While the new Batwoman is about to come leaping out the closet, the director of the up-coming Superman movie has taken the extraordinary step of releasing a statement insisting that his spandex-clad character is not gay in the film Superman Returns.
Director Bryan Singer, who is one of the few openly gay high-powered film directors in Hollywood, said in the statement that Superman, played by actor Brandon Routh, “is probably the most heterosexual character in any movie I’ve ever made… I don’t think he’s ever been gay.” Singer was the director behind the first two X-Men movies.
The statement is in apparent response to rumours on the internet claiming that Superman is represented as gay in the upcoming big budget film, which is set to re-launch the comic book character’s movie franchise. The buzz apparently led panicky Warner Bros studio bosses to become concerned that the film’s box office could be affected.
A cover story by US gay magazine, The Advocate, titled, How Gay is Superman?, and a similar speculative piece in the Los Angeles Times, probably didn’t help matters.
Interestingly, The Advocate article did not actually suggest that ‘the man of steel’ is gay but instead explored how gay comic book fans find similarities between superheroes concealed identities and their own experiences in being pressured to stay in the closet.
Commentators have noted that no-one has ever had the need to release a statement denying that a character is heterosexual – and suggest some hypocrisy on Singer’s part. It is estimated that the final bill, including marketing costs, for the release of Superman Returns will come in at a whopping US$300 million.
Singer has said in numerous interviews that the film focuses on the romance between Superman and Lois Lane, and has described the Kryptonian as a “very romantic icon”.
Superman Returns is set to open in South Africa on the 7th of July.