Lex Luthor, ‘Jack the Giant Killer,’ Astro Boy, all in Everyday Hero headlines

Jan. 07, 2009 | 3:57 a.m.

Welcome to Everyday Hero, your handpicked headlines from across the fanboy universe…


NO LEX APPEAL: Quick, what’s Superman’s greatest weakness? Nah, not kryptonite — it’s a stunningly shallow pool of quality villains. At least that’s the problem when it comes to his future life as a film franchise that can keep up with that guy from Gotham. Who are the great Superman villains? Well, you got Lex Luthor but, geez, do we want to see him in another movie? Brainiac and Bizarro are viable but both are somewhat limited as evocative villains and Parasite and Darkseid could work but they don’t exactly energize the broader audience of moviegoers. And none of those four is as memorable as the Joker or even Dr. Octopus. Batman and Spider-Man easily have a half-dozen signature villains but, by that point with Superman, you’re getting dangerously close to Terra Man territory. I’ve written before about the best way to save the Superman film franchise and about Brandon Routh’s hope that the next film will feature Brainac (he’s also, ahem, hoping that the next film will feature Brandon Routh) but I bring it up again today because of this posting by El Mayimbe: "According to my sources, the WB is actively hearing takes from writers for a new Superman movie.  WB is committed to re-making Superman into an interesting franchise. At the moment, the execs haven’t heard anything they like yet but the kicker is that WB wants a NEW VILLAIN from Superman’s Rogues Gallery to be the main antagonist…NOT LEX LUTHOR!  Writers have been told to come in to the studio to pitch a story with a new villain but again, the WB hasn’t bit on anything they heard yet. In fact, Luthor is going to take a back seat. Whether he is altogether out or reduced to a contagonist character in the new script remains to be seen. Personally, I think this is the way to go. Worked at first for Batman back in 2005, why not Supes? Now I know that goes contrary to what Kevin Spacey said a couple of weeks ago, but I’m just relaying what I’m told… So could we be seeing Brainiac, Darkseid, Doomsday, or even Zod battling Supes on the big screen in the near future?" [Latino Review]

D1j_caurso_2_clipTAKING A FRESH WHACK: Director D.J. Caruso is making a drama called "Jack the Giant Killer" that sounds like it might have a sharper edge than recent fairy-tale fare such as "Stardust" — but one that might present a bit of a topic conflict with the planned television adaptation of "Fables," the outstanding Vertigo Comics series. It’s also not clear how the New Line "Giant Killer" project will affect the oft-discussed Caruso adaptation of "Y: The Last Man." Here’s the trades announcement on "Giant Killer": "D.J. Caruso is up for slaying giants. New Line has set him to direct ‘Jack the Giant Killer,’ a drama that takes an adult look at the Jack and the Beanstalk legend. When a princess is kidnapped, a long-standing peace between men and giants becomes threatened, and a young farmer is given an opportunity to lead a dangerous expedition to the giant kingdom to rescue her. Darren Lemke wrote the script; Mark Bomback did a rewrite. Neal Moritz and David Dobkin are producing." [Variety]

Astro_boy_snipASTRO BOY REVISITED: I have to admit I know nothing about "Astro Boy" (sorry, it’s one of my pop-culture blind spots) but I have heard three people mention the October 2009 release in the past month and then I came across something by Casey Seijas over at MTV who seems quite excited about it and has posted a number of images. Here’s part of the post, which actually mentions the words "astro" and "titular" in the same sentence: "Featuring an all-star cast of voice actors including Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Matt Lucas, Donald Sutherland and Freddie Highmore as the titular character, ‘Astro Boy’ follows the adventures of a young-yet-powerful robot, who, in the hopes of winning his inventor-father’s heart, sets off on a quest to rid the world of evil. However, he soon discovers that his home, Metro City, stands on the brink of destruction, and it is up to him to save the day as well as his friends and family." Well there you go… [MTV Splash Page blog]

WATCHING THE WATCHMEN: More from the makers of "Watchmen," which will be in theaters in March. Or will it? Here’s the Japanese trailer for Zack Snyder’s superhero epic…The trailer looks great but, y’know, fyi, it is in Japanese…

Schoolhouse_rock_2 ON THIS DATE: It was 36 years ago today that "Schoolhouse Rock" premiered on ABC’s Saturday morning line-up, interjecting more excitement and more emotion into the lives of impressionable youngsters such as myself. There were some great talents brought to bear on the irresistible ditties, people like Bob Dorough, Lynn Ahrens, Dave Frishberg and Jack Sheldon. They age surprisingly well (although "Elbow Room," the perky ode to Manifest Destiny, is a bit creepy to me now) and to celebrate their anniversary, let’s all find a way to pass them on to a new generation. You can see the five absolute best "Schoolhouse Rock" videos at the end of this post…

Generally set apart from a sentence by exclamation point or by a comma when the feeling’s not as strong…

What’s your function?

I wonder who that sad little scrap of paper is…

Can you talk about the Constitution?

So you see it’s positively very very necessary…

2008 photo of D. J. Caruso at Union Station by Stefano Paltera\For the Los Angeles Times. Astro Boy image courtesy of Imagi International.

More in: Uncategorized, Astro Boy, Superman


3 Responses to Lex Luthor, ‘Jack the Giant Killer,’ Astro Boy, all in Everyday Hero headlines

  1. I'd love to see Superman approached in the same way the Pirates of the Caribbean was: give us a trilogy with a clear arc and interesting (if flat) characters. Set up Brainiac and a throwaway villain in the first film, bring in Luthor in the second, then have the third be a Luthor/Brainiac combo. The Justice League Unlimited animated series pulled this off really well, and I think it could work in film.
    Also, Metallo, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Gog and Imperiex are all interesting villains that could be explored.

  2. alex says:

    Also you gotta catch this new Minutemen segment from a new Watchmen journal:

  3. Danielle says:

    If we never see Lex Luthor in a movie again, it'll still be too soon. The general audience is sick of him no matter how the fanboys crave him. If the reboot stars Luthor (again), it'll be the final nail in the coffin of the franchise forever. If the next film does the Birthright origin – with no Luthor – everyone will be happy, fanboys and general audiences alike.

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