Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Best... Script Ever

First page of the Reel 5 transcript for the Las Vegas Superman meeting
In the summer of 1975, four men met in a room in Las Vegas to hash out the details of how to bring their version of Superman to the big screen. Mario Puzo, the Oscar-winning author of both the novel and screenplay The Godfather, had been hired by movie producer Ilya Salkind and his partner Pierre Spengler, who were in the room. The fourth member of the think tank was Carmine Infantino, who had illustrated and edited numerous titles for DC Comics and was the company's publisher at the time. Ultimately, the story would undergo numerous revisions and rewrites until it was released to commercial and critical acclaim in 1978. However, the initial vision for the movie, as conceived by Salkind, was that it would be a movie rooted firmly in a camp sensibility, akin to the very successful 1966 Batman movie. The plan was also for the script to span two movies: Superman and Superman II.

Fourth page of the Reel 5 transcript for the Las Vegas Superman meetingHere at Special Collections in the Puzo Papers, we have a transcript of that Las Vegas meeting. The emphasis on camp is evident from the very first page, as the men debate how to switch the focus from a detonated atom bomb to the Pope, and what to do about the relationship between Lois Lane and Clark Kent/Superman. Then one of the men mentions the need to have an "underwater thing," because, by the time the movie will be made, "Jaws will be played out" and so they "can have some sharks." There is also a great discussion about how long the movie can be, with the general consensus being that it can't be longer than two hours and fifteen minutes if they're going to hold the interest of seven-year-olds and eight-year-olds. At one point, someone jubilantly exclaims, "I feel terrific, I think we got the best fuckin' script, I mean really the best fuckin' script ever written of this kind of film ever."

To read more of the discussion, come to Rauner Library and ask for MS-1371, Box 20.

No comments :

Post a Comment