That movie would be Superman Returns, a continuation of Richard Donner and Christopher Reeve’s classic series. Since then, it has been praised and criticised in equal measure. Many loved it for paying homage to that original franchise, although a lot of comic book fans condemned it for a lack of action and faithfulness to the comic books. As for how Singer feels about that, the director told Empire Magazine (via CBM):
“Half of that I understand and half of it I never will. It was a movie made for a certain kind of audience. Perhaps more of a female audience. It wasn’t what it needed to be, I guess. I think I could lop the first quarter off and start the movie a bit more aggressively and maybe find a way to start the movie with the jet disaster sequence or something. I could have grabbed the audience a little more quickly. I don’t know what would have helped. Probably nothing. If I could go again, I would do an origin. I would reboot it.”
Regardless of the critical reaction, Superman Returns was still a moderate success of Warner Bros., and a sequel had been in development before it came to nothing and the franchise was rebooted by Zack Snyder with 2013’s Man of Steel. As it turns out, Singer was planning on using Darkseid – the villain many believe will be the lead antagonist in the eventual Justice League movie – in the follow-up.
“We did explore it a little. Just hammering out ideas. I think Darkseid was going to be the villain. It was pretty world-destroying, actually. I ended up having the opportunity to go and make Valkyrie, and I think the studio lost interest at that point. I can’t say it was all the studio’s fault and I can’t say it was all my fault. It just fizzled out.”
Asked how he felt about Henry Cavill’s take on the iconic DC superhero in Man of Steel, the director would go on to reveal that he initially considered the British actor for the role of Clark Kent in Superman Returns, but Brandon Routh ended up being better suited to his particular take. “I think Henry Cavill is great. I knew Henry. He and I were friends years ago. Oddly enough, the reason I didn’t cast him was because I was making a sequel to Christopher Reeve and I wanted somebody who embodied Reeve more.”