2006 Movie News Archives

San Diego Comic Con

July 22, 2006: First-Hand Report From Comic-Con

The world's biggest comic convention, the San Diego Comic Con, is being held this weekend and Superman Homepage reporter Jeffrey Bridges has this special first-hand report:

On Friday, July 21 I attended the San Diego Comic-Con International to cover the "Warner Brothers Pictures Presents" panel and the "Warner Home Video's Superman Through the Ages" panel.

The former was held in Hall H, which is an expansive cavern of a room that seats 6500 people and which was cold enough to send shivers down the spine of a Wampa on Hoth. The panel opened with Hillary Swank, Joel Silver (and others) showing a trailer for their new movie, "The Reaping" and doing some fan Q&A. After that Neil LaBute came out to talk and show a few minutes of his new remake, "The Wicker Man". After that Bryan Singer was introduced and, no offense to the previous artists, it's clear that's who the majority of people were there to see.

The Singer panel started off with a roughly 4-minute clip of bloopers from "Superman Returns", which shows you just how much fun the entire cast was having on the set. Singer said he cut the clip together from about 40 minutes of bloopers, all of which he hopes will make it onto the DVD.

99% of the people who spoke to Bryan not only thanked him for making "Superman Returns", but they often bordered on being reverential. Among the highlights of Singer's comments:

Jason is 100% Superman's son. It's part of what he most looks forward to exploring about the sequel.

The night before they shot the scene with Superman in Jason's bedroom at night, Bryan was still kind of unsure of how to shoot it. He had a talk with one member of his crew, sitting on that set, and that crew member told him how he had a 1 1/2 year old child that the child's mother wouldn't let him see. He kept pushing and was finally allowed to see the child, and his feelings and emotions helped Singer figure out exactly how he wanted to shoot that scene (and during that scene, the actor playing Jason was actually really asleep).

Singer doesn't think he'll put the "Return to Krypton" scene on the DVD because he feels the first time it's seen, if it's on DVD, the full impact will be lost. He mentioned possibly debuting it in IMAX.

Singer hasn't yet officially signed for a sequel, but his intention is to do it and to have it ready by 2009 (the prospect of him doing a sequel drew applause from the audience). He's excited by it, because "SR" had to reintroduce the characters and the universe, but the next one can go "Wrath of Khan" and have a lot more action. He feels a lot of action when you're not emotionally invested in the characters makes for poor movies, and so now that people know and care about the characters he can ramp up the threat and do it much better (like he did with X-Men 2).

Singer then introduced Richard Donner to thunderous applause, before one fan mentioned that the Superman he saw on film wasn't the Superman he sees in the comic books, which got some weak applause behind it. Singer explained that he wasn't going to tread over what Richard Donner or Smallville had done, origin-wise, so he needed a starting point and he found the Donner film to be the most classic incarnation. So he started from there, bringing in little elements from the comics and other areas as he could, and hopes to bring in more from the comics in the next movie. He simply felt spring boarding out from the most classic interpretation was the best way to go, especially since it was the genesis of all modern superhero movies.

Richard Donner then said that fan reaction and emails to Warner Bros., was what got his cut of Superman II to come about, and it was something he never thought he'd see. He thanked all of the fans profusely and then they showed a long clip of how Lois originally found out about Superman's secret identity in Donner's version (which is superior by leaps and bounds over the "oops I fell into the fire" bit that made it into the Lester version).

The Donner cut also includes a scene Donner never actually got to film before being removed from the project, but that scene was used for screen tests with Reeve and Kidder and so, from those two different screen tests they were able to reconstruct a scene that never before existed (even if Chris looks 25 pounds lighter and has short hair one second and long hair the next).

When asked about the Christian parallels in SR, Singer mentioned that even though he was raised Jewish and went to a Catholic school that he's not very religious, but religious themes intrigue him. He thinks that comic books are our modern myths, and are founded on religious stories like King Arthur and other myths of old. 500 years from now he thinks people will look back on this time and the comic books will be our mythology.

When asked if he thought the marketing for SR has hurt its performance at the box office, he seemed bothered and agitated but said that he couldn't really say much about it. But he had some issues.

When asked why Singer chose to focus so much on the love story, he said that Lois has been part of Superman's live for 70 years and he wanted to make a movie for the romantics and to challenge that part of himself as a director and storyteller. He thinks the sequel will be much more focused on Superman's being an orphan (which was covered a bit in the cut "Return to Krypton" sequence).

Singer also confirmed that Jason's asthma and medical problems weren't a ruse, but were real until he discovered that he didn't need the inhaler anymore. That was meant to parallel young Clark losing his glasses when he learned how to fly, which is when young Clark learned that he didn't need them anymore.

At one point one fan also asked him why he felt the need to make Superman have an "illegitimate son" as that was something that "wasn't very moral", which was met with light applause. Bryan said that life's not like that and it's not always easy. Sometimes children aren't planned for, and he needed to give Superman an insurmountable challenge and he couldn't do that physically. He felt this was the best way to do that, and it's the world we live in. He then said that children are born out of wedlock, it's part of the reality of the world, and that he doesn't think that there's anything wrong with that (this was met with thundering applause).

The "Superman Through the Ages" panel featured Noel Neill, Mark McClure, Jack O'Halloran, Sam Huntington, Richard Donner and Michael Thau (producer and editor of the Richard Donner cut of Superman II) and was held in a much smaller room that still sat an impressive 4500 people.

This panel was mostly a love fest for Richard Donner from the fans, and Donner seemed completely overwhelmed by it. He was really touched by all the fan support and thanked everyone again for making seeing his version of Superman II a reality, as he honestly thought the footage would just sit on a shelf in London forever.

There was another clip shown of Donner's opening to Superman II, which features Superman diverting one of the nuclear missiles into space and the subsequent explosion being the trigger for releasing Zod, Non and Ursa from the Phantom Zone.

He also mentioned that the original ending for "Superman II" was pulled and used for the ending to "Superman: The Movie", and so they needed a new ending for SII. It was something Michael Thau came up with, but they didn't want to talk about it and spoil it for everyone.

Apparently the 14-disc Superman boxed set has been scrapped in favor of "The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection" boxed set, which will be 8-discs and should arrive in stores on November 28. That is also the date of the release of "Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut".

2006 Movie News

Listed below are all the Movie News items archived for 2006 organized into various categories:

“Superman Returns” Movie News:

Christopher Reeve Movie News: Hollywoodland (George Reeves) Movie News: Direct-to-DVD Animated Movie News: Other Movie News:

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