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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

question of the day: So, why Superman, anyway?

MTV News broke the story yesterday: Zack Snyder will direct the next Superman movie, the one that Christopher Nolan is producing and Nolan partner David Goyer is scripting. (I hope it’s more engaging than Snyder’s current flick, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole!) In an interview with MTV — intriguingly titled “Zack Snyder Says ‘Superman’ Reboot Will Answer ‘Why Superman?’” — Snyder was cagey about what the story will be about, but says:

All I’ll say is that those guys — Chris and David — have created an amazing story and the “Why Superman?” question is definitely being looked at with care. That’s all I could hope for as a director — that those guys have already gone a long way to making him, [addressing] the “Why?” of Superman, [and] toward understanding him. … Everyone always says “Why Superman?” Why is he relevant? Who is he now? I think those guys have done an amazing job with that. That’s the real trick.

So, why Superman, anyway?

Why do you think Superman is relevant today? What is there that can be done with the character that will resonate afresh with modern audiences, yet still feel like Superman? Clearly, the last attempt to reboot the character — with 2006’s Superman Returns, which offered a very traditional Man of Steel — failed to ignite the popular imagination. So what would you like to see in a Superman for the 2010’s?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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