It is difficult to miss a whole Superman movie, leave alone cringe at one, unless, of course, it is a fan movie like ‘Superman: Solar.’ The not-for-profit 29-minute movie was developed by a Superman enthusiast on a $50 thousand budget after crowdfunding. However, the film was poorly made, even by fan film standards, and the creators’ dirty laundry leaking online didn’t help its prospects. Many Superman fans still wonder what ‘Superman: Solar’ is about and why it is so controversial.
‘Superman: Solar’ follows Superman as he tries to solve a different type of problem that requires his humanity more than his superhero powers. While the movie doesn’t directly promote any controversial subjects, content leaked on social media has linked the creators to extreme right-wing ideologies and racism, including promoting the KKK.
While fan films are widely seen as great platforms for budding filmmakers to showcase their talent and spread the cheer, ‘Superman: Solar’ is anything but. The film falls short in most amateur filmmaking aspects, including terrible lighting. The movie still manages to use Superman to pass a positive message, but the creators shot themselves in the foot when it emerged that any superhero couldn’t share their political views, so let’s delve into all the controversy.
What is Superman: Solar about?
‘Superman Solar’ is a 29-minute fan movie showing Clark Kent (Superman) struggling to find a job like any other human but still using his superpowers to help people. From racing to stop a tornado to stopping a robbery, the superhero saves lives with a lot of ease despite his personal struggles.
His mother encourages him to keep it up, telling him that people will eventually grow to understand and listen to him. However, as revealed in a conversation with Lois, the media is not very friendly towards him. The reporter tells Superman that politicians will use him to further their evil agendas, but Superman says he is his own man.
Amid his struggle to find a job, Superman continues to save lives, with his biggest mission coming when he goes to save a teenager about to throw himself off a building. Instead of simply saving him, Superman chooses to talk to him and convince him to change his mind and not give up on life.
During the conversation, Superman gives the boy his true identity in a bid to establish trust and proceeds to explain his personal struggles. Superman’s backstory is then told through flashbacks, from the time he first bled after facing his first tough supervillain to how his adoptive parents encouraged him to embrace his gifts.
Eventually, he convinces the boy not to commit suicide, and the two shake hands as the boy identifies himself to Superman as Matt. After saving Matt, Superman goes for a job interview, where Lois turns out to be his new boss. Lois hires him as a reporter and proceeds to say that saving the suicidal kid is Superman’s greatest-ever success as opposed to his other seemingly bigger achievements.
The movie ends on a light note as Superman and Matt are now friends and share a pizza. A post-credits scene then shows Superman likely facing off with Batman and an even greater threat to the planet.
Why is Superman: Solar described as racist?
While Superman: Solar itself doesn’t portray or promote racist or homophobic views, its creators have been linked with extreme right-wing and racist views. Screenshots of one of the creator’s Letterboxed accounts show that he supports the “save our children” conspiracy theory promoted by QAnon.
Another photo purporting to show the movie’s screenwriter is even more disturbing as it contains extremely racist material. The person in the picture has a Ku Klux Klan mask on and a Confederate flag on their wall, but it is important to clarify that the photo doesn’t contain his name. More photos in the thread also show a group of people in KK Klan attire apparently attending the launch of ‘Superman: Solar.’
The movie has since been removed from Letterboxed, although there is no confirmation of whether the action is related to the creators’ controversial political views. Fans have Labeled ‘Superman: Solar’ the new release in the Racist Cinematic Universe (RCU) after ‘Spiderman: Lotus.’
Andrew List’s Twitter and Letterboxed accounts don’t have the leaked content at the time of publishing, so we can neither confirm nor disprove the authenticity of the allegations. As for being a racist, although List follows some right-wing politicians, we didn’t find anything on his Twitter directly linking him to racism.
While the ‘Superman: Solar’ cast is also extremely lacking regarding diversity, we believe it has more to do with the creators’ limited budget rather than political views. Still, there is a shot of a black teenager in the movie portraying one of the people in Smallville who love Superman.
Who created Superman: Solar?
‘Superman: Solar’ was released on YouTube by a company called AList Productions, owned by Andrew List, the former pro wrestler and Superman enthusiast who crowdfunded to create the movie. List is also a US Army veteran who has also worked in video production.
Unlike other fan film creators who would otherwise make themselves the main actor, List chose his fellow veteran and non-professional actor Glenn Kiil to play the role. He also got Aaron Smolinski, who played young Clark Kent in ‘Superman: Man of Steel’ in 1978, to make a guest appearance as Lex Luthor.
The rest of the cast and crew are made up of his family and friends, and their performances are not the best because they are not professional actors. The movie has been heavily criticized for poor cinematography, lighting, and plot execution.
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