Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Is Superman v. Batman Impossible To Write?

Let's discuss an interesting article from Scriptshadow which claims Warner Brothers is making a mistake trying to do Batman v. Superman. It wasn’t that the author (Carson) didn’t think the movie would make money, but he thought it was an impossible film to write and that it would likely “kill the Golden Goose” and could leave both franchises “catastrophically injured.” Interesting.

Carson makes some really good points and I absolutely respect his analysis, but I think there are solutions to each. Let’s see what you think. Here are his reasons why this film is impossible to write and my workarounds:

It’s a gimmick. This movie is a gimmick. It’s being done for all the wrong reasons. Rather than telling a good story, this is “fan-fiction” meant to answer the “geek question”: “who would win?” Says Carson, that automatically wipes out any chance to have an interesting script. Basically, rather than having a wide open script, you end up with a script which is geared toward setting up the reason these two would fight and then pushing everything toward that fight. That will create an unnatural feeling story because whatever happens, you know it’s been written to have only one solution.
o My solution: A good writer can easily hide the unnatural parts of the story or make them feel natural. And if people expect a fight, then play with their expectations. Personally, I think the best solution is to move the fight to the opening of the film. That gets it out of the way and disarms the expectation. Then you can fill the middle of the film however you want because there is no need to build to a second fight. Then you finish with a surprise second fight.
Tone Mixing. Superman and Batman come from different worlds with very different feels. Batman’s world is darker, more cynical and more gritty. Superman’s world is more fantastic, being a world of superpowers and aliens, and he's more idealistic and more sentimental. Those two worlds don't mix.
o My solution: This is a great point, and this one bothers me too. In Superman’s world, he has largely cleaned up crime except for the super villains. Batman, on the other hand, lives in a sewer. Having them exist in the same world makes Superman out as a lie because he’s cleaned up Metropolis of even petty crime, yet he lets Gotham rot. Still, I have a solution: set the film in the 1950s. If this film takes place in 1957, then the audience will focus on your recreation of 1957 rather than whether the tone of the city is Gotham or Metropolis. And if Superman is FOB (fresh off the boat), then he hasn't had the chance yet to clean up the world, so him ignoring Gotham is forgivable. Thus, he and Batman can happily co-exist in a city that is halfway between Gotham and halfway between Metropolis but isn't really either yet.
Neither character can win. Both characters are too big and too important to the studio for either to end up losing this fight. That means they need some sort of tie. Only a tie will feel like a cop-out.
o My solution: Yeah, this is a problem. Your best bet here is probably that Superman fights to the death, almost kills Batman, and then snaps out of it at the last second... just as Batman manages to escape undetected during an explosion. That way you get the full on fight to the death, only Batman retreats because he realizes he needs a stronger secret weapon than the one he used. This leave the right order in their world: Superman is confirmed as stronger and a good guy, but Batman is confirmed at more sly and a good guy willing to kill to defend himself... it fits both worlds mythos.
False Character Motivations. There is no motive you can give either character to motivate them want to kill the other. That means the fight can’t be a “to-the-death” fight, which means the whole thing will feel staged and fake, i.e. it will have low stakes and be disappointing.
o My solution: There are two solutions here. First, by placing this story in the past before the characters know each other, they can mistake each other for villains and fight to the death. Alternatively, the better solution is to give Superman some sort of mental block so he attacks Batman all out. Batman will fight to the death to defend himself... which is why he needs to defend himself (Superman wouldn't). He is also capable of cheating and of running away, which Superman is not, which is why Superman needs to be under mental control of some sort.
This isn’t a fair fight. It’s obvious that if you take Superman’s powers literally, there is no way a mere mortal, no matter how talented, could kill Superman. That means Batman can’t win. Hence, the writer will need to invent a way to make the fight fair, but that will feel like a cheat to the audience.
o My solution: In a straight-up fight, yeah... but since when does Batman fight fair? Give Batman an advantage that looks strong enough to let him defeat Superman, but then Superman overcomes the advantage at a critical time, causing Batman to escape. That way Superman's strength and straight up fighting ability prevail, but so does Batman's cleverness, and it leaves you in a position where Superman is recognized as the bigger dog, but Batman is left thinking he knows how to beat Superman next time. Both win.
So based on all of this, Carson concludes that they will probably invent a villain that requires Batman and Superman to team up. They will disagree about the approach to fighting the villain, probably contrasting Superman’s good guy-ism versus Batman’s propensity to go too far. This will result in the fight, which must end in a draw.

Carson is probably right that this is what they will do and he’s right that this will be “stupid and cheesy and forced.” I personally would go a different way however.

I would start by setting this in the past and opening with the fight ongoing. Superman is new to Earth and is under the control of something like a virus that makes him murderous. He and Batman (who doesn't know much about him) then engage in the plot, with Superman barely retaining control over his mind as they work their way through the plot... always ready to pop. Doing this means the fight could restart at any point... which it does near the end and Batman escapes a moment before he would be killed, but he cures Superman in the process. This solves the problem and starts their relationship with suspicion.

62 comments:

Dave Olson said...

As I've said before, the Superman/Batman movie I'd really like to see is this one. Of course, trailers are supposed to make a movie look great; look at the trailers for Man of Steel and compare them to what we actually got.

Anyway, it looks like that little bit of fanboy cosplay hit upon the right formula to make an interesting movie: There's romantic tension between Clark, Bruce, and Lois. A team-up/corporate merger between Wayne Enterprises and Lexcorp. An uneasy alliance between Superman and a somewhat middle-age looking Batman. A daring caper. ("You're going to break into The White House?" "It's just another building, Clark.") Lex Luthor having discovered Kryptonite (maybe with help from the aforementioned White House?), thus making Batman's involvement necessary. Et Cetera.

It isn't just the involvement of Ben Affleck that makes me uneasy about the possible cinematic disaster of Batman V. Superman. It's just that the title will be so misleading. There's no way that they'll be fighting each other the way they fought The Joker or General Zod, respectively. They are different types of heroes but they are heroes nonetheless. I can't imagine them doing anything more than a verbal sparring match like Luke and Han in the Death Star's control room. Going beyond that would have to include the death of Batman, a la "The Dark Knight Returns", and there's no way Hollywood would have the balls to do a full length $200 million movie version of that. Dammit.

Anthony said...

Superman vs Batman worked fine in the Frank Miller graphic novel (both guys disliked each other and had reason to fight but neither was trying to kill the other) but a movie based around such a conflict is doomed to suck. VS movies and comics suck without exception due to extended motiveless, meaningless fights and the fact that characters tend to be shallow parodies of themselves,

K said...

Frank Miller has already done this in the 80s with his Dark Knight Comic. Some of his solutions to the Sups vs Bat are similar to Andrew's suggestions in terms of different worlds.

Me, I think this is DC screwing themselves again. Superheros are fundamentally a conservative subject and Time Warner is a leftist company that just doesn't "get it".

tryanmax said...

Everything available says this is to be a sequel to Man of Steel, so there's your FOB Supe right there. Details beyond that are sparse, but the few there are suggest an "enemies become friends" storyline. I'd be very surprised if Kryptonite doesn't enter the story somehow. Dollars to donuts that it's Bats who antagonizes Supe to get the ball rolling.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Surely you jest? You mean you don't like 40 minute CGI fight scenes? Are you a communist or something? LOL!

In all seriousness, I agree. If they treated these films like stories rather than video games, then they would do really well.

AndrewPrice said...

Dave, That is a good trailer. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, but I suspect they will try to deliver a death match between Superman and Batman for whatever reason they can come up with. I guess we'll see.

In any event, I think two things are certain: (1) the film will make a mint and (2) it will suck.

tryanmax said...

Superheros are fundamentally a conservative subject

Actually, it depends. See Andrew's article Good Does Not Mean Simple. Superheroes can easily stand in for fascist strongman.

AndrewPrice said...

K, I don't think ideology is the problem, I think risk aversion is the problem.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. I think Batman needs to antagonize Superman because I can't see it starting the other way around. I also think Kryptonite will need to play into it or else Batman has no chance... unless he takes Lois hostage.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's true. It's a fine line between being a superhero among a decent and generally self-sustaining (and sometimes heroic) population and just being a symbol of the need for elite strongmen to protect and guide the public.

Koshcat said...

This has got to be the dumbest idea of all time.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, LOL! Clearly, you are not a fanboy. I think it can be done, but Carson does make excellent points, especially about this film being made for the wrong reasons. This is a shortsighted project.

Kit said...

Personally, I think this is just DC trying to pull off what Marvel has already accomplished.

Kit said...

K, I'm with Andrew on this one. The Avengers director Joss Whedon is a pretty liberal guy and an outspoken feminist to boot and he managed to pull off a great superhero movie.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I've seen a lot of talk about that, that this is just DC trying to play catchup to Marvel. It will be interesting to see how their gamble pays off.

Agreed on Whedon. I don't think it's personal ideology that matters, it's how good of a storyteller you are and if you're willing to put aside ideology to tell a good story.

Kit said...

Andrew,

While I will probably watch Superman vs. Batman, I doubt they will be able to top Marvel Studios' output. Marvel's Kevin Feige has assembled (pun intended) that I don't think the combined storytelling and cinematic prowesses of Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder* could ever hope to top.


*I know people like to crap on Zack Snyder but the guy's got visual skills not seen on the big screen since David Lean stood behind the camera.

Kit said...

And I think Joss Whedon is one of the best storytellers today. And its very diverse as well whether its TV Shows, comic books, online musicals, cinematic blockbusters, or Shakespeare adaptations.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Marvel has certainly assembled a good collection of films. I don't know if they are better than the DC films or about the same. I do get the sense they have a better variety though, but they also seem to be putting out more films.

AndrewPrice said...

Whedon is excellent.

Kit said...

Andrew,

You are right, there is a diversity. Iron Man and Incredible Hulk are science-fiction, Thor is basically fantasy w/ some sci-fi elements, and Captain America is a World War 2 adventure. Avengers is basically taking these diverse groups of characters, each with their own world, and throwing them together for a highly anticipated brawl that they promised in the stinger of the first Iron Man.

They gave each of those characters their own world even though they all technically existed in the same world/universe.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That's how I see it too. DC really seems to focus on "superhero brought to the big city," whereas Marvel is all over the place. In truth, I like the DC characters better, but I think it's hard to argue that Marvel doesn't have better stories.

As an aside, don't forget the X-Men, which include a huge number of characters with very different stories all doing very different things. Those have made for excellent films too.

El Gordo said...

"Joss Whedon is a pretty liberal guy and an outspoken feminist to boot and he managed to pull off a great superhero movie."

And two great tv shows, though one got cancelled immediately and he almost ruined the other in the last two seasons.

Apart from being just plain talented, his shows don´t really feel that liberal to me. And "feminist"? Yeah, he keeps telling us and by the way, would you mind filling out that latex catsuit? His work is stuffed with male fantasies made flesh. "Buffy" was so great I remember individual shots. And those shots are of Sarah Michelle Gellar´s butt.

I mean, he really has an eye for the ladies. I guess that makes me a feminist, too.

El Gordo said...

First, I don´t want to see Superman and Batman in the same movie at all. Second, how about they don´t fight? The "our heroes first fight each other" trope is getting as lame as "the villain surrenders but it´s all part of the plan".

Patriot said...

Andrew.....As someone who grew up reading Superman comic books, I seem to remember many different storylines and enemies that he fought over the years. Surely there would be a few they could poach from?

And yes, in a fight, unless kryptonite is used, there are no mortals who could beat Supe. I really just don't see the need for a film that has a versus in it. I really don't see the need for a film with both characters in it together. In Avengers, the idea of scary looking aliens trying to take over the planet, only to be repelled by a god, a defense contractor, a bi-polar defensive lineman, william tell, a token babe and a patriotic dude with a shield (and oh yeah..... Samuel L. F'ing Jaxon), stretched my fanboydom past the acceptable margin of error.

I think there will always be an audience for comic book hero movies, similar to the cowboy serials of the 30's and 40's, but eventually they too will be overcooked and their appeal waning. As more and more entertainment dollars are being spent by the fanboy public for more interactive games (GTA-V) perhaps we will see these movies fall to games where the playing audience can become the superhero and save Metropolis or Gotham City. Knowing the GTA players, it will be more likely that the superheroes will annihilate everything first just to see what would happen.

Anyway, while I love the characters (for the most part), I'm tired of the Hollywood approach to them. Get with the program and develop RPG games where the viewer/player becomes the character. Can't do that with movies.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

You may or may not remember but this movie (or at least a version of it) was in development nearly 10 years ago. Wolfgang Petersen was hired to direct but the studio eventually pulled the plug. This then paved way for Nolan to come in and do Batman while Superman remained in limbo.

Of course, had Bryan Singer's Superman Returns made more money, we'd no doubt be on our third sequel by now. (I like Brandon Routh but he did the best he could with weak material.)

As for THIS movie, I don't know. At first glance, and for someone who's a fan of these characters through their films and not the comics, it does come across as fan service. That's not automatically a bad thing, but it's something to keep in mind. If the conflict is organic to the story, then great. But geeks also know when they're being sold a bill of goods.

We shall wait...

And yeah, DC is trying to catch up to Marvel - I've read in more than one place that they're plan is basically The Avengers in reverse: introduce the extended cast of characters, THEN give each one their own movie.

ScottDS said...

And yes, I still wonder what Tim Burton would've done with Superman Lives (with Nicolas Cage as the titular hero).

It remains one of the great mysterious unfilmed projects and I even helped fund a Kickstarter documentary about it.

tryanmax said...

Second, how about they don´t fight? The "our heroes first fight each other" trope is getting...lame...

That trope is overdone (and almost actually done) in the comics, but has it ever been done on the big screen? Other than X-Men infighting--which is what X-Men do--I can't think of any.

AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, Whedon is one of those Hollywood liberals who proclaims his liberalism proudly and then uses it to do all the things he would criticize a conservative for doing.

You know, that's a really good point that they could have brought these two together as friends rather than enemies to make this film, but I don't think Hollywood thinks that way. Hollywood wants conflict, so if someone says "there should be a giant gator and a giant polar bear" the next sentence out of anyone's mouth is always "and they should fight!"

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, stretched my fanboydom past the acceptable margin of error. LOL! Nice!

I think there must be a ton of great villains to choose from, but all we ever get are the same ones. Hollywood is all about maximizing potential profit, so they will always pick the most famous things to exploit. And since their films have become adrenaline driven rather than story driven, they want bigger and bigger shocks, bigger and bigger explosions, and bigger and bigger challenges. Putting Superman against Batman is like dropping a nuclear bomb. It was inevitable.

The danger is that any future film will now lack the adrenaline factor because they've both already faced their greatest challenges. It will be interesting to see the fallout.

Kit said...

"I've read in more than one place that they're plan is basically The Avengers in reverse: introduce the extended cast of characters, THEN give each one their own movie."

I'm not sure if that will work. Marvel built it up with 5, count 'em Five- movies and then went for the big boy. This allowed each movie to drop clues as to where things were headed.
Iron Man had a stinger with Dr. Fury mentioning "The Avengers Initiative", Iron Man 2 had part of the Captain America shield, Thor introduced Loki, and Captain America had Howard Stark and the glowing blue cube.. There are other things as well.

ScottDS said...

Hollywood wants conflict, so if someone says "there should be a giant gator and a giant polar bear" the next sentence out of anyone's mouth is always "and they should fight!"

I don't disagree, but DRAMA wants conflict. Even if the gator and the polar bear were friends, they'd still fight something else! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I can't imagine Cage as Superman.

Yeah, I recall them batting this around some time ago. It didn't seem like a good idea then either. But where there's money to be made, I guess you do things you shouldn't.

I think there's no doubt this will be for the fanboys, and they won't be happy. It's a mistake to try to please people who are obsessive... you can't, and all you end up doing is turning off everyone else.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think a lot of films that involve multiple action heroes start with them punching it out before they decide to team up and then earn each other's respect. I can't name any except They Live off the top of my head, but I know I see it all the time.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I don't think it will work because the DC superheroes are a different bunch than the marvel types. They tend to have powers that don't require them to team up with anyone and they tend to have their own unique worlds. The Marvel guys tend to be in the present and their powers are beatable.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, True, but in most genres, modern Hollywood recognizes only one type of conflict -- violence. It's all about adrenaline now.

wahsatchmo said...

Here I thought I had something original to contribute, but both Anthony and K beat me to the Frank Miller Dark Knight graphic novel. It's very good; if you haven't read it, you should consider it.

It does do several unexpected things, like it's set in the future with an old, battered, disillusioned Bruce Wayne taking on the never aging Superman. Batman refers to Superman as "The Boy Scout", who has essentially become a tool of the US Government. And the US Government is just as ethical and moral as you'd expect it to be.

And if you like that, you should also read noted nutball author Alan Moore's Batman: The Killing Joke. It's controversial, but unique.

AndrewPrice said...

wahsatchmo, That would be interesting. That would be really controversial too. People would freak out about the idea of Superman championing an evil US government -- it could make for a really cool libertarian film.

That said, I suspect Hollywood would have allowed that under Bush, but won't with a Democrat in office.

If I were going to do that, I would probably use some sort of alternative timeline to soften the public blow. I think that would let you make a stronger social commentary too by being a bit more extreme.

Kit said...

Has anyone noticed that both Iron Man 3 and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have a very major theme of dealing with a world in the aftermath of the alien invasion. As Maria Hill said in the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot, "Everything is changing. A little while ago ago most people went to bed thinking the craziest thing in the world was a billionaire in a flying metal suit. Then aliens invaded New York and we're being backed by giant green monster, a costumed hero from the Forties, and a god... the Battle of New York was the End of the World. This -now- is the new world."

Koshcat said...

The only way this works is if Superman is somehow "evil" and Batman has to figure out how to defeat him. This isn't a new approach but no other approach would work. Superman's personality is such that he wouldn't just beat Batman up because he being a jerk this week. Batman could be considered "evil" because he believes the ends justifies the means but he isn't so evil he would try to destroy Superman to get it. Superman is too good to take on a dark side like Batman even if someone very close was killed and most likely Batman would help him.

Since we have already written the story, I don't think I would be interested in seeing the movie. Besides, they already did this with Superman III. I know, let's make them roommates. Jack Lemmon as Superman and Walter Matthau as Batman.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, That would be hilarious! Could you imagine the horror on fanboy faces everywhere when it turns out the reason they fight is because they're just roommates who annoy each other? LOL!

As for Superman becoming evil, I too think that's the only way. Unless Superman is evil, he just won't try to kill Batman... unless they're roommates.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I haven't noticed that. But aliens are safe. You can kill them without making people feel like you're killing real people.

K said...

The "our heroes first fight each other" trope is getting as lame as...

Not really a comment on the comment above, but just pointing out that superhero comics plots are the ultimate hackneyed medium. It's so cliche that even the plots which satirize superhero cliches are cliches.

Kit said...

Andrew,

I left out a part. I mean they examine the aftermath of aliens and superheroes. What is it like living in a world where you have something like that. And if the last 5-10 minutes of S.H.I.E.L.D. are any hint, that will be a major theme of the show.

Kit said...

"Not really a comment on the comment above, but just pointing out that superhero comics plots are the ultimate hackneyed medium."

But they are still awesome. :)

Kit said...

"That would be hilarious! Could you imagine the horror on fanboy faces everywhere when it turns out the reason they fight is because they're just roommates who annoy each other? LOL!"

Actually, that sounds like the plot of a fanfilm/parody sketch.

------------------------------

Also, re Superman. Several stories have implied that he actually holds back. Such as the 90s DC cartoons in this awesome scene: LINK

---------------------

I should note that one of Batman's traits is being crazy prepared. So much so that TVTropes actually has a whole page devoted to examples of it: LINK

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, The Justice League cartoon I reviewed did a lot of this too. It made Superman out as a dupe of the 1950s police state of America (until Kennedy was elected and saved us all), and it showed Batman preparing to fight Superman at some point.

Koshcat said...

To go with the Avenges, I think a better approach would be to consider a movie on the Justice League. Batman is often criticized for being a loaner and Batman doesn't really trust any of them. Instead of the usually crappy 90 minutes of back story, why not just do the story on J'onn and at the end develop the Justice League. Still these stories are better as a series than a movie because in a movie you want the danger to be huge and involve everyone. It is a nice change when it is just 2 or 3 of them.

The animation is bad but I have only seen a few episodes. How come Superman is the one that grabs that cable or gets shot by that ray that nearly kills him? Convenient isn't it? Anyone else would have been evaporated but fortunately only Superman was dumb enough to grab it first.

Koshcat said...

"The animation is bad but I have only seen a few episodes."

That should have read "The animated show isn't bad but I have only seen..."

Backthrow said...

Superheroes as sitcom roommates who annoy each other? It's been done (though with AVENGERS surrogates). Here's a full one that hasn't been yanked by WB yet.

SUPERMAN VS. BATMAN? Sounds stupid, on its face. If I hear consistently good things about it, after its cinema debut, I'll probably rent or stream it, 4 months later, but it's nothing that particularly excites me or captures my imagination in any meaningful way.

I watched IRON MAN 3 last night... mildly enjoyable, but typically overblown. I'm really getting burnt out on superheroes, at this point (and the modern Hollywood action movie template, much as I love action-adventure). It's like the TV western glut of the late 1950s - early 1960s (a bit before my time, but the boom/bust is readily apparent, looking back).

Too bad we can't get back to 'big summer things' more along the lines of RAIDERS, THE ROAD WARRIOR or BRAVEHEART, but that's probably asking too much of the majority of today's filmmakers and audiences.

ScottDS said...

Backthrow -

Too bad we can't get back to 'big summer things'

That would, unfortunately, require less "things" to be produced, along with turning back the clock on the Internet to a time when things like "spoilers" didn't exist (at least not to the extent they do now).

Kit said...

It should be noted that DC is going to air a Commissioner Gordon TV show in 2015.

Which is interesting considering the show Marvel is doing a show right now...

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I haven't seen it, so I can't comment.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I'm tired of the whole superhero thing too, but I see no signs that it's stopping any time soon.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The Internet is a sideshow on this issue. The problem with this issue starts and stops with what Hollywood considers risk free ideas.

Voz said...

In defense of Whedon, I listened to the commentary track on the Avengers and he said that the line that Captain America says about God and how he doesn't think He dresses like that is Captain America...even though Whedon acknowledges that he disagrees with belief in God, changing the character would have been profaning the source material so he kept it the way it should be.

Backthrow said...

Scott-

I didn't mean 'big summer things' to refer to a typical summer having just one or two big 'tentpole' movies, or that they be a big, easily-spoiled surprise; just that they be a bit more grounded (though spectacular), clear and gripping. Other than the occasional Bond film or something like TAKEN, I'm not getting it much these days.

I don't think the internet is the problem, so much as it is lazy screenwriting/direction, over-use of CGI (a good tool, but so often used as a sledgehammer), and emulating modern, immersive videogames too much.

Nothing wrong with videogames, but I think the movie industry borrows too much surface style/action from games (to help woo the gaming crowd, plus to augment the overuse of CGI), which helps make a good stand-alone action sequence (sometimes) or trailer imagery, but is detrimental to the overall films.

So many of these productions just wash over me with generic, Rube Goldberg-inspired action set-pieces, that mostly just make me numb and apathetic to the whole experience. I even got some of that from last year's big AVENGERS movie, though it was overall better-made than the norm. I fully expect to feel the same when I finally see MAN OF STEEL and PACIFIC RIM, and I've already decided that I'll completely opt out of Abrams' latest STAR TREK entry.

T-Rav said...

Sorry I'm late to the party; I actually had a lengthy comment to make last night and then this newfangled system ate it. Oh well.

I'm not nearly as familiar with DC as with Marvel Comics, but this whole "Superman vs. Batman" thing just annoys me. Yes, you can have a more-or-less equal fight between the two, but you can only do it by hampering either Superman's mind or his body to bring him down to Batman's level; and I think that's a cop-out. That's the gist of what I was going to say earlier.

Kit said...

Backthrow,

I think I get what you mean, though I do love me the comic book movies. Interestingly, the recent Wolverine felt a lot more like an action movie than a comic book movie. Granted, an action movie featuring a lead with sharp metal claws but an action movie nonetheless.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I agree with that.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm not annoyed by it, but I think it will end poorly. They'll make a ton of money, but the movie will stink and then they'll end up opening many cans of worms.

El Gordo said...

Backthrow, I like your examples. "Mad Max" Rockatansky is the type of hero we never get to see anymore. He´s not cute. He has no special powers except that he is a good driver and doesn´t give a damn anymore because he´s already lost everything. But give him the motivation and he can still do good. That´s the story. He doesn´t say a single word until, what, thirty minutes into the Road Warrior? Awesome.

Man of Steel wasn´t bad, in my opinion, but neither did I care a lot. Action-wise there is no place left to go. Except maybe back to real horse stunts and men dangling from skyscrapers.

KRS said...

I think this can be done very well and with a minimum of CGI, but, as Andrew suggests, the answer is in dramatically changing the environments in which both heroes exist.

I would propose bringing them together in Smallville as teenagers - real teenagers, say around age 15. Clark is Clark, but he doesn't have all his powers yet and he doesn't have complete control of the ones he's got (sorta like the TV series in it's earliest years) - and maybe he doesn't have the powers at all until he's knocking on puberty. Bruce comes into Smallville on some sort of program to help socialize/heal him of the rage and hatred and lust for vengeance that fills his every waking moment since seeing his parents murdered.

With neither hero fully developed, they can engage physical contests where the outcome is legitimately in doubt. In fact, you could bookend the movie with the first fight having Bruce putting Clark in the hospital, while the last fight has Clark's powers developed enough that Bruce can't harm him, but Clark refuses to deliver a vengeful beat down, which in turn leaves a powerful impression on Bruce. So, they don't need a villian to partner against - the whole movie is about the two of them. Clark's earnest desire to help Bruce vs Bruce's desire to be a hermit of hatred. Almost impossible to keep those two out of a fight.

In the end, of course, their contests influence the heroes they become, so it's another damned origin story and I apologize to everyone for thinking of it.

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