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Sunday, July 17, 2005


SAN DIEGO -- Bryan Singer continued to be the darling of Comic-Con International, receiving a standing ovation from many in the crowd of 6,500 after show a clip montage from his upcoming Superman Returns on Saturday.

After the presentation, Singer, visibly tired from the flight from Australia, where the film is being shot, sat down with the media for a short press conference.

Following is an edited transcription:

Question: So how'd you like the reaction?

Singer: It was very nice. Very flattering. Very exciting.

Question:A lot of people seemed to have concerns with the suit.

Singer:Yeah, it's hard. You just see a photograph of it and it represents one thing. And people interpret it. It's just a photograph. But when you see it in motion and how we're treating him with lighting and color. And this was only our first pass at color timing. This little piece was done on the fly.

I think he sells it. If you were to meet Brandon (Routh) in the suit that's when you really feel, "OK, that's Superman. I get it."

I hope it will please people. You know, you can please some of the people some of the time.

Question:It was interesting what you said at the panel about how you relate to Superman. Can you expand on that?

Singer: Well, it was sort of what I said. I am adopted, I'm an America and I'm an only child. Superman was these three things, except what interests me is that he's the ultimate immigrant. And he carries what makes him different, his special heritage, he carries it with pride in the sense of suit.

He's very idealistic. Unlike Wolverine who is very cynical, Superman is extremely idealistic, and that kind of represents a bit of what America is, with the pitfalls one experiences in their idealism.

So I very much like the character. I find him very pleasant. I'd like to think that there were people like Superman, or aliens like Superman, that existed.

Plus, he can do anything.

Question:You mentioned that the John Williams theme will be used?

Singer: Yes.

Question: Will that play as the main theme and will he be in the credits?


Question: Will the opening credits be the same as the Christopher Reeve films?

Singer: Similar. It will have some other elements to it, but it will be similar. In the spirit of.

Question:You talked about the Marlon Brando footage we're going to see. Is there any chance that will show up on the DVD?

Singer: I have no idea. It's definitely fascinating to look at. Like any movie, sometimes you, when you're filming, you get the words right and sometimes you don't. Then sometimes you talk about it. I don't know what would be appropriate and what wouldn't be appropriate to put on a DVD, and that would also probably come down to the rights issue, the estate rights of Marlon Brando. He have the rights to use elements and aspects of him as Jor-El.

But I don't know if I'm violating any rights by telling you the Brando bloopers, but they're definite fun. But when he's on, he's on. He's Jor-El. It's amazing.

Question: How do you prepare for directing a Superman film?

Singer: I direct two X-Men films. And I love Superman and have enough credibility, I guess, that Warner Bros. will trust me with what they consider one of their largest franchises.

Question: I heard you were having issues with Australia as a locating...

Singer: No, the only issues with Australia for me is the personal distance. My family lives in New Jersey and my home is in L.A. and God forbid something were to happen happen with my family, it's 22 hours of travel.

But so far the crew has been extraordinary. We've got a lot of people off King Kong, and we've got a lot of other folks off Star Wars and The Matrix. It's a terrific crew.

So for me, it's just a sense of a combination of a little home sickness. On a day, it will get to me. It's an intangible. Because the place is beautiful. Syndey's one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Question: In the clip you showed downstairs, Lois Lane had a kid. How did Warner Bros. react?

Singer: I pitched the story (to Warner Bros. executives), and they responded to it. It comes to a conclusion. It's sort of a story about Superman finding his place in a world that has very much changed -- and ultimately he does at the end of the picture. It leaves some things open to future films possibly.

But they just responded to it quite instantaneously. As I said, my deal to make this movie was made in 72 hours.

Question: Will the success of Batman Begins made you look at Superman differently?

Singer: No, I don't see it. I don't think about other films and their success both financially and critically. I don't. I look at this film individually, completely separate from that.

I'm excited. It's good for Chris (Nolan), it's good for Warner Bros. and it's good for Batman, but it's not something I can factor into the movies I make one way or another.

Question: In the X-Men films, you dropped in little asides to comics fan. Is there anything like that in Superman?

Singer: Oh, absolutely. There's two cameos, Noel Neill and Jack Larsen, who played the original Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen from the 1950s series.

Question: He was the bartender in the clip?

Singer:Yeah, yeah, yeah, Jack Larsen plays the bartender with Jimmy Olsen in the scene, so it's great that they have a scene together. It was fun to shoot that

It was a very long day. Jack came there, flew 15 hours to get there and then worked an 18-hour day. He's not young, but he's got a lot of energy. I was really impressed.

Question: Can you tell us about casting Kate Bosworth?

Singer: I saw the movie Beyond the Sea -- twice. She phenomenal and I really liked her. I brought her to read with Brandon and they had a chemistry and it was the combination of her work on Beyond the Sea and the chemistry she had in the room with Brandon and the general sense I had in the meeting.

You know, when you meet somebody ... when I cast, and I've had a good record with casting, it's sort of in the meeting when I fully make that decision.

Question: Do you and Brandon watch Christopher Reeve?

Singer: No. We look at some of the original Superman, just to take a look at it together. But by no means did I ever say, "Act like Christopher Reeve."

It's weird with Brandon. One moment, he's a dead ringer for Christopher Reeve. The next minute, he's completely different. So it kind of captures moments. You'll have moments that recall the first film and then moments when he's his own Clark, and he's his own Superman.

Question: When you started filming, how far on the script were you? Did you have rewrites every day?

Singer: It was pretty far along, but my style is everyday, we invent something new. Everyday, I freak out and change something, which has a ripple effect of everything I'm going to shoot.

It happened just the other day. But it's always exciting and it's always for the best. It's a mixed bag. But that's why it's great having Dan and Mike there all the time. Because I can sit there and suddenly say, "Why am I doing this? This should happen." And they're right there to help me make in happen -- and visa versa.

Question: How much of the comic was the source material?

Singer: Very little. Little to none. It's mostly original material If you look back at the comic history, they've done pretty much about everything. Superman's rescued everything, picked up everything, thrown everything and captured everything and everything's bounced off him.

You have to see what serves the story that you're telling at the given moment. But there's definitely a respect to taking the overview of the series and an overview of the movies and an overview of the serial and an overview of the musical, which I've seen. Taking a piece of everything, and the comic of course in all its incarnations.

Question:Did you make Kate Bosworth wear same-color contact lens?

Singer: No. I like her different eyes. I find that interesting.

Question: Does is seem like Superman will be a homewrecker trying to win Lois back?

Singer:Not a homewrecker. It's just what happens when old boyfriends come back into your life. Something happens. And it's tough. They're not married, Lois and the (James) Marsden character are not married. You don't ask her about that question. Not Kate, but the character of Lois.

Question: Whose child is it?

Singer: It's hers and Richard's.

Question: But they're not married.

Singer: But, they're not married, no. It's a child out of wedlock. I know it's very racy (laughs).

Question: What was the biggest challenge in making Superman relevant to audiences of today?

Singer: Biggest creative challenge is just to make a good movie. I don't really care about the things about relevance of today. I don't particularly worry about where we are right now. Because where we are right now or what you consider today, will be different tomorrow. So I just particularly wanted to be respect to the Superman universe.

I think the one thing that makes it more modern is the fact that it is about what happens when old boyfriends come home and the world has moved on since Superman was the idealic young man who emerged from the Fortress of Solitude as Superman.

Question:How is Kevin Spacey playing Luthor, campy like Gene Hackman and more evil like Michael Rosenbaum?

Singer: I think you'll find that there's humor. I don't like the word campy. I don't think Gene Hackman was campy. I think Gene Hackman was phenomenal. One of end, but on the other end there was Otis and the way it unfolded there was a kind of humor. I'm exploring some of that humor, but at the same time he's proably going to be a bit darker, a bit edgier, somewhere in between what you're seeing on Smallville and what you're seeing in the first Superman.

Question: The humor comes with Kal Penn and Parker Posey?

Singer: Yeah, Parker Posey and Kal Penn and a group of thugs which are loosely based on the crime gang in musical, which had so little to do with this movie. Please don't say, "He's basing it on the musical." (laughs) Not that all, I'm just saying there's a bunch of these guys.

Question: Talk about your use of digital and the possibility of 3D conversion.

Singer: We've discussed an IMAX version. As far as a 3D version, I have to see the demonstrations of how to do that without shooting it that way. In theory, the real way to do 3D it shooting 3D, with appropriate ocular placements, two lens attached to the medium. Jim Cameron is shooting Battle Angel in 3D. He's shown me the camera; it's quite extraodinary.

...The film is being shot using with something called the Genesis camera. We're the first film to really utilize this camera. It was built from the ground up by Sony and Panavision to look more like film than any digital camera to date has done. It's quite fascinating. It's created quite an image.

Question: Your DVDs have always been great. What are you planning for the DVD?

Singer: Rob Burnett and his gang produce a pretty good DVD. They've been doing it with me since the re-release of The Usual Suspects, so they'll throw in whatever they think is relevant and fun. Then we do these weblogs, which are a little irreverent, mostly because I trust Rob and his team. I kind of trust these guys, so I let them get a lot of behind-the-scenes footage.

I hope they're more fun. I hope it's not, "This is a green screen. This is a camera. Here, we're going to do." They actually show that there's a cast of characters, not just in front of the camera, but behind the camera that are involved in making the picture. When you make a movie, it's a kind of a theater that occurs, the sets and the people. At any given day, I employ 800 people. By the finish of our run in Australia, we'll have employed 10,000 people, and that's not including the visual effects houses, thousands of people.

So to see a bit of that, particularly down in Australia where it's hard for you guys to come visit, it's great to be able to do on a DVD, to have that background, that material. And hopefully we'll be able to do it with some fun.

Question: Do you have a personal favorite version of Superman, perhaps when you were a child?

Singer: I think I did. It was a combination of the George Reeves series and then Richard Donner's 1978 Superman. Those are my biggest inspirations, I guess.

Question: The franchise is coming back after a long time. Can you talk about the pressure or responsibility you feel?

Singer: I feel an enormous responsiblity very simply because it's Superman. It's an icon that surpasses probably any comic icon and most icons that exist in popular culture. I guarantee you take the cross and the S into a jungle and you will have 50-50 recognition. It's an enormous responsiiblity.

Question: X-Men 2.5?

Singer: We've talked about it. Rob was talking to me about it. I'd participate, obviously, because I'm very proud of the X-Men films, particularly the second X-Men film. And it'd be fun to go back and look at it and talk about it and throw in some pieces and bits that haven't been seen.

Question: Will there be Superman-like action?

Singer: Oh, yeah. It's huge. That's why it's funny. I'm showing you a character piece, but the movie's huge. It probably has 1,500 to 2,000 visual effects shots. It's got sequences where you have not seen a character to do things of this scope. It takes you from outer space to the depths of the ocean. It's quite a big canvas.

Question: Does he use all his powers?

Singer: Oh, yeah. Most of them. Lots of them. We go lots of places.

Question: With X-Men, you have Marvel. With Superman, you have DC. Can you describe the difference?

Singer: There's no real difference. They're both companies that are passionate about their universes and hold them dear and are affording me a great amount of trust in the direction I'm taking.

I've been afforded, as with X-Men, tremendous control over the picture. It's all support. It's all good stuff.

We have a video game with EA, and I'm involved with that. That's spectacular. That will be quite a video game. It's for the next generation consoles. All that will be different. It will have elements of the movie, but it will have elements that will make game play more exciting in terms of the construction of Metropolis, Superman's powers and things like that.

Question: How comedically will you be playing the Clark Kent character?

Singer: He's goofy. He's playing a a role. Clark is not young Clark from the farm, although you'll see a bit of that. At the Daily Planet, he's awkward, he's the invisible guy. With Lois, "Have you ever been in love? Silly question." He's playing a role. That's his costume. Superman is him.

Question: Did you base Metropolis on New York City like Richard Donner did?

Singer: Richard Donner didn't base it loosely on New York City. He made it New York City. It was New York City.

We have a city that captures the look of the film, a 1940s love story, so there will be a more deco, things like that. But ultimately it will be based on something between today's New York and the New York of 1938.

Question: What do you think of Brett Ratner directing the third X-Men movie?

Singer: I think it's great. He's a good friends of mine; I've known him for years. And I'm excited for him. I hope he has enough time to make the picture.

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