All grandfathers were young once. Even on Krypton.
— March 22, 2018
In case you missed the premiere of the new Superman sci-fi prequel story KRYPTON on Space on Wednesday, catch an encore presentation of the premiere on CTV this Sunday, March 25 at 7 p.m. ET. From executive producers David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight trilogy, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Damian Kindler (SLEEPY HOLLOW, SANCTUARY), and showrunner Cameron Welsh (Ash vs. Evil Dead) KRYPTON is set two generations before the destruction of Superman’s home planet and follows Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), the legendary Man of Steel’s grandfather — whose House of El was ostracized and shamed. In advance of episode two, Journalist Bill Harris, special to BellMediaPR.ca, gets the lowdown on the highly-anticipated sci-fi series about from executive producers and star Cameron Cuffe.
By BILL HARRIS
All grandfathers were young once. Even on Krypton.
The new series Krypton focuses on the story of Superman’s grandpa, back when he was an impetuous young man on his home planet. No one on Earth has been leaping any tall buildings in a single bound yet. Or have they?
So what’s familiar and what’s new in Krypton? Let’s ask the steely questions and get the powerful answers.
Q: Do you have to be a Superman geek to enjoy Krypton?
A: No, not at all. Even the simplest knowledge of the Superman saga – that he’s a superhero who was sent to Earth from a disintegrating planet called Krypton – is enough to set you up for this new series.
“I think it’s the best of both worlds,” says executive producer Cameron Welsh. “You have something that’s familiar. People know who Superman is. But most people know just the basics, and that’s really all you need (heading into this show). We’re some 200 years before Superman’s birth, so that’s all untold story.”
Q: But even if you are a Superman geek, there’s still plenty here to keep you intrigued, right?
A: Absolutely. Krypton asks the provocative question, “What if Superman had never existed?” in a clever, open-ended way that leads to endless possibilities.
“As you can tell from (the trailers), time travel is involved, and what that means is that history could be changed,” says executive producer David S. Goyer. “What happens in this show could be very different than the sort of backstory that most people know.”
Q: So is it fair to call Krypton a prequel?
A: British actor Cameron Cuffe, who plays lead character Seg-El, bristles at that term.
“One of the things I wanted to say for so long is we ain’t making a prequel,” Cuffe insists. “Because of the time travel and because of the characters involved, this is a completely new story that can go anywhere.”
Q: What’s the basic premise?
A: Seg-El, played by Cuffe, is a young man who one day will be Superman’s grandfather. Of course, he does not know anything about this yet. As we get acquainted with him, we see that at this stage he’s actually a bit of a good-natured cement-head, and his raw emotions keep getting him into trouble. This isn’t a great thing, because his family – the House of El – has lost all its power and influence.
But Seg-El’s world changes forever when one day he is visited by an odd man who says his name is Adam Strange (played by Canadian Shaun Sipos). Adam claims he has time-travelled from a planet called Earth with an important message: “Someone from the future is coming to destroy Krypton, because where I’m from, your grandson becomes the greatest hero of the universe.”
Q: As a quick aside, why is Adam Strange wearing a Detroit Tigers baseball cap?
A: Because both Goyer and Geoff Johns, the president and chief creative officer of DC Entertainment, are from Michigan. They’re Tigers fans. It’s that simple.
Q: Superman has been around for 80 years, so the tale has been tackled from countless angles. But Krypton actually ventures into new territory, because no one really has taken a deep dive into what things were like on the doomed planet. What has taken so long?
A: “I don’t know,” says Goyer, bluntly. “I can say, though, that even when Chris Nolan and I were working on Batman Begins, when you’re a creator working with a really well-known IP (intellectual property), it’s really exciting if there’s a blind spot or a section in it that hasn’t really been sketched out very much.
“There have been sort of cursory stories (about Krypton) that took place in the ’60s, and a couple of mini-series in the late ’80s and early ’90s. But I’m not entirely sure why more wasn’t done. I obviously saw that as a real opportunity.”
Q: What was Cuffe’s familiarity level with Superman prior to being cast as the Man of Steel’s grandfather in Krypton?
A: Cuffe has been a Superman fan for as long as he can remember, but when he first heard about Krypton and the role of Seg-El, he thought he had about as much chance of getting the part as he had of finding a secret Fortress of Solitude.
“I started out in London in theatre and indie film, and this was so far away for me,” Cuffe admits. “I was just content to watch it as a fan.
“And then when this opportunity came my way, I thought, ‘I’m never going to get this, there's not a chance,’ because I knew what the competition would be, with so many talented actors out there. So the fact that I’m here right now and working on the show, this is a dream come true, genuinely.”
Q: But we assume having the general “Superman look” was crucial, right? Cuffe definitely has that, even though he isn’t playing Superman, per se.
A: As Goyer puts it, “We saw a lot of people and (Cuffe) came in near the tail end of the process. It’s hard to cast somebody related to Superman. Because even though he’s his grandfather, he still has to embody all of these characteristics. There’s an ineffable quality. Even though he’s his grandfather, you’re sort of casting Superman.”
Q: But speaking of Superman, with the time-travel element in Krypton, he actually could show up at some point, couldn’t he? Just sayin’.
A: “Potentially, yes,” Goyer teases.
And Johns adds, “The door is open for anything.”