F*** You Too, Bryan Singer

21 Apr

This week, Bryan Singer was interviewed as saying that he feels the reason no one saw his “Superman” was because it was during the summer and, oh yeah— women were off seeing movies like “The Devil Wears Prada.”

From one comic book geek to another, you can go screw yourself Mr. Singer.

(image via article linked below)

Ok, let’s take a step back and look at the whole of what he actually said, quoted over here but originally from the site, VoicesfromKrypton.com

You know, summer’s a tricky time – I know it’s hard to blame the time, but there’s a bit of an expectation for a summer movie. I think that Superman Returns was a bit nostalgic and romantic, and I don’t think that was what people were expecting, especially in the summer. What I had noticed is that there weren’t a lot of women lining up to see a comic book movie, but they were going to line up to see The Devil Wears Prada, which may have been something I wanted to address. But when you’re making a movie, you’re not thinking about that stuff, you’re thinking, “Wow, I want to make a romantic movie that harkens back to the Richard Donner movie that I loved so much.” And that’s what I did… [And later on he continues to say that] Again, I really do think I was making the film for that Devil Wears Prada audience of women who wouldn’t normally come to a superhero film.

Bolded emphasis added by moi.

Where do I begin?

As a woman who also reads comic books, I pay close attention to how comics are marketed to women. I understand that, as a medium that is largely controlled by a male creative group, sometimes that involves them making conscious decisions to produce something differently.

Sometimes they fail more than they succeed, but often I am encouraged by the fact that they made an attempt. Sometimes they involve actual women in their creative process and that is awesome.

However, blaming failure on the lack of a female fanbase is frankly a load of BS. By saying the above, Singer is basically implying “I tried to make a movie for an audience that wasn’t interested and that’s the reason I failed.”

While women might still make up the minority of the comic book fanbase, a number that I’m not sure I agree is the same in the comic book movie audience but I genuinely don’t know, I find it hard to believe that the majority of comic book fans, male or female, wouldn’t enjoy a really good comic book movie; action-packed or romantically themed.

Now, I have to admit. I didn’t see the movie. Or rather, I didn’t see the whole movie. I sat down to watch it a few times, despite hearing from several people whose opinion I respected that the movie wasn’t worth it, and just didn’t really find myself engaged. The bits of it I saw felt slow-moving, a bit off-the-mark, but never did I think, “I’d really rather watch ‘The Devil Wears Prada,'” a movie that I have seen and found pretty okay.

To speak more directly to him as a filmmaker, from what I can tell “Superman” made a decent amount of money but it wasn’t a hit with fans or critics. Usually, that means they actually saw the film to be able to criticize it. And, to be fair, my boyfriend was a big fan and for all the reasons that he talks about in the interview. I get that.

What I don’t get, is where this comment is coming from and how it is necessary… except to maybe make himself feel better by making women look bad.

That’s just unacceptable.

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4 Responses to “F*** You Too, Bryan Singer”

  1. David St. John April 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Superman Returns is more of a social commentary than a superhero movie. Superman leaves town (Earth) for a while and the wheels fall off: Lois Lane chain smokes, has a baby out of wedlock and writes an article called “Why the World Doesn’t Need a Superman.” Lex Luthor escapes from prison… again. Kids everywhere are listening to rap music. And then “Superman returns” to save us from ourselves. It’s an ok approach to a Superman movie, but it also lends itself to a simplification of the character.

    The movie is unfairly criticized. It’s one of the better comic movies out there, along with the Dark Knight and X2. Kevin Spacey hams it up appropriately as Lex Luthor, there are some good action scenes and a nice score. However, many people will say that the reason Superman Returns was such a “flop” ($400 million worldwide net profit; studio execs wanted $500) is BECAUSE of the fact it catered to The Devil Wears Prada target audience. These people only think Superman is a successful character if he’s punching robots. Punching robots helps, but I appreciate a more philosophical approach on the character.

    The problem with Superman returns is that Singer mistook Donner and Reeves’ benevolent, detached alien as a chance to humanize Superman. If you’ve ever read Grant Morrison’s All Star Superman (the absolute best take on the character and one of the greatest comic stories of all time, don’t watch the animated movie though) you’d realize that the reason Superman is an interesting character ISN’T that he’s “just like us except with superpowers”. He isn’t supposed to have to “go find himself” while his bastard child grows up.

    Superman Returns foregoes the mythology in exchange for some typical message about how Superman’s powers aren’t what make him “super.” This has a ring of truth to it; Superman isn’t a hero because he can lift buildings and jump over oceans, but he isn’t super because of his determination, responsibility and ability to surpass his character flaws either. That’s Spider-Man, not Superman. The reason Superman is a hero is because despite all the absolute horseshit humanity comes up with to kill ourselves and other people he still saves us anyway. He is constantly learning from us and we are constantly learning from him, and vice versa. He’s like a mirror on which we present our idealized vision of ourselves, and we are a tether that keeps him from going power-crazy.

    • redshana April 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      I think my issue is that making a comic book movie that focuses on relationships, etc. is being described as a movie that is marketed toward the “Devil Wears Prada,” audience. What does that even mean? It’s the ideology behind the argument that bothers me. Because really it’s another way to take a pot-shot at women.

      As far as everything else you said, I wish I would have seen him saying that. I guess my real issue with the interview and how Singer speaks throughout is a tonal response in some ways.

  2. nikki April 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Having not seen superman, It seems to me like the movie should have been either a superman movie or a movie for the devil wears prada audience. As a female who want to see the expendables on opening weekend, rather than eat, pray, love (which I did see a week later and was very disappointed in), I, and the men I went with, would have been upset if that movie would have been anything different. I think that is the failure of superman. It shouldn’t have tried to be something it wasn’t.

    • redshana April 23, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

      I completely understand where you’re coming from and I think that makes a lot of sense.

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