Warner Bros. rocked the San Diego Comic-Con when they announced that they’re finally bringing the two titans of DC comics together in a film. As a follow-up to Man of Steel, Batman and Superman will appear on screen together in just two years. This is certainly something to be excited about, it’s the kind of movie that we’ve all dreamed about for years. Especially after Marvel debuted The Avengers it made everyone turn around and say to WB, “Okay, your turn.” We’ve heard rumors of Justice League films for such a long time and this movie is the closest thing we’ll get to that, at least for the foreseeable future. Now don’t think I’m not excited about the prospects of this film, because I am, but I think that it’s shortsighted on WB’s part to make this bold proclamation. I’m also not saying that WB isn’t smart, clearly they are, but I have a few questions that we all should think about regarding this movie.
#1 Was this the original plan for a Man of Steel sequel?
We knew that a Man of Steel sequel was inevitable. Zack Snyder, David Goyer, and Warner Bros. knew that it was coming. We knew that they knew, so we always asked about the future. In looking over our stories for Man of Steel and any time the cast/crew were asked about a sequel, they did the professional thing and dodged it with a non-answer. Though in several interviews throughout, Snyder and Goyer have both spoken about having discussed the future and the DC universe they’ve created this film in. That in mind, I can’t believe that a Superman meeting Batman movie was the initial idea for a sequel. Much like the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, I think it is being done as a response to The Avengers and not as a proper sequel to the previous film.
Man of Steel is filled with threads that are ready to be explored in sequel territory. What many fans have been pointing to as the grounds for a sequel is the inclusion of Lex Luthor. Many have cited that he should be responsible for rebuilding Metropolis, which will give him the adoration of the people, which he craves, and automatically put him at odds with Superman. Can you do both this and introduce Batman into the film without it feeling like too much is going on?
Another thread for exploration is the pod seen in the Kryptonian space ship. The prequel comic (which I normally wouldn’t care about) had Kara Zor-El (Supergirl) exiting it when the ship landed on Earth. A common rule in writing known as Chekhov’s gun is “If you show a gun in act 1, it has to go off in act 3.” That empty pod is the gun in this scenario and leaving it unexplored is bad storytelling. After Clark destroyed Zod’s ship in Man of Steel he is left alone, the last Kryptonian in the universe, or so he thinks. Throw a wrench in his world by introducing him not only to another Kryptonian on Earth, but his cousin.
In my opinion the most important aspect of the what the sequel could be is Clark’s building of his “secret identity.” Man of Steel‘s ending perfectly sets up his life at the Daily Planet and his attempts to hide in plain sight. I will say that including Batman in the film is a good way to make this work in the story. By having the superhero trying to be a regular guy and the regular guy trying to be a superhero they can certainly learn a lot from each other, but that’s not what audiences want. Man of Steel set the standard for future DC movies in regard to its dynamic action sequences and WB has already promised both of these characters are at odds with each other. The audience is going to demand they come to blows throughout. What troubles me the most about the sequel is it would appear the filmmakers are using Batman as a crutch to develop Superman further, which isn’t something he needs as a character and is just being used as a ploy to “expand the world.”
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