Lets have a quick and very paraphrased history lesson. Back in 1996 Kevin Smith landed the dream gig of pitching his vision of a rebooted Superman to Warner Bros and producer Jon Peters. Smith’s never-made ‘Superman Lives‘ makes for long and fascinating reading. The project never made it to fruition because of major creative differences between Smith and Peters. Peters had some very misguided and very shortsighted ideas of how to approach a new Superman movie. Typical of the 90s approach to superhero films, Peters wanted to change the source material as much as possible, rather than embrace and celebrate it which, is thankfully the trend we largely see today. Amongst Peters’ demands were that Smith’s Superman was to wear a black costume (apparently red and blue was too “faggy”), wasn’t to fly (a Superman that doesn’t fly? Go figure), and had to fight a giant mechanical spider during the movie’s finale. Incidentally Peters would get a giant mechanical spider in 1999 in his totally not dogshit production ‘Wild Wild West‘. Smith actually managed to turn a script in that met all of these whims of a lunatic and was still removed from the project.
These daysWB has much more sense when its comes to its DC prpoerties (‘Green Lantern‘ aside, woops) and this is no more evident than in the wondrous animated features produced under the banner of DC Universe Animated Original Movies. 2007’s ‘Superman Doomsday‘ (a PG-13 with some pretty awesome slug-fest violence) features an animated version of none other than Kevin Smith taking a great side-swipe at Jon Peters. As Toyman scales a building in a (you guessed it) giant mechanical spider and is suitably nailed by clone-Superman, Smith can be heard saying “like we really needed him to bust up the mechanical spider right? Lame!” (and yes that is Smith’s voice). It’s a great moment that shows just how far WB has come in the treatment of its most valuable asset.