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Max Landis Talks Superman; Clues To His Man of Steel 2?

Matt McGloin
Posted: 10/25/2012 - 15:18

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:3505:]]Max Landis, the screenwriter behind Chronicle and also the popular "Death Of Superman" parody, penned a back-up story for the upcoming issue of DC Comics' Action Comics Annual.

The issue will see Landis bringing the Atomic Skull to the New 52, the recently rebooted DC Comics comic book universe.

Cosmic Book News was told a couple weeks back that Landis might be writing the Man of Steel 2, that director Zack Snyder had a meeting with him and that DC "loved the guy."

Now in an interview with CBR, Max Landis comments on his new comic book writing gig, the parody video, and talks about if he had keys to Superman and what he would do with them.

Regarding the "Death of Superman" video and the ensuing controversy, Max Landis offered:

They all loved it. I talked to a lot of people at DC that were able to laugh at it, more so than a lot of the fans. Some people got pretty angry at me, and even more people thought I didn't like Superman, which I thought was really funny. I spent two-and-a-half months of my life making that movie. When DC reached out to me about this, it was a tremendously meaningful moment for me. The idea that they would give me Superman and run wild with him was so intimidating. And, quite honestly, shocking.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:3506:]]On his upcoming Action Comics Annual back-up story, which features no words:

For the story that I was writing, I realized words weren't necessarily important, and the character being featured, in this case the Atomic Skull, probably wouldn't talk a lot during the situation that he was in. I decided to use pictures to tell the story, because as a screenwriter, you don't get to do that. You can't just write what happens and it will happen. You've got to break it up on the page. But in comics, I found, you can really, really, really paint with a bigger brush. You can just say what's there and it will be there. You don't need words.

And Max Landis offers his take on Superman and what direction he would go, which seems similar to the new Man of Steel movie direction.

What would I do if I had the keys to Superman? Honestly, my opinion of Superman has always been that he should be a normal guy. In as much the sense, we don't go too cartoon-y, we don't go too far into the idea that he's an alien. We just focus on how fucking weird it would be to be Superman. I would love to write a Superman comic, a series or an arc, which is about how bizarre it is that he's this guy who grew up in Kansas and he finds out that he's an alien. They sort of brush that over constantly, but this is a guy who, if the New 52 timeline works out, grew up watching "Alien," "E.T." and "Independence Day." And then he finds out, "Oh, that's me? I'm from space. I don't feel like I'm from space." That's what's so special for me. He's not a billionaire. He's not a fucking Amazonian princess. He's not even a particularly picked-on guy. He's not Peter Parker. He's just a dude. And to grow into a slightly smarter than average dude and find out you're Superman, that's fucking interesting to me.

Can you imagine if you were Superman dealing with someone like Lex Luthor? You are dealing with villains that are psychotic and want to kill you. It would take a toll on you. Of course you can say with old continuity, he's done this a million times but with New 52, I think there is room to do those stories again. Superman meeting The Joker, a character that can't actually hurt him, but easier scarier than most of his villains because of his disposition, is a fascinating story to write. Imagine if you met The Joker. It would be fucking terrifying.

I feel like he should be a way-in for readers, which is a way that he really hasn't been used as. That's what I'd do with him.

Landis also updated CBR about "Chronicle 2" - in that he has no idea what's up, as his dad recently came out and said Fox Studios was happy with the script.