'Superman' sequel: Well, eventually...

Superman’s returns have been called everything from “solid but unspectacular” to “disappointing” to (hoo boy!) “anything but super.” Everyone seems to agree that Warner Bros. and its latest sucker, um, co-financer, Legendary Pictures, will take hits in the tens of millions, at least until every last DVD dollar is counted and victory is declared.

But what does this mean for the Bryan Singer-directed sequel, tentatively titled Superman Returns Again This Time For Real, Y’all? Looks like the 2009 opening predicted by Singer at Comic-Con might be a little optimistic, if reports about the brewing budget battle are to be believed. Honestly, if Returns cost $225 million, how can a sequel possibly up the ante for under $200 million? (I dunno… good storytelling maybe? And a return to the classical tradition of messengers relating off-skein action in verse?)

The good news for Superfans is, Warner Bros. would seem to be too heavily invested in the franchise to pull out now. Which practically guarantees another return. Just one where Superman does most of his crimefighting from a desk, surfing the Internet, and working the phone.

I’m putting the challenge to you, readers: How do you make a bang-up Supersequel for under $200 million? Budget your effects at a million per sec and dream away.

Comments (40 total) Add your comment
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  • bill

    Cut the running time, it can clock in at 1:45 and everyone can go home at a decent time. It doesn’t need to be 2.5 hrs.

  • dee

    I have never seen such a decent movie put through the ringer like this one. This movie was not Alexander, Poseidon, or Troy “bad.” I think WB and their subsidiary made huge marketing and release date mistakes. The major plus is that Routh is good casting. You don’t have to worry about startup costs (like building new sets and some of the graphics/effect that can be used in another movie). Singer has made other movies under a $200 million budget so it is possible. My tips besides a better release date for this more thoughtful movie (think fall, early spring), and a better villain plot, would be better writing for the Lois Lane character, and following the TV tradition of making the Clark Kent character more of a real person and not just a decoy. Hoping 2 c a sequel, enjoyed SR!

  • kinglouieXVIII

    Better writing for the Lois Lane character, how about a new actress to play her. Kate Bosworth was the worst thing about SUPERMAN RETURNS. Every time she came on screen she sucked the life right out of me. Plus, the girl needs to eat a french fry.
    I agree with Dee. SR was a fine movie (if not great). I think Singer was much more interesting in paying homage to the earlier Superman movies that he was scared to present his own unique vision. Aside from new villian/s, the sequel would have to be less serious and more popcorn/blockbuster fun. Sometimes, I go to the movies just to have a good time. Why else would PIRATES be making a gazillion dollars?
    I for one do not mind how long the movie is, AS LONG AS IT’S GOOD AND INTERESTING.

  • Pitchmeister

    Finally saw this over the weekend and was blown away with how good it actually was – it was a bit drawn out and relied heavily on the mush – but it did what it had to; explain why he left for 5 years and what happens when someone you love disappears without saying goodbye. Mr Routh was a perfect fit as clark kent/superman (still can;t figure out who he played on One Life to Live) and so was kevin spacey as lex – kate bosworth you can throw out – how about a love triangle between jimmy, superman and james marsden’s character.. LOL

  • Andrew Wickliffe

    In theory, it ought to be cheaper just because there’s so much work done. The city is CG and, presumably, someone saved it to disk. Same with the Fortress of Solitude and depending on how they scaled it, some of the flying effects.

  • Jason

    Also, remember that the $225 million figure includes the $50-$80 million spent on the previous attempts to get this film made (i\e. the aborted Nic Cage version cost at least $20 mil before they pulled the plug). So you can figure that this one cost around $175 mil, add in that the “development” work is done, the next one can be brought in cheaper easily.

  • Rick

    I may be wrong on this but I thought the budget of Superman was inflated due to the departure of directors such as Tim Burton who got paid but never or barely worked on the movie. If that is the case, then Superman 2 should not have to worry about that and can come in way under 200 million. I believe Singer said his finally budget for Superman was only 185 million.

  • Dru

    dee is on the money with that assesement. also those who are saying that the past failed efforts (Burton, McG, etc) have been added to the SR budget are mistaken, I believe.

  • Ed

    I too believe that most of the cost of this film came from people sitting around doing nothing. I work for education and most of our big money goes to confrences we’ve all been too; it’s just repackaged different. Anyway, the movie biz can’t be that different.
    I didn’t go see Superman because I’m highly insulted that a movie I saw when I was 12 has already ready been remade. It’s too soon!

  • tim

    The movie is ok..its a true remake of the original..which begs..why remake..if there is no added benefit to the ’06 version.
    No sequel needed…or wanted by viewers…given that the Superman storyline is always the same and has the same characters.
    America passes on the sequel.

  • Miles

    make it a Clark Kent Centric movie, cuts down on the flying. Hire a cheaper and yet better director… is gore Verbinsky available? Write a better script. Have Bryan Singer go back to the Xmen movies. re-cast Lois Lane… or write her a better part… Have Bryan Singer fired. Re-start the franchise from Scratch… which means — Have Johny Depp play an evil pirate that becomes Superman’s Nemesis… Send Bryan Singer to film school.

  • Kat

    My husband and I absolutely loved the movie and were so appalled to see it fade next to the absolutely awful Pirates 2. I really look forward to the sequel – I just wish they’d cast someone more believable as Lois Lane.

  • Mark

    How about less scenes of Superman stalking his ex-squeeze? For a guy who is supposed to represent all that is good he spent a lot of screen time acting in a really creepy manner.

  • The Other Kyle

    This article is WRONG WRONG WRONG.
    Superman Returns is already beginning to make it’s money back and hasn’t opened in key international markets yet.
    THE FILM WAS CRITICAL SUCCESS. Scott Brown are you insane?!? Taking shots at the film by saying the reviews were mixed?!? It ended at like 75% or higher on rotten tomatoes. It IS the most critically acclaimed blockbuster this summer.
    So get your fact straight and also re-read that variety article. The facts are actually in there. Variety just puts a negative spin on it. But actually re-read it and look at the facts given.
    Stop being a hipster and taking cheap shots. You’re not too cool for Superman

  • Ceballos

    I thought I heard that a good part of the budget went toward recreating Metropolis. Are all those sets destroyed?? If not, that might be a way to cut some costs.
    Unfortunately, whatever money they may save there they’ll probably spend on Brandon Routh and the rest of the principal casts’ “sequel money” (which is usually considerably higher, even if a movie underperforms like this did)

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