So, I originally had a completely different post lined up but I ended up distracted when THIS
was linked on Twitter.
I'm going to ignore the bit where they don't want "a name" that would overshadow their leading man playing Superman's love interest simply for my own sanity. Because maybe I'm old fashioned, but I always thought the point of seeing a movie was seeing the CHARACTERS.
But the female lead won't be Lois Lane?
How in the world can you have SUPERMAN without LOIS LANE?
There are many heroes out there whose love interests don't play as vital or defining role in their mythos. Batman, Green Lantern, Captain America, and so on. But I definitely wouldn't consider Superman to be one of them!
Superman's a great character, don't get me wrong, and I don't think that every appearance of his needs to also feature Lois. I'm perfectly fine with Lois not appearing in the Justice League or anything like that, as, well, she's not a superhero.
But Lois is a huge part of what makes Superman appealing and accessible. I honestly think a large part of the problem with Superman Returns was that Superman and Lois's relationship was so peculiarly defined that she really wasn't able to match him like she does best.
Lois is the dynamic center of the partnership in a lot of ways. She's the ambitious one, jumping in over her head in pursuit of a story. She's the one who pokes at Clark Kent and pushes at Superman. When he's being a lofty superhero, she's the one who brings him back down to Earth.
There's no story in watching someone all-powerful experience no conflict or no pain. That's why the writers invented kryptonite, so that they have a way to neutralize Superman's powers and harm him physically so that there's actually a sense of danger. That's what Lois brings too. HE might not be able to be hurt, but she can, which means that through her, he's vulnerable. He's human.
The movie is still going to have a female lead, according to the article, but it won't be Lois. Which is utterly mind-boggling to me. Who the heck is she supposed to be, then? Lana Lang? Lori Lemaris? Cat Grant? It's not like the comics really have a lot of female characters that could be slotted into Lois's role. This isn't like the Ultimate Avengers movie putting Black Widow into Sharon Carter's position. That move might have been annoying to me as a Sharon fan, but I understood it intellectually. Natasha's a better known character with a position and skill-set similar enough to Sharon's that she could slide in.
But there IS no woman in the Superman mythos that could be the Black Widow to Lois's Sharon. Actually, I'd stretch that farther. With the possible exception of Wonder Woman or Supergirl, I'd argue that no woman in the DC Universe has as much name recognition outside comics as Lois Lane.
And it's utterly irrational, but this woman could be played by the greatest actress in our generation and the romance could be the finest written since Casablanca and I will still not be able to care. It'd be the same for me as if they suddenly named Superman "Wonder-Man". Everything else might be the same, but it's not Superman.
It's funny because until today, I never really thought much about it. But for me, the crux of the Superman story is that it's a love story. It's a romance! It's never been, for me, about a guy growing up to become a hero. He was always a hero. He was a hero the moment he appeared on the cover of Action Comics lifting a car. The George Reeve show took less than five minutes to go through his entire backstory and get him in the tights. See also: Lois and Clark or the first Superman movie. Superman doesn't really have an "origin story" per se. He doesn't NEED one. He needs five minutes and maybe a new/re-introduction to the Daily Planet, then you're ready to go!
Smallville's the exception, of course, but I don't really consider Smallville a SUPERMAN story. It's a Superboy story that took on a life of its own, and that's an entirely different thing altogether.
The Superman story is also not about a guy learning to balance the different aspects of his life. He already had that. Clark Kent might be new to Metropolis, but he's been Clark Kent all of his life. It's not about a guy trying to deal with his own inner darkness and become a symbol. Superman's never needed to BECOME a symbol, he's always been one just by nature of who he is.
The Superman story is, to me, about a guy who gets this new job and meets this girl. And then shit happens. There's an adversary to overcome, there are some things he has to do. But in the end, it all comes back to this girl.
And now you're going to take out the girl?
Sorry, but that's just not a Superman story to me. It's a deal-breaker for me. Plain and simple. So it sounds like I'll be giving this movie a pass.
((Unless of course, the article turns out to be wrong. :-)))
[EDIT/UPDATE: This article
(which contains spoilers) seems to indicate that the role in question is a villainess. If that's the case, then I will tentatively rescind my complaint pending casting news of an actual Lois. :-)]