Where does "Superman Returns" fit in the series? (possible spoilers)

I’ve just seen Superman Returns and I’m wondering exactly where in sequence does it fall in relation to the original[sup]1[/sup] movies. Is it essentially “Superman V”? It felt to me that it was more like “Superman 2.5” based on the homage it pays to the first two while ignoring the later films.
[sup]1[/sup]By original I mean the Christopher Reeves movies, Superman vs. the Mole Men falling outside this series.

It assumes that the events of Superman I and Superman II happened in some fashion, although not necessarily exactly as they appeared in the original films (Singer is on record as saying that the “flying around the earth to make it revolve backwards” bit never happened in his cinematic universe, not that it really matters). Superman III forwards are non-entities.

So really, it’s its own thing, building off of previous movies but not truly connected to them.

I just wanted to say I love your name Jet Jaguar. (Its what I named my Cat!)His picture can be seen here Good to see another Godzilla fan that remembers JJ.

The problem, for me at least, is that Singer usually doesn’t bother to share with the rest of us what he considers “canon” and what he’s throwing out (this is the first I’d heard that he threw out the world-spinning-backward bit). He goes to so much trouble to connect Superman Returns with the Reeve movies stylistically that you naturally assume the events in those movies occurred; but if you do that, the movie doesn’t make sense. Why does Lois remember sleeping with Superman? I guess Singer threw out the “magic kiss” part in Superman II. If she got pregnant when Superman was human and powerless, why does the kid have super powers? I guess Singer ignored that, too. Why does Superman leave earth when he promised he wouldn’t at the end of II? I guess he didn’t promise after all (he’s *still * a dick for leaving, though).

I mostly agree with Singer’s decisions on what parts of the previous films deserve to be changed, but it still pulls you out of the movie when you’re constantly going “Huh? But I thought . . .” when you should be involved in the story.

Incidentally, I happened to watch the original Superman on DVD last night. I hadn’t seen it in at least ten years, and it confirmed my suspicions that yes, it’s still better than Superman Returns, even with the idiocy of Otis and the please-God-let-it-end “can you read my mind” scene. The special effects hold up pretty well, considering it was made nearly 30 years ago. (Ugh, I feel old).

Darwin 1; Lamarck 0

I saw Superman Returns with my 7 1/2 year-old niece and twelve-year-old nephew, and the fake honeymoon at the beginning of Superman II is necessary to explain to them how Superman had a child with Lois Lane, since the idea of children born out of wedlock is completely foreign, especially to the younger one. (See, they were married in this earlier film, which is how they have the child together.)

Uh, and how long do you expect that to last? :dubious:

Especially given that Lois is still unmarried in Superman Returns. Not even to Cyclops there.

Yeah, but how do you do this in a film?

“Hey, Superman, why don’t you reverse time like you did five years ago?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Jimmy. I’ve never reversed time before.”

“Oh, right, I don’t know what I was thinking of.”

There’s a lot of cool stuff in the earlier movies, but there’s a lot of dopey stuff, too. I liked that Singer just took the stuff that was cool, like Brando’s performance or the look of the Fortress of Solitude, and ignored the dumb crap, like Superman’s Super Hypno Kisses, and trusted the audience to be able to figure out what was kept and what was dropped on their own.

Going into the movie, I just operated under the assumption that Superman had been around five years ago, and stuff had happened, the nature of which we’re not really privy to. Maybe some of it is what happened in the first two movies, or maybe it’s not. Does it really matter? The problem with a lot of superhero movies is they spend to much time on the origin story. The advantage to Superman is that he’s such a huge pop icon that pretty much everybody, even the non-fans, knows the basics about where he came from. I liked that the new movie didn’t feel the need to cover that ground again.

Your twelve year old nephew still doesn’t know where babies come from?

I know this is going to come as a shock to you, but there are still people out there teaching their children that people are supposed to wait until they’re married to have children.

Basically, what happened is that after it became obvious that Jason was Superman’s son, the niece asked, “When did Superman marry Lois?” I don’t remember what the nephew asked, or whether he understands the mechanics of procreation, but that’s a matter between him and my brother. I just thought the question was funny.

And I showed Superman The Movie and Superman II to them after they saw Superman Returns, because I thought the earlier movies were far superior (except for the whole Earth rotating in reverse scene), especially Christopher Reeve as Superman; he absolutely looked the part and could play the bumbling Clark Kent very well.

I also read in Entertainment Weekly that they tried not to do anything that directly contradicts Smallville, also (although the kid leaping through the cornfield is younger than Smallville would have it). I think it’s an admirable impulse; Superman has been the central character in so many diverse media that I like the idea that the filmmakers tried not to say to any potential member of the audience: “This isn’t your Superman.” Given their approach, it might very well be my Superman regardless of how I came to the character.


That scene never bothered me too terribly much, because I always just figured he was flying faster than the speed of light and thus going back in time, as opposed to actually causing the earth to spin backwards. Of course, then you wonder, “Well why doesn’t he do that all the time?” I suppose the answer would be, “Because he doesn’t get that pissed off all the time.” :slight_smile:

Now that I think about it, there’s another problem: why aren’t there *two * Supermans when he goes back and saves Lois? And did you ever notice her car doesn’t get swallowed up the second time around? Even though Superman goes back and rescues her, the earthquake still would have swallowed the car, right? But the second time there’s no earthquake.

Okay, never mind, you’re right, it’s a stupid scene. :smack: