyder have no idea what the Jesus story is.) Thirty-three minus 12 is NOT a number in the teens.

    Yes, my penis is longer than it is wide and roughly cylindrical. My penis is phallic in shape. I’ve been told this is normal.

  • Tony Caroselli

    And as for him somehow being in his teens in 2001, OK. So he didn’t know how to fly.

    Did he know how to go to his local recruiting office and sign up for the military? Did he know how to find Afghanistan on a map?

    Oh, hey, a few years after 9/11, in 2005 (when he was – let’s see, carry the two – 25), a bunch of people were trapped in a building in New Orleans. New Orleans is a 12-hour drive from Kansas. (Assuming he couldn’t run faster than a car which – hey, by the way, he TOTALLY runs faster than a car.) And he sat that one out because…?

    By the way, your answer will TOTALLY be accepted by people who lost loved ones on 9/11, or who lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan, or who were trapped in the Superdome. (That last sentence is sarcasm.)

  • Charlie

    He was trying to keep a low profile.
    Joining the military is about the least low profile I can think of.
    Not to mention the awkward medical tests.

  • Charlie

    Are we talking about the same thing?
    The widget that Supes gives Lois? That’s in the shape of his shield?

    I think her attraction was secondary compared to her curiosity. At least that’s how it came across to me.

    The moral of the film is Hope. (If it even needs a moral)
    In addition to the points I made before Superman still has the whole of Krypton inside him. Maybe he can find a way to do something with that someday that won’t destroy the planet?

  • Tony Caroselli

    Because… you know the name of everybody in the military?

    Oh, I’m sorry. You meant that people would have noticed a guy being strong and fast in the military. Because… yeah, that sticks out?

    Oh, I’m sorry. You meant that members of the military are more noticeable than, say, a fisherman. Because… yeah, there aren’t any reality shows about fishermen?

  • Charlie

    No I meant that the goverment are going to say oh look this guy is a superpowered alien and dissect him.
    And completely make his dad’s death pointless.
    Not to mention make the movie completely go against Superman lore.
    Did you want Captain America instead or something.

  • Tony Caroselli

    It’s in the shape of his shield from a top-down view. It is very much phallic from the side, which is how it’s shown in almost every shot. An Egyptian obelisk – which was always intended to be phallic in shape – isn’t phallic if you fly directly over it, either, which is fortunate, given that nobody at the time it was invented could fly.

    It may seem that way to you. Unfortunately, the script doesn’t seem to have gotten your memo.

    “Hope” is not a moral. Hope is a concept. Yes, the genre of superhero films do need a moral. That is the point of the genre.

    And that’d be great that Superman carries Krypton inside him, except, no, he doesn’t. His SHIP carried it, until he destroyed it. And given that his “hopeful” words are, “Krypton had its chance!” (ACTUAL LINE FROM THE MOVIE – STOP PRETENDING THE LINES IN THE MOVIE AREN’T FROM THE MOVIE), he doesn’t seem to be in a big hurry to do anything with it.

  • Tony Caroselli

    My brother was in the military. His friends died in Afghanistan and Iraq. You know… he doesn’t really give a shit whether this godlike alien would have been dissected, or his dad’s (completely preventable) death. And he DAMN SURE wouldn’t say, after this alien who could have prevented literally all of their deaths, “Oh, hey. That alien? He’s the REAL hero.” Which is what the military guys in this movie say, because it is just that awful.

    Superman lore actually addressed why Clark Kent didn’t sign up for World War II. And has addressed why Clark didn’t get involved in every subsequent war. It has been a plot point. Over and over.

    I didn’t necessarily want Captain America, but I wanted a good movie, and that was a pretty good movie, so I guess… yeah, that would have been nice.

  • Tony Caroselli

    “And completely make his dad’s death pointless.”

    I think it’s fair to say his dad’s death was ALWAYS pointless, and there’s no point even you can give it, not even while pretending plot points didn’t happen.

  • Charlie

    ‘Kryptonian babies are bred using a codex that contains ALL kryptonian DNA, which is stolen by Jor-El and imbedded within Kal-El’s body to preserve the Kryptonian species.’

    That is made pretty clear in the film. I’m not sure how you missed that. Maybe you were too busy nitpicking.

    And okay Hope is the ‘concept’ of the film and no I don’t think all films involving superheroes need a moral.

    I don’t think the object is phallic at all. It looks like a memory stick or some computer part.

  • Charlie

    Yeah his dad’s death was pointless.
    But would you just go and throw away the anonimity your dad had just given you and join the military and get dissected if you were still conflicted about his death?
    No.

    And my brother in law was in Iraq and Afganistan but you know I don’t think he would begrudge calling someone a hero who just saved the planet. It doesn’t take away from other people who are also heroes.

  • Tony Caroselli

    “Krypton had its chance!” Yup, lot of hope there.

    The lack of moral is just why it fails as a superhero movie. And no, not all stories INVOLVING superheroes need to have a moral. Just like not all movies set in the American West need to have cowboys and Indians. But if you’re setting out to be a Western, you’re probably gonna have to work them in somehow.

    But hey, to be fair, it also fails as a Superman movie, as an action movie, as a disaster movie and as a story. So why insist it succeed as a superhero movie, I guess.

  • Tony Caroselli

    No. I’d get myself on the next episode of “Deadliest Catch,” apparently.

  • Charlie

    It was nice to discuss it anyway. We clearly saw the film in very different ways.
    And no you don’t have to have cowboys and Indians in a western you could make it about townsfolk, farmers, gamblers or prostitutes.
    Actually most westerns are completely inaccurate to how life actually was. 90% of cowboys weren’t even white for example ;)

  • Tony Caroselli

    Or actually, better yet? I’d quit the “Deadliest Catch” job, then go work at a bar – but I’d be careful not to physically throw a guy out of the bar, even though that’s something literally every bartender or bouncer does on a nightly basis, but I would wrap his truck around a tree, because… THAT’S not noticeable or anything. Then I’d go work for a journalist on assignment in Canada. She’s a journalist. She’ll NEVER notice I’m kinda alien-like.

  • Tony Caroselli

    Yes, I’m aware. I was being sarcastic. I’m aware most cowboys weren’t white. You’re talking to the guy who has written a Western about a black ex-slave living in the Dakota Territories.

  • Charlie

    Lois was called in to report on the story it’s not her dig.

  • Tony Caroselli

    Actually, according to the movie, she went to court (which probably took a few months, at a minimum, and which would have involved two countries, which would have made it take even longer) for a decision to report on the story. Not that her going to court makes any sense, but that’s what the script says she did.

  • Charlie

    Kind of a spooky coincidence I said that then huh :p

  • Tony Caroselli

    But, hey, why Lois was there is nitpicking. I hate to nitpick. Let’s go back to the question Zack Snyder himself says he set out to answer: “What if Superman were real?”

    That’s a stupid question to ask in the first place, because I hate to break this to you, but SUPERMAN WILL NEVER BE REAL. It’s the same question Snyder asked in “Watchmen” (which was based on arguably the greatest graphic novel ever written and had a great script given that it was more or less the script of the graphic novel and was horrible and was NOT a success at the box office), and when I heard him say, “This movie sets out to ask: What if superheroes were real?” I knew it would be a piece of shit, and it didn’t disappoint.

    This is not my interpretation. This is not my nitpicking. This is – according to the director – the raison d’etre of the film. And it’s a stupid, pointless, utterly unnecessary raison d’etre.

    And THEN, given this moronic raison d’etre, it’s executed badly. Because if a godlike alien showed up, and 48 hours after the world’s discovery that he had existed – and again, had been here and of military age all throughout 9/11, all throughout Iraq and Afghanistan, all throughout Katrina, and had done NOTHING – half a major city was destroyed, they wouldn’t be like, “Oh, you’re the REAL hero. Don’t worry about that satellite you destroyed because we were following you with it. That was our bad.” They’d be like, “OH MY GOD HOW DO WE KILL YOU?!!!” At least, that’s how people in THIS Earth would be. Maybe you and the fans of this film live on another one. But seriously, on THIS Earth, people discriminate against someone who is of the same RELIGION as people who destroyed a couple buildings, let alone of the same ALIEN RACE.

    I hope it’s not too nitpicky to point out that this movie was directed by a guy who asked a moronic question that shouldn’t have been asked by an adult, and who answered it as poorly as was humanly possible.

    I mean… hell, “The Human Centipede” asked a bad question (“What would happen if people were forced to eat each other’s shit?”) but at least it answered that question accurately (“They’d die horrible deaths or get very, very sick”). “The Human Centipede” is objectively a better movie than “Man of Steel.” I need you to weigh that true fact in your mind.

  • Charlie

    Maybe no one had time to be judgemental and dwell on the past because they were too worried about the alien invasion.

    It’s a crazy thought I know.

  • Tony Caroselli

    Oh, yeah, I saw all the scenes of people just completely losing their minds when the alien invasion started, going for a stroll down the street, discussing the situation on CNN calmly. And then after the invasion was defeated, they just didn’t have time to be judgmental, because that one soldier was distracted. Well, and according to the movie, he’s “kind of hot.” That, too.