Pop Culture

‘Superman’ buzz: More powerful than...

You would think the Man of Steel was really returning from planet Krypton the way the buzz surrounding the new “Superman Returns” movie has been building. The speeding bullet of publicist is starting to sound like deafening roar.

Superman — that iconic hero of movies, comic books, television and children's hearts around the world — is back in a big way.

So what's fueling the bug-eyed anticipation of seeing a fifth film starring a grown man in a tight-fitting costume?

Access thinks it's the whole, ahem, package. The superpowers, the rascally villains... oh, and the heart-wrenching pain which stems from being a vulnerable loner who can make time fly backwards but can't seem to make it work with the ladies…

Josh Brill of Los Angeles wants to see the latest movie because it's based on his love of the second Superman movie — released in 1980, starring Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder — or as it was known at the time, the one where Superman and Lois Lane “get it on.”

“I'm definitely looking forward to it,” Brill gushed. “Loved the first two ‘Supermans’ and wanna see what they did with this. Might be tough to top ‘Superman II’ which is the greatest movie of all time.”

As for the casting, Brill is just happy that Nicholas Cage is off the project.

“I don't think anyone can touch Gene Hackman as Lex, but Kevin Spacey should do fine,” Brill said. “Reeve was an unknown, so I think continuing casting Supe like that is a good idea. Nic Cage was up for an older version and that would have been a joke. You want someone in the role who you don't have any preconceived notions about.”

The hype continues on fan sites like bluetights.net, where comic aficionados with names like Eroo and The Singularity are cramming forums with nervous questions about the new Bryan Singer-directed pic.

Flutterings over whether the timeline of the movie will be correct and whether Kevin Spacey's version of Lex is too campy abound. And what about Superman's costume? Why has it changed? Why?

All of these are good questions. But it’s not just the fanboys and girls — many of whom are thought of as slightly-nerdy Clark Kent types anyway — that are crazy for the Man of Steel. Everyone has a stake in Metropolis.

Actual whole families who could care less about whether or not Kate Bosworth’s Lois Lane is too young, will purchase their large tubs of buttery popcorn and prepare to be wowed by newcomer Brandon Routh in a cape.

And who can avoid the marketing tie-in? — Mattel is set to release several "Superman Returns" action figures, including Super Breath Superman, X-Ray Alert Superman and Wall Bustin' Superman.

Access' movie guru Scott Mantz says the “Superman Returns” is “...the most hyped movie since ‘Star Wars: Episode III.’ The movie's been in development for more than 10 years. There hasn't been a Superman movie for 19 years. It has a reported budget of more than $300 million, making it one of the most expensive movies ever made. The hype is more powerful than a locomotive, but will the movie leap tall buildings in a single bound?”

We'll all find out on June 28th, 2006.