Quint sees SUPERMAN RETURNS footage at ShoWest! Full rundown here!!!
Published at: March 16, 2006, 10 p.m. CST by staff
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here typing away in the lobby of the Paris Hotel and Casino. I have just returned from the luxurious green room (believe me, they didn't want me there, but WB already had me scheduled) where I interviewed Brandon Routh. Routh is a huge guy, by the way. He's not bulky, but he's tall (I'm right at 6 foot and Routh was at least 3 or 4 inches taller than me).
But all that's a story for another day. Right now I'm going to tell you about what I saw right beforehand at the big WB panel regarding SUPERMAN RETURNS.
This was actually 2nd up of the 4 presentations they had, but not only is SUPERMAN the one with the most fan interest, but it was also my favorite presentation of the day.
SUPERMAN geeks will freak out when they see this. I am so psyched for this movie after seeing this footage. It makes the Comic-Con presentation look like a Merchant/Ivory film. Let's get to the footage description.
Everything opened with a breathtaking model shot of that familiar and gorgeous crystal space ship floating through the blackness of space. We then see it maneuvering through debris, charred and blackened. The crystal ship has a bright beam shooting out from the front, searching through the debris. Marlon Brando's voice is over all this: "You will travel far, my little Kal-El. But we will never leave you, even in the face of our deaths. You will see my life through your eyes as your life will be seen through mine." Nice, eh?
We then saw a lot from the first trailer, footage of Superman's return to the farm. This was inter-cut with new scenes... his arrival shaking the Kent farm, Scrabble pieces jittering and falling off the table, one piece onto the floor next to a dog (Krypto? heh... no cape and doggie outfit...), as Ma Kent looks around nervously, a bright light illuminating the night outside the kitchen window as Kal-El's ship flies over. There was more stuff with young Clark, growing up. Clark putting on his glasses with Ma Kent's voice over: "Your father used to say that you were put here for a reason... You know, the world could always use more good reporters..."
Then we cut to Routh in his Clark Kent get-up, standing Metropolis, with the Superman theme blaring in glorious trumpets. I might get a few things jumbled up here, but there was a simple shot that gave me goosebumps... Street level Metropolis as people look up at Superman flying above the street, down the avenue, framed by skyscrapers on all sides. What made me geek out at this shot was the Superman they were looking at looked photoreal. It could have been a stunt dude on a rig, I guess, but he flew all the way down the street, cape flapping.
There's lots of stuff within the Daily Planet. Frank Langella yelling out, "I want to know it all. Olsen, I want to see photos of him everywhere!" Cuts to Jimmy snapping pics on the street and banks of TVs in window shops with Superman on each. Langella voice over: "Does he still stand for truth, justice... all that stuff?" Then quietly, "Superman returns..."
Clark is then reunited with Lois and meets her child. "Clark! Hey! Welcome back! I see you've met the munchkin." A puzzled Clark looks down and says, "Hello!" By the bye, Routh was totally channeling Christopher Reeve in voice, body posture, etc.
Clark talking with Jimmy Olsen... Olsen says, "Fearless reporter Lois Lane is a mommy." Clark: "Wait... she's married?" Olsen: "It's more like a prolonged engagement." Then footage of Clark meeting James Marsden, who comes off as a really nice guy. As he's shaking Clark's hand, "It's great to finally meet ya'. I've heard so much." We also see footage of Clark holding a framed picture of Lois, Marsden and the kid. He looks pained and suddenly the glass in the frame cracks. Olsen's voice: "But if you ask me, she's still in love with you-know-who."
Back to Langella. "Lois, three things sell newspapers. Tragedy, sex and Superman." Olsen: "Why don't you guys track down Lex Luthor?" Langella: "Luther's yesterday's news."
Cut to big menacing horns as, in close up, Luther (in shadow) is revealed... as doors part in front of him, like elevator type doors. "I don't think so."
Then we see footage of Lex and a team of trained SWAT lookin' dudes in the Antarctic. Then we see Lex actually inside the fortress of solitude, looking around with respect. "This is where he learned who he was. This is where he came for guidance." Another great shot here has Lex standing there, looking at Brando's Jor-El on an icy wall. "Tell me everything."
Then there's that shot that's been out forever of Luthor holding up a crystal like the one Clark used to build the Fortress of Solitude. "To think that one could create a new world with such a simple little object."
Next bit has Lois Lane, her kid and Lex in a place that looked like the lobby of the Daily Planet. Lois is surprised and says Lex's name. The kid looks at Lex, imposing as he is, and says, "You're bald." Lex looks ups with a humorless smirk on his face and says to Lois, "Cute kid... Come with me. You're not gonna want to miss this."
Cut to Clark seeing something is wrong with Jimmy. Jimmy tells him that Lois and Jason (I think) are missing. It was around here that Clark enters an elevator and as the doors are closing he does the infamous shirt opening/reveal of the Superman logo as he looks up and flies straight up, presumably through the roof of the elevator. The next shot had him flying up the long elevator shaft, shedding his Clark Kent clothes as he flies.
The next bit had Lois and Luthor talking again. We don't see them, but we see other footage. Lex: "I have advanced technology thousands of years beyond what anyone can throw at me." Cut to a nasty looking missile with tons of shard-like things coming out of it. Lois: "But millions of people will die!" Lex, a little manic: "Billions!"
It was around here that we see Lex out in front of the Daily Planet with debris and shit falling all around the street and the steps up to the lobby. It was also around this time we see Lex's henchmen causing havoc and mass destruction. There was a chubby dude sitting in the controlling seat of this giant chaingun, taking out cop cars. That cut to this guy sitting in the seat on the top of a building as Superman walks calmly towards him. He's spraying Supes with the chain-gun fire... hundreds of rounds a second, all bouncing off of Superman's chest as he walks towards the man.
Back to Lois. This part had a little of Spacey playing Lex very campy, but he topped it off with something genuinely chilling, that made the camp actually work as a sort of underline to his dementia. Lex: "C'mon. Let me hear you say it... Just once." His finger behind his ear, pushing it forward. Lois: "You're insane." Lex: "NO! Not that..." he laughs. "Not that, the other thing." Lois: "Superman will ne..." Lex: "WRONG!!!" When he screams 'wrong', he's literally towering over Lois, sitting in a chair with her son in her lap, the crazy in his eyes flaring.
Then we see the biggie. Superman trailing a plane with engines smoking. He rips off one of the plane's wings, sending it flying back. The plane goes into a nose dive and Supes charges after it, smoke trails surrounding him as he and the plane are both pointed towards the earth. The shot is the classic Superman shot, with Supes dead center and the camera looking as if it's placed on his back, showing his shoulders up. Keep in mind we're pointed down.
The other wing of the plane rips off and flies right at Superman, which is also us at this point. It rushes up and right as it hits Superman the screen cut to black. The fanfare still going, the title comes up.
There was a little comedic bit at the end with Jimmy, Lois and Perry White leaning down looking right into camera as they're looking at a photo Jimmy shot. Perry: "What you got, Olsen?" We see the pic, taken straight up with a little spec in the sky between the skyscrapers. "Look, in the sky, Chief." Lois: "It's a bird." Perry: "It's a plane." Jimmy: "No, look it's..." Then Clark interrupts, sticking his head in. "You wanted to see me?"
I told you the footage made got my geek pride up. I am floored by what I saw and am foaming at the mouth to see this movie. Routh looks like he nailed both Superman and Clark (not in that way, sickos). I never once stopped during this footage and thought, "You know... that S symbol is too small... and that cape's not the right shade of red," like I did with the first still that came out. I was watching Superman being Superman.
Great stuff. Keep a look out for my other articles about HAPPY FEET, POSEIDON and LADY IN THE WATER.