'Naked Gun' Auteur To Deflate Superheroes' Puffed-Up Chests

Pioneer behind 'Airplane!' films hopes to save the day with 2007 movie.

Look, up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or is that shadowy figure on the horizon a vaguely familiar bumbling hero hoping to save us from the evil clutches of another overly serious comic-book movie?

"There's 12 or so characteristics that are common to all these superhero movies," said David Zucker, the comedic pioneer behind the "Airplane!" and "Naked Gun" movies. "When that happens, you have a possibility that you can spoof a genre. So, this superhero genre might be ripe."

With that in mind, Zucker will set his sights on "Superhero!" the latest in a long line of exclamatory spoofs that also includes the spy comedy "Top Secret!" He'll begin work on the film as soon as he's finished promoting this month's "Scary Movie 4," but there may be one small problem — his current leading lady is also making a superhero comedy.

"We don't actually make fun of them, but I do become one," Anna Faris, who starred for Zucker in the third and fourth "Scary Movie" installments, said of her new movie, "My Super Ex-Girlfriend." Starring Luke Wilson, the July movie combines the worlds of comic books and romantic comedies to tell the story of a normal man who dumps a superhero and finds himself at the mercy of her superpowers.

"I fight Uma Thurman as a superhero, which I think is funny" added Faris. "Because Uma is no match for me."

While "Girlfriend" will aim to tell a more traditional story, Zucker's film will cast a wider net. "Superman, ... Batman, X-Men, Spider-Man, of course," Zucker said, naming several of the characters whose puffed-up chests he'll aim to deflate with a "Scary Movie"-like ruthlessness. "[They've] become that clich&233;d.

"It hasn't really been done," the writer/director/producer said of his superhero satire. "Some of these superhero movies have been movies I've actually liked. ... They're good, well-structured movies — so we can steal that."

Confirming that he also has the Fantastic Four in his crosshairs, Zucker conceded that his Lex Luthor-like mortal enemy is the impenetrable legal teams that surround such household names. "Most of these characters are copyrighted, so you'll have characters kind of, sort of reminiscent of Spider-Man," he reported. "We'll have an amalgam of all these characters, which will be our original character."

And when will "Superhero!" fly into theaters?

"This summer we're going to start writing it," Zucker said. "There are good storytellings in 'Superman' and 'Spider-Man.' It takes some kind of interest or affection for the genre, even though I never much liked horror movies. I just kind of fell into [the 'Scary Movie' franchise]."

Zucker is aiming for a 2007 release for "Superhero!"

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