News of Christopher Nolan’s shortlist has been making the rounds today. To be honest, we’re not entirely convinced by the choices, although a few (Reeves, Liebesman) are as of yet untested talents.
To that effect, here’s how we think Superman would turn out if it were directed by any of the following.
The scene is set. A long, pondering shot glances over a table in a room illuminated by a spotlight. Two men sit on either side – one, a bespectacled man with a notebook and a voice recorder, the other Bruce Willis, pretending to be Lex Luthor. The interplay flashes back and forth between each other, the camera taking a pause every now and then to alight on a scrabble ‘S’ piece in the centre of the table. It wins the Palme d’Or, but nobody can really understand why.
Superman is flying through the skyscrapers of Metropolis, a blue and red streak across the sky. The camera follows his progression as he weaves in and out of the concrete stalagmites, brief moments of extreme and graphic violence punctuating his journey. The camera still follows him as he touches down in the city centre, and sets off towards the central bank. The camera follows him into the bank, where a brief flurry of terrifying punches are thrown. The camera follows him out. The credits roll, and half of the audience have passed out from holding their breath.
Clark Kent is a wisecracking beat reporter on the streets of Metropolis, who despite his roguishly likeable exterior has a heart of gold and the soul of a hero. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor delivers a soliloquy on, um, the state of evil. A fast cut flashes to six months later. LEX LUTHOR AND SUPERMAN ARE FIGHTING ON TOP OF A SKYSCRAPER. Lens flare flash. The end, and nobody really understands what happened but knows that they loved it.
A downtrodden, rain-soaked Metropolis comes into view, the only movement being the heavy shuffling of the workforce, trudging ever forward to participate in a corporate machine that neither cares for them nor knows their name. One man alone has the ability to cast off the chains of bourgeoisie repression and fly free, in his blue shirt marked with the blood of the proletariat. His name is Man, the representation of the supremacy of the working class over the corrupt and morally bankrupt ruling elite.
The streets of Metropolista, a conveniently cheap-for-the-industry town in noble Spain, are under assault by the heinous villain Luthor Cortez. After defeating him in an excitingly comedic, yet ultimately very polite battle of wits and fists, Superman ponders the state of his existence. Slowly becoming horrified by his realisation that he is the last of his race, and therefore a symbol and museum for all that they stood for, he turns and looks towards the edge of a cliff. Credits roll.
In industrial Coventry, a young Clark Kent is a promising boxer, but one who lacks the financial and social mobility to progress in his chosen field, despite the support of a struggling coach and his best friend Jimm-O, a no hoper permanently attached to the benefit system and little in the way of future prospects. Kent eventually fights a match against his much richer and better-equipped public schoolboy enemy, Lexington Luthor, earning a reputation as a superman in the ring.