SDCC: Quint on SUPERMAN RETURNS gag reel & sequel talk with Singer + SUPERMAN 2 footage with Richard Donner!!!
Published at: July 22, 2006, 5:22 a.m. CST by staff
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. SUPERMAN had a big presence at the Con this year. Bryan Singer showed up with a gag reel and then up popped Richard Donner who brought one of his unreleased sequences from what he shot of SUPERMAN 2. Let's get started shall we? Gag reel first.
It starts off with a classic gag, Marlon Brando talking in close-up. He has the Jor-El hair and is wearing a black turtle neck, I'm assuming for effects reasons. He's giving a speech and then says, "You'll find such conviction within yourself, Kel-La.... Kal-El... Ralph... whatever you're called," then he busts out a laugh. Superman music starts up and we see lots of takes of young Clark in his "running past the cornfields" rig. He wipes out over and over again, getting up to running speed, then ending on his stomach, face in the ground.
Perry White: "Does he still stand for justice? Does he still stand for... what the fuck does he stand for?" Richard White, holding Jason in his arms, "Close your eyes..." kid puts hands over his ears, like he's supposed to. (laughs) "Close your eyes? Cyclops?" Jimmy Olsen is standing in front of a large group of people. This is when he gets his big shots of Supes holding the Daily Planet. They're rolling and he says, "Oh, I'm supposed to look up..." he turns to the extras who are laughing at him, "I'm so funny! You guys did great, though..."
The Otis Theme starts to play around here and continues on through the rest of the gag reel. Another Jimmy Olsen, to Clark: "How pissed do you think Superman is?" Clark: "A lot." Jimmy nods. "He is a lot pissed."
Parker Posey this time, talking to the camera, Kevin Spacey next to her cracking up, "Let's keep it open. Let's just go. I mean, isn't it digital? So why are cutting all the time? Sorry. I must be in character." Kevin Spacey's face sudden darkens and he grows deathly serious and says in a stone cold voice, looking straight at camera, "So am I."
Next was another Lex moment. He goes in for a kick on Superman. Camera is low, pointing up. Can't see who he's kicking, but he runs up and kicks a little too real. "Oh, sorry. Did that really hit you? (Pause) I'm so sorry." Next is the slap from Kitty to Lex. Parker goes in for it and then stops herself. "I don't really want to hit you!" Off camera comes a voice, "He has asked that you hit him." Next take she slaps, but kind of pulls back and kinda makes it worse, knuckling Spacey in the chin. "I'm sorry!" Lex (sultry): "No, keep going!"
One of my favorite bits was that kitchen conversation between Lois and Richard. Kate Bosworth is facing camera, back to James Marsden. Richard, "That article that you wrote..." Lois, "Why The World Doesn't Need Superman?" Richard, "No, no, no. The article you wrote years ago, before that." Lois, "Which article? I was practically his press agent?" Richard, "I Sixty-Nined Superman." She cracks a huge grin, trying not to let it all out. "I Joined The Mile High Club With Superman. I Had Asphyxiated Sex With The Man Of Steel. He Ran The Vacuum Cable Around My Throat. I Ball-Gagged Superman." Lois wraps her dish towel around his mouth.
Superman himself: "I hope this experience hasn't turned on any of you..." stops, looks to camera, sheepish grin on his face.
Funny shit. Here are tidbits about the panel, including info on the SUPERMAN RETURNS sequel possibility, a mention of Brainiac by a fan and an... interesting response from Bryan and tons of trivia about SUPERMAN RETURNS.
- There will NOT be an Extended Edition. The DVD will have many of the cut scenes, but not cut back into the movie.
- They spent $10 million on the Return to Krypton sequence. Bryan ultimately felt it didn't feel like a part of the same movie, so he cut it. It WILL NOT be on the DVD. It may appear in a special theatrical release later, like a new IMAX release or something. He loves it, but feels it needs to be seen on the big screen.
- A talk with an unnamed crew member on SUPERMAN RETURNS influenced the final scene in the film, with Superman looking at his child asleep in bed. One of the crew had fathered a boy, a relationship where she just wanted a baby and he essentially donated his sperm. He had to push and push to see the child and she finally relented, but he could only see him for 5 minutes when he was a year and a half. And only when he was sleeping. That encounter greatly influenced the direction Singer took with the end scene.
- The little boy is actually asleep in that final scene. He nodded off during rehearsal and they didn't bother to wake him.
- There are excised scenes between Ma Kent and Clark and Ma Kent and Ben (the old dude from the beginning... her gentleman caller)
- Frank Langella got the role of Perry White due to Bryan's friendship with Gary Goddard, the director of the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE MOVIE, which is where he first saw Langella.
- Someone commented on the marketing of SUPERMAN RETURNS and how much it sucked. They pointed at SPIDER-MAN 3 and said they know how to market their movie. Singer just nodded his head and kept starting and stopping himself... and just said, "I'm not going to speak about the marketing." He was obviously not happy with it, but didn't want to step on too many toes. He did mention later that "a lot of people did their job... some didn't."
- Someone asked if he could "repair the damage" done by X3. His immediate answer was, "I'd have to see who's left in the cast..." got a big laugh. He then went very political, commenting positively on what Ratner was able to pull off in the time alloted to him.
- Another person asked what his X3 was going to be. Singer said he only wrote 1/3rd of a treatment that's floating around on his computer now. Phoenix was involved, but the villain was someone new... from the X-Men universe. He wouldn't specify since he's currently writing some stuff for Marvel Comics.
- Sequels... He wanted to have something nailed down with WB before the Con so he could answer this question. He said that the deal is not concluded, but his intention is to do a sequel to release in 2009.
- He intends to "get Wrath of Khan" in the sequel. He feels now that he's reintroduced the characters and have given people an emotional attachment to them that he can up the action without making it all "fireworks." He wants to really run Supes through the ringer, give him a giant obstacle. He mentioned WRATH OF KHAN more than once.
- Fan asked about Brainiac. At this point Donner had joined him. Singer said, "Can't say." But later mentioned Superman having an "alien" problem in the next one. He also said he wanted to wait to see what Donner is doing with Brainiac. At another panel, Donner told the room that he was writing Action Comics stories with Geoff Johns, his former assistant and now fan favorite DC writer. At this panel Donner said he loved Brainiac. So, expect to see him show up somewhere.
- This quote, when confronted by an agitated fan about the romance being so central to the movie. He expounded upon what he mentioned about about having an emotional attachment to the characters and said, "There'll be plenty of crazy, scary sci-fi shit in the next one."
- Writers returning? Singer: "I hope so."
Donner's SUPERMAN 2 footage!
This was the real surprise of the panel. Singer introduced Richard Donner, who sat with him on some questions and then segued into a nice long clip from SUPERMAN 2, that Donner cut everybody's been talking about. He said that the internet fans are what convinced Warner Bros to put the money into compiling and cleaning up all the footage and cutting it together. The scene he brought is what he called a pivotal scene in the second film where Lois figures out Clark's secret in the Daily Planet. He used this scene to audition and it was Christopher Reeve's reading of this scene that got him the role.
There was some talk of portions of this sequence not existing and that some of the footage in the edit is from the filmed screen test, which had a mousey-haired Christopher Reeve with black shoe polish in his hair and missing about 25 pounds of muscle. I think that's what he said, but I didn't see it in the cut, so maybe I got that mixed up somehow.
It starts with Perry White walking through the Daily Planet reading a story about the capture of Lex Luthor by Superman and how his bomb plan had been foiled by Supes... "story by Lois Lane, picture by Jimmy Olsen... Ah, Luthor. You never looked lovelier," referring to a mug shot of the bald Hackman in prison stripes. Jimmy and Lois are talking, she's sitting at her desk. Jimmy looks up and says, "Oh, there's Mr. Kent! Bet you he wishes he had been around when it all happened." Lois: "Clark's never around when Superman's here..." Realization hits her. Clark is standing across the room, shooting a few worried glances towards Lois and Jimmy. He's being cornered by some Chatty Kathy.
Lois looks down at her paper, a photo of Superman is in it. She takes out a marker and draws glasses on him, a business suit around his super suit and hat on his head. She looks up and smiles. The whole time Clark has been trying to get away from this conversation and is looking worried. Lois whistles, she's got it! At that moment, Perry White calls, "Lane! Kent! Get in here!"
Clark says (to the chatty kathy) "Oh, dear me. Now I'm in trouble. Next time don't do that to me!" Lois throws some "super" remark at Clark as they enter Perry's office. White says Clark was late. "Sorry, Mr. White. I, uh... got stuck in traffic." Lois smirks. "Oh, that's a new one." "Excuse me?" "I mean as opposed to 'I was stuck in a phone booth' or 'I was locked in a bathroom'" Clark, "What are you talking about?" Perry interrupts. "If you two want to bicker, that's great. I have just the assignment for you. You're going to pose as a honeymoon couple in Niagra Falls to get an expose on the newlywed racket. Some of those motels are bilking those poor kids for every cent they can get! Real human interest stuff. Makes your Aunt Hattie cry her eyes out. Clark, "Um..." Lois, "That is a great idea, Mr. White!"
Clark, "Um, I'm doing a series on the city counsil..." Lois, "Oh, it wouldn't take long. We could fly right up there... you know... Superman..." Perry, "Good! See if he can give you a ride, it'll save a couple of bucks. 6 good photographs and that kid's hitting me up for a raise already!" Perry leaves the two alone. Clark, to Lois, "My goodness, you look like the cat who has swallowed the canary this morning." Lois, "Canary? No, I was thinking of something bigger. Something that flies..." Clark fumbles some more and Lois shows him her artful rendition of Superman in Clark get-up.
Lois, "You know I didn't start putting this together until this morning, which is really strange because a good reporter isn't supposed to let anything slip by them." Clark tries to laugh it off. She describes Superman. "Let's see... Tall... broad shoulders," Clark slumps down. "I have to give you credit. You had me fooled and I am nobody's fool, Superman." "You mean... you think I'm Superman?" Again he tries to laugh it off. Lois, "I'm willing to bet my life on it," she says as she opens Perry's window. "Lois! What're you doing!?!"
"You wouldn't let me die, Superman!" and she jumps out of the window. Clark speed runs through the Planet's office, whooshing up papers and blowing past all the reporters, but he's moving so fast they don't see him. He's in front of the building in a second. Lois is still falling. He uses his super breath and slows her fall. At the same time he uses his heat vision to burn through a lock that's holding a nice cloth sidewalk cover in place. It pops out and he super blows again, slowing her fall one more time just before she hits the cover and bounces off, right onto a fruit stand. Like breaking through the wooden thing. He super runs back up and when Lois looks up, covered in watermelon, Clark's looking out the window worried.
That was the scene. Looked great, seeing an alternate reality from the one I know. It was good seeing new Christopher Reeve Clark/Superman scenes. Anyway, there you have it. One more super large day in the works. Be back early tomorrow!