In the new issue of Empire Magazine [via Nolan Fans], Christopher Nolan, who is “godfather-ing” the next Superman movie, said that David Goyer had figured out a way to address the character of Superman in a modern context. Said Nolan:
It was the first time I’ve been able to conceive of how you’d address Superman in a modern context I thought it was a really exciting idea. What you have to remember about Batman and Superman is that what makes them the best superhero characters there are, the most beloved after all this time, is the essence of who they were when they were created, when they were first developed. You can’t move too far away from that.
Setting aside the point that Batman and Superman are the “best” superhero characters, I believe Nolan is right that you can’t forget the context of when a superhero was created. In the case of Superman, it’s an immigrant story (the parents of creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were immigrants). For my thoughts on what Goyer could do with The Man of Steel, hit the jump.
Peter over at /Film says that Superman is “almost too corny for the post-9/11 era”. I would argue that on the contrary, it adds an interesting idea to Superman, which is how can a man who can save space shuttles and stop natural disasters deal with global politics and hatred ingrained by both culture and history. Even if you asked, “Why wouldn’t someone with Superman’s powers stop the terrorists?” I think the larger question is “What good are superpowers when you can’t stop the situations that create and foster terrorism?” It’s a painful question Americans had to face when we saw that our country, “The Last Superpower”, was unable to stop a couple dozen guys in a cave from committing the greatest attack on American soil in our country’s history. The question is how do you raise that issue and still make a fun action movie? I think it’s possible because that’s what The Dark Knight did. The Joker is a terrorist except terror is his end-goal (which makes him so, well, terrifying).
I don’t know if that’s what Goyer’s planning to do, but I hope that he’s found a way to integrate real-world issues while making a movie that—unlike Batman Begins and The Dark Knight—isn’t ashamed that its from a comic book.