Book Reviews - "Superman Returns" Titles
Superman Returns: The Official Movie GuideImages Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Design by John J. Hill
Published by: Time Inc Home Entertainment (August 1, 2006)
Reviewed by: Steve Younis
"Superman Returns: The Official Movie Guide" is another excellent volume in the officially released collection of books tied-in with the film.
Available in both Hardcover and Paperback editions, it should be noted that the Hardcover edition contains an additional 16 pages and a slight variation in textual content, with a few shooting script excerpts included in the Hardcover addition.
With an introduction by director Bryan Singer, the book is divided into four parts which are each made up of various chapters. As a whole, the book is mostly made up of stunning photos and images, both from the movie and from the making of the movie.
Part 1: The Story Continues
"Superman: From Comics to Screen" gives a one page history lesson covering Superman's 1938 debut in the comics to his 2006 big screen comeback with "Superman Returns".
"Director Bryan Singer" and "Screenwriters Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris" gives an overview of the men behind "Superman Returns" and their vision for the film.
"Smallville Homecoming" takes us on a tour through Clark's Kansas home and the flashback scenes shown (and not shown) in "Superman Returns".
"Eva Marie Saint as Martha Kent" introduces us to the character of Martha Kent, and also delves into the (unseen) segments of Clark on the Kent Farm after returning from the remains of Krypton.
Part 2: Superman is Back
"Brandon Routh as Superman/Clark Kent" takes us through Brandon Routh's role in the movie, exploring some of the behind-the-scenes details regarding his casting and preparation to become the new Man of Steel.
"Superman's Costume" explores the design of the new Superman costume, giving some detailed information regarding the materials used and decisions made. We're also treated to a full-page image of a preliminary design.
"Superman's Super-Feats" takes a look at Superman's rescue of the Boeing 777.
Part 3: Metropolis's Favorite Son
"Metropolis" is a multi-page exploration of the magnificent city of Metropolis. Images in this section show the construction of some sets, artist representations and computer generated images of the City of Tomorrow.
"The Daily Planet" similarly shows the fantastic creation of the "great metropolitan newspaper" office building. from the total exterior, outdoor entrance, elevator alcove, to the bullpen and Perry White's office.
"Frank Langella as Perry White" examines the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Planet, while "Sam Huntington as Jimmy Olsen" looks at the young photographer. Both chapters have interview quotes from the actors as they discuss their role in the film.
"Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane" is an indepth examination of the character of Lois as played by Kate Bosworth. It examines her relationship with Superman, Clark, Richard and her son Jason.
"The Love Triangle: James Marsden as Richard White" not only takes a look at Lois's fiance, but also incorporates the status of the relationship between Lois and Superman and how this impacts her life with Richard.
Part 4: Old Enemy, New Krypton
"Lex Luthor's Return" delves into the character of Lex Luthor and examines his motivations and relationship with Superman.
"Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor" is a look at the character as portrayed by Kevin Spacey, while also covering Kevin's working relationship with Bryan Singer and their previous work together.
"The Vanderworth Fortune" is mainly a picture gallery of the immense estate owned by Gertrude Vanderworth, including photos of The Gertrude yacht.
"The Fortress of Solitude" focuses on Lex Luthor's journey to the Fortress, stealing the Kryptonian crystals, and Superman's reaction when he realizes this secret sanctuary has been violated.
"Parker Posey as Kitty Kowalski" takes a look at the actress and her feelings and impressions of the character she plays in the movie. It also features a gallery of the many different costumes Kitty wears throughout the film.
"New Krypton" examines the kryptonite-laced landmass created by Lex Luthor using the stolen Kryptonian technology. "Superman Defeated/Superman Triumphant" contains a number of pages not included in the paperback version of this book. It features three artist impressions: one of Superman being beaten by Lex and his henchmen; another of the Gertrude in perile; and an image of New Krypton being lifted out of the ocean.
"The World of Superman Returns" is a photographic gallery of the various locations seen throughout the film, such as New Krypton, Metropolis and Smallville.
"The Effects of Superman Returns" is a detailed examination of the myriad of effects used during the production. Photographs shown depict many of the green screen sets built at Sydney's Fox Studios.
Writing - 4: Actually, it's kind of hard to rate the text as this book is mostly a visual gallery. However there are whole pages of information that, while not revealing anything new (to me anyhow), do give the reader an excellent overview of the making of "Superman Returns". Especially interesting are the interview quotes from the cast in relation to the character they portray.
Photos/Images - 5: Filled with many never-before-seen photos, artist impressions, and production images, this book excels in its design and presentation.
Book ReviewsComic Book Novelizations:
- The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero
- The Man From Krypton
- The Original Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes - Volume 3: Superman
- Superman on Film, Television, Radio and Broadway
- Beyond Lois Lane
- The DC Comics Action Figure Archive
- Superman vs. Hollywood
- Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman
- Flights of Fantasy: The Unauthorized but True Story of Radio & TV's Adventures of Superman by Michael J. Hayde
- Our Hero: Superman on Earth by Tom De Haven
- Superman On Earth: Reflections of a Fan by Gary D. Robinson
- DC Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book by Matthew Reinhart
- The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman by Vic Armstrong
- The Ages of Superman: Essays on the Man of Steel in Changing Times
- Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero by Larry Tye
- Superman is an Arab by Joumana Haddad
- Superman is Jewish? by Harry Brod
- 100 Things Superman Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Joseph McCabe
- Superman: The Persistence of an American Icon by Ian Gordon
- Superman: Last Son of Krypton
- Superman: Miracle Monday
- The Further Adventures of Superman
- It's Superman! by Tom De Haven
- DC Universe: Last Sons
- DC Universe: Trail of Time
- Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson
- Enemies & Allies by Kevin J. Anderson
- DC Super-Pets! by Picture Window Books
- Fallout (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond
- Double Down (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond
- Triple Threat (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond
- Smallville: Strange Visitors
- Smallville: Dragon
- Smallville: Hauntings
- Smallville: Whodunnit
- Smallville: Shadows
- Smallville: Silence
- Smallville: Curse
- Smallville: City
- Smallville: Arrival
- Smallville: See No Evil
- Smallville: Flight
- Smallville: Animal Rage
- Smallville: Speed
- Smallville: Buried Secrets
- Smallville: Greed
- Smallville: Temptation
- Smallville: Sparks
- JLA: Batman - The Stone King
- JLA: Wonder Woman - Mythos
- JLA: The Flash - Stop Motion
- JLA: JLA - Exterminators
- JLA: Green Lantern - Hero's Quest
- JLA: Superman - The Never-Ending Battle
- Superman Returns: Strange Visitor
- Superman Returns: Novelization
- Superman Returns: Coming Home
- Superman Returns: Earthquake in Metropolis!
- Superman Returns: I am Superman!
- Superman Returns: Be A Hero!
- Superman Returns: Thank You, Superman!
- Superman Returns: The Movie Storybook
- Superman Returns: The Visual Guide
- Superman Returns: The Official Movie Guide