Even since its release, Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns has split the opinions of super-fans like a shard of Kryptonite. Some vocally disliked it, some were disappointed and some (including this writer) absolutely loved it. Many complained that it was dull because of the lack of fighting (sigh), but it was more soulful, personal, realistic, beautifully-shot and lovingly crafted than 90% of other comic adaptations.
But regardless, anyone that has any love for Kryton’s Last Son is sure to be interested in seeing the never-before-seen opening of the movie, which has just been released on the net.
But why is this special you ask? Well for one, because while all the existing DVDs and glossy boxsets contain a host of deleted scenes from the obviously trimmed final film (most of which are excellent and flesh the movie out further), this was not among them. Until now. And for two, because this five minute sequence cost an estimated $10 million. Which, unless you’re Lex Luthor, is a lot of money.
Feast your X-Ray Vision here:
So, thoughts? Whilst not containing anything that saddens you that it wasn’t included in the released version, this segment is definitely an interesting and curious watch. Dark, slow and ponderous, there’s a clear 2001: A Space Odyssey vibe going one, as Brandon Routh’s silver-suited Kal El navigates his way towards the remains of the long-dead Krypton.
Of course, the main talking point is the huge Superman S-symbol which appears on his home planet. Who, if anyone, left it there? Was it a message from an enemy who had destroyed Supes’ icy birth-place and awaited him finding it? Was Lex involved? Was it setting up some plot arc for the sequel? Start speculating people!
Interestingly, one of the complaints about Superman Returns was that it didn’t take enough chances and didn’t try to be different enough. Now, while it was actually more focussed on providing perfect closure for Richard Donner’s seminal genre-starting original (which some of us had been waiting 20 years on), this could have been that risk. Oh well.
But still, you can see why it was cut. Though not silly by any stretch of the imagination, it’s a bit more spacey-wacey than the rest of the impressively-grounded movie and may have lost viewers right away. And anyway, the existing opening is plenty awesome as is.
Plus, it’s refreshing in this day and age to see that a creative director wasn’t forced to include a scene just because it cost a shit-load of money.
The next Superman reboot, The Man Of Steel (which stars Henry Cavill in the titular role and will be directed by Zach Snyder) is slated to hit cinemas in June of 2013.