I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of Superman. I feel he is overpowered and is the one responsible for the ever-shifting power scale in DC. Not to mention the biggest culprit of the immortality of their characters. I will explain all that in another article. This one is how should a movie be done with Superman.
Superman is the beacon of hope within the DC universe. Whereas Batman is the symbol of fear that makes enemies cower, Superman is meant to inspire people to be better. That things can be better and that they can be as well. This is not to say that Batman wouldn’t take the time to comfort a dying child or stop someone from committing suicide, its more of the reputation that he has that separates the two.
For Clark Kent to start as already being in tights and being the boy scout would miss the point of him becoming Superman. It is not the first time he puts on the cape, it is the first time he becomes that beacon. The first time he gives the community an image of hope that they can draw strength from.
With that being said a lot of what I want to draw from is from the new 52 Superman, at least his first appearance. Clark does try to be Batman with his method. Scaring the people who are criminals with continued threats of violence and disappearing before given the chance for the press to understand what he was doing.
A specific scene that I want is it to open with him holding a CEO of a company, someone who fills the idea of a fat cat businessman, over the side of the skyscraper. He calmly and with darkness in his voice telling him that he will no longer do business with child sweatshops in other countries. He could also instead say something about not stealing the wages of his workers. In any case, it is more about the ‘fat cat’ doing immoral business.
He is not wearing the suit, but a T-Shirt with the iconic S and a set of jeans. The image trying to create that he is just getting his feet wet. After guards ‘chase’ him away, he returns to his apartment. Voicing his dislike for this method, but commenting on how that other guy in Gotham has it working.
The scene flips over to the city government talking about this blue vigilante and him threatening ‘good’ businessman. This of course building that he has been doing this before. They are debating different ways to deal with him, even suggesting the national guard. Lex Luthor barges into the conversation. Suggesting he solve the problem for a ‘reasonable’ fee.
Meanwhile, Lois Lane is working on her paper about the mysterious vigilante. All the while you can clearly see Clark Kent doing intern work. She is trying to figure out different names to call him. When news breaks of one of the LexCorp train losing control she immediately starts watching it on the news. Of course, vaguely seeing Clark disappear in the background.
The scene rapidly changing to Clark flying along the train. Instead of the normal Superman’s behavior of comforting the people, he keeps the grim look on his face. All before flying ahead and stopping the train with his bare hands. Once again leaving before the press has a chance of seeing him.
Back to the Daily Planet Jimmy Olsen looking for before announcing he found him in the storage closet. (I have a preference that at this point Clark Kent is never directly shown working at the planet.) Lois is too busy looking at a video of the handprints that stopped the train.
The scene flips over to Lex who has a map of the city. Different places that he Superman has been active. He now has a direct line going from the Daily Planet to the crashed train site. For the viewer or somebody, he is working with he talks about how he is trying to triangulate where he keeps coming from. Also how he needs something bigger to measure his host of abilities.
Clark is now in Kansas with his Ma and Pa. They are talking about how all of them disapprove of his methods and how he can do better than that man in Gotham. About maybe even calling out how he is copying his symbol of being a hero, not creating his own. The end is “What does Clark Kent stand for?”
Down in South America, you introduce the Elite. They have been busy eliminating different cartels. The conversation doesn’t need to be long, but after displaying what they are and can do, Lex Luthor starts planting the seeds of going to Metropolis in their heads. To challenge this ‘Man who is more powerful than a locomotive’.
You have to treat Lex this way. Not as the big baddie, at least not right now, but as the Mastermind he is. Someone who is working in the shadows to manipulate different chess pieces to do the work for him. Like how he caused the train to go uncontrolled and how he is now giving him someone to fight.
Flash to what looks like a normal day in traffic in Metropolis. Through some carelessness or just a freak accident, a car crash starts. I would prefer a bridge to give out or something. The whole point of the crash and ensuing rescue is the iconic image of Superman, now wearing the ‘spandex’, holding up the car from crushing someone.
For the first time, he doesn’t run. He holds up the car and people take pictures of him. Of course including Jimmy Olsen. He stops to make sure the person in the car is ok and if the people nearly crushed are ok. Reporters try to talk to him, but he ignores them to fly away. Newspapers and Web Posting flash about him saving people. With the final one being from Lois Lane. About a ‘Superman’ saved innocent people.
The Elite hit the town. They aren’t attacking innocent people but killing random street criminals. For things like stealing a purse. The whole time Chester Black is talking to the crowd about what happens when you commit a crime in a city under their protection.
The crimes they stop and commit are designed around showing the difference between what Superman does and even what Batman does. Compared to what the Elite are doing. How they are murdering and not in gentle ways. You need to paint what the other extreme to what Superman is so that when it fully revealed to the public is.
I would do two clashes between the Elite and Superman. The first time Chester Black shuts him down with his telekinetic abilities. Although Clark admitting it to Pa later that ‘his heart wasn’t into stopping them’. Commenting that although he disagrees with the Elite, their methods do work. His Pa talks some sense into him about the difference between being good and being afraid.
During a bank robbery or some other major crime, things go horribly wrong with how the Elite handles it. Not caring about saving people, but hurting bad guys, innocent people die. Superman calls them out again. At first, it’s going to look like a repeat, but Superman stops and explains why he holds back. What he’s afraid could happen if he ever went over to what they did. Why hope is always stronger. All while shrugging off their attacks.
The fight ends when he gives each of them an example of what he can do when pushed to do it. This gives Lex the data he needed and allows him to prepare for future encounters. The Elite are defeated, not dead. I want them to be further explored and used to return to the concept of what they do vs the JLA.
There will be no Lex confrontation of Superman in this movie. All of Lex’s movements and actions are him moving pieces around. Setting up when he makes his move. Maybe even showing hints of possible Bizzaro hints in the background or his mech suit. The point being him making the calculations of how to deal with him.
As Lois finishes writing and sending the article of Superman vs the Elite, she gets introduced to the former intern now a writer for the Daily Planet. Which of course is Clark Kent. This being the first time she meets him and he plays off like a bumbling fool. Like the small-town farm boy from Kansas kid you would expect.
All of this is meant to build into the larger universe while planting the idea of ‘who is Superman’. Where Batman becomes the inspiration for Batwoman, Green Arrow and others like them. Superman inspires people like the Flash and maybe even the Green Lantern. Being a symbol of Hope.
Like my other articles, I doubt some big wig or even a small wig, of DC will see this. Dreamers, I’ve got to ask you to share this. Share it as much as you can in hopes that if you want to see a component DC Movieverse then they might just read this and it becomes a reality.