When Singer came up with a clever (and more traditional) idea to resurrect the Superman franchise in 2004, he brought Dougherty, Harris and much of his X-Men production team with him.
With Donner’s blessing, Singer chose to continue, rather than re-boot, Superman Returns full movie — aiming to capture the spirit (if less of the slapstick) associated with Superman: The Movie and Superman II. The film follows Clark Kent’s (Brandon Routh) return to Earth after a multi-year trip to the cold remains of his original home, the planet Krypton. He comes back to a more complicated world — one where Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has a fiance (James Marsden) and a son, and where a just-out-of-prison Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) is plotting an elaborate revenge that may or may not involve technology stolen from Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.
In Focus talked with Dougherty and Harris about Superman, the late Marlon Brando, Lex Luthor, Bryan Singer, Richard Donner, 24/7 screenwriting — and whether you decide to watch Superman Returns online free, it really is the unofficial Superman III.
We’ve read in the official release that Clark Kent’s adventure takes him from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space. He has to perform certain kinds of rescues and go underwater, we’re seeing him in places he’s never been before. It’s tough to talk about the full movie and not be able to say anything, but actually, it’s kind of fun. Everybody wants to open their Christmas presents early these days.
The production documentaries have done a nice job of showing us a lot without telling us everything and this gives people a lot of small appetizers to watch Superman Returns online. But it also calms people’s fears — because there was definitely a concern that we were gonna take things in some weird, wild direction after all the other incarnations of this project.
Superman’s a tough character to write interestingly. Because he’s essentially invincible, his best crises on film tend to be spiritual — whether or not to use his powers for selfish ends, his love life, his adoptee status. When Clark Kent returns to Earth after a long absence, he learns Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) is both a mother and a fiancee. It’s a situation that completely throws him for a loop, says screenwriter Michael Dougherty.
The Lost Son Of Krypton
We’ve seen Superman go up against every imaginable villain, weapon and obstacle in the movies, TV shows and comics. So we knew we had to attack him from an emotional point of view — to give him an emotional obstacle to overcome, in addition to the physical. What makes him this identifiable character, and not this god, is the fact that he has very real, human emotions. What he’s dealing with in when you watch Superman Returns is that he’s come back to a world that’s changed in his absence — and what’s worse, the person he wants to build a relationship with, Lois Lane, has moved on. It’s a situation that completely throws him for a loop. It’s something he’s never dealt with. There’s a certain amount of confidence that he has, that he can go up against bank robbers and chase planes. But this is new.
We have this problem, where the guy’s indestructible and stands for Truth, Justice and the American Way: very strong moral values that aren’t necessarily outdated, but we’ve seen them before when watch Superman Returns full movie. And you can’t change that about Superman — as indestructible as he is. So making a story about that kind of character didn’t seem totally relevant, or easy, or that interesting to us. But the world has evolved since the first movie was last on the big screen — it’s more contemporary, edgier and scarier. It’s in dire need of a hero more than it was in the ’70s.
It was Bryan’s big idea to send him away for a number of years, then bring him back — and have the world kind of move on and change with him gone. Bringing Superman Returns watch online back into a world he doesn’t fit in was the heart of the drama. Lois Lane has moved on. His mother has moved on in certain ways. He comes back to situations that aren’t cats in trees. So he has to become a hero by kind of riding the middle line and getting at his own Truth — and not stepping on people’s toes.
That’s at the heart of Superman’s struggle and he has an emotional story with Lois: What do you do when you come back to someone you love and they’ve moved on completely? He’s a good person who doesn’t lie — he doesn’t break up relationships. It’s the problem that’s almost impossible for him to solve, and that’s what makes the story interesting.
You have a character whose sole reason for being here is to make the world better — backed up with the traditional all-American values he was raised with. That Kent-farm upbringing provides the motivation. If Jor-El had sent him to Earth and he’d been raised by the wrong kind of people, we’d have an evil Superman on our hands.
There’s a great alternate-universe comic where he’s raised by the Russians. No matter what Jor-El taught him, the fact that he was raised by this humble farm couple made all the difference. And I think you have fun toying with his motivations. His motivation in this one isn’t entirely the same as it was in watch Superman Returns free online. He’s a man with history this time around. He’s been through years of fighting Lex Luthor. And he’s been away, so he’s lost his sense of identity — his place in the world. He’s lost his motivation to be who he is, and he has to re-discover it.