Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Truth, Justice, And The American Way...

Superman Returns is the latest in Hollywood's attempt to make superheroes accessible to everybody instead of just the comic book generation.

It seems that the writers of the new Superman movie thought that Superman was a bit too patriotic and changed the words "Truth, Justice and the American Way" to "Truth, Justice and all that stuff." This is down right shameful. I love America and being an American; and as I remember it so did the Superman from the comics.

For a movie that is based on a comic book hero who has for more than fifty years has been an American icon - and one that opens on 4th of July weekend - this movie lacks something very obvious: anything American.

Ever since artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel created one of the greatest of all comic book icons in 1932, Superman has fought valiantly to preserve "Truth, Justice and the American Way."

Whether it has been giving the Nazis a beating in the '40s or wrapping himself in the Stars and Stripes during the Cold War or even rescuing the White House's flag in "Superman II," the Krypton born, Smallville raised, super-man has always been steeped in unmistakable American symbolism.

As it turns out, the abandonment of the American way was no accident and no joke. The Hollywood Reporter talks to the screenwriters, Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris:

"The world has changed. The world is a different place," Pennsylvania native Harris says. "The truth is he’s an alien. He was sent from another planet. He has landed on the planet Earth, and he is here for everybody. He’s an international superhero."...

They penned their first draft together and intentionally omitted what they considered to be a loaded and antiquated expression...

"We were always hesitant to include the term ‘American way’ because the meaning of that today is somewhat uncertain," Ohio native Dougherty explains. "The ideal hasn’t changed. I think when people say ‘American way,’ they’re actually talking about what the ‘American way’ meant back in the ’40s and ’50s, which was something more noble and idealistic."

Are they saying that America/Americans are not noble now?

While audiences in Dubuque might bristle at Superman’s newfound global agenda, patrons in Dubai likely will find the DC Comics protagonist more palatable. . . .

"So, you play the movie in a foreign country, and you say, ‘What does he stand for? — truth, justice and the American way.’ I think a lot of people’s opinions of what the American way means outside of this country are different from what the line actually means because they are not the same anymore," Harris says. "And using that line would taint the meaning of what he is saying."

The American way would taint the movie? Every American should be insulted that Superman is in such hands as theirs. Do they really believe that being pro-American is politically incorrect?

If these "writers" or even Warner Brothers did this because they felt that the film's foreign box office would be damaged by its inclusion, they could have easily have shot the scene differently for airing overseas. It's common for big budget Hollywood movies to have alternate scenes with toned down violence, sexual content or language shot for different airings. Instead, Superman's writers decided to give American audiences a deliberately punitive Fourth of July weekend slur.

It's not that I am a comic book nerd or even a stickler for keeping things as they were originally made. I am just sick and tired of the anti-American sentiment. I, for one, won't be supporting this bastardization of an American hero.

Truth, Justice, And The American Way, that's the way for me.

4 Comments:

Anonymous mre said...

Screw the new Superman! Wolverine may be a Canadian, but he's a more believable hero.

5/7/06 12:55  
Anonymous reverse_vampyr said...

Regardless of the fact that Superman is supposed to be from another planet, the story is that he's lived his entire life IN AMERICA. He's an AMERICAN, you apologist a-holes! Most of the time, he's saving people in the fictional AMERICAN city of Metropolis.

Sure, he flies around the world and does things for people everywhere. But the ideals of truth, justice, and freedom ARE the AMERICAN WAY. Why did these ultramaroons see a need to change that?

With this idiotic type of thinking spewing out of Hollywood I guess there is no hope for a Captain America movie. :(

6/7/06 08:09  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

I'm sticking with the Christopher Reeve version.

These so called "writers" could have learned something from him.

Before him there was really no hope for people who had a spinal cord injury like his, but he changed all that.

Like the character he played he too embodied the American spirit.

6/7/06 17:04  
Anonymous Mezba said...

Superman Returns sucks!!!

6/7/06 17:12  

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