Look to the skies

Bryan Singer, the man who twice brought the X-Men to the screen with such aplomb, received a hero’s welcome when he arrived at Comic-Con to show off early footage of Superman Returns. And he deserved it: Returns looks sensational. From a bald Kevin Spacey fingering a suspicious-looking crystal to the dazzling money-shot of Supes floating in outer space, Singer’s redux is lensed through a rich glow of ’30s-style nostalgic visual beauty. When Total Film sat him down to talk, though, the director was eager to shift the praise onto his star. “I think Brandon Routh sells it. If you were to meet Brandon in the suit, that’s when you feel like, ‘Oh, THAT’S Superman. Okay, I get it.’”

Of course, that’s not the whole story. Employing new digital camera technology, it’s Singer’s vision and innovation that’s taking Superman to a new stratosphere. “It’s huge!” gabs Singer, a major fan of the original comics. “It’s got sequences where you’ve not seen the character do things of this scope. It takes you from outer space to the depths of the ocean.” And there’s a personal tale to tell too, with Supes returning to Earth after a years-long absence to find that squeeze Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has a boyfriend and a child (“The world doesn’t need a saviour. And neither do I,” she tells him coldly). “It’s just what happens when old boyfriends come back, it’s tough,” says Singer. “Even though Lois and James Marsden’s character, Richard White, aren’t married – the child is hers and Richard’s. It’s a child out of wedlock – very racy!”

But despite bringing emotional torque to the Super-universe, Singer’s not pretending that he isn’t feeling the pressure. “It’s an icon that surpasses most other pop-culture icons. You take the cross and the ‘S’ into the jungle and you will have 50-50 recognition. It’s an extraordinary responsibility.”

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, News Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Emily Murray. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.