Man Of Steel, Producers On Crack
Ever hear of the expression, “development hell?” Check out this tale of the shennanigans behind bringing Superman back to the silver screen. It’s all comic gold, but I think this is the best excerpt:
“And this is where things got REALLY ugly. First off, Smith [Clerk’s director Kevin Smith] was taken aback when Peters [super producer Jon Peters] asked him, in all sincerity, “‘Kal-El’? Who’s this ‘Kal-El’ guy you keep mentioning in the script?” Then the insanity really started to take over. Peters demanded that Superman be stripped of his red and blue suit, arguing that the suit was “too pink, too f@ggy.” WB also demanded that Superman undergo a costume change, even ordering Smith to describe the soon-to-be-trashed red and blue duds as being “‘90s-style.” So Smith was forced to have Superman ditch his red and blues (which he grudgingly deemed “‘90s-style”) early on in the script and switch over to the black and silver suit from the “death of” story as his permanent gear (ironically mirroring Poirier’s earlier script). Peters also hated the FX in the 1978 Superman film with Chris Reeve, so he wanted to get rid of Superman’s ability to fly. So Smith tried to get around this by portraying Superman as a red blur while in flight, creating a sonic boom every time he took off (he took this from The Dark Knight Returns). Peters then told Smith to have Brainiac fight polar bears at the Fortress of Solitude, demanding that the film be wall-to-wall action. Smith thought it was a stupid idea, so Peters said, “Then have Brainiac fight Superman’s bodyguards!” Smith responded, “Why the hell would Superman need bodyguards?” Peters wouldn’t let up, so Smith caved in and had Brainiac fight the polar bears. Then Peters demanded that Brainiac give Luthor a hostile space dog as a gift, arguing that the movie needed a cuddly Chewbacca character that could be turned into a toy. Then, after watching Chasing Amy, Peters liked the gay black character in the film so much that he ordered Smith to make Brainiac’s robot servant L-Ron gay, asserting that the film needed a gay R2-D2 with attitude. Then Peters demanded that Superman fight a huge spider at the end of the film, which Smith refused to do—he used a “Thanagarian Snare Beast” instead. (However, Peters did manage to recycle his spider idea and use it in Wild Wild West.)”
You just can’t make this stuff up.