Welcome back to YouTube Tuesday, the day of the week where I get to be really lazy and instead of posting anything of substance I distract you with a shiny video.  This week I present something that until I got to see this a few months back I had been wanting to see since June of 2006.  Here is the deleted “Return to Krypton” scene from Superman Returns.

Superman Returns is a complicated movie for me to discuss because it brings up so many emotions.  Some good, some bad, some…intense.  One of the many complaints I had and still have with the film is that Warner Bros. used certain snpipets in the various trailers from scenes they would later cut out of the movie.  I don’t know if it was the producers or Singer or a combination of the two that decided to make the cuts and frankly I don’t really care.  If you put stuff in the trailer to sell me on the film and that stuff ends up not being in the film I  feel more than a little bit cheated.

As the opening paragraph suggests the main scene that I was really looking forward to was Superman’s Return to Krypton.  That haunting image of the ship searching through the dead husk of Krypton looked really awesome in the trailer and when it wasn’t in the film I was really disappointed.  Why would they spend so much money on a scene and not put it in the film and then, to add insult to injury, not put it on the DVD?  It didn’t make any sense.

When I finally got to see the scene I had another weird mix of emotions.  On one hand it was really cool to finally see it.  I liked the special effects.  I liked Routh’s performance.  It was indeed a haunting scene (as I had suspected) with a bit of suspense and action thrown in at the end.  On the other hand it doesn’t exactly fit into the cut of the movie that was released into theaters.  It looks as if this deleted scene directly proceeds Ben Hubbard leaving the Kent house, which means you would go through the whole thing with Lex Luthor and Gertrude Vanderworth then head back to Krypton then have the ship crash on Earth which would probably feel kind of weird.

Not that the pacing of Superman Returns isn’t already strange.  The first act barrels through like a freight train, the second act is paced just right and the third act never freaking ends.  I have long felt that if they had done a better job of setting up Superman’s return to Earth, played more with the decision of whether or not he was even going to be Superman again and then tightened up the third act the film would have flowed better.  The way the movie stands it seems like Superman left, came back, reclaimed his job at the planet and then immediately jumps back into the super-hero game.  Adding this scene would have bulked up the first act and given us a better sense of why he left the Earth to return to Krypton in the first place.

I’m going to stop now because I could very easily go on and on about Superman Returns.  In a way the anticipation I felt for that movie is why I kind of want to avoid anything that would spoil too much of the upcoming Man of Steel because we saw so much of Returns before it came out.  That is going to be hard because I am a co-host (along with Steve Younis) on the Radio KAL Live call in show (every Monday at 11:30 EST at the Superman Homepage) and we tend to stay on top of the latest news and hype from the film.  It will be fun to figure out how I can do both and not go crazy.

At least I hope it will be fun and not, you know, annoying.

More to follow…

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  1. penfold says:

    This is the gold standard of a scene you cut from a movie. Before it starts, you know nothing new. While it’s going on, you learn nothing new. After it’s over, nothing new has been established. It’s several minutes long and has basically no dialogue, which is a risky thing to put at the top of a movie like this.

    Singer says cutting it was entirely his idea. I agree with very decisions he made for this movie but I’ll certainly agree he made the right choice on this.

  2. Dave Jones says:

    Hey Mike! Love the new look. I have to agree that this scene was one I was looking forward to. I waited to read my Superman Returns novelization until I had seen the film three or four times. I loved how he described this scene and the internal dialogue that Superman has during this trip. Anyway, I do love Superman Returns and I do wish we could have seen a sequel because I feel like Singer and Routh could have done the franchise justice in the end. Bryan Singer shot one of the most beautiful films in SR, the story just needed a shot in the arm at times and I guess people wanted Supes to “punch something”, whatever that means.

  3. My understanding is that the film would have opened with this scene, immediately following a different version of the prologue and the opening credits. In the early versions, we would have seen the sun explode, but not what happened to Krypton. My guess is that the credits would have been against the starfield background, but not depicting the trip to Earth. Then, we come back to the Krypton area, see Superman’s survey of the remains and watch him head back to earth.

    My guess is that the Lex/Gertrude scene was scripted to take place after Ma finds Clark’s crashsite.

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