Having directed the poorly-received Superman Returns back in 2006, director Bryan Singer has been talking about his planned sequel to that movie and also why he chose to cast Brandon Routh as the Big, Blue Boy Scout rather than current Man of Steel Henry Cavill.
Speaking to Empire about his ’06 flick and Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, Singer said, “I am in awe of the world building and the scope of that picture. It’s tough for me. I’m not a critic and it starts to get into a weird thing where one director is talking about another director. I know how hard it is to make a movie, especially one of these movies and especially a Superman movie, and there was so much I was impressed with in that movie. There were things I might have done a little differently just because of the way I view the character. Don’t misinterpret that as me not liking something.”
Moving on to Henry Cavill, who was in consideration for the Superman role for Singer’s movie, the director revealed why he didn’t cast him at that time. “I think Henry Cavill is great,” Singer said. “I knew Henry. He and I were friends years ago. Oddly enough, the reason I didn’t cast him was because I was making a sequel to Christopher Reeve and I wanted somebody who embodied Reeve more.”
One has to feel sorry for Brandon Routh, as he did very well as Clark Kent/Superman. What let him down was a soppy, action-light story. Singer teased fans with moments of brilliance, such as the aeroplane save, but the story shied away from the action too much for what audiences were looking for at that time.
When asked about the criticism of the movie and, in hindsight, what he’d do differently on Superman Returns, Singer responded, “Half of that I understand and half of it I never will. It was a movie made for a certain kind of audience. Perhaps more of a female audience. It wasn’t what it needed to be, I guess. I think I could lop the first quarter off and start the movie a bit more aggressively and maybe find a way to start the movie with the jet disaster sequence or something. I could have grabbed the audience a little more quickly. I don’t know what would have helped. Probably nothing. If I could go again, I would do an origin. I would reboot it.”
Singer went on to reveal that the sequel he had planned would’ve featured Darkseid as the villain and also was likely to be titled Man of Steel. “That was the title,” Singer revealed. “Actually, my buddy, one of my two best friends, came up with that. We did explore it a little. Just hammering out ideas. I think Darkseid was going to be the villain. It was pretty world-destroying, actually.”
Why didn’t Singer’s Superman Returns sequel ever get made? “I ended up having the opportunity to go and make Valkyrie, and I think the studio lost interest at that point,” revealed the director. “I can’t say it was all the studio’s fault and I can’t say it was all my fault. It just fizzled out.”
Up next for Singer is X-Men: Days of Future Past, which hits later this year.