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Bay and Singer Admit Superman Returns and Transformers 2 Were Bad, Cite Own Awesomeness

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | April 19, 2011 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | April 19, 2011 |

Apparently, apologies are in the air, perhaps it’s the healing power of spring, soaking into the guilty consciences of the makers of bad films. Or maybe it’s just because Bay wants you to go see Transformers 3 and Singer is miffed about getting passed over for Zack Snyder. In any case, both directors have made a point in the last week of wringing their hands, apologizing meekly, and promising that they will never ever inflict such mediocrity upon the movie watching public again. I kid.

No, actually they just pulled creative variations on the old joke about interview questions. What is your greatest strength? That I am awesome. At everything. What is your greatest weakness? My awesome sauce sometimes intimidates mere mortals.

Here’s Bryan Singer’s apology for Superman Returns:

I think that Superman Returns was a bit nostalgic and romantic, and I don’t think that was what people were expecting, especially in the summer. What I had noticed is that there weren’t a lot of women lining up to see a comic book movie, but they were going to line up to see The Devil Wears Prada, which may have been something I wanted to address. But when you’re making a movie, you’re not thinking about that stuff, you’re thinking, “Wow, I want to make a romantic movie that harkens back to the Richard Donner movie that I loved so much.” And that’s what I did.

Right, because the whole thing where Superman abandons his pregnant girlfriend for five years with nary a word, and then goes all super stalker on them is … romantic? And that’s not even getting into the cynicism of “chicks don’t watch super hero movies, so I Cullened the thing.” If that was from a relatively competent director, I just can’t wait for Snyder’s brand of feminism to strike with the next iteration.

I’ve always felt that the origin of Superman is the story of Moses - the child sent on a ship to fulfill a destiny. And this was a story about Christ - it’s all about sacrifice: “The world, I hear their cries.” So what happens? He gets the knife in the side and later he falls to the earth in the shape of a crucifix. It was kind of nailing you on the head, but I enjoyed that, because I’ve always found the myth of Christ compelling and moving. So I hoped to do my own take, which is heavy shit for a summer movie. But definitely the nostalgic, romantic aspects of it worked against people’s expectations of it in the climate.

OH MY GOD SUPERMAN WAS LIKE JESUS, THAT IS TOTES DEEP!!! No wait, it’s not. That’s the opposite of deep. It’s not even shallow, it actually is a pillar of anti-deep rising above the surface of the liquid. Complaining that your film only made $600 million world wide because people just don’t understand your totally mind blowing depth has very little credibility when your notion of depth is on the scale of a seven year old in remedial Sunday School.

Oh but Michael Bay will give us something good, won’t he?

Initially Bay claimed “We made some mistakes. The real fault with [Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen] is that it ran into a mystical world. When I look back at it, that was crap.”

Yeah, because the first Transformers is a classic of hard science fiction.

Then Bay said: “The writers’ strike was coming hard and fast. It was just terrible to do a movie where you’ve got to have a story in three weeks. I was prepping a movie for months where I only had 14 pages of some idea of what the movie was. It’s a BS way to make a movie, do you know what I’m saying?”

Ha! Because … no wait, that’s actually a good point. [scratches head sheepishly].

But what about just pushing the movie back? Giving Orci and company time to get the script up to the fantastic threshold set by the first film? That would have taken what? Forty eight hours?

Well, it turns out that Bay could have done just that, “but he uses all the same people over and over. He considers himself kind of a jobs program. And for him the idea of pushing the movie means all these people that rely on him go down and they’re in between jobs, etc.”

If true, that’s actually kind of noble and endearing. But even so, explaining that the film stunk because there wasn’t a script and you didn’t want the crew to be unemployed until there was one, doesn’t actually take any real responsibility for the quality of the film. It just pushes the entire thing off to being caused by: the writer’s strike, Bay being nice to a fault. Now that’s how you abdicate responsibility. Sir, my greatest weakness is that sometimes I care too much.

(sources: Blastr, SlashFilm)

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.