Click to viewWarner Bros may finally have bitten the bullet and announced that they're going to reboot the Superman movie franchise, but reading President of Production Jeff Robinov say that he wants the movie versions of all of DC's superheroes to "go dark to the extent that the characters allow it," is more than a little concerning. How can one man miss the point of one of the most famous fictional characters of the last hundred years so badly? Under the jump, we offer five simple steps to keep any movie reboot for the Man of Steel on track.Stay True To The Characters. This is one of two places where Superman Returns failed massively; not only would Superman not leave the Earth for years without telling anyone, but even if you bought into that, he still wouldn't have become creepy floating stalker ex to Lois afterwards. It shouldn't be that hard, really; Look at what's made the characters popular for decades, and then analyze how best to translate that onto the screen. Don't try and impose the latest fad or "radical reinvention" on characters that don't need it; save that for your inevitable reboot of Harry Potter in ten years' time. In other words, "dark Superman"? No. Talk To Your Comic People. Take a page out of Marvel's playbook; run your ideas past the people who've been living with these characters and concepts day-in, day-out for years before things go too far (It's what saved Iron Man from the Mandarin, after all). If, as has been reported more than once, the Warner Bros plan is to use superhero movies to bring all the various WB arms into synch from publishing to movies to video games, then start as you mean to go on, and bring the movies into place with the comic books before you go any further. Don't Overthink Things. You know what people want from a Superman movie? Action. It's very easy to remember; just think about the name of the comic where Superman made his first appearance. Failure number two of Superman Returns: With the exception of the falling plane, there weren't enough ridiculous set-pieces to give the audience something to distract themselves from Superemo. Even The Dark Knight had the awesome chase sequence that got pulses racing. Superman should be a movie that is almost stupid in its simplicity: The ultimate good guy against the ultimate bad guy. With punching and exciting action sequences. Casting Is Key. If it wasn't for the fact that Smallville is kind of a mess, I'd suggest keeping Tom Welling as Superman, if only because he's already set in that role in many people's minds (and then the WB could use Smallville as a launching pad for the movie's promotion), but let's ignore Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey and the weird casting of Returns and look more to (again) Iron Man's outside-of-the-box collection of actors. Let's go for believability and no Kevin Spacey melodrama once again. If All Else Fails, Give It To Geoff Johns. All you have to do is look at the Superman stories he's been writing for the past few years to know that he understands the character and can come up with some good stories about him. He's worked with The Dark Knight's co-write David Goyer in the past, and is already working in Hollywood himself (Amongst other things, he's producing a Metal Men movie and writing a Robot Chicken feature). And as if that wasn't enough, he's made noises about rebooting the franchise before: Where, exactly, is the downside to just giving him the keys to this particular car and letting him drive for awhile? Alternatively, you could invite Tim Burton in to take a crack at the character; that worked out so well before.
I really enjoyed reading through all these comments. There are lot of good ideas for stories that people have come up with here.
Going dark with Superman is stupid. Superman is supposed to be a contrast to Batman or Dirty Harry with Cape. But I also agree with many here that the boyscout facade hides a lot of depth.
* He's a god who lives with the constant worry of collateral damage. Justice League Ultimate got this right.
* Have him fight someone who's as tough or tougher than he is. How about an alien invasion of Earth? Break his confidence that he's untouchable.
* Make him face a moral dilemma—either way he goes, it sucks.
* Please, please, please don't use kryptonite again.
* Lex Luthor is pretty much an ordinary guy but he's superhumanly intelligent. Think of Ozymandias' plotting in Watchmen. And have Lex be in the right on several key points.