Originally Posted by soda
See, here's the thing, people say that, by having a story set on Krypton, you wouldn't have powers (FYI: its the yellow sun that gives Kryptonians Superpowers, and Krypton orbits a red sun, so Kryptonians on Krypton are "normal") you wouldn't have Superman, himself, for a lot of it. However, balance that against the fact that, in Batman Begins, you have pretty much the same set-up: no suit, for half the film, batman doesn't even show up for much of it, lots of scenes of a very young Bruce Wayne, way before he even thought of being Batman.
Everyone knew the basics of the Batman origin story, even people in Ethopia, rich kids son, prince of gotham, parents got shot, dedicated his life to avenging their murder, and saving his city. Straight forward, same as Superman's, but the way Nolan re-told that origin was distinct, while, at the same time, in step with the mythology.
How could this be incorporated into Superman? I was watching the season premier of Smallville the other night, and there was a scene that really moved me, because it cut to the heart of what I would want to see in a Krypton movie: the scene where Jon Schiender As Jonathan Kent, comes back and gives Clark a talking to. Clark is kind of at odds with what his biological father, Jor-el, wants for him, and Pa Kent essentially tells Clark: you don't know much about fatherhood, your fathers, both of them, are trying to help you become who you should be.
It occurred to me, as I was watching, that one of the premises of Smallville has been that Jor-el is the "bad cop", and the Clark doesn't want to accept Jor-el's verion of "his destiny". Those of us who read comics, and who have gotten to know the character of Jor-el, in the flesh, know that this perception is not even close to what the reality of the situation was. As Marlon Brandow famously summed up: "but, for above all other things, their propensity for good, I give them you, my only son."
I think that's very interesting, as a story. What makes a man send his infant son in a rocketship to an alien world to be raised by strangers? How much love, compassion, and above all else, faith does an act like that take? How is it that things got so bad on Krypton that this was the best alternative available? ("I can't save my home, but I can at least give another world a fighting chance, and a great hero.")
Remember in Superman 2, when Zod gets out of the Phantom Zone? He barely acknowledges Superman, instead calling him by one name, above all others: "son of Jor-el." and "son of our jailor", its obvious (and the comics bear this out), that Zod and Jor-el knew each other on Krypton, and that Zod believes Jor-el betrayed him by imprisoning him and Ursa and Non in the Phantom Zone. From what we know, Zod was a great Kryptonian war hero, a general, and the leader of the military guild, what event caused an honorable soldier to turn on his people in such a way that he would be punished to an eternity of oblivion?
Again, I get that my idea has a huge amount of risk, and the way studos are these days, that's not likely to fly. You would need a pro writer, producer and director to make a story like this work. It certainly presents a challenge, no question there, because it seeks to do what Batman Begins did for Batman: redefine what a character is about, while at the same time, tying into the best of what has come before. Back in 2004, there was a whole generation of fans who only knew the campy batman, from the Adam West TV show, and the schumacher movies, and, to an extent, even the Burton movies. Nolan changed that, by, pardoxiacally, going back to the source material, but re-inventing it in his own image. That's what great story-tellers do, and I think the time is ripe for that with Superman.