DC & Warner Bros latest animated film, Reign of The Supermen made its debut at the Paley Center of Beverly Hills. Upon arrival and after viewing the film, we got exclusive interviews with some of the team who took part in directing and writing the film with Sam Liu, Jim Krieg & Tim Sheridan. We also have our full review on the movie where you can read more about it here.
Throughout the interviews, it was important for the three to discuss how putting different stories into one can come with challenges. Liu discussed how important it was for people to know how important Superman is during The Death of Superman. For those who have seen the animated film, we get to see how Superman contemplates about his responsibility to do good and his personal life. Liu further comments that with Superman dead in the first film, Reign of The Supermen allows audiences to get to know the Supermen characters. Some of the challenges were pulling various stories of the comic book characters into one story. However, as each newer character is pulled into the film, the main goal was to showcase their own moments, that adds onto the whole story.
Krieg & Sheridan expressed how amazing it was to work on this project. They discussed the importance of remembering how a story is told in order to carry out this film. They admired with working with Mike Carlin, Jim Creek, Alan Burnett, James Tucker and Sam Liu. Discussing stories and ideas were something that’s memorable for them. It was also as important for to draw from the discussions of different ideas and stories of these other characters to keep focus on sticking towards the actual film.
The question that was asked in both interviews were “if Superman existed today, given the climate condition that we’re in, do you he would be as welcoming versus where he was the 80s and 90s?” Both interviews provided answers in the perspective of how difficult it can be to present Superman in a specific era of Darkness, and how the past differs from now as time changes and will always continue to progress beyond the past. However, by their knowledge and collaboration with the stories, ideas, and characters, it is clear that, Superman’s stories will still continue to be improved and introduced to younger generations as the older generations hold past memories of how they were first introduced to Superman. Both generations can still enjoy this character by watching and reading how important this character is within pop culture.
Our first interview is with Sam Liu, the Director of the Reign of The Supermen. Liu has worked on other animated movies including: The Death of Superman (2018), Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018), and Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018).
Host: So what can you us about this particular project?
Sam Liu: This is the second part to the death. I don’t know if this is not going to be a spoiler, but this is supposed to sort of like what happens, you know, while he’s dead and what does he mean the world basically. And so, there’s four new Supermen or people that sort of claim to be Superman. And… so the story just about sort of like, you know, like who are they? Why they there and you know, why are they stepping into, or why they trying to step into Superman shoes.
Host: Who was the fun one to direct (character or actor)?
Sam Liu: As far as character…. it’s difficult because they’re all you know, they’re supposed to be all be important because you know, ideally it’s supposed be a thing where you’re guessing like, oh is one of them really the Superman? So.. I don’t know, that’s a tough question. I’m sorry.
Host: What were some of the challenges in directing the animated film that most people may not be aware of?
Sam Liu: Oh well, I think in this one,.. it’s hard because the… the source material right.. is.. was this long ongoing sort of saga that lasted… I.. I don’t even know like for like a year maybe? and I think I covered like… three or four books. So.. its a lot of source material and there’s a lot things that kind of happen. And so…I think the biggest struggle was sort of like, okay, how do we condense it to sort of one story? You know, but still give each one of them their moment, and their introduction, and their viability. And the other difficult thing is also we’re in a sort of continuity thing. So which we have to still stream it into sort of our main storyline. But still again, I think so the challenge, the biggest challenge I think was sort of you know, how do we sort of keep the integrity and the essence of each character and give them each their moments, you know, and but still sort of like tell a fulfilling story, you know.
Host: When creating the film, was there anything you used as a reference, or did you add anything from your own personal flare?
Sam Liu: It’s funny, an old adage of like what old directors were supposed be right? It was like, you’re a successful director if you make it seem effortless. So it’s kind of a contradictory in a way. I think… it’s in this current ERA, I think directing is more about style, you know. And so, I feel like I’m a little bit more of the older school. You know; because I’m just trying to make it, you know, smooth and hopefully look believable and so you can get sort of just involved the movie. So, I wasn’t as you know, interested or in sort of like trying to like, like force like, like a style or something in it. If that makes sense, You know.
Host: Since we’re on the subject of old-school, if Superman existed today, given the climate condition that we’re in, do you he would be as welcoming versus where he was the 80s and 90s?
Sam Liu:It’s funny…and they… well, maybe I shouldn’t talk about this. I was going to go to the whole religious thing because…(Christianity Parallelism), because you know there’s that… there’s that thing that they, at people that I’m around like they always ask us like: ‘If Jesus came, you know now, would he be received or how would he received?’ So… in a weird way, I think it’s similar because I think when Superman’s at his best he is the Boy Scout. Right? He is the Moral Center of everybody; where, he is the thing that all good people should strive for because he is the example of that. So, I think… I don’t know this era is a little bit darker. You know what I mean? I think they Embrace Darkness. I think that’s why it’s harder to write stories about Superman because I think…it’s, it’s like an older. I don’t know. It’s like an older sensibility almost.
Host: Before we close it out…. What was your most memorable moments directing this film versus Death of Superman?
Sam Liu: Oh, it’s different because I think like Death of Superman, everybody knew what to expect and everybody, you know, it’s… not the sort one Notre but it’s like you’re building towards one thing right. You’re trying sort of like, you know, have people like, sort not necessarily fall in love, but like really like Superman and understand where he’s going through all that kind of stuff before we kill him right? So this one is, it’s little more sort of straightforward as far as like action-adventure type of things because it’s a little bit of mystery. There’s a lot of like plot to get through.
Host: There were more emotions, vulnerability and you know, We get see his Kal-El side almost like coming out.
Sam Liu: In the first right?… and the great thing about that script was, they actually gave us a lot of time for him to sort of fight and actually get worn down and so he can have an emotional, you know, death. So this one again, I think it’s a little bit more… I don’t know, not typical; but, it’s, he’s a little more closer sort of what we normally do.
Host: Sam, thank you so much. That was a pretty educational and informative interview.
Sam Liu: Thank you.
Host: Folks, be sure to catch ‘The Reign of The Superman hitting in theaters this weekend and thank you so much for joining us and cheers to your success as well.
Sam Liu: Thank You. These were great questions.
For our second interview, we talked with the Screen-Writers of The Reign of The Supermen, Jim Krieg & Tim Sheridan. Krieg has also worked on Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018), and produced TV Shows of Green Lantern: The Animated Series (2011-2013) and Justice League Action (2016-2018). Likewise, Sheridan wrote for the Justice League Action (2016-2018) TV show and has written for Lego DC Super Hero Girls (2017).
Host: Joining me right now is Jim Krieg and Tim Sheridan. They are the Screenwriters [of the film]. Congratulations, Death of Superman was awesome. Reign of Supermen – What can you lead on to this plot?”
Krieg: Well, we didn’t do the first one but we’re trying to do it justice in the sequel.”
Sheridan: I mean, we… they set us up. You know it was, it was, It’s Death of Superman, was great movie, and we got a chance to, it was in production when we started working on this. We got a chance to read the script and sort see what they were doing. And we knew exactly where we were going to go, we knew how to make this movie. You know, because of all the work they did so.
Krieg: Then Tim told me, it turns out it was a story the comic books. Who knew that?
Host: : Are there are any challenges writing for an animated film vs. a live action?
Krieg: There are challenges just getting out of bed every day.
Host: What did you focus on when bringing this particular comic book to life on script?
Krieg: Well, we I think what we focused on is, is doing the story that you remember reading. You know and having those moments that you go: ‘Oh, yeah!’ , and, and of course you can’t do every panel of the book, because it was a huge event. But we did hopefully, the greatest hits.
Host: I loved interviewing you during the our Justice League Action press conferences, but what are some of your most memorable moments with this particular piece?
Krieg: This one’s pretty good, this one right now.
Sheridan: Oh this, this is a great moment right now. Yeah, I mean for me it was… getting to [this] is the first one of these I’ve ever worked on. It was getting to work with Incredible people like Mike Carlin, and Jim Creek, and Alan Burnett, and James Tucker. Um, and Sam Liu. I mean it, it’s incredible. Those meetings those, those meetings were incredible. I couldn’t believe I was in the room.”
Host: Its like you guys are the new ‘Brat-Pack’. I can’t wait to see any behind the scene footage watching that is just like oh my God, I think I can go and die now.
Krieg: There’s a weird moment though in all of those were you’re with these great people, you’ve seen all of their work, and you’re talking stories. You’re so in awe with all… the DC Warner Brothers animation Legends. Where you’re like, ‘Oh these guys are so great and then something will come up go no, no, no wait. No, let’s do it the other way.’ It’s like you still are, are still fighting together to get a story. And that’s kind of, there’s a moment where it turns from being like I’m so lucky to like, ‘Oh, I’m doing this.’ you know.
Sheridan: Yeah. Well then we gotta really do it. I could sit and be awe all day; but, then you gotta do it.
Host: Wow! Closing question, if Superman existed today, given the climate condition we’re in. Do think he would be as welcomed versus how he was in the 80s and 90s?
Sheridan: Are you saying Superman doesn’t exist? I think… We’re making a joke out of it, but it’s actually a great question because you know that… you know, it feels, It always feels like times have changed. It feels like we’re..
Krieg: It always feels like this is it.
Sheridan: It feels like we’ve lost all hope right?
Krieg: It feels like, it felt like that with this comic command [coming out?] . This kind of was what this comic book is about.
Sheridan: Yeah. It’s like, okay. We had all this Hope. We had Superman. We had this world. Is it gone or is there some of it left, and where can we find it? That’s what this movie is all about.
Krieg: This is the best interview. This is exactly what it’s about. It makes this movie the most timely movie ever.
Sheridan: Jim’s crying.
Krieg: We’re the writers of screen of this movie.
Danielle Bawit | Writing Contributor
B.A. | Media Studies | Cal State Univ – San Marcos
Hello! My name is Danielle Bawit. I attended MSJC- Mt. San Jacinto’s Community College and received two Associate’s for Communication and Liberal Arts. I am currently in my last semester at CSUSM-California State University San Marcos, and I will be receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies. I grew up with watching DC heroes on the screen, wrestling with my family, Disney movies and listening to Kpop. I have been always involved with my education by joining choir’s and becoming part of MSJC’s communications club as a Historian. I have promoted events for the club at my previous school, and I have promoted and volunteered for Khip-hop concerts. I aspire to one day work in the entertainment world while promoting artists and music. Additionally, I also hope to share written stories to people in my career due to my love for writing.| Instagram @Charice_Danielle| View My Articles
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