Book Review: The Art of Superman Returns

The Art of Superman Returns

This companion book to the movie Superman Returns surprises me with the depth of content. It includes storyboards, full coloured concept art, models and miniatures, sketches and costume design.

Bryan Singer explains in the foreword how the movie was conceived and that he's a big fan of Superman. The introduction talks about the challenges of adapting the icon onto big screen. There's explanation on the fabric used for the cape in order to produce "the right amount of flutter".

Multiple storyboards used for framing the movie look like typical comic book panels., dynamic and action-imminent. Selected pieces of concept art are painted at full colour, so rich in detail they can be used on screen. On the pages, they are used big and a pleasure to the eyes.

There's always something interesting to read about the production process in any movie. In this case, the production crew actually planted 500 acres of corn and calculated when they are going into ripe in time for the filming.

The sketches and design for Metropolis and Daily Planet show the amount of research done. Metropolis was created to evoke the fictional and yet familiar feel. The wall deco from Daily Planet reminds me of the masterpieces that adorn the walls and ceiling of Rockefeller Center. In other words, the movie is designed to be timeless.

There's a section on Krypton, with considerable pages devoted to conceptualizing the crystal city and Superman's Fortress of Solitude. The last few pages shows the train set and the yacht design, with the blueprint of the latter included.

This book is great for any Superman fan, regardless of whether you have seen the movie. If you haven't watch the movie, this book will make you want to. If you have, you'll appreciate the effort and thought that went behind the movie production.

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The Art of Superman Returns is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | JP) and Book Depository

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