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Superman's Big Blowout

5/22/2007 12:21 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

A TMZ spy spotted "Smallville's" Tom Welling and his wife of five years, model Jamie White, at Samy's Camera in Los Angeles -- and the couple seemed to be confronting Kryptonite!
Tom Welling, Jamie White
Welling and White were in the video department, and while our spy didn't see what sparked the argument, he did say that Jamie looked furious as she yelled at Tom and stomped off. Call the Daily Planet!

Tom followed, and just like that, Superman and the damsel that he stressed were gone.

We tried contacting Tom's reps, but were unable to reach them by deadline.

Place Big Bids in a Single Bound

11/1/2006 4:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

SupermanOur love affair with our new favorite show "Heroes" shows no signs of subsiding (sorry, "Lost"). In recognition of our new official status as comic-book nerd, we're going to give eBay auction props to the king of superheroes.

"Superman 2" had everything a blockbuster sequel needs: love, the phantom zone, three goth Kryptonians trying to take over the Earth. To show your friends just how far General Zod's diabolical plan went, you must bid on this prop newspaper from the film. Just try not to leave it around your house, a Daily Planet that screams "White House Surrenders" could give your skittish Aunt Beatrice a coronary.

Then, become instant friends with famous "Superman" fans Shaquille O'Neal and Jon Bon Jovi with this next item -- the yellow shield from the cape Christopher Reeve wore in the movies. The shield is secured to a piece of red fabric and framed in a shadow box perfect for framing.

Now your "Heroes" viewing parties are going to be just that much more authentic. Much better then that ratty ol' towel you keep tying around your neck.


"Superman ll: The Richard Donner Cut"

7/25/2006 2:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Superman 225 years ago Richard Donner was removed from the helm of "Superman 2." Hot on the heels of "Superman Returns" release and after the persistence of comic book and Superman fans, his version of the Superman sequel will finally see the light of day.

Donner was famously removed from the movie after not getting along with the producers. British director Richard Leslie was brought on board and they cut out enough of a percentage of Donner's footage to not credit him in the final version of the film. The movie went on to great success, much to the chagrin of Donner.

Now it seems Donner will have the last laugh. 15 minutes originally exorcised from the original movie and banished to the "phantom zone" will be added, including footage of Gene Hackman and the late Marlon Brando in the upcoming "Superman ll: The Richard Donner Cut."

Fly on down to the store on November 28th to pick up your copy.

EXCLUSIVE: Super ($200 Million) Man or Else?

7/10/2006 9:13 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

From Claude Brodesser-Akner's City of Industry blog

Will Hollywood blockbuster budgets continue to fly "up, up and away?" Not necessarily.

At least, not at Warner Bros. Pictures. After a $225 million "Pirates of the Caribbean" sailed into port, taking the wind out of "Superman Returns'" $205 million Spandex, Warner Bros. executives are said to be circumspect as to whether the Man of Steel will fly again.

Talent agency insiders with ties to the film tell TMZ that Warner Bros. Pictures president and COO Alan Horn has informed agents that a sequel hinges on whether grosses of "Superman Returns" can crest the $200 million mark domestically. What's more, the studio plans to shave millions - many millions - off any "Superman" sequel's budget. (Amusingly, in the current "Superman Returns," Lois Lane pleads with Lex Luthor, "But millions will die! " It turns out she was right on the money.)

As Variety's box office guru Ben Fritz noted last July 4th, "Superman Returns is off to a strong start, albeit not as fast as a speeding bullet. Warner Bros. superhero tent pole grossed a solid $52.5 million on its opening weekend and $74 million over the five-day Fourth of July frame. Since its Wednesday opening, the Bryan Singer-helmed franchise restart has taken in $106 million."

Talent agency insiders, speaking on the condition of anonymity, insist that Horn is so concerned about being burned financially by ionospheric "Superman" special effects costs that any sequel's budget would cost far less than Bryan Singer's quarter billion dollar baby: a meager $150 million. That's a whopping $35 million less than its predecessor was green lit at, and roughly $55 million less than "Superman Returns" alleged final negative cost. So much for a getting a raise.

However, no one could blame Horn for being cautious. Despite opening at No. 1 in all its territories, overseas, the Man of Steel is starting to look just a bit rusty. The just-ended World Cup meant that Warner Bros. took a pass on European and Latin American territories, and its second weekend in release overseas, "Superman Returns" dipped 55% to take in $9 million from 1,800 prints in 14 markets.

We're bracing to hear how director Bryan Singer will react to this newfound fiscal restraint.


Our guess: Not well.

Says one executive involved in the production and financing of "Superman Returns," "They can try and spin it as 'There are certain economies of scale that come from the making of the first one, blah blah blah. But the reality is, it's harder to play in a smaller sandbox and still push the envelope."

Calls place to Horn were not returned, and a studio spokeswoman declined to comment on the fiscal retrenchment.

Leotards Get 'Into the Groove'

7/3/2006 3:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Dust off those Jane Fonda videos because the return of 80s aerobicized fashion trends continues full steam ahead.

MadonnaRecently legwarmers crept back onto the pages of fashion mags and the limbs of a fashion victims everywhere.  Now, along with skinny jeans and leggings, it seems the all-mighty spandex leotard is back to help you relive all the memories of that big-haired era.
   
Like rubber bracelets, vogueing and Kaballah before them, this trend is being spearheaded by none other than the queen of reinvention herself, Madonna.  On her Confessions tour as well as in her latest videos, the Material Girl struts her stuff in the one-piece wonders showcasing her ripped body like a 47-year-old virgin. 

And you can be sure that if Madonna wears it they will come.  Stores like American Apparel  have started carrying the item in different styles and retailing it for under $30 ensuring that even though they may not look good on everyone, anyone can afford one.

SupermanDon't worry guys you too can get into the leotard grove, albeit in a somewhat modified fashion AND at your own risk. 

This summer the original man in tights, Superman, will be leaping tall stories in a single bound.  The movie is destined to be a big hit, while his body-hugging suit should be too - for Halloween.

Nacho Libre
In his new film "Nacho Libre", Jack Black plays a wrestler that sports a colorful spandex suit in his quest to raise money for orphans.  While the movie may not be so memorable, the vision of Black in the body hugging ensemble is indelibly ingrained in our minds.

Will Superman and Black have the same effect on the form-fitting trend that Madge does?  Only time and the public's threshold for humiliation will tell.

Superman Looks Good, But Not Yet Super

6/29/2006 8:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Brandon RouthWhen it comes to "Superman Returns," Warner Bros. is sighing with relief, but not yet swooning with ecstasy. The Bryan Singer re-imagining managed $21 million in its first day in release, or about what Tom Cruise's pre-sofa "War of the Worlds" did on a comparable Independence Day weekend.

Having spoken with a box office expert or two just now, the real worry for Warner Bros. isn't this weekend, which has a luxurious seven days thanks to a Tuesday July 4th holiday. Rather, it's the next, when "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" opens. The Johnny Depp epic is tracking is "off the charts," as Nikki Finke reported weeks ago, and remains so.

Well, the good news here is that while "Superman Returns" won't be the biggest opening in history, at least it will probably be the most heterosexual opening weekend ever: Reports Variety, "As expected, initial group of moviegoers were heavily male, at 58%...Studio is hoping gender distribution will be more even by the weekend."

As Jerry Seinfeld might say, 'Not that there's anything wrong with that.'

Will "Superman" Sink "Aquaman" at the Box Office?

6/28/2006 7:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Imagine a world where "Entourage's" fake "Aquaman" movie really existed ...

After the record-breaking performance of "Aquaman," another superhero movie is set to open and try to steal away the box office crown. With June 28 right around the corner, does "Superman" have what it takes to dethrone "Aquaman"?

Box office pundits were surprised when "Aquaman" broke the record for the biggest opening weekend ever -- with $116,844,114 -- besting the 2002 opening of "Spider-Man" by $2 million.

For director James Cameron, "Aquaman" marked his biggest opening weekend by far. "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" took in $31.7 million during its first three days, while "Titanic" only took in $28.6 million. "Titanic," of course, went on to be the highest-grossing movie of all time ($600.7 million).


Adrian Grenier"With 'Aquaman' opening as big as it did, all bets are off," says Bruce Nash, founder of the box office information Web site, The Numbers. "'Aquaman' may have had James Cameron and Vincent Chase, but this is 'Superman;' he's got a much bigger fan base to work off of."

"Superman" also happens to open on a very unique weekend. By opening on a Wednesday, with July 4 falling on the following Tuesday, "Superman" will have the box office all to itself during the holiday before "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" opens on July 7. 

Brandon RouthAnd some industry insiders say that "Superman Returns" might not be the movie that topples "Aquaman" -- but rather it's Johnny Depp and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" that should have Vinnie Chase quaking in his fins.

"Actually, if I were James Cameron or Vincent Chase, I wouldn't be so worried about 'Superman Returns' breaking my record," Ben Fritz, technology and film reporter for Variety, told TMZ. "I'd be much more worried about 'Pirates of the Caribbean 2,' which is tracking off the charts and many in Hollywood think could set a new opening weekend record."

Superman's Super Lady

6/28/2006 2:31 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Brandon Routh & Courtney FordHe can stop bullets, but not even Superman can stop Cupid's arrow.

Brandon Routh has been with his girlfriend, actress Courtney Ford, for two and a half years. The happy couple arrived at the "Superman Returns" premiere together and were inseparable.

While Brandon's career is flying high, Courtney insists the action star hasn't changed at all. In fact, Courtney describes the relationship as "kinda boring."

Boring or not, this hot couple will be gracing more red carpets in the future. The "Superman Returns" buzz is at a fever pitch and it's only a matter of time before another Superman sequel is in the works.

Amy Sedaris vs. The Man of Steel

6/27/2006 6:42 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Amy SedarisWhat happens when a 47-year-old ex-con goes up against the boy in blue? Will Jerri Blank be able to stand up to Superman?

Stephen Colbert and Amy Sedaris -- creators of the acclaimed Comedy Central cult favorite "Strangers with Candy" -- hope so as they bring the sitcom about a 47 year-old loser who returns to high school to the big screen.

For those unfamiliar with "Strangers with Candy," it is the surreal after-school satire that's definitely not for kids. Adults treat children with utter contempt, teachers instruct students with information that is both inaccurate and completely insane, Jerri's family treats her as you would treat a stray dog...well, everyone in her family except her dad, who slipped into a self-induced coma when Jerri left the first time.

So how will "Strangers" measure up against "Superman Returns?" While Superman will be flying around saving the world, Jerri Blank will be trying her darndest to win the science fair in order to bring her dad out of a coma. 

Superman is a moral compass by which all others in Metropolis will judge themselves. Jerri Blank's compass is covered in a thick goo made up of gin, cigarette butts and black tar heroin.

Superman will be trying to re-ignite his relationship with Lois Lane, while Jerri will be trying to ignite relationships with boys 32 years her junior.

Superman's disappearance has been a mystery. Jerri's absence has a lot to do with her serving time in prison.

Superman is a handsome man whom women lust after. Jerri is a haggard potato sack of a woman with a horrible overbite.

Who will triumph in this battle for cinematic mastery? This weekend's box office receipts will tell the true story.

Both films open Wednesday June 28th.

Superman - Man of Wax

6/27/2006 5:41 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The film is not even in cinemas yet, but "Superman Returns" star Brandon Routh already has his own wax figure modeled after his character.

Routh was on hand as the figure was unveiled the Man of Steel- er, wax- by the famous Madame Tussauds wax museum in New York City Tuesday.

The young actor said "It's very flattering, but it's Superman as much as it is me. It's great to have that part of history in Madame Tussauds and for people to come up and see is kind of exciting. Everybody wants to see "Superman Returns."

"Superman Returns" flies it's way into theaters on June 28th.

Superman to the Charity Rescue

5/4/2006 11:48 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

'Superman Returns' stars Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth hit Kitson, a hot spot in Beverly Hills, to help promote a charity event.

In honor of the late and original Superman, Christopher Reeve, Kitson is selling autographed dolls of the super hero and his fictional wife, Lois Lane, to raise money for spinal cord injury treatment. All proceeds go to the Christopher Reeve Foundation.

At the exclusive launching of the charity event, Routh spoke about the movie, which is set to hit theaters June 30th.

Click here to see the video.

Related links

Superman Brandon Routh Shows the Goods

2/13/2006 5:42 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ unearthed an exclusive photograph of hunky Brandon Routh when he was the swim team captain at Norwalk High School in Iowa.

routh

Athletic Brandon -- whose known as 'BJ' to his family and friends -- beat out big names like Ashton Kutcher, Josh Hartnett and Nicolas Cage, to star in the new $100 million blockbuster 'Superman Returns.'

"BJ's thrilled to be picked to play Superman and I know he's up to the task of taking over from Christopher Reeve. My son is very comfortable in his own skin and he's up for the role of a lifetime," his father tells TMZ.

The 6'2" actor was raised in a modest home by his carpenter father Ron and school-teacher mom Katie with his two sisters and brother. Brandon's former drama teacher, Margo Murillo, knew his calling after his first school play. "Brandon is a naturally gifted actor," she says. "During our production of the Neil Simon play, 'Plaza Suite,' he brought the house down with his performance."

"He's not the kind of guy to go out partying every night but he has a good sense of humor," Murillo added. "One time he had the whole school in stitches after he dressed-up as a hunky male stripper to surprise a teacher."

Routh has had bit parts on 'The Gilmore Girls,' 'Will & Grace' and 'Cold Case.' His attention grabbing break came when Christina Aguilera hand-picked him for her video to the smash hit 'What A Girl Wants.'

Warner Brothers' 'Superman Returns' director Bryan Singer wanted an unknown actor for the part and when the Iowa native walked into their casting office they immediately knew they had their man.

Routh will be the second Iowa-born actor to play the Man Of Steel. George Reeves -- who played the superhero on television in the 1950's -- was also from the 'Hawkeye' State. Reeves was found shot dead in a mysterious suicide at his Hollywood home on June 19, 1959. He was 45.

In another bizarre twist, Routh celebrated his 25th birthday on the day that Christopher Reeve slipped into his coma before passing away the following day.

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