The filmmakers initially wanted the psychic visions that Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) to have, should look sharp and painful. The character “jolts” as it happens. Walken wanted these “jolts” to look authentic. So director, David Cronenberg would fire a .44 Magnum pistol off camera and not tell Walken when it would go off.
The scene revealing Darth Vader’s identity was kept a total secret by the cast and crew with only a handful of people knowing the truth. They did this by putting a false page in the script. According to actor Mark Hamill, Vader’s line in the false page read as “You don’t know the truth. Obi-Wan killed your father.”
Besides Linda Blair’s demon possession makeup, makeup artist Dick Smith had to age actor Max Von Sydow as his character, Father Merrin is supposed to be in his late 80’s in the story. Smith’s work, along with Von Sydow’s acting, were so convincing that many fans of the film were shocked to learn that at that time, Von Sydow was only 44 years old.
The era of superhero movies was basically a hot or miss situation throughout the early to mid 2000’s. Movies that the general public would rather just forget about, or try to forget but can’t no matter how hard they try because social media has devoted a meme to its mockery. Movies like Ang Lee’s “Hulk”(2003), and the Daredevil film with Ben Affleck. It’s rather obvious that most of these movies were made to get in on the action left over from Bryan Singer’s first X-Men film in 2000. While Marvel had a head start in the cinematic world, DC was a late bloomer.
After the success of Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” Warner Bros. decided to rediscover the Man of Steel. Director Bryan Singer took a break from the X-Men movies to direct it. While director Brett Ratner went on to direct “X-Men: The Last Stand”.
In the film, Superman had been missing for years. He has traveled to the cosmic ruins of his former home planet, Krypton. Presumably, because he has grown lonely being the only known living Kryptonian alive. Upon his return, he is greeted by the public with open arms. Except Lois Lane, who is now engaged, has a son, and had won a Pulitzer prize winning story entitled, “Why the world doesn’t need Superman.” Meanwhile, Lex Luthor had broken into the Fortress of Solitude and stolen Kryptonian crystals for the purpose of creating a supercontinent that threatens the world with massive tsunamis.
Brandon Routh does an excellent job as Superman. In the emotional scenes at least, however the few action scenes he does lack a certain something. Superman first and foremost is depressed throughout a good portion of the film, as such, we doo not see him in the usual light as we do throughout other film’s of the DC universe. Kevin Spacey does a hands down, great performance as Lex Luthor, with a touch of humor much in light of Gene Hackman’s performance in the 1978 movie.
So what went wrong with this film? Why, even though it’s moderately scored by critics, is it shunned for the most part by the fans? For one thing, this is an action film with little action. It’s a film that focuses way too much on the romance between Superman and Lois Lane. While the emotional parts are indeed necessary, there was an unnecessary amount of time spent on it, and very little of the classic good vs evil setting fans of superhero films are used to seeing.
Another factor to keep in mind was that this movie is presumably set with the original film’s “Donner universe”. Named for the original’s director Richard Donner. Chronologically, this film takes place between the evens of Superman 2 and Superman 3. In doing so, the filmmakers did something they aught not to have done. It was too much of a nod to the original film’s, and wasn’t really “it’s own thing” like the new DC films Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice were. By making the movie set in that particular universe, it limited the number of audience members who could relate to it. It limited the number of new fans to the Superman mythos. While this is pure speculation, it seems like a reasonable assumption.
All in all, as far as superhero films go. It was good, but not great.
Final Score: 4.5/10
Directed by Bryan Singer
Brandon Routh……….Superman/Clark Kent
Kate Bosworth…………Lois Lane
Kevin Spacey………….Lex Luthor
James Marsden………Richard White
Sam Huntington………..Jimmy Olsen
Parker Posey…………..Kim Kowalski
Frank Langella………….Perry White