The article points out the recent flood of period pieces from Hollywood. Since 2008, I have pitched Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman (which, incidentally, also made it into USA Today) to select movie producers. Some were intrigued but none made offers. The two most recurring reasons:
- It would be difficult to obtain the needed permissions from DC Comics.
- Period films are expensive to make and are not likely to be mainstream hits.
I understand the first concern (though certain Hollywood heavyweights have the clout to get it done), but this article deflates the second. Period films based on true stories nominated for 2012 Oscars included The Iron Lady, My Week with Marilyn, War Horse, J. Edgar, and A Dangerous Method, not to mention fictional period films including The Artist, The Help, Hugo, and Alfred Nobbs.
So why not My Week with Jerry and Joe? Red Capes? The Geek’s Speech? It doesn't get much more mainstream than Superman.
Realistically speaking, potential complications involve more than DC Comics. In March 2012, a friend who works in Los Angeles reported the following:
I recently met Ilya Salkind [a producer on the Christopher Reeve Superman movies] at a comic convention. When I asked the status of his Siegel/Shuster film, it took him a full minute to register what I was asking. He then rolled his eyes and said it's dead due to all the legal troubles with the families.
Still, nothing seems insurmountable considering people have already overcome challenges to make biopics of other innovative and/or literary types, some obscure; to name but a few: Flash of Genius, Finding Neverland, Miss Potter, Shadowlands, A Beautiful Mind, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
I remain convinced that we will one day see Siegel and Shuster on the big screen. Their story is at once inspirational and heartbreaking and resonates even with people who have never read a comic book. I've seen it time and again at presentations I've given about them nationwide.
Plus Jerry and Joe changed the game for Hollywood so the least Hollywood could do in return is give them their time in the spotlight.
Calling Ron Howard...