Kevin Smith is one of those dudes who will always be linked to Superman movie lore (which, in turn, is part of modern Hollywood lore), and he’s worth chatting up anytime a new Supes film project pops up.
Back in 1996, Smith’s geek cred had become well-known due to “Mallrats” — before everyone was a geek — and was hired to re-write Superman Lives/ Superman Reborn, a vehicle that would be directed by Tim Burton and would star Nicolas Cage. Smith was a hired gun who had to fulfill a lot of dictates on the rewrite (like a Superman in a black costume who doesn’t fly and fights a giant spider). Smith’s draft was eventually discarded by Burton, who inevitably left, as did Cage.
No big spoiler, but the movie never happened.
But Smith, who would go on to write comic books, launch a successful podcast network and take part in AMC’s “Comic Book Men” and occasionally direct some more movies, is still rightly known as a geek and connected to Superman.
Anyhow, I’ve had the chance to chat with Smith quite a few times. He’s one of the best interview subjects, and just genuinely a nice guy with a foul-mouth. Back at New York Comic Con last October, before he or any of us had seen “Man of Steel,” when we were all still checking out first glimpses of Snyder’s vision, Smith went on record to predict good things for the movie. For a bonus round, he also spoke about a “Justice League” movie.
Here’s his take:
I trust Zack Snyder. I’d trust Zack Snyder with my wife’s life and my child’s life if I had to. He’s a talented individual and knows how to tell a story. I saw the first teaser for the movie and thought I was f**king watching an Irish Spring commercial but then I go, “Oh, I see what you’re going for here.”
I trust him, man. I think he’s amazing. He’s the dude that – you know how Marvel has Joss now? DC should just put a harness around Zack Snyder and be like, “Do every one of these big books, every one of the DC books.” I think he did a great job with “The Watchmen.” I know it’s not a DC book, but I think he did a great job with “300.” I think he’ll do a great job with Superman.
I think, obviously, DC’s New 52 loosened us all up about what Superman is because Grant Morrison’s redefined it a few times at this point, but even most recently, in the new books. So you won’t have so many people going, “Where’s the Dick Donner Superman?” A lot of our generation that’s what we were looking for. We thought we wanted it on the last movie, and that’s what Bryan Singer gave us. And when he gave us exactly what we all thought we wanted, a lot of people bitched or yawned.
So it’s nice to see Zack coming in with a shake-up take that isn’t the same f**king story we’ve seen in film. I trust that he knows what he’s doing. I think it will be really f**king cool. I’m not even a Superman guy. When it comes to those characters, he’s not way up on my list but he’s an icon, I’m a DC guy, and I hope they do him well. Because that means they get one step closer to doing Justice League.
If I’m DC right now and Warner Bros., I’m stealing every idea from Marvel films. I’m not even f**king being shy about it; I’m being like, “Oh, that’s how you make a billion dollars or more? F**k it, let’s go.” Just steal their plan. It’s a great plan. You start making your movies separately, bring them all together in a f**king team movie, go back out to separates, come back in as a team movie. Hopefully they can pick up on it soon and there’s no such thing as, “you can’t steal a good idea.” Shit, that’s what this country, this world, is founded on. Take a good idea and make it just a little bit like your own. Let them do that.
DC and Warner, if they ape the Marvel model, I know every fanboy in this room will be happy, and I think the box office would be a lot happier too, man. And I’m not saying it all begins with Zack Snyder, because I’m not going to put the pressure on him for this Man of Steel flick, but he’d be my choice.
Him, or I’ll tell you, f**king Timur [Bekmambetov], the guy who did “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Give that guy a “Justice League” movie. Holy s**t, man. Just visually arresting; he knows how to f**king what to do with that camera, and brings you into the story right away. I mean, he did “Wanted.” He knows how to do a comic book movie already with
villains and heroes and s**t.
I don’t know, that’s what I’d like to see. I know nobody asked, but I look forward to [Man of Steel].