Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Film School Rejects: If you want to make a Superman show, make a Superman show!

In a recent post for Film School Rejects, I took aim at the latest examples of a trend: TV shows based on comic book properties that don't include the main character of those properties. Until now, GOTHAM was the most visible example, being set in Batman's hometown years before the Caped Crusader makes his debut. As I note, that hasn't stopped producers from mining the source material for other characters, even if it seems they're all debuting too early.

Two upcoming shows spun out of the Superman mythos - Krypton and Metropolis - both sidestep using Superman himself. Krypton takes place two generations in the past on Superman's homeworld, with a time-travel hook that has Superman foes traveling back in time to change history. (This conveniently lets the creators use plenty of characters who don't belong in that part of the timeline.) Meanwhile, Metropolis is focusing on the exploits of Lois Lane and Lex Luthor before Superman arrives.

Based on what we know so far, I'm finding it hard to muster enthusiasm for two properties that take place well before the single most important element of the story, and who will probably take some liberties to introduce a lot of characters early in this prequel setting. There's one thing that would pique my interest, and it's basically the same idea I had to improve GOTHAM  a few years ago:

In other words, establish that the villains in Krypton succeed in erasing Superman and Metropolis can be set in the same timeline, where there's no Superman coming to save everyone. The ripple effect of that change can be explored, forcing Lois to step up as a hero and maybe even sending Lex down a different, more noble destiny.

Check out the rest of my thoughts here.

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