Tuesday, June 13, 2006

An open letter to Warner Bros. and Bryan Singer, director, of "Superman Returns"

Dear Bryan Singer and (Super) Friends:

Greetings from Cleveland, Ohio! - As you may know, the original home of "The Man of Steel" and the two kids who created him, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel. Although Jerome Siegel was born in Cleveland on October 17. 1914, he did not meet a young artist named Joe Shuster until 1931, when Shuster relocated from Toronto to Cleveland with his family.

But that's neither here nor there. In the hearts and minds of Clevelanders, Siegel and Shuster are both considered "native sons."

It was in Cleveland that these two young men with a dream created "Superman." And it was in Cleveland that an American icon was born.

Although the basis of the fictional city, "Metropolis," has been heavily debated by fans throughout the world (some believe the blueprint was based on Shuster's hometown of Toronto), I personally cannot help but believe that Cleveland, a medium-sized, midwestern city, had some influence as the actual inspiration for Superman's beloved hometown in the 1930's.

Could The Cleveland Press have been the inspiration for The Daily Planet? Could the late John D. Rockefeller (Another Clevelander, who built Standard Oil into the largest company in the world, and was for a time the richest man in the world; his business career was controversial; he was accused of being a monopolist and was bitterly attacked by investigative journalists) be a veiled inspiration for arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor (a rich business tycoon and the most powerful man in Metropolis), and "LexCorp." - Luthor's own "infamous" company?

Interestingly enough, both "characters" (Rockefeller and Luthor) later went on in their careers to cultivate a popular image as great philanthropists.

These Superman "fun facts" and "fictions" could be debated endlessly by historians, as well as pop culture aficionados, alike - until the end of time. The FACT remains: There is no denying that the city of Cleveland had an early, heavy, influence on the creation of the character of "Superman" as he is known to the world today.

With that, Mr. Singer, I would like to invite you, the entire cast and crew of your film, "Superman Returns," as well as the living relatives of Mr. Jerry Siegel and Mr. Joe Shuster to attend and have the world preview of your movie ...in Cleveland.

As a native Clevelander myself, I have seen firsthand both sides of the city that I have come to love and call my own: One side is naive, timid and insecure (like "Clark Kent") while the other side of Cleveland is constantly striving to rise above all the turmoil and be a symbol for greatness ("Superman").

It's for all these reasons (and MORE), that I invite you, Bryan Singer, to bring the world premiere of "Superman Returns" to Cleveland - the official hometown of "The Man of Steel."

Just two guys from Cleveland with a dream: And I cannot think of a town like Cleveland more deserving.

Like Jimmy Olsen, himself, I have activated my "Superman signal watch" - Now I can only sit back, like the rest of Cleveland, and hope you respond to our request as we wait with optimism for your arrival.

"Superman's pal"
Chris McVetta


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