"I'd like to see Geoff Johns take a crack at the Superman,” Richard Donner said yesterday in an interview with the Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex. “I think he would be startling. Did you read his comics? There it is. It's there on paper."
Before becoming one of superhero comics’ most popular writers, Johns — who presently scripts the adventures of Superman in DC Comics’ “Action Comics” — began his career working for Richard Donner, himself one of the Man of Steel’s most defining authors, having directed 1978’s lauded “Superman: The Movie.” Johns would later team up with his former mentor to write several issues of “Action” (that have since been collected as “Superman: Last Son” and “Superman: Escape From Bizarro World") and integrate much of Donner's Superman film mythology into DC's Superman line, including the iconic crystal-based Kryptonian aesthetics and the death of Superman's adoptive father, Jonathan Kent, by heart attack. Additionally, "Action Comics" series artists Gary Frank and John Sibal depict Lois Lane and Superman with the likenesses of "Superman: The Movie" stars Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve, respectively.
Although Donner enjoyed director Bryan Singer’s 2006 effort “Superman Returns” -- itself a project heavily indebted to Donner's Superman movie -- the venerable filmmaker behind other classics like "Lethal Weapon" and "The Omen" is eager to see his protégé’s live-action take on the classic hero. "The studio hasn't gone to [Geoff Johns] and said, 'Give us a screenplay.' That would be the smart thing to do,” Donner told Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher. “But that's show biz. Right? Show biz, that's our life."
Though a very far cry from the sort of project Donner has in mind, Johns has completed work on at least one Superman-related live-action project: the writer contributed to a forthcoming episode of The CW's "Smallville" that will introduce a version of the Legion of Super-Heroes to television audiences.