BSP 2014 Advent Calendar: Day 15

Welcome to Day 15 of Bam Smack Pow’s 2014 Advent Calendar!  Only ten more days left until Christmas, and that means ten more superhero films will be mined for trivia.  For Day 15, we give you …

Super (2010)

If you thought Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) was James Gunn’s first foray into the superhero realm, think again.  In 2010, he brought us Super, and it was a movie that had Gunn’s signature all over it.  Dark, whacky, and funny, the movie became an instant cult classic.  However, it may have been a bit too odd for its own good, as critics were lukewarm on the film and thought it had some great ideas, but needed polishing.  Like Guardians of the Galaxy and other James Gunn films, friends and past colleagues of Gunn’s also make an appearance in some form or another.

Super was directed by James Gunn, written by James Gunn, and starred Rainn Wilson as Frank Darbo / The Crimson Bolt, Ellen Page as Libby / Boltie, Liv Tyler as Sarah Helgeland, Kevin Bacon as Jacques, Nathan Fillion as The Holy Avenger, Michael Rooker as Abe, Gregg Henry as Detective John Felkner, Andre Royo as Hamilton, Sean Gunn as Toby, Stephen Blackehart as Quill, William Katt as Sgt. Fitzgibbon, Linda Cardellini as Maria, Rob Zombie as God, and James Gunn as Demonswill.


  • Rainn Wilson learned about Super when Jenna Fisher, who was married to James Gunn at the time, brought the script onto the set of The Office and told Wilson to read it.  She thought Wilson would be perfect for the part.
  • The character of Libby wanted to be the Crimson Bolt’s sidekick just like how Robin was Batman’s sidekick.  The creators of Batman originally wanted his sidekick to be a girl.
  • The character of Boltie, played by Ellen Page, uses metal claws like Marvel’s Wolverine.  Page has been in the X-Men films and her character, Kitty Pryde, interacts with Wolverine.  Wolverine’s signature trait is his Adamantium claws.  In the comics, in an alternate reality of the Age of Apocalypse, Kitty Pryde dons metal claws as part of her costume.
  • Kevin Bacon stepped in to play Jacques at the last minute.  The actor who was originally supposed to play the role never showed up, and director James Gunn couldn’t work with someone who had no sense of responsibility.
  • Director James Gunn originally had John C. Reilly in mind to star in the lead role, but had second thoughts when he felt that Reilly wasn’t famous enough.
  • James Gunn’s family and past colleagues, who worked on Slither (2006) with him, also appear in the film:
    • Nathan Fillion who starred as Bill Pardy in Slither and would later appear in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) as the Monstrous Inmate.
    • Michael Rooker who starred as Grant Grant in Slither and would later appear in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) as Yondu Udonta.
    • Rob Zombie who was the Voice of Dr. Karl in Slither and would later appear in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) as the Ravager Navigator Voice.
    • Gregg Henry who starred as Jack MacReady in Slither and would later appear in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) as Peter Quill’s Grandfather.
    • Sean Gunn is James Gunn’s brother and would later appear in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) as Kraglin, and also as stand-ins for Rocket Raccoon and Thanos.
  • When Liv Tyler’s character, Sarah Helgeland, is at her Narcotics Anonymous support group, she states that she’s “F***ed up, insecure, neurotic, and emotional.”  The first letters of each of those words make up the acronym “F.I.N.E.”, which is a reference to Aerosmith’s song F.I.N.E. (1989).  Aerosmith is fronted by Steven Tyler, Liv Tyler’s father.

Make sure to come back each day because we still have ten more days worth of superhero film trivia for you!

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A special thanks to Eric Dufresne for his amazing geometric superhero art that’s being used as the background for the advent calendar.