Why This Superman Fan Isn’t Excited for SUPERMAN

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It’s obvious that I’m a HUGE Batman fan, right?  I mean, I’ve run a Batman website for almost 26 years now.  I grew up a Batman fan and I do not recall a time in my life that I didn’t love the character.

But, I’m a Superman fan as well.

The origin of my Superman fandom is threefold: THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN 1950s TV series starring George Reeves (I watched the syndicated reruns), THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN animated TV series of the late 1960s, and Superman comics.  When I was 4, my Mom made me a Superman costume, and my first dog was named…wait for it…Krypto. (Y’all thought it was Ace, didn’t y’all?)

Then there’s a little film that came out in 1978 titled SUPERMAN…or SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE, at least technically.

Starring Christopher Reeve in the title role, SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE had the biggest impact of any film I watched growing up.  I followed its production as closely as one could back in the late 1970s and even entered the “You Could Be in the New Superman Movie” contest from DC Comics (I didn’t win).  I’d say that if you are reading this right now here on BOF, it’s due to this movie — in a roundabout way — because S:TM made me want Batman to get the same serious big-screen movie treatment as Superman which finally happened in 1989 with BATMAN (which ultimately led to BATMAN & ROBIN and the rest is BOF history).

Since S:TM, there have been 5 solo Superman movies with only 1 of them being a bona fide hit: 1980’s SUPERMAN II.  The other 4 either underperformed/didn’t meet expectations (SUPERMAN RETURNS, MAN OF STEEL) or were straight-up flops (SUPERMAN III and SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE).

Christopher Reeves, Brandon Routh, and Henry Cavill as Superman

And I saw them all.

In theaters.

Original release.

Hell, I even attended the New York City world premiere of MAN OF STEEL (which I still borderline love) and got to party with the cast and crew at its afterparty.

The new logo for the 2025 SUPERMAN movie

Now, a new Superman film has commenced filming, SUPERMAN (formerly titled SUPERMAN: LEGACY), written and directed by the co-boss of DC Studios, James Gunn.

And I’m not excited.

I was once, briefly mind you, when the project was first announced.  I thought the casting of David Corenswet as Superman/Clark Kent was very good and especially loved the choice of Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane (Discovered her in THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL and — don’t tell Announcer Rachel — I’ve got a big crush on her).  In fact, I’m down with all the casting for the film…well, almost.

So why did I lose interest?  Well…

Why in the hell are Green Lantern Guy Gardner (Nathan Fillion), Hawkgirl (Isabela Merced), Mr. Terrific (Edi Gathegi), and Metamorpho (Anthony Carrigan in a Superman movie?  Not just a Superman movie, but the first solo (is it really?) Superman movie since MAN OF STEEL in 2013?!

Oh yeah, that’s because SUPERMAN pretty much launches Warner’s second try at a shared DC Comics film (and other mediums, apparently) universe.

The cast of James Gunn’s SUPERMAN, apparently

Let’s be real here, shall we? It may not be the only reason, but having all these non-Superman DC characters in the movie is to set up the new DCU and spin these characters off into other projects.

Did I mention that the new DCU is Warner’s second stab at doing the shared universe thing?  Oh yeah, I did previously point out they are giving it a second go after the “DCEU” failed spectacularly.

Can’t you just make a Superman movie that’s just about Superman with Superman characters?

So yeah, my excitement for this film fizzled out like an open bottle of beer with each subsequent non-Superman DC character being added to the cast.

I’m not sure how diehard Superman fans feel about this, but I know I would not be happy if this happened with a Batman movie. (Frankly, I’m totally expecting Plastic Man, The Question, Etrigan the Demon, Firestorm, the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern, Ambush Bug, and The Atom to show up in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD.)

This is what happens when you do the shared universe thing (again).

If it’s not bad enough that Waner Bros. tried and failed once, but this second attempt is coming at the worst possible time.  Clearly, we are now in the age of a disease called comic book/superhero movie fatigue.  Even Disney’s once mighty Marvel Cinematic Universe is on shaky ground.  Only 2 characters appear to be immune from this ailment: Spider-Man and Batman as each’s solo cinematic endeavors have been rebooted more than once (3 times each to date and no, I don’t count the DCEU Batman which was a failure) and done so successfully each time.  Superman is now on his 3rd movie reboot (if you count SUPERMAN RETURNS which was kinda-sorta a continuation of the Reeves films) and his track record ain’t that of Spidey and The Dark Knight.

Shared universes, superhero movie fatigue, and non-Superman characters aside, history says SUPERMAN faces a building that may be too tall to leap.

Guy Gardner is in the front and Superman is in the back… 🤔

With all that said — and regardless of my lack of interest — I tremendously hope that SUPERMAN does well at the box office and is embraced by fans and, most importantly, the general audience. The character and Superman fans deserve a Super-movie that’s a Super-hit.

I will cover SUPERMAN here on BOF because, well, it’s Superman. And you never know, it may end up making my old ass feel like I did when I saw SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE as a 13-year-old kid.  BUT…

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE didn’t have any other superheroes in it other than Superman and he wasn’t sharing a universe with anyone. – Bill “Jett” Ramey