If you’re trying to develop a script for a Hollywood movie, you’ll get a lot of “Does it have to be that way?” questions from the studio executives. For example, someone might ask about one of the characters, “Does he have to stutter?” because that might make the film harder to enjoy, which would reduce the amount of money it could earn.
That’s a little less likely if the story is about the stutterer, although you never know. It’s not quite the same thing, but supposedly someone asked if Steve Martin’s character in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels had to spend so much time in a wheelchair.
Actually, that last one turns out not to be made up.
At least not according to this long and angry rant about the development process for the upcoming Superman movie. (Hat tip, Antigravitas) I’m not sure of its accuracy, but apparently the producers weren’t fans of the comic book and thought the flying scenes would be silly.
Other ideas considered for the movie:
- Superman has a see-through suit that shows his internal organs.
- Josh Hartnet as Superman
- Punch up the action by surrounding Superman’s Fortress of Solitude with guards (showing a lack of understanding not only of the Superman character, but also of the word solitude).
- David Duchovny as Superman.
- Krypton didn’t blow up (yet somehow there’s still kryptonite).
- Jim Caviezel as Superman.
- Superman gets his powers from his suit.
- Sean Penn as Superman.
- Superman fights a giant spider (later used in Wild Wild West).
- Evan Marriott as Superman (yes, that’s Joe Millionaire)
- Superman dies, but Lois Lane bears his son who quickly (three weeks) grows up to replace him.
- Justin Timberlake as superman (to which Timberlake replied “Whatever it is you’re smoking, I don’t want any part of it.”).
- Matrix-style Kung Fu action.
- Ashton Kutcher as Superman
- Superman has the power of teleportation.
There’s a lot more if you have the stomach to read the whole thing.
All the time I was reading it, I kept thinking it was too bad they didn’t just turn it all over to someone with a good comic book track record, like Bryan Singer, who who made the X-Men movies.
So I checked the IMDB site, and it turns out that’s exactly what they did for Superman Returns, so there’s hope yet.