When Bryan Singer made Superman Returns, arguably the biggest mistake the filmmaker made was using his opportunity to reinvent the icon for a new generation as an opportunity to make a sequel to the Richard Donner-directed Superman films which, even then, were something like 25 years old.
That was the opinion of everyone who went to see it, and of a great many critics, who gave the film lumps for placing sentimentality over story and being more preoccupied with mimicking the old material than with Singer finding his own voice for the franchise.
It seems, after a decade of hearing that over and over again, that Singer now agrees. In a new interview with Empire Magazine, the filmmaker was asked about the hostility with which many fans view his Superman film–one that he went into with high expectations off the success of X2: X-Men United and replacing a series of directorial choices by Warner Bros. (including McG and Brett Ratner, who took over the X-Men franchise for Singer at the time) that didn’t thrill fans.
“Half of that I understand and half of it I never will,” Singer said. “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.”
In the past, Singer has spoken about wanting to use Brainiac for a sequel, but according to this newest interview, the movie he had in his head was to be called Man of Steel–and feature a full-scale, earth-shaking alien invasion.
“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.”