This is definitely not Super Friends. The animated DVD movie Superman: Doomsday, which goes on sale today, tells the famous 1992 comic-book story that saw the Man of Steel die in battle against an intergalactic killing machine.
Unlike previous Superman cartoons, Doomsday features extreme violence (but very little blood) and presents a darker take on the world's most iconic superhero. Also a more adult one: In this movie he's carrying on a romantic relationship with Lois Lane, which the couple is hiding from the press. When he won't reveal his secret identity to her, Lois accuses him of having commitment issues. That argument gets tabled when Doomsday — a monster who "lives to extinguish any and all life forms" — goes on a rampage through Metropolis and engages Superman in a battle to the death. (Spoiler alert: In what likely will not come as a shock, Supe's demise is not permanent.)
The movie reaches the same creative heights of previous Warner Bros. animation adaptations of DC Comics characters. It's not a surprise, since Doomsday was produced under the guidance of Bruce Timm, who became a fanboy favorite with his work on the animated Batman and Superman shows of the 1990s, as well as Cartoon Network's Justice League. The movie also includes a stellar voice cast, corralled by another Warner veteran, Andrea Romano. (Romano, in fact, received among the most deafening cheers at the movie's premiere screening at Comic-Con in July.) Anne Heche (Men in Trees) plays Lois Lane, James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) handles Lex Luthor, and cult favorite Adam Baldwin handles Superman (and his alter ego, Clark Kent).
Baldwin, best known for playing mercenary Jayne Cobb in Joss Whedon's much-beloved Firefly (and sequel movie Serenity), was also a big hit at Comic-Con — even though he didn't attend. His shooting schedule on the new series Chuck prevented him from traveling to San Diego, but a pretaped video greeting at the Superman: Doomsday premiere was received with thunderous applause, as were all of his Chuck scenes at a screening of that show's pilot. "I feel very blessed to have been introduced into that world," he says. "The phenomenon of Firefly really cemented everyone in the cast with that community. I love sci-fi fans because they're just so knowledgeable. They tell me stuff about Firefly I had forgotten or, more likely, had never even noticed in the first place!"
Baldwin hopes those fans make the trek over to NBC on Sept. 24 to watch the Chuck premiere. He plays National Security agent John Casey, who is assigned to keep tabs on Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi), a romantically challenged geek who unwittingly has a cache of government secrets downloaded into his brain. The buzz on the show is high, and after working on high-profile flameouts like Firefly and last season's Taye Diggs drama Day Break, Baldwin is ready for a hit: "I'm keeping my fingers crossed and remaining an amiable skeptic."
Check out various Superman clips in our Online Video Guide.
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