OPEN LETTER TO BRYAN SINGER:
Dear Mr. Singer,
Superman Returns was not a terrible film, but it wasn't the thrill ride many fans hoped for. I hate to say it, but it's your own fault; after all, you are a great director and we expect great things from you. Anything less and you know we're all going to bitch.
I understand you are directing the sequel. I'm pretty excited by this news, especially in light of your awesome quote... something along the lines of, "I am going to go all Wrath of Khan on it!"
I humbly and respectfully offer the following morsels of advice, in no particular order, as they might relate to the production of your upcoming Superman: Man of Steel.
The Script Must Be "Wrath of Khan" Good
Based on your promise, of course. We need good dialog, a riveting plot, a genuine threat to Superman, and massive, all-encompassing drama. Leave us an Empire Strikes Back cliffhanger ending and you will have scored a home run.
The Villain Must Be More Powerful Than Superman
Not AS powerful... MORE powerful! This means no Lex Luthor, and no hokey real estate plans. With the exception of two things -- Kryptonite and magic -- Superman is pretty much indestructible here on earth. Why not bring someone in who can do some real damage? I say go for broke -- send in Doomsday or maybe Darkseid! Remember, MORE powerful. This is non-negotiable.
Superman Must Do "Supermanny" Things
We've seen it all before. Lots of superheroes can lift heavy objects. But Superman is the strongest mo-fo on earth. So here's what I expect: I want Superman to rip a skyscraper from its foundation and swing it like a baseball bat! Maybe he uses the building to deflect incoming missiles, maybe he swings it to knock a super villain into the next zip code, I don't know. All I know is, Superman must do plenty of "Supermanny" things.
Keep Brandon Routh
Some have complained Brandon Routh of being wooden... that he fell flat during Superman Returns. Personally, I think it was due to the script and the dialog more than anything else. I also think he was distracted with trying to live up to the legendary performance of Christopher Reeve. Brandon definitely had moments where he shined, and I think he's going to shock everyone this time out (as long as he gets a decent script).
Brandon Routh Must Weigh-In at 250 lbs and Be Cut Like a Beeotch
Dave Prowse -- a.k.a. Darth Vader -- did wonders to weight train super-skinny Christopher Reeve for Superman The Movie. But somehow, Brandon Routh did not look quite as massive. Routh stands 6-foot, three inches -- he needs to bulk up big time. In fact, I'd go so far as to say he needs to go MUCH bigger. And cut.
The equivalent to "Cousin Oliver" on the final season of The Brady Bunch, Superman's little kid was not an effective character. Somehow, some way, you have to get rid of him.
Get a New Lois Lane
Kate Bosworth was extremely average in Superman Returns, although I will admit the script did not do her many favors. Just do what Nolan did with his Batman sequel: get a new main squeeze.
Keep the Kick-Ass John Williams Score
Listen to it next time: "Da-da-da-dat, da-DAAA, da-da-da-DAAAAAA!" It's true what they say; you can actually HEAR it say "SUPER-MANNNN!"
Stop Trying to Out-Donner "The Donner"
Because it cannot be done. Bryan, you're a fan of Richard Donner's first film, just like I am, just like millions of us are... but you have to put your stamp on this one. Go with your unique vision rather than pay homage to someone else's.
Don't Get Too Vicious
I totally understand why you wanted to have a bunch of bad guys beat the living tar out of Superman the first time around ('cause we all know the "dark" thing sells these days), but the stabbing part was really heavy. No little kid wants to see Superman get his ass stabbed! I'm a grown man who loves tons of violence, and even I didn't like that scene! This time, please don't go so dark... go ahead and put Superman in deadly situations -- have him get pounded into the ground like a tent stake, bury him under eighty tons of rubble, etc -- but don't get depressing with it.
Shoot Your Wad at the END of the Film
Most would agree: the jet liner sequence in Superman Returns was stunning/thrilling/fantastic! Sadly, it was also your biggest bit of fireworks, and you shot them off one-third of the way into the film. We got a giant black rock for the finale.
In closing, I hope you might consider these bits of advice, Mr. Singer, and I thank you for your time.