J. J. Abrams to retool Superman / DC

Superman Retooled

Art by McCave

Sept 20, 2019: Story at Observer

The $500 million dollar deal includes a lot more than films, and could be the door to a whole redoing of the DC Comics universe. Abrams has imagination for the DC hero roster, judging by his unused 2002 movie script for Superman: Flyby (which features a Krytonian civil war that puts baby Supers on planet earth, a child so powerful and lethal that his Kansas parents have to curtail him into being much less than he really is, where on a psychological level Kal-El literally becomes Clark Kent, not realizing until later in life what he can really do).

There's some irony in this deal. On one level it looks like the classic Hollywood template, to hire a creative "strong man" to update a faltering, older intellectual property. This worked with Nolan on the Dark Knight franchise, with Batman Begins the experimental run to prove what could be done with Chris Nolan holding creative control, followed by the billion-dollar earning Dark Knight and Dark Knight Rises movies.

But this method of ceding total "vision" to one brain had decidedly mixed results with Zach Snyder and the much lower-earnings on Batman v. Superman and Justice League. Despite his pedigree, giving Abrams such power is a bit of a gamble, but DC has to try something if it is going to go head-to-head with Disney, who is ironically Abrams' previous employer who revamped the Star Wars franchise.


Original Page September 2019