Here is my response:
I think with Superman we have this opportunity to place this icon within the sort of real world we live in. And I think that, honestly, the thing I was surprised about in response to Superman was how everyone clings to the Christopher Reeve version of Superman, you know? How tightly they cling to those ideas, not really the comic book version but more the movie version…
Couple of points here, Zack-o.
One. They cling to the Christopher Reeve version because it was GOOD, and they rejected yours compared to it because yours was BAD. Reeve's Superman was the Superman we all imagined. He looked the part. He acted the part. He WAS the part. Margot Kidder talks about this in the DVD expanded edition... how they screen tested multiple actors, but when Reeve, even skinny as he was before he bulked up, hopped down onto her balcony and said, "Good evening, Miss Lane," he fucking WAS Superman. End of story. YOUR guy, Zack-o... wasn't. He never owned the role. He never seemed comfortable in it. He never seemed to fly
. Your movie's SFX should have run circles around Donner's but still Reeve is the one, not Clavill, who seemed to fly for real.
Two. Donner/Reeves' movie was so fucking good that the comics changed to become more like the movie.
DC adopted many of the movie's ideas because they were so awesome. Guess what one of the BIG one was Zack? One of the ones YOU adopted in your movie? The S shield being like a coat of arms
. That's right, Zacky-pie... you used this idea. It was on your movie's website. "Which house do you belong to?" And we could get symbols for the houses. You think you got that from the comics? Well the comics got that from the first movie. Even the New fucking Fifty-two has the S shield being a coat of arms, the symbol for the house of El. Thank you Marlon Brando -- it was HIS idea. From that first movie.
Oh and one more thing: In your movie, Lois Lane sort of comes up with the name "Superman." Remember that scene? It was even in all the commercials. Guess where that came from? That's right, the DONNER FILM buddy-boy. Lois came up with the name when she said, "What a super man... hm... Superman!" After the famous flying sequence. Again... co-opted into the comic-books after the movie, because it was so good of an idea.
If you really analyze the comic book version of Superman, he’s killed, he’s done all the things– I guess the rules that people associate with Superman in the movie world are not the rules that really apply to him in the comic book world, because those rules are different. He’s done all the things and more that we’ve shown him doing, right?
Yes. The crap-ass modern version of Superman has done all those shitty things. The ORIGINAL Superman, on whom the Christopher Reeve version was based, had a Code against Killing, buddy boy. You've got it all backwards. People didn't like the Christopher Reeve movie-version Superman INSTEAD of the comic version. They liked the movie version because it was just like the comic version that was in print at the time
... and the changes they made for the movie were so much BETTER than the comic, that the comics adopted them!
For 20 or 30 years bracketing the Donner film (early 70s to early 90s), the version you saw out of Christpher Reeve WAS the version you saw in the comic. The two were of a piece. So what people are bitching about, isn't just YOUR crap-ass movie Superman... they're bitching about the loss of Superman period, in all media, because he's not the man he used to be.
It’s just funny to see people really taking it personally… because I made him real, you know, I made him feel, or made consequences [in] the world. I felt like, it was the same thing in Watchmen. We really wanted to show it wasn’t just like they thought, like the PG-13 version where everyone just gets up and they’re fine. I really wanted to show the violence is real, people get killed or get hurt, and it’s not fun or funny. And I guess for me, it was like I wanted a hero in Superman that was a real hero and sort of reflected the world we live in now.
This shows, Zack, that you know fucking NOTHING about Superman. A Superman story is not SUPPOSED to be a story where everyone gets hurt and killed and it all "feels real." Superman is fantasy. He is upbeat. He is a symbol of hope. You even say that in your movie, but where is the hope? Your movie is gloomy, depressing, hopeless, and soulless. You think your Superman is real? No. He's flat. He's boring. He has no PERSONALITY. He's just an action figure.
REAL is Christopher Reeve. REAL is Dean Cain. Your Superman is a cardboard cutout. Your whole MOVIE was a cardboard cutout.
Those of us who hated it? We hated it because it SUCKED. That's the bottom line.
IN the 1980s, Chris Reeve gave an interview where he explained all this. He says, in part, that he liked playing Superman because he was "a character who's caring, who loves people, who's considerate, who's a gentleman... as a possible antidote to the Rambos and the Chuck Norrises and the Schwarzeneggers . I think all of THOSE are the comic-books, as a matter of fact." Reeve talks about offering Superman to the moms of America wanting to know where to bring their 12 year olds on a Friday night as something more "sound" and more "real" than a lot of the alternatives out there. To Reeve, Zacky, YOUR stuff was the unrealistic fiction.
Later in the same interview Reeve says, "In a Superman film, nobody dies." That it is a cheerful, upbeat movie. His point, Zacky, is that you can have all your hopeless "realism" shit in any other movie you want, but keep it the FUCK away from Superman.