James Tucker Never Considered Shaq for Death of Superman Animated Movie [Interview/SDCC]

Words, Photos, and Interview courtesy of Bleeding Cool’s Jimmy Leszczynski:

Super producer James Tucker (Batman: Brave and the Bold, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay) takes a seat at our table to discuss The Death of Superman minutes before the SDCC world premiere. So we know Superman dies. It’s in the title. What other nuggets Kryptonite can we shake loose from Tucker’s pockets?

Legendary comic book scribe Peter Tomasi (Batman and Robin, Adventures of the Super Sons) has been tapped to pen the animated adaptation. We asked james to talk about the decision to bring him aboard.

“I wanted (Tomasi)  to actually work on some of our Damian movies, because he is the guy that made Damian relatable, I think. He humanized Damian in a way. I love what Grant [Morrison] did with him; he was fun, but he wasn’t likeable. If Damian has worked since his creation, with the readers, it is because of what Tomasi has done with him in his books.He softened Damian, and showed his growth as a character.” he added,

“It wasn’t so much he had to do this movie, we wanted to work with him.”

Some of our readers may be old enough to remember  that Shaquille O’Neal once played one of the 4 replacement Supermen, John Henry Iron,  in the big screen adaptation of Steel. Although, The character is only loosely based on the comics story, Tucker appears to remember the performance and had this to say when asked if he has consider Shaq for the animated role.

“Not once!”

The sequel is based on the Reign of the Superman storyline in which after Big Blue is put away for his dirt nap 4 new Supermen appear, each one claiming to be the Last Son of Krypton. They  each have different powers, and each one believes himself to be the true Man of Steel come back to life. I was a major crossover through  the 4 Superman titles, and DC comics in general for about a year. We asked about fitting so much story in such a small time frame.

“It was a challenge, and I hate to say, that part is looser. What happened in the comics not only affected Superman, it sprawled out into all of DC. Whatever else was going on in comics. So we had to figure out a way to introduce those characters in a contained kind of  way that had a beginning, a middle, and an end. Using some elements from the original stories. The event of Superman dying took up a year? What two years two years of comic book time? And we have 70 minutes.”

 “I think we set up those characters well. I think we tinkered a little with their stories as well so it will work in the context of the movies. I think they represent exactly who they were in the actual event.

Tucker is charming as always in the full video below. We start the conversation with James explaining the different incarnations of this story and why it is important, he digs into deep bench Superman character Bibbo, and why he is such an important character in the DCU, comments on rumors about a stand alone Bibbo feature, and what he thinks Superman represents to the world today.


The Death of Superman  stars Jerry O’Connell (Crossing Jordan, Stand By Me) as Superman, Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, The Librarians) as Lois Lane, Jason O’Mara (The Man in High Castle, Terra Nova) as Batman, Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs, Ugly Betty) as The Flash, and Toks Olagundoye (Castle) as Cat Grant.

The Death of Superman is available for digital download on ITunes Saturday, July 21st, everywhere else Tuesday July 24th, and Blu ray on August 8th.

About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.