Wednesday, June 14, 2006

‘Superman Returns’ already generating God-talk

Superman Returns (a film this blog’s been following) is finally generating some God-talk in mainstream media pubs.

First off, GetReligion gives a brief nod to a Newsweek article, which contains this tidbit:

In the original 1978 movie and the new one, the superhero's father tells him: "They can be a great people ... They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all—their capacity for good—I've sent them you, my only son." Yes, Superman is a Christ figure.

"A heavenly father sends his only son to save the Earth; in his mission or ministry, he will fight for truth and justice; he will die and be resurrected; he will ascend into heaven, and now is the time of his second coming," says Stephen Skelton, author of a new book The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero. "This is the story of Superman."

Heh, I wondered when that messianic language was going to net some mainstream notice.

Seems Skelton is making the rounds because he crops up again in an AP piece: For some, Man of Steel has Messianic echo (thanks to CT’s Weblog for the pointer):

As the hype machine shifts into high gear for the upcoming release of "Superman Returns," some are reading deeply into the film whose hero returns from a deathlike absence to play savior to the world.

"It is so on the nose that anyone who has not caught on that Superman is a Christ figure, you
think, `Who else could it be referring to?'" said Steve Skelton, who wrote a book examining parallels between Superman and Christ.
According to the AP article, the film includes some fairly overt Christian imagery:

At one point, Superman sustains a stab wound reminiscent of the spear jabbed in Christ's side by a Roman soldier. In another scene, [actor Brandon] Routh poses with his arms outstretched as though crucified.
The film’s director acknowledges the role Christian themes played in the film:

Superman Returns director Bryan Singer said the notion of Superman as a messianic figure is simply another case of contemporary storytelling borrowing from ancient motifs.

Singer, who is Jewish, said his neighbors' Christianity played a powerful role in the community where he grew up.

"These allegories are part of how you're raised. They find their way into your work," he said. "They become ingrained in your storytelling, in the same way that the origin story of Superman is very much the story of Moses."
Will we hear more about stuff like this as the film’s release date (June 28) approaches? We’ll see. By the way, if you’re interested, there are two new TV spots up for view here. Also, for more about God-talk in comic book movies, you can read this. All for now.

(Image: Warner Bros, from CanMag)

tags: movies

2 comments:

Sally said...

really helpful thanks

Carmen Andres said...

thanks for the visit!