Superman is the epitome of truth, justice and the American way. He taught the human race valuable lessons of right, wrong and all that superhero diktat of balancing power with responsibility. Of course, the irony of an alien teaching humans about humanity (Superman is an extra-terrestrial from the planet Krypton) is lost on most people. Now Man of Steel is here, so note past highlights. The late Christopher Reeve starred in four Superman movies ranging from supergood to superdud...
Ab Tak Aapne Dekha
Superman: The Movie (1978)
Superstars galore – Gene Hackman played Lex Luthor, Marlon Brando was the enigmatic Jor-El and a waif-thin Margot Kidder was Lois Lane (mediocre at best). Reeve spent months scarfing down protein-heavy food and lifting weights to build up muscles for the role.
Superman II (1980)
Arguably THE Superman movie. Its cult status is undeniable. Terence Stamp plays General Zod and Hackman reprises the Luthor role. Interestingly, two versions of this movie exist – different cuts by different directors.
Superman III (1983)
Richard Pryor, Superman vs Clark Kent and the introduction of Superman’s high school flame, Lana Lang. ’Nuff said.
Superman IV (1987)
Reeve is quoted to have said, “The less said about Superman IV, the better.” Let’s respect his wishes.
Superman Returns (2006)
Brandon Routh, a relative nobody, played an insipid Superman. His performance was stoic to the extent of constipation.
Man of Steel (2013)
It explores the origin of Superman and his relationship with his adoptive parents. Henry Cavill (that chap from The Tudors) plays Superman. Russell Crowe plays his biological father, Jor-El. Kevin Costner plays the adoptive dad.
There’s hope because Zack Snyder has successfully created movies based on graphic novels. We hope we’ll see aspects of Superman that we’ve assimilated over the years: leader of the Justice League, outsider trying to make his place on Earth, defender of the weak and ‘Superman impregnates her the first time, every time.’ Sigh, maybe not the last one.
Real name: Kal-el
Alternate names/titles: Clark Kent, Last Son of Krypton, Man of Steel, The Man of Tomorrow
Occupation: Reporter with Daily Planet
Colleagues: Lois Lane (reporter), Jimmy Olsen (photographer), Perry White (editor)
Nemeses: Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Bizarro, Mr Mxyzptlk
Weaknesses: Kryptonite, human relationships
Love interests: Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Wonder Woman
Associates: JLA members (especially Batman and Wonder Woman), Supergirl and Superboy, Krypto
Bonus trivia! Did you know...
An ill fated attempt in the ’90s saw Nick Cage being cast in what would have been a certain disaster. Fortunately, the movie was canned in the pre-production stage.
A foxy and not-yet-fossilised Teri Hatcher played Lois Lane on the TV series Lois & Clark. Dean Cain (he hosted Ripley’s, remember?) played Superman.
From HT Brunch, June 16
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