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CON: Bryan Singer


Interview with Bryan Singer

Here it is - Part One of Comic-Con Interview Week on I apologize for the delay in getting them up but there were just so damn many of them this year (with Eva Mendes, Kate Beckinsale, Charlize Theron and Darren Aronofsky still to come). We'll kick things off today with an interview with Bryan Singer, who was fresh from knocking the socks of the collected crowd with his SUPERMAN footage. He cautioned (as he did at the panel) that he was exhausted from a long flight from Australia but he dutifully answered all the questions from the collected journalists (even the ones about Krypto the Super Dog...). Here's what the man, a fellow Jersey boy, had to say for himself:

That must have felt pretty good to get a standing ovation with the footage… It’s hard, you know, when you just see a photograph of it, it represents one thing and people interpret it. It’s just a photograph. But when you see it in motion, how we’re treating it with lighting and color and this is only our first pass at it, you know, in color time. I mean this was done sort of, this little piece was done on the fly, basically created on a small screen and very quickly for this. I think [Brandon Routh] sells it, definitely. If you were to meet Brandon in the suit, that’s when it really… You feel like, “Oh, that’s Superman. OK, I get it.” I think or I hope it will be a good reaction. You know, you can please some of the people some of the time… What was the appeal of directing the SUPERMAN movie? I am adopted and I’m an American, and I’m an only child, and Superman was you know, these three things. What interests me is that he is the ultimate immigrant and he carries his, what makes him different, his special heritage, he carries it with pride. And the suit, in the sense of the suit, he’s very idealistic. Unlike Wolverine who’s very cynical, Superman is extremely idealistic and kind of represents a bit of what America is and the pitfalls one experiences in their idealism, so I very much like the character. I find him very pleasant. I’d like to think that there were people like Superman or aliens like Superman that existed. Plus, he can do anything. Do you feel a lot of pressure or responsibility making a movie like this? I feel enormous responsibility because very simply, it’s SUPERMAN. It’s an icon that surpasses probably any comic icon and most icons that exist in popular culture. I guarantee you take the cross and the “S” into the jungle and you will have 50/50 recognition. It’s extraordinary responsibility.

You must’ve seen a million actresses for the role of Lois Lane. What stood out about Kate Bosworth? I saw the movie BEYOND THE SEA twice and she was phenomenal and I really liked her and I brought her in to read with Brandon and they had a chemistry. It was a combination of her work in BEYOND THE SEA and the chemistry she had in the room with Brandon and her, the general sense I had in the meeting. You know, when you meet somebody that’s, for me, when I cast, I’ve had a good record with casting and it’s sort of in the meetings when I fully make that decision. Where did the story come from? Is it a storyline from the comics, part of the original movie or something entirely original? It’s mostly original, like original material. If you look back in the comic history, they’ve done pretty much about everything. Superman’s rescued everything, picked up everything, thrown everything, caught and captured and everything’s bounced off him. You have to just see what serves the story that you’re telling at the given moment. But there’s definitely a respect to taking an overview of the series and an overview of the movies and an overview of the serials and an overview of the musical, which I’ve seen. Yeah, they did it… Is Superman a home wrecker in this movie? He’s not a home wrecker, it’s just what happens when old boyfriends come back into your life. You know, something happens and it’s tough. And they’re not married. No, [James] Marsden’s character and Bosworth, Richard White and Lois Lane, are not married. You don’t ask her about that question. Not Kate, but the character of Lois. She doesn’t like that question. So who exactly is the father of the baby? It’s hers and Richard’s. No, they’re not married. It’s a child out of wedlock. What was one of the biggest challenges you faced when making this film? The biggest creative challenge is to just make a good movie. I don’t really care about things, about relevance of today. I don’t particularly worry about where we are right now because where we are right now or what you consider today will be different tomorrow. So I just basically wanted to be respectful to Superman’s universe. I think the one thing that makes it more modern is the fact that it is about what happens when old girlfriends come home. The world has moved on since Superman was the idyllic young man who emerged from the Fortress of Solitude as Superman.”

Has it been difficult shooting in Australia? The only issue with Australia for me is just the personal distance. My family lives in New Jersey and my home is in L.A. and if, God forbid, something were to happen to my family, it’s 22 hours travel. But so far, the crew has been extraordinary. We’ve got a lot of people off KING KONG. We’ve got a lot of other folks off STAR WARS and THE MATRIX. They have a terrific crew. So for me, it’s just the sense of a combination of a little homesickness. On a day it’ll get to me. It’s intangible, because the place is beautiful. Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Why did you decide to create your own Metropolis instead of basing the town on New York City like the original film? Richard Donner didn’t base it loosely on New York City, he made it New York City. He had the Statue of Liberty. I mean, it was New York City. We have a city that’s sort of a bit of and captures the look of and the whole idea of the film, a 1940’s love story. So there’ll be a bit more deco, things like that. Thomas Hart Benton kind of stuff. But ultimately, we’ll be based on kind of something between today’s New York and the New York of 1938. Will there be any “easter egg” type cameos for hardcore fans? Oh absolutely. There’s two cameos: Noel Neill and Jack Larson who play the original Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen from the 1950s series. Jack Clark plays the bartender with Jimmy Olsen in the scene so it’s great. They have a scene together. And it was fun to shoot that day. It was a very long day. Jack worked - Jack there flew 15 hours to get there and worked an 18-hour day. He’s not young, so he’s got a lot of energy. I was really impressed.

Will there eventually be an IMAX version of this film? We’ve discussed an IMAX version. As far as a 3D version, I have to see the demonstrations of how to do that without shooting it that way. In theory, the best, the real way to do 3D is shooting it 3D, you know, with appropriate ocular placement, with two lenses attached to the media. I’ve seen the camera. It’s quite extraordinary. But as far as us doing a 3D release, we would have to re-render other elements in the digital world so we’ve not yet discussed the notion of rendering our visual effects in 3D. That discussion hasn’t started yet because I’d like to see some demonstrations of what that looks like. Obviously we’re not shooting the film in 3D. What we’re doing is shooting the film with something called the Genesis Camera. We’re the first film to really utilize this camera. It was built from the ground up by Sony and Panavision to look more like film than any digital camera to date has done and it’s quite fascinating. It’s created quite an image. Kind of was spawned from when I did Brandon Routh’s screen test. I did it in both 35mm and 70mm and I looked at the 70mm image and the resolution, and I said, ‘God, if we could only shoot this movie in 70mm.’ But it’s not possible with the way that the cameras, the lenses, the rigs, the processing of the films, it’s just not possible. So the Genesis Camera came the closest to creating something classic, but new. And with a resolution that will blow up to IMAX. You’ll be able to project on the side of the biggest building in this town and it will be pretty vivid, pretty clear. Besides actively working on the DVD, what other aspects of SUPERMAN material are you working on? They’re doing a video game and I’m involved in that - with EA - and that’s spectacular. That’s going to be quite a video game. It’ll be for the next generation console, which will be amazing, and that will be different. It’ll have elements of the movie in it, but it will have elements that will make game play more exciting in terms of the construction of Metropolis and Superman’s powers and things like that.

Read the report on the SUPERMAN RETURNS panel here





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2:48PM on 08/08/2005
With how awesome Spiderman 2 and Batman Begins were, why not do another Superman? With Singer attached it should stand up well against those two movies.
With how awesome Spiderman 2 and Batman Begins were, why not do another Superman? With Singer attached it should stand up well against those two movies.
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1:03PM on 08/08/2005

Do we really need another superman movie?

I love superman as much as the next guy but do we really need another superman?
I love superman as much as the next guy but do we really need another superman?
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