“Antichrist,” “Buried,” “Dirty Harry” … the characters in these movies all have a terrifying story to delve into – they’ve all been buried alive.
Smallville creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar discuss their writing approach, the controversial departures they made from the Superman comics and the impact of Christopher Reeve.
Q: You guys have worked together a long time. How did you discover your mutual love for Superman?
AG: We were actually approached by Warner Bros. Television where we had an overall deal. We didn’t approach Smallville as comic book geeks since neither of us had ever read a Superman comic. Rather, we came at it as outsiders who wanted to make a show for the fans and the uninitiated alike.
MM: My first real exposure to Superman was Richard Donner’s movie in 1979. We have since worked with Donner on Lethal Weapon 4, but I remember thinking the movie was kind of boring. However, I really loved Superman II. I had the poster for Superman IV: The Quest For Peace on my bedroom wall when I was a kid — but I’m not sure that is a good thing.
Q: Smallville stirred up a lot of controversy with hardcore comic book fans devoted to the original. How did you guys deal with that?
AG: Like all writers — we tried to avoid it as much as possible! We stopped reading Ain’t it Cool News where we were being burned in effigy everyday, and didn’t go to the San Diego Comic-Con until Season 2.
MM: Listening to fan boys is tiring, frustrating and ultimately futile. Smallville began at the dawn of the fan-forum era — we used to scan the posts to get a sense of the general feeling, but that’s it. If we did course-correct a storyline it would be because the fans’ sentiment mirrored our own. The truth is the so-called “hardcore fans” will find fault with anything and everything. We had no interest in following the established mythology of the D.C. universe or aligning our timeline with theirs.
Comic book geeks are the toughest audience to please. Sure, they’ll flock to any superhero movie (and often in costume) but change one detail of the beloved source material, and that’s basically their kryptonite. Still, a select few comic book flicks qualify as nearly 100% nerd-approved. Take a look below to find out which made the cut. (Then tune in to THE WRITERS’ ROOM for a celebration of small screen adaptations: “The Walking Dead, Smallville & other comics” on Fri., Apr. 25 at 9PM/8c.)
1. The Avengers – 97% Nerd-Approved
With Marvel’s mega-blockbuster, writer-director Joss Whedon tapped into every superhero fan’s inner 10-year-old. For those whose inner child is perpetually clutching an action figure wherever they go, a Hulk who didn’t look like Shrek only sweetened the deal.
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – 99.98% Nerd-Approved
A near perfect adaptation of Ed Brubaker/Steve Epting’s “Winter Soldier” comics storyline, this movie is so chock full of Marvel-ous Easter eggs – references to Doctor Strange and Crossbones among others — that it isn’t just the latest comic book movie. It may also be the best.
DC Comics is celebrating 75 years with a new coffee table book by Taschen documenting their existence. Written by Paul Levitz, the book, 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, starts with Superman and ends with the Green Lantern movie. The Hollywood Reporter has a great slideshow of the work. It’s so…
A near-mint condition copy of Action Comics No. 1, which featured the first introduction of Superman recently sold at an auction for $1 million. This broke the previous record for this comic set last March to the six-figure tune of $317,200. Maybe the economy is recovering after all? A total of only 100 copies of…