Like HELLO! Can someone tell me how Brandon Routh got the final approval as Superman over Jim Caviezel. After watching I Am David, where Caviezel played a supporting role, I started thinking, "Wow, does he look like Superman or what?!" - and I wasn't even thinking about Superman at the time. In my opinion, Caviezel has a more realistic and convincing face for the role than Routh. In fact, I think just Jim's face alone could boost the epic of the film and the legend. Didn't anyone learn from the fifteen years it took to correct the mistakes made in the modern Batman movie anthology. Are we going to do the same thing with Superman? Why not start it out right.
I'm sure there is more to it than Superman's face, however. Obviously it's not a big priority considering that Nicolas Cage was an early nominee! From the looks of things, the look of Superman is not key, but rather the effects and environments. I have read that Superman Returns may turn out to be one of the most expensive movies ever made. So I'm assuming that, while I might not look how Superman looks, I will thoroughly enjoy the visuals.
As far as Brandon Routh goes, I can't help but say, "What are they thinking?" Here is a guy who has about 3 credits to his name, two being total junk - a soap opera, and a weird teenage gender/sexuality oddness. Oh boy. Not that experience is everything, but I haven't ever seen a soap opera where the actors/actresses had any acting skill whatsoever. I actually laugh and flinch in disgust when I see those glossy heads flash back and forth, so close you can see the sweat pores of their chins. Sure, Routh has a semi-decent face, but I think Caviezel's is more convincing. Caviezel could make a more raw, real Superman, while Routh looks like Plastic Wonder. In my opinion, Routh would make a great flashback in the movie where Clark is going to college or high school, but he should not get the lead part.
My favorite images of Superman are when he goes no more Mr. Nice Guy. He shows some grit and is willing to put his life on the line. Dark colors, definite galactic peril, etc.. That scene in Superman the movie where he is poisoned with a weird kryptonite-like substance, and he becomes rough and messy haired - that's where he needs to go sometimes to gain credibility. There was this period of time in the comics where Superman went outside of earth and battled Mongul. If I remember right, Supes actually died. But the images of him in these comics are more real and dire, less polished, and I liked that. Superman vs. Mongul.
It appears the filmmakers involved with Superman Returns are trying to connect with the new, contemporary generation, rather than creating a Superman image to remember. A great temporal and monetarily valid concern, but I think Batman Begins proves that it is possible to be faithful to the original concepts and imagery while bridging the generational gap at the same time. After all, who are bigger fans, the older generation or the young? I would argue that possibly the older (or middle, like me) are, since Superman is possibly not as relevant and crucial to today as he was some years ago. It's like Zorro: sure I think he's pretty cool, but I'll bet my dad has fonder memories of him from his childhood. Perhaps half the kids today don't even know who Zorro is! .Oh well. No one asked me, I guess.
Here are some pictures comparing some of the Superman candidates I mentioned.
Brandon Routh (chosen as new Superman)
Photo 1: Not a bad Superman face, but too much "Young Punk" for me
Photo 2: "Plastic Boy". Costume: not too bad, but I've always prefered the symbol really large and covering the chest, and the redundancy on the belt buckle is a bit much. I also think the emblem should be part of the material that conforms to Superman's chest, not a 3D plastic thing. Traditionally, the emblem should be part of the material, not a separate entity. In fact, the emblem on the Chris Reeve version is ideal as far as I'm concerned. Click here for a fine emblem.
Photo 3: Getting a little closer with this one, but his lip and chin don't fit the bill.
Photo 1: Look at those eyes... talk about credible, limitless serious scenarios and character development would be possible. No wonder Mel chose him for Jesus. So much introspection in that look.
Photo 2: With a little hair trim, Caviezel has "Clark Kent" written all over him. Was this image taken from Superman propoganda? Nope, just a still from an unrelated film. No image of any person walking this planet comes closer to the comics than this, in my opinion.
Photo 3: To me, this picture screams "I'm Superman, a force to be reckoned with. Take me seriously, I'm not a joke. I'm more than brawn; I actually have a brain."
Photo 1: Are you kidding me? Need I say more?