The Spiritual Side of Superman Returns

Stephen Skelton, author of “The Gospel According to the World’s Greatest Superhero,” recently talked to Superman Returns director Bryan Singer and you can read the interview in full below. In the absence of a director’s commentary on the new Superman Returns DVD, this interview offers interesting insights into Singer’s vision for his film. In this version of the interview, which is more complete than other versions that have appeared before, not only does Singer reveal the biblical meaning behind the movie magic of the film, but he also discusses topics such as Superman: The Movie and Donner/Mankiewicz:

Skelton: Now we’re going to a spiritual audience with this interview, so I’m going to focus on the spiritual side of Superman and then the spiritual symbolism in Superman Returns. In an interview with Wizard magazine last year, you said “Superman is the Jesus Christ of superheroes.” How is Superman the Jesus Christ of superheroes?

Singer: Well, I think in a couple of ways. One, because that piece of terminology implies a weight to the character. I mean, if you’re saying this is the Jesus Christ of anything, you’re pretty much applying a measure of importance and weight to it. This is something obviously. I also think in a way there is something that started to evolve in the early evolution of the comic but became extremely crystallized in Richard Donner’s interpretation in 1978. And that was the notion brought forth by something Marlon Brando as Jor-El the father said. Which is quite simply, when referring to the people of Earth, he said, “They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. It is for this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you—my only son.” And there was something when I heard that as a kid, there was something that resonated very much with me. I was a Jewish kid, adopted, only child. And I grew up in a Catholic neighborhood. I used to go to a Christian youth club. So I was religiously very, all over the place. I was not a particularly religious kid growing up. But those influences and those ideas and somehow seeing them come forward in movies like Superman and also Star Wars for that matter, in a strange way.

Skelton: E.T.

Singer: Seeing these kinds of, I call them Judeo-Christian allegories emerge in these, what are ostensibly science fiction fantasy films, I found very potent to me. And I have a fundamental belief that these comic book heroes, characters like Superman will emerge as our 20th century’s mythology. And five hundred years from now, they will be looked back at kind of the same way that we look back at King Arthur and Merlin and Excalibur and these other myths that were very much inspired by these, by Judeo-Christian principles. I mean, I don’t want to suck the entertainment out of it. It’s still Superman. It’s supposed to be fun for the whole family. But ever since I heard Marlon Brando utter those words, the character, meant in a celebratory way, had an additional messianic quality to him that he did not have necessarily when I was watching the 1950s television series.

Skelton: It’s true. It’s absolutely true. And a quick side step, a thing that just occurred to me. Thank God for Tom Mankiewicz who went in there and did that type of a layering. Because in the Puzo script, if you go back and look at that, all of those significant lines are really missing. And because they’re missing, in my opinion, it does lack a certain depth, as you said a minute ago.

Singer: Absolutely. When I say Donner, I mean Donner/Mankiewicz. Recently, I spoke to them. We talked about it. I sat with both of them. In fact, they were at the premiere and they were shocked, they were surprised that I went so deep into the Brando language to access some of those things and to also utilize some of those visual iconographies.

Skelton: What is Donner’s current temperature on that whole thing? You know, Mankiewicz has been very free in talking about it. And Donner, it strikes me, has always been just a little bit hesitant.

Singer: I think Donner, because Richard Donner comes from a, kind of a… He might not talk about it simply because he considers himself, like most of us, an entertainer first. And he doesn’t want to make it about too much more than entertainment. That being said, I guarantee he’s an extremely bright, extremely brilliant and observing gentleman and I guarantee that none of that is lost on him at all.

Skelton: None of that escaped him.

Singer: And also the origin story of Superman was more analogous to the story of Moses. The child placed in the vessel, sent to another planet, or down river to fulfill a destiny. In the case of Kal-El, sent to another world to lead others. So I think in the origin story, the analogy was more about that, if there was one to be drawn. Here in this movie, it’s much more clearly about the return of the savior, sacrifice. And clearly, some I’m sure are coincidental that come from my subconscious as a filmmaker growing up in a Judeo-Christian culture. And some of them are quite obvious and quite specific. Like, you know…

Skelton: Oh, I think we’ll get to them. We’re on the same ground. The same holy ground, here. Would Superman be as appealing if he did not have this Judeo-Christian allegory? Or does it add weight and depth and profundity to the Superman story?

Singer: He might be appealing simply because he can fly and lift heavy things. But frankly, he would not be as longevic. Superman has survived for seventy years in some of the most bizarre incarnations and through some of the most tumultuous times in global history. And there’s not a place you can go in the world that does not know Superman.

Skelton: You have famously said, just a side thing that just occurred to me, which I thought was an apt comparison, but you said: “Take the cross and the S-shield into the jungle, and you will have 50-50 recognition.”

Singer: Yeah.

Skelton: Time magazine said, “Earlier versions of Superman stressed the hero’s humanity…The Singer version emphasizes his divinity…He is Earth’s savior: Jesus Christ Superman.” However, I take a little bit of an issue with that. Certainly Donner’s “Superman: The Movie” stressed the parallels to Christ, as you were touching on before we started the interview. Now, I think I know the answer to this. But do you see your version as different or similar in that regard? Doesn’t it pick up from what Donner was doing and kick it up a notch?

Singer: It celebrates that notion. These stories are told in so many different ways. From Sunday School to pop culture. You’re not saying that Superman is Jesus Christ. He’s not. He’s Superman. He’s the last son of the planet Krypton; he’s in love with Lois Lane; he has a human side. There’s a lot of things going on here that are a product of comic fantasy. But if you’re going to have lines like Marlon Brando saying, “I send them you—my only son.” And there being spoken with absolute seriousness, then when you carry it forward and you have him return after five years, face an immeasurable conflict and then… I mean, it’s all… I mean, if you’re going to tell that story, you’ve got to tell it all the way. You’ve got scouring at the pillar, the spear of destiny, death, resurrection, it’s all there. And I remember sitting with one of my writers and we were watching the visual effects of him [Superman] falling to Earth. And his hands are extended and he falls to Earth in that very…

Skelton: It’s the crucifixion pose; it’s beautiful; it’s fantastic.

Singer: Yes. And he [the writer] looked at me—and he went to Catholic school, it’s very interesting—and he looked at me and he said, “Are we…?” He said, “Are we…? Shouldn’t he open his legs a little bit more? Are we…? Is this too on the nose?” And I said, “If we’re telling this story…”

Skelton: We’re telling it.

Singer: “We’re going to tell the story. If we’re going to tell this story, some parts are going to be subtle. But this one is not.” And we were in the theater, he was visiting the effects session, just looking what I was doing, and I just said, “Either we’re going to tell it or we’re not.” Either we’re going to have him float down kind of in [the position of the crucifixion] or not. And it’s entirely plausible the way we left him in the scene, in the moment, that he falls in that position and then he falls out of it. But if there was ever a time to hammer it home, this is it. Visually, this is it. And what’s wonderful is when you see it with an audience. And I worried, that there could be a snicker. But instead you could hear a pin drop.

Skelton: It’s either that or it’s gasps of people saying “What an incredibly powerful image right there.”

Singer: Yeah. And it’s a plausible image. But it’s… Hang on one second, someone at my door. [talking to someone in the room] Oh? Thanks, thanks.

Skelton: Iconic image right there.

Singer: And if you want to take people back to the other moments, those that are perhaps subconscious and those that are very conscious, in the moments in the movie leading up to that moment. And following that moment, because the movie is also about fathers and sons and the passing on of, not necessarily powers, although there are powers, but also passing on ideology. There’s another thing Marlon Brando says. I don’t know if it’s particularly allegorical. But it always felt very religiously allegorical to me. But I don’t know if it resonates. From the original film, the mother says, when they’re putting the infant Kal-El in the space ship, she says, “He will be isolated. Alone.” And Marlon Brando holds up this crystal and says, “He will not be alone. He will never be alone.” And places it in the thing. And the power of that. Maybe it’s something to do with my own relationship with my family. I’m an only child. I’ve not had a brother or sister to sort of lean on. I’ve been sent out to California by myself and have kind of made my way on my own. And yet I’ve fallen back on knowing. And I’m very lucky because my parents have been in my life all my life and they’re still here today. But there’s something so potent about that. And that’s why the crystal became—and that was the terrible thing that Lex Luthor did, the robbing of the crystals, it was just such a violation, because it was… There’s a lot of things in that that resonate back to the first film.

Skelton: But he was finally alone. He was alone. Superman was alone when the crystal was taken.

Singer: Again, the allegories. But suddenly, it’s like “Why have you? Why am I here?” I don’t want be the guy who says, “Why have you forsaken me?” But… [chuckles]

Skelton: Nice, nice. I love it, I love it.

Singer: I’ll let somebody else say that. But here, he’s standing there in the Fortress of Solitude—and it’s gone. And that’s what makes Lex Luthor such a wonderful villain, in comparison. Because, in that Superman is so simple in his moral compass and in his ideology. For better or worse, because it sometimes can be his weakness. He sometimes finds himself undermined. Lex Luthor is so clear and simple in his criminality. He doesn’t want to rule the world. He doesn’t want to destroy the world. He just wants his cut. He’s a ruthless capitalist, who has no sense of… He’s a completely earthly… There is no divinity to him. He is completely of the Earth. See, now I’m getting into the stuff I’d rather people discover as they watch the movie than preaching to them.

Skelton: Yes, and I think, there were actually a couple things that occurred there, but I’m headed toward a question that is going to touch on that in a way that I think will be easier to get into it. But I was just going say, I was just going to compliment you. To talk about the line from ’78, when he says, “He will not be alone. He will never be alone.” And then to come back to a line that you put into the new movie, which is just before he says, “You wrote that the world doesn’t need a savior. But everyday I hear people crying for one.” He says, “What do you hear?” And she says, “Nothing. It’s quiet.” And he says, “I hear everything.” And I’ve had people tell me that they had the hair on their arms stand up when he said that. Because it is the same sentiment. “You will not be alone.” “You will never be alone.” “I hear everything.” So anyway, powerful line, powerful line. Hats off to that one.

Singer: And what he says to the child at the end. It’s the same. He’s doing his best to pass on this notion. All of this stuff is very resonate from Brando. And that’s why I thought of having another actor say these lines. And I went through all of Brando’s ADR sessions in London. And I said, He said it all. He doesn’t need to be alive. Brando’s gone. He’s not a character. Just a voice and an image, so why not just use that voice. Because it sent my hairs up on my neck when I was thirteen or whenever I first saw the movie.

Skelton: I’ll set this one up here, and you’ll see where I’m going. Over the past seventy years, I think the story of Superman has been modeled to reflect some major story components of the Christ story. In 1938, of course the beginning of the whole thing, the comics gave us the origin story, which you correctly pointed out is kind of like a Moses story. And I guess I am more influenced by the ’78 Donner version, which made it a bit more Christic.

Singer: Oh, yeah. Much more so. It told the origin story, but it certainly, once he was, once his true, once he discovered, once he went to the Fortress of Solitude…

Skelton: This is where I’m going.

Singer: And started into adulthood, that was his moment.

Skelton: That’s right. There’s that journey into the wilderness—like Christ goes into the desert, Clark goes into the Artic. Now he communes with the spirit of his father; it’s seemingly the spirit of his father. Then they even did the whole thing, as you mentioned a moment ago, about flying around the world and turning time backward. And the emotional impact of that scene was all about raising Lois from the dead. So Superman is able to do that. Then we go to the 1992 comic book storyline, as we continue to kind of chart these major kind of Christ images, in The Death of Superman. They show Superman die and resurrect to life. And now in “Superman Returns,” he has ascended into the heavens and then he comes back for a second time. Now, in Entertainment Weekly this year, you had said “Superman Returns” is “a story about what happens when Messiahs come back…” So, the whole set up for that was this question: How conscious were you of taking the next major, iconic step in the Superman story as the parallel to the biblical Second Coming story?

Singer: Not meant to tell it exactly. In the Second Coming, there’s a lot of events, there’s the rapture, there’s a lot of things that come into play. I don’t know if I’m the right person to give a dissertation on, on one hand. On the other hand, the personal journey, my focus is sort of on the… When they’re wheeling him through the hospital, and they see him splayed out on that gurney, and you see the look on all those faces, I thought to myself what was it like for people who put that kind of faith into this being, who far exceeds their own lives, and yet in some way represents them, and then by his example in some way they feel a kinship to. And suddenly he’s splayed out on a hospital bed, and his life is now in the hands of mortals. And on the musical score actually, the title of that piece of music on our score is “In the hands of mortals.” Suddenly, there’s a doctor, there’s a guy there with the paddles. I imagined… I didn’t necessarily imagine that whole event. But the moment…the moment…the moment, y’know, the moment they took him down. There he is. And suddenly, the body is still the body. And when they strip the suit off, there’s the body, you see the body and the body has… And although they can’t put a needle through it, an epinephrine needle, or whatever, or adrenaline, well adrenaline I guess you’d put in the chest, but they couldn’t…

Skelton: Couldn’t pierce the skin.

Singer: There’s still, it’s just the body. And there’s the wound. There’s the penetrating stab wound. And it’s the unthinkable. And so I just sort of imagined the intimate story. And I dare not draw comparisons to things like…I don’t even want to give a quote. Because I’m not. Because it is Superman. I would rather the audience discover these moments. But y’know, even when they try to use the [paddles]. They say, “Shock at 250.” “Well he’s not human.” It all echoed, y’know sort of echoed in some ethereal place—like maybe he’s listening. And his heart rate is incredibly low. There’s something about him… There’s two times. Once he’s rescued by Lois and Richard because that’s the deeds coming around full circle. And to me, that’s… See, now I’m telling you these analogies and they’re coming from me, they’re not very…

Skelton: It’s good, it’s good. Because it is what people are writing—

Singer: There’s the time when he falls and he’s held up again. And then there’s the time when he’s pulled off. I mean, it’s so much better if it comes from you. Do you see what I mean?

Skelton: [chuckles] Yeah.

Singer: There’s a moment when Lois and Richard and the child save him. And then there’s the other moment when nothing can save him. The needle doesn’t penetrate. The defibrillator, they raise it to 300 because he’s an alien and it explodes. And now, he’s just, he’s just left for fate to occur. Which of course does occur. And those are the moments that follow that journey through the city with the thing of…the burden. [chuckles] I don’t want to… If I articulate the parallels, they will become the parallels. It’s bad if I articulate [them].

Skelton: I’m curious about your take on Lex that we brought up just a second ago. It strikes me that, and this has probably been inherent in the storyline from way back. But if you’re going to say that Superman can be seen as a Christ figure, and he’s going to have an archenemy, who else would it be but a Lucifer figure? And so, I’m curious, do you see Lex as kind of an embodiment of all that is evil? Do you see him as kind of a Lucifer figure?

Singer: Yes. Because he doesn’t care. He just cares about…

Skelton: Billions! Right?

Singer: And land. And he muses about billions of people being drowned. But he’s very much the opposite of Superman. It’s not within Superman’s consciousness to not heed those cries. And then in juxtaposition, Lex Luthor, it’s not within his consciousness to care about any loss of life. In fact, the only reason he wants people to live is so he has someone to sell his land to.

Skelton: [laughs] Right. His island to. It’s that obsession with the worldly thing.

Singer: Exactly. He’s truly a character of the earth—and of nothing more. Not environmentally. I mean, clearly he doesn’t give a damn about the environment.

Skelton: [laughs] Yeah, exactly. He’s destroying the whole thing just so he can create this land mass.

In other imagery dealing with Lex, there are lines of dialog that explicitly compare Superman the hero to the Christ figure. Jor-El says “he’s my only son,” “he’s the light to show the way”. And then Lex the villain, he espouses this kind of Promethean philosophy. He says, “I just want to bring fire to the people,” like Prometheus. So I’m wondering, was the clash between a symbolic true God figure, Superman, and a symbolic false god figure, Lex, intentional? Was that an intentional dynamic?

Singer: I don’t think I thought it out to that degree. And think that might be happenstance, in all honesty. I think very much I just looked at the opposing viewpoints. He says that it’s mind over muscle. But what that really means is… how if you don’t care and you’ve got ideas, you can call it “smarts” but in reality it’s lack of compassion. Joni Mitchell’s got a great… Something about no mercy. What he is espousing as mind over muscle is actually mercilessness over might and right. And how powerful mercilessness is. When you don’t care, you are capable of tremendous things. He’s looking at her. “Lex, you’re not a god.” And he’s like, “I don’t want to be a god.” His power is in his mercilessness. And that’s what makes him so dangerous to someone like Superman who has got mercy in overdrive.

Skelton: That’s right. And power. And the power to do anything, but the mercy not to.

Singer: Well, not the power. But… Exactly, the mercy not to destroy.

Skelton: Right, exactly, exactly.

Singer: He can do anything, he just doesn’t destroy. Destruction is not part of Superman’s programming. That’s what makes him so special, is his use of control. That’s what makes him such an important inspiration for young people. Because at some point a young person can get a hold of a gun or a stick or his fist. And Superman has all that in spades and chooses to… Y’know, if Superman were to step into a war, I don’t think he would take sides, all he would do is just stop the weapons from going off until people hopefully gave up pulling the trigger.

Skelton: Right, exactly, yeah. Okay, let me go to the first of the movie and kind of flow through the movie in brief. At the first of the movie, after Superman crashes back to Earth, and he collapses into Ma’s arms…

Singer: Yes. [starts chuckling] That was a conscious image.

Skelton: We’re both chuckling, we’re both chuckling. The scene recalls the Renaissance image of the dead Jesus in Mary’s arms. Let me ask you this from that standpoint. Was this kind of a volley shot, was this kind of an intentional way of re-establishing, in your vision of “Superman Returns,” Superman as the Savior figure? We know he had been established in Donner—

Singer: Again, that would be a question Dick may shy away from, but yes. The night of shooting that scene, Eva, Brandon and myself. It is a mother cradling her son, but certainly an aspect [was of Mary and Jesus]. There were certain key frames that were very special, important to me artistically, and that was one that was very much inspired by that image. I don’t know if I was conscious of it as a piece of foreshadowing specifically, but it certainly was an image that I wanted to have specifically at that point in the movie between those two characters.

Skelton: One of the lines that has become, I think, an instant classic from “Superman Returns,” was as I mentioned before: Superman says to Lois, “You wrote that the world doesn’t need a savior.” And the way that Brandon delivers it is fantastic. “But everyday I hear people crying for one.” I’m wondering, instead of the word “hero,” we use the word “savior.” How did this line come about? Was it you, was it Mike, was it Dan? How did this thing, this kind of iconic kind of “Everyday I hear people crying for one” come about?

Singer: It came from the fact that she [Lois], in her frustration with his disappearance, I wanted her to, I wanted her to not… The term “hero” to me, probably since 9/11 has taken on a different form. And I also felt that the notion of him being away, and her [Lois'], it all came from the article, because the article dealt with drawing at times fair and at times unfair messianic comparisons. A “hero” is different than a “savior.” I think it came from, a “hero”… There’s something different about a hero and a savior and I can’t quite…

Skelton: Well, could I suggest that a hero may save you physically, but you could say that a savior might save you physically as well as spiritually.

Singer: And a savior is someone you come to rely upon. A hero may be a hero because they do a heroic thing once. But a savior is always there.

Skelton: It is an eternal saving.

Singer: And she’s [Lois is] writing an article, remember, about herself. She’s not interested in Superman the hero. She’s interested in Superman for the long term, for the long haul. She’s interested in him always being there. And to her, the term savior represents that more than the hero who lands the crippled airplane or who solves great mysteries…

Skelton: About another indelible scene: The New York Times wrote this, they said, “Superman…fights his foes in a scene that visually echoes the garden betrayal in ‘The Passion of The Christ’…” Actually, I think, I would put the imagery closer to Christ’s march to the crucifixion, in terms of the place he is going, the beating, all of that. So what were your influences for that scene?

Singer: The scene where he, I thinking which scene…

Skelton: He’s on the landmass, and he’s been stabbed with the kryptonite…

Singer: When he’s beaten. The scourging at the pillar. [chuckles]

Skelton: Thank you, brother. Yes, exactly.

Singer: Clearly. It was what it was.

Skelton: And it was the spear of destiny…

Singer: The blade in the back, the Kryptonite. And Lex—who was bald [like traditional depictions of the demonic Lucifer]. [chuckles] My inspiration is seeing a guy, I wanted him to be beaten and beaten and beaten and beaten and beaten and then stabbed and still have some life in him. And then instead of ascend, he falls. And he falls into the water. And when he falls into the water, we hear the voices. He’s with his father in the water. And his father explains to him, if you listen to the voices that are happening in the water, his father is explaining to him things that are much larger than this miniscule moment. Things that will be about other films, perhaps. Things that are larger, that even though he’s been beaten and stabbed and sent to drown. That there are forces out there greater than even himself. And huge things about human beings, problems that human beings cannot solve for themselves. And then we cut to, what do we see, a seaplane. And this unusual, this strange modern family flying around trying to find him.

Skelton: Trying to find him, exactly.

Singer: But that’s the moment, he needed to get so humanly scourged and then when he’s with his father. And then his father is saying, “Look, what you are experiencing, there are greater forces.” If you watch for it, there’s a number of things taken from Brando, that take us into a different place.

Skelton: I think it actually greatly helps that, as he falls and he is immersed into the water. Y’know, the whole thing about the baptism thing is supposed to be symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection. You know, you go into the water, you die symbolically, right. You’re under the water, you’re buried, right. And then you come back out of the water; and hey guess what, you’re resurrected.

Singer: You’re baptized. So that when you fall to Earth, you’re able to… You’re stabbed, but remember in the hospital. That’s the technical part of his resurrection. The little piece they pull out and drop into the steel tray. That becomes the technical reason. The fairy tale kiss doesn’t really work. They got that little last piece away from him. So there’s a mental logic to it. Or was it a destiny logic? You don’t know. You want to have both.

Skelton: Walking out of the theater, my sister, twenty-something years old, she’s an adult, she turns to me and she says, “So Superman having a son, was that by a Virgin birth?” Because the movie didn’t give us a flashback scene or a meaningful conversation that told us.

Singer: No, it alludes to it in an article, she says. No, there has to have been an implied… He’s not, as I said, he’s not a divine character. And there is an implied relationship between them, there has to be. Y’know, I’m sorry I left you Lois. Even the fiancé says, I Spent The Night With Superman. And she sort of says, Well that was–which again, was a throwback to the ’70s. Y’know, that was the title of an interview, which was Perry’s idea. But there is definitely some kind of implied relationship.

Skelton: Gotcha. Yes, from Superman II. And the whole giving up the powers, becoming Clark, being intimate.

Singer: Well, I didn’t really stick to that. Y’know, the mylar bed. And the cocktails in the Fortress of Solitude. I wouldn’t want to bring that up. All I wanted to reference is they had had a previous, there was some sort of previous relations between them.

Skelton: In Entertainment Weekly recently, when asked if Superman was still relevant, you said “Look around. Aren’t we crying out for him?” How are we crying out for this kind of a savior figure?

Singer: I think people right now, more than ever have become, we’ve become a individual, selfish culture, at times. I think people worry. People look at themselves more than they look at the people around them. I think he represents that kind of character that can walk among us, but has a selfless side. Perhaps it comes from his heritage, his upbringing on the Kent farm, in the heartland of America. Or perhaps it just comes from the way he sees the world. But he’s got a part to him. He’s got an inspiring side. Yes, it would be nice if he could come save us from terrible things that are happening that we see on the news every night. He is the light at the end of the tunnel, a breath of fresh air. He is all those things that I’ve always said. But I think, as a superhero, instead of being angst ridden or bent on revenge, he chooses to see the good. And when there is so much bad happening, it’s very, very important to be able to look at a character, even if he’s in tights [laughs] and say, Hey maybe I can be a good guy like that.

Skelton: He is the light in the darkness. He’s the light to show the way, type of thing. All right, great, well this has been—

Singer: “They can be a great people, Kal-El. They only lack the light to show the way.” He is that light. And that’s something he’s maintained for seventy years. He’s always been the good guy. And for me to shy away from that, or make him the dark Superman or the angry Superman, would be irresponsible.

Skelton: Yeah, it would’ve been. And all the people that say, y’know, the parallels of him to the Light are so obvious, they should have made him more like a darker figure. That has never been within the—

Singer: It’s not who he is, it’s not who he is. Like in X-Men. And I see that in other films. And there’s a time for that. But in this guy, like it or not, that’s who he is. And perhaps that’s why he’s survived for seventy years. And perhaps that’s why you can take that emblem into the jungle and have that kind of recognition.

Skelton: Y’know, one other thing. I had written a book that was called The Gospel According to the World’s Greatest Superhero—

Singer: Oh yeah, I have that book. You quote me in that book, saying, from the other thing.

Skelton: You actually have the book? They sent you over a copy or something?

Singer: What?

Skelton: Did they send you over a copy or something?

Singer: Mark gave me a copy. Yeah, it was perfect. Pretty extraordinary. For having been written before the movie was really… Because you wrote it before the movie came out. Pretty astonishing the foresight into where we were going with “Superman Returns.” And I was quite… I was shocked.

Skelton: Thanks, thanks. We didn’t get it completely right, but we kind of a thumbnail sketch of the whole thing.

Singer: I have it, I have it. I’ve read through it. It’s extraordinary. Congratulations. That’s amazing. No one told me. When we were put on the phone, that connection wasn’t made.

Skelton: Nice, nice, nice. All right, well, if I can do anything to help out, just let me know, and I’ll be happy to do that.

Singer: Well, you’ve done so much already. And I appreciate it. And congratulations on the book. It’s extraordinary.

Skelton: Well, bigger congratulations goes to you with “Superman Returns.” And of course, I can’t wait for further adventures of the Man of Steel.

Singer: Well, thank you.

Skelton: You bet.

“The Gospel According to the World’s Greatest Superhero” is available here. The Superman Returns DVD is also now available in stores.

Source: Stephen Skelton