Waiting For Another Superman

Rather than stretch another kitschy television show into a feature length summer blockbuster or -- gasp! -- come up with a completely original idea for a film, Hollywood executives plan to return to the tried and true. They've cast a new Superman, and shooting of the re-re-remake of these favorite superhero films is scheduled to begin early next year. All the hot young actors vied for this part. Nicolas Cage, Jim Caviezel, and David Boreanaz were contemplated and dismissed. Director Bryan Singer chose a young whippersnapper, Brandon Routh, an actor best recognized for a recurring role on One Life to Live. Routh has a mighty big blue spandex suit to fill. Regardless of how special the effects are, audiences will never forget the definitive, dearly departed man of steel, Christopher Reeve.

From 1978's Superman: The Movie to 1987's Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Reeve was indelibly linked to the Superman franchise, a fact he remained well aware of until the end of his life. The movies made him a star, yet he longed to "escape the cape." He made concerted efforts to play other roles, but he couldn't quite shake Superman's specter, despite the acclaim his other work received. Reeve demonstrated heroic qualities of his own as he struggled to overcome physical disability after breaking his neck in an equestrian accident. The direction of his life changed. Instead of fighting fictional aliens or typecasting Hollywood directors, Reeve took on Congress, lobbying for disabled rights and increased support for stem cell research, a divisive cause in the recent election. Even when confined to a wheelchair, Superman never strayed far from Reeve. One of his last roles was an appearance on Smallville as a mysterious astronomer sent to inform Clark Kent about his past, a nudge and a wink to the generation who knew him best as a man able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

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Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik

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