Warner Bros.’ marketing of Superman Returns is a tragicomedy of errors upon errors. More to the point, I’m told Bryan Singer is fed up with it. For good reason. I could go on and on, but I’ll hit the low points for now. The gay buzz sparked by one-sheets presenting Brandon Routh as the Babyfaced Superbod. Then Warner’s ridiculous panic because of gay-themed Superman stories in, god forbid, The Advocate. Singer’s own desperate damage control that this was “probably the most heterosexual character in any movie I’ve ever made.” Things got so out of hand, I’m told, that Warner’s president of production Jeff Robinov sought advice from his Matrix pal Joel Silver on how the hell to sell Superman in a more butch fashion. After all, when it comes to making and marketing manly movies to manly men, Silver’s the manliest. (I’ve learned that uber-heterosexual Joel loved Superman Returns when Jeff showed it to him.) I also hear that Warner Bros. screwed up the film’s promotion on MySpace.com, which has become a key component of any good campaign. Not only was Superman Returns late to display there, but for many days the wrong opening date was posted since no one bothered to update when the film’s opening was moved earlier to June 28th. Oh, and lest I forget, Warner’s smarmy marketing tactics that provoked bloggers to begin leaking weeks ahead of time Superman Return’s oh-so-secret surprise ending.
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