by Brett White
“But, in the end, why did I really walk away liking it?,” writes Franco. “It wasn’t because of the film’s message. Maybe I sound naïve going to a film like this for a message, but images and themes are being thrown at me in 3D, so I want to know what I’m swallowing. One of the main reasons I liked it was because in this film, Superman’s S symbol stands for ’hope’ on the planet Krypton. Viewers discover that Superman is the symbol of hope for his dead race and simultaneously the symbol of hope for the human race. He hides his powers for the first 30 years of his life on Earth because his adopted father (Kevin Costner) believes that humans won’t be ready for him. In this way Superman is presented as a kind of Christ figure, given to Earth to save humanity.”
He expands a bit more on these thoughts in the full Vice article, but what makes Franco qualified to pen such a piece? Well, he was part of the modern superhero movie renaissance way back in its infancy.
“I too have been in comic-book films—the Spider-Man trilogy directed by Sam Raimi. I mention the director because this distinction is now necessary in the wake of the new Spider-Man series that arose even before there was time to bury the corpse of the old one and enshroud it in the haze of nostalgia. Indeed there are still young children who approach me as fans of the original (boy, it seems weird to say that) series. I don’t have a huge emotional attachment to the Spider-Man franchise as a subject, my biggest sentimental ties are to the people I worked with on those films: Sam, Toby, Kirsten, the late and great Laura Ziskin, and the hundreds of others who worked with us. I don’t really feel much distress over its being remade, for many reasons, but what is interesting to me is that it has been remade so quickly—and the reasons why.”
Franco then analyzes the money-fueled cyclical nature of Hollywood, summing it up by writing, “So these films are made. Again and again. And if Brandon Routh doesn’t work as Superman, or if Sam Raimi can’t agree on the villain for a fourth Spider-Man, they will just make new versions without them.”
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