The 5-minute scene you’re about to watch cost Warner Bros. $10 million to make. It was meant to be the opening of Superman Returns, Bryan Singer’s 2006 big-budget film that heralded Superman‘s return to the big screen. But there’s a very good reason it didn’t make the cut: it’s dull as dirt.
Opinions about Superman Returns were (and still are) all over the map, but the one thing most moviegoers can agree on is that director Bryan Singer was far too beholden to his inner fanboy. He was so reverential to both the Richard Donner movies and to the sacrificial nature of Superman’s character, that the result was a movie that lumbered along at a snail’s pace. Superman is meant to be a dynamic character, yet Singer’s movie had precious little action to speak of. What was there was good, and there were some other good ingredients here and there. But the finished product was just heavy-handed for audiences to love.
The five-minute clip above shows Superman arriving at his home world of Krypton, where, if you recall from the film, he had gone to search for survivors of the Kryptonian holocaust. It was an emotional decision on his part — he wanted to not be alone in the universe — but going back to the place that’s made entirely out of the stuff that can kill him turns out to not be his bestest idea ever. Unfortunately, the whole thing plays out like one of those maddeningly slow “V’ger” scenes from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. But at least now we know why Clark emerged from that weird crystal ship into his mother’s arms on the Kent Farm all weak and sickly. And what’s with the giant “S” shield he finds on Krypton? Is that supposed to be his family home or something?
I think it’s a safe bet that it was stuff like this — filming a $10 million sequence that was never used — that kept Singer from getting to do a sequel. And as we all know, without Singer there to helm the next chapter of his story, Warner Bros. instead opted to reboot the entire franchise with Zack Snyder directing and Christopher Nolan producing. The Henry Cavill-starring, mega-budget Man of Steel is expected in theaters in 2013.