Superman is about to hit the big screen in a matter of days with the much anticipated Man of Steel set to release in the Philippines this June 12 (Independence Day—a holiday, so we can all go out and see it!). Because we’re really amped about this flick, we decided to take a look back on the on-screen history of the Man of Steel. This Wednesday, we’re gonna talk about the greatest Superman comics, so stay tuned to the blog for that. But for now, here goes: the movies…
1951: Learning to Fly
This shortish theatrical release paved the way for the eventual TV series starring George Reeves as DCs flagship hero. The TV series Adventures of Superman would go on for six seasons after that. Coupled with the film, this was Hollywood’s first legit crack at the franchise.
70s-80s: Man of Steel Mania with Christopher Reeve
Silver screen Man of Steel mania hit full stride with the advent of the Christopher Reeve era. Who could forget the conjured up dork schtick so subtly (well, kinda) pulled off by Christopher Reeve. But back in the day, Reeve was all the rage. Chances are, if your family didn’t catch any of these flicks in in the theater, your family was all over the Betamax releases of any one of the Christopher Reeve Superman films, available at your local video rental shop. He remains by far the most famous of the Man of Steel on-screen and who knows if that will change any time soon. Will 2013 be the start of a new era? Only time will tell.
1990s: Superman the Rom-Com
The 90s had no great Superman film franchise—but it did have Lois & Clark which took the Philippines by storm. Aired on channel five, it was one of the few import shows that weren’t that delayed compared with the US release dates. Kids, don’t be hatin’—in the pre-download age that was pretty darn awesome. Lois & Clark introduced us to the romantic tension played up by Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, inspiring comparable kilig to any number of Thalia telenovelas. This was Superman the rom-com, more than anything. But it was a lot of fun at the time!
2001-2011: ‘Somebody Saaaaave Me…’
In 2001, we met the pre-Superman Clark Kent, in his childhood habitat of Smallville, Kansas. The show was a massive hit—as were its stars Tom Welling (as Clark) and Kristin Kreuk (as Lana)—eventually running for ten seasons and becoming America’s longest running TV series under the science fiction category. Kids of the ’00s, will we ever forget the tune of the opening credits?
2006: ‘A Solid Base Hit’
Superman returned in the ’00s by way of Brandon Routh in this expensive, long and visually rich Bryan Singer film (it came out on IMAX). Superman Returns got satisfactory reviews from some of the most respected reviewers like Ebert & Roeper who said “…while I can’t call it a home run, I’ll say it’s a solid base hit.” It was fun, and great to look at, but it never got the big follow-up. Anyone know why?
2013: One Big Red Question Mark
Which brings us to 2013 and the much anticipated Man of Steel. It’s a Christopher Nolan production, directed by Zack Snyder, and starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner. They’ve brought out the big guns on this one—biceps befitting the Man of Steel himself.
The trailers are already viral hits, as are the advertising gimmicks around Superman’s morning rituals. Forbes is predicting a $100 million haul for opening week, in North America alone. And so the world is waiting to be enthralled, a fever pitch excitement that has both made and broken big ticket blockbusters. So the big red ‘S’ has an equally big question mark suffixed to it—will it live up to the hype?