People attending The Dark Knight Rises today will be treated to the first trailer for Man of Steel, which is due out next summer. This is the latest attempt to reboot the Superman series, just coming seven years after the last attempt, which was Superman Returns. Superman Returns is not so much of a reboot as it is a sequel that is also highly reminiscent of the 1978 Superman movie. A few parts of it feel like echoes of the previous film with new twists. Whether or not you will like Superman Returns depends upon your taste, but it is highly reminiscent of the 1978 Superman movie, which I loved, while exploring new territory that is interesting.
Superman Returns explores the Superman story in a post 9-11 world. After a trip to find his home planet, Superman returns to earth to find that Lois Lane is married and has a child. It is a world that has mostly forgotten about superheroes.
I assume that those still interested in Superman are looking forward to Man of Steel. By now, Superman Returns has largely been forgotten. Still, the movie received 76% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and I think that it is underrated. If you fell in love with the first Superman movie, as I did, then this film has everything you could want. Watching this movie felt nostalgic, because it does echo some key points from the first movie, but there is enough new material to make it into a good film. Casting Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor was an act of genius. He is is brilliant in this movie.
If there are negatives to the movie, it is that it is a little more brooding and that Brandon Routh doesn't quite look the part. The 1978 Superman movie states that Superman weighs 220 pounds. Christopher Reeve bulked up for the movie and really did weigh 220 pounds. Superman Returns states that Superman weighs only 120 pounds, and the contradiction bothered me. Although Brandon Routh does look somewhat like Christopher Reeve, he also looks too thin for the part. People expect their superheroes to have some mass on them.