LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The 2006 movie "Superman Returns" was supposed to reignite the comic-book character for big-screen audiences and make a star out of unknown actor Brandon Routh. While critics praised the film, it underwhelmed at the box office, earning $391 million worldwide.
Now, with another Superman film in the works -- Zack Snyder's "Superman: Man of Steel," which stars Henry Cavill in the title role -- "Superman Returns" director-producer Bryan Singer says he made some mistakes with his own film.
"I think that 'Superman Returns' was a bit nostalgic and romantic, and I don't think that was what people were expecting, especially in the summer," Singer said in an interview with VoicesFromKrypton.com.
"What I had noticed is that there weren't a lot of women lining up to see a comic book movie, but they were going to line up to see 'The Devil Wears Prada,' which may have been something I wanted to address. But when you're making a movie, you're not thinking about that stuff, you're thinking, 'Wow, I want to make a romantic movie that harkens back to the Richard Donner movie that I loved so much.' And that's what I did."
Many moviegoers criticized the third act, in which Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) stabs Superman with a shard of kryptonite, but then the two characters don't appear onscreen again for the rest of the movie. In defending the scene, Singer said he tried to insert a religious analogy his storytelling, which was probably too "heavy" for a summer movie.
"I've always felt that the origin of Superman is the story of Moses -- the child sent on a ship to fulfill a destiny," said Singer, a producer on the upcoming "X-Men: First Class." "And this was a story about Christ -- it's all about sacrifice: The world, I hear their cries. So what happens? He gets the knife in the side and later he falls to the earth in the shape of a crucifix. It was kind of nailing you on the head, but I enjoyed that, because I've always found the myth of Christ compelling and moving. So I hoped to do my own take, which is heavy s--- for a summer movie."
Singer said if he were to take on another Superman film, he would do a reboot of the franchise by remaking the original and would make it a more "balls-to-the-wall action movie" with a different pace from "Superman Returns."
Despite the disappointing performance of "Superman Returns," Singer still says he's "proud" of the film.
"There are a bunch of movies I've made where I'm, like, 'Yuck, that was weak' or 'That could've been better,' and I can see why. But with 'Superman Returns' ... If I could go back, I would have tightened the first act."