One of the more fascinating what-ifs, at least in comic-book movie lore, was the proposed sequel to Bryan Singer's "Superman Returns," which was very actively being developed (or at the very least eyed) despite the critical and commercial indifference towards the first film.
In a recent issue of British movie magazine Empire (the one that had 25 covers for Singer's upcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past"), Singer spoke about the would-be sequel and what he thought about the Superman movie that ended up following "Superman Returns:" this past summer's "Man of Steel."
Singer told the magazine (via Coming Soon) that "Man of Steel" was still a bit of a sensitive subject. "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," Singer told Empire. "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." Oh, we'll misinterpret all we want, Singy!
What's interesting is that Henry Cavill, who would go on to star in "Man of Steel," was also up for the Man of Tomorrow in Singer's "Superman Returns." Singer addressed this too: "I think Henry Cavill is great. 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 thing that Singer still doesn't grasp is the somewhat harsh response to his "Superman Returns": "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."
And what about Singer's proposed sequel? Well, according to Singer, it was actually going to be called "Man of Steel." "That was the title. Actually, my buddy, one of my two best friends, came up with that..." Singer said. "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." This sequel, Singer said, just "fizzled out."
While opinion on "Man of Steel" varies wildly, it's probably safe to say that it was more entertaining whatever Singer and company would have cooked up, especially since they would have had to deal with Superman's small child. Woof.