Neil Gaiman Responds to Warner Bros.’ Struggle to Keep Superman “Relevant” Today

Variety laid out what’s ahead for Warner Bros. and DC Films in the wake of Joker and the first-look signing of JJ Abrams.

Batman, Harley Quinn, potentially other villains, and even Green Lantern have something in the pipeline and Superman kind of got lost in the conversation. The studio apparently has no idea how to “make Superman relevant to modern audiences” and may keep Big Blue on hiatus for the next four years.

Sandman co-creator Neil Gaiman caught wind of this news and disagreed with the conclusion. On Twitter, Gaiman responded to a tweet linking to a Forbes piece commenting on the lack of resonance Supes has these days. He wrote it’s not about making Superman relevant but instead making him “inspiring.”

Related — Rumor: Henry Cavill Could Lose Superman Role to David Corenswet

The Forbes piece talks about “the boundless optimism that defines Superman” which other heroes — Captain America, Wonder Woman, Shazam — possess. It’s a quality paying off for them in terms of box office and popularity.

Superman, on the other hand, the article contends, can’t surmount his “absurd” and messed up mythology, adding “he’s not cool,” edgy, funny, or malleable.

Gaiman isn’t alone; the Internet and the comic book world think differently. Another writer, Kurt Busiek, offered his observation on Superman’s relevance last month, tying the Kryptonian’s cause to climate change.

And artist Phil Jimenez chimed in. He feels the world hasn’t lost touch with “truth, justice, and the American way.”

Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen had this to say: “He’s never been more relevant. He’s Mr. Smith meets George Bailey in circus tights.”

Other public figures and comic readers jumped on Forbes too. Patton Oswalt quoted the same tweet as Gaiman and facetiously pitched a version of Superman that is a sly reference to Joker. He may be onto something given that film’s success – but probably not.

Related: Henry Cavill is Crystal Clear on Superman: “The Cape Is in The Closet. It’s Still Mine.”

There isn’t a shortage of pitches or possibilities for new Superman movies. Warner’s “conversations” with Abrams are confirmed and he’s tried to get a film based on the property up, up and away since 2004.

WB also met with Michael B. Jordan. He has his own ideas yet to be publicized. Not that it matters, they didn’t come to an agreement and don’t sound like they’ll bother looking for a director or writer, regardless of Jordan’s schedule.

And there’s still Henry “The Cape Is Still Mine” Cavill. He never truly was fired or walked away despite appearances and his silence since Justice League came out.

Moreover, after working with Christopher McQuarrie on Mission: Impossible – Fallout, they went to Warner with a pitch for Man of Steel 2.

Related — Mission Impossible: Fallout Director Shows Interest in Superman Movie!

According to McQuarrie, there were “no takers” for their “original” idea. He wrote the following, rather scathing, remarks on Twitter in July, later taken down:

“Too complicated to explain. It tied into the Superman movie that Cavill and I were proposing. No takers.

The studios have never cared for my original ideas. They prefer that I fix their broken ones.”

WB seem okay with having a DC Extended Universe sans The Last Son of Krypton for now. Supergirl, by most accounts including ours, is poised for a movie before her cousin Kal gets another.

Related — Rumor: Supergirl Feature Film Will Start Filming Early Next Year

Is Superman still relevant? Of course, he is, but leave your thoughts below.

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