With DC's apparent U-turn on all of their comic book movies, (see this article) it seems that the original DC superhero, Superman himself, is in limbo once more. With the Superman Returns film being something of a damp squib with fans, critics and the box office, it was clear that the franchise needed a new direction to survive. Now, there had been many attempts to bring Superman back to the screen before that film, and most of them would have fared better than what was eventually released. It wasn't the fault of Brandon Routh or director Bryan Singer- it was a pedestrian script and a lackluster story that just came off flat and tired, which was a shame.
How should Superman come back to the screen? We need a better villain than tired old Lex Luthor, for a start. Braniac or Darkseid would be fantastic, but then again, they might not have enough of an impact to really invigorate the series, so how about adapting that most hard-hitting (literally) of modern Superman stories...
If Superman was to face off against Doomsday, as in the Death of Superman story from the early 90s, we would have a massive film full of action and drama that could tie into the larger DC movie universe that so sorely needs to be created for the DC movies to survive and grow beyond the blinkered view that everything should be like The Dark Knight now. It would also provide Warners/DC with huge merchandising opportunities for the character, not to mention the other DC heroes that show up in the story. It could even be the precursor to a Justice League movie, if you think about it.
The Death of Superman storyline would even be a good idea for a trilogy of films. There could be the Death of Superman story to start with, then the second film could be the World Without a Superman/Reign of the Supermen stories rolled into one. The third would take care of the Return of Superman and maybe the second Doomsday story. think about it. It has the potential to be the greatest superhero movie trilogy ever, with genuine danger and something at stake as the heroes take on this terrifying foe.
The source material is there. The ideas are there. The graphic novels are there to be adapted. The talent is out there. Come on Warners, give us a Superman film we can be thrilled with. It's been far too long since Zod did his stuff.