Comic Book Writer Mark Millar's Superman Returns Sequel Pitch - UPDATED!

October 22, 2007
Source: SlashFilm

Mark Millar and Superman

News hit the internet hard yesterday that Superman Returns writers Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris had decided not to return to the sequel - Superman: Man of Steel. This is most interesting because not only did Bryan Singer's team claim that they were already in pre-production on the sequel, but this might mean that maybe Bryan Singer is next to leave as well? Since the news has hit, well-known comic book writer Mark Millar has come out of the woodwork and wants to pitch his own vision of the franchise.

Mark Millar is best known for his work writing Ultimate X-Men, Wanted, Marvel Knights Spider-Man, The Ultimates, and Civil War. He wrote an update on his official forums and it states:

It's 8.58am right now, my guys at CAA get into the office in about seven hours and my call will be waiting for them to talk about this. I want to revamp Superman like Hillary wants thin ankles. Revamping this franchise is what I was given fingers for and so, invited or not, I'm putting my plan together now. I've been asked to work on half a dozen screenplays lately, but this is the only one I have ever truly wanted.

As most here know, I have literally hundreds of pages of notes and sketches just waiting for this opportunity. This would be my dream gig and, as a fan, I know exactly what this project needs to work. This has to be Superman for the 21st Century, keeping everything we adore, but starting from scratch and making the kids love it as much as the 30-somethings. I would honestly write this thing for free.

Anyway, my treatment is being polished as we type. Wish me luck. I want to do that Superman movie we all want to see.

What really gets me the most is that a guy with this much enthusiasm and this much expertise should just be handed the job right away, but I know the studio execs won't be as smart. Everyone knows he can put together an awesome new revamp for the 21st Century and from the sounds of it he seems like the perfect guy. However, I just know the studio is going to choose some idiot with a lame script over Millar.

His discussion of a revamp comes from the rumors circulating in Hollywood that Warner Brothers wants to make another Superman film without referencing Superman Returns. As in, almost starting over from complete scratch like The Incredible Hulk due out next year. Although not everyone liked Superman Returns, I can't see them butchering this franchise that much, it would be a disaster to keep reworking Superman over and over.

I wish Mark Millar and his pitch the best of luck this week, and I hope Warner Brothers is smart enough to see that he may be the perfect guy.

UPDATE! Sadly, Mark's pitch didn't make it. He updated the situation recently with an explanation as to why he actually wasn't allowed to get the job. The issue is that he's associated with Marvel at the moment and Warner Brothers just won't let him work on a DC project.

They were incredibly nice and superbly apologetic about it, but when they discussed the matter seriously DC explained just how associated I am with Marvel Comics at the moment and it's against company policy to hire the competition. It's absolutely nothing personal. I spoke to some friends at DC and they explained this has happened with a couple of big Marvel writers in the last couple of years and I absolutely respect that.

This is quite unfortunate, as it seems like Mark Millar was the perfect guy for the job. Hopefully some other comic book writers out there (who aren't associated with Marvel) will be inpsired by Mark Millar's attempt and work on an appropriate pitch of their own. Best of luck on your future endeavors, Mark!

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The mistake that the last Superman movie made was trying to connect to the first two Reeve movies while ignoring the third and fourth. You can't just accept some of it and not all of it. That's the problem this new movie is facing. You can't "reboot the franchise." You reboot the franchise, you get the Smallville tv series. You can't keep Marlon Brando as JorEl cuz he's dead. If you ARE, then you can't give Kevin Spacey Luthor cuz Gene Hackman's still alive. The audience doesn't need a reboot of Superman. The audience isn't stupid. They know who Superman is. What the movie has to do is know what the audience expects of Superman, cuz if you don't get that right, you might as well change his name.

ZachsMind on Oct 22, 2007


I absolutely HATED the last Superman. I'd rather watch someone dig up Richard Pryor (he's dead right?) and re-enacted Superman III than watch another sappy love gone wrong crapfest. Please kill off this franchise. No one is going to do it right. It's almost an impossible feat. You have to make the man of steel vulnerable in some fashion. He has to have more of a challenge than simply lifting heavy stuff. Kryptonite is not the answer. You need to read Batman vs Superman. Make his self-righteous attitude an albatross. Give the character some freakin' depth. And, please for the love of god don't make the audience set through another "how did it all begin" borefest.

grendel on Oct 23, 2007


I agree Grendel that they really can't do yet another Superman origin story. Like I said, the audience isn't stupid. We don't need to dwell on what we already know. Hollywood just needs to stay true to what we do know. Perhaps the only way to 'get it right' would be to tell the story in its own time period. I know DC has tried to constantly update Superman and perpetually places him in 'the now' but the story belongs in the 1940s. Sherlock Holmes doesn't work when they try to bring him in the present. Sometimes Shakespeare does, but let's face it we're not talking about Shakespeare.

ZachsMind on Oct 23, 2007


i totally agree with you ZachsMind. They should have a movie with superman in 1940s, that's a great idea. That would give so much character and story line in to superman. Can you imagine? supermam fighting off giant robots send by an evil Dr lex luthor...

akumared on Oct 23, 2007


A great time period piece would be Captain America. 1950s time period with him would be awesome!

grendel on Oct 25, 2007


I agree with the following submissions but I must say this........ MARK MILLAR GOT THE LEGALITY SHAFT OF THIS DEAL because PAUL LEVITZ and the DC golden age famiy doesnt have the courage to put their eldest 1/2 bankable property up for grabs like BATMAN. In this perspective, SUPERMAN is a blue blood and Millar is street smart challenger who knows the ins and outs but isnt sculpted to be a corporate and corrupted servant like the old hats at DC COMICS. Millar took a yesteryear property like the Avengers and made them contemporary with some historical accuracy with some of the characters like Cap and turned the books into marketing behemoths. And with Marvel's slew of profitable motion pictures and merchandise, you would think DC would welcome the help as much as possible. But they throw up this idiotic melee about contract negotiations and regulations and you end up with a passionate artisits who cant explore the entire realm of his craft because hes obligated to one team and must remain there. But Millar shouldnt feel bad, Kevin Smith, Frank Miller, and GOD knows how many others have come through pitching a great script and got turned down because of some stipulation toward the boy scout. Personally, Millar, Smith, and Miller should write the DEFINITIVE SUPERMAN trilogy and then sell it under a assumed identity with no legal negotiations or binding contracts to any other the father comic companies. If the script is a go by whoever in the DC powers, they should Jack Nicholson that bad boy and ask for a fration percentage from the film, merchandise, and script WITHOUT it being reworked on. Make Superman really God like but have Earth as more of a boundary rather than a place of acceptance. And, in time, make him more Kryptonian in thought ideals, and action to the point that Earth was just his beginning, but the galaxy is his comfort zone. Just a thought!

child of kandor on Oct 27, 2007


superman returns was a pile of sorry 2 say bcos im a superman fan and marvel fan.....they keep bringin in a love story...they keep havin him loggin heads with lex luther.......can somebody tell me y??.............when 9 times out of the comics hes fightin beings from other planets u only see lois lane 4 a few pages...u cant keep havin it as a love story .he is the strongest super hero of them all in dc and marvel comics and they only put him up against lex luther whos only human ...........they hav 2 bring in new enemys if they want the movies 2 work.. if they keep goin the way they are ... u can kiss goodbye 2 the superman movies 4 another 15years...look at wot they done with spiderman every film a new foe....this is wot they should do with superman..and him havin a son in superman returns omfg......who thinks up this shit.....they should bring in a writer who nows and understands the comic world of superman....they also fucked up x men..look wot they did there half of the x men didnt hav there powers as wot they hav in the comic the comics strorm can fly all she does in the film is hover rogue was the step daughter of mystique and she had the powers of miss marvel had the ability 2 fly.........another bryan singer flop they should get rid of him bring sum 1 else in 2 direct ........dont get me wronge i did enjoy the x men films but pls get sum 1 else in who knows wot there doin about dc and marvel films..........

kkevtastic on Dec 17, 2007


where I spent I started School all what every then eventually we watched a bit of they had that the exploring

australiamic on Feb 4, 2008


My simple opinion... If they decide to start over with a new idea, a fresh darker approach ... they should really consider finding a new superman. Brandon Routh seems like a nice guy and all, but he is little cheesy and bland. Same with Spacy and Kate. Why cannot the producers, writers, and director go with an Alex Ross approach. Make our beloved character an actual superhero. Give him large broad shoulders ... Hell, why not find a body builder at a random gym and see if he can act. Please do not go with another silly television heart throb for little girls to sell tickets. Get a brute, a man with a jaw, with structure. Someone that resembles strength and enables us to believe that he could actually be able to punch through a wall, to handle himself in situation involving incredible powers that could easily destroy Metropolis. Please let us take this DC universe in the proper direction. Again, let's have a hero that appears to be bold, powerful, and visually strong. We should really consider staying away from Brian's flamboyant soap opera. The Man of Steel should represent the inner strength in all of us. I feel that the next installment of Superman should be a type of hero that we all want to be, down deep inside. A figure that demonstrates self-sacrifice, reaching out to help the less fortunate and humbly does so without expecting anything in return. Do not bring back his child, do not make another love story between Lane and Kent. "Been there done that". In fact, no Lex ... maybe a cameo, but do not center the story around an stale conflict that everyone is bored of. Instead, please consider directing a movie about Superman that produces a figure that children and even older alike could look up to and be inspired by. I think Donner came close, but we need more suspense, action, and a factor consisting of FEAR. We need a threat that, perhaps touches us in reality. No simple cliches dealing with large Robots with green kryptonite. Why not introduce a new threat. Bring in an alien agenda that has thirst for aggression. Something that overwhelms Supes to the point of his demise. Not Doomsday, Darkseid ... let's get a new visitor, or should I say visitors. "Something original".. Something the fans will be excited about. Bring in a 'War of the Worlds' scenario. An alien invasion with huge ships destroying our planet. Make it so disastrous that it consumes the viewers inner fear to the point of suffocation, which in turn relies on our appreciation of The Man of Steel. Show death, show destruction, make people feel uneasy about it. Scare people ... I think this will enable the viewers to seek help from a godlike figure, a higher being. "Our Superman"

HEATH on Oct 5, 2008


Mark Millar should just find a good friend and give them the story and secretly write the thing without letting anyone know. that way we can finally get a an awesome Supes movie. Superman Returns just made him out to be a glorified stalker and just sucked hardcore. Although, I'd love to see a Death and Life of Superman still. I've always thought that would work as a trilogy...

bmumble on Feb 13, 2009

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