[UPDATE] Amended release date schedule 8/9/2016, 1:25 p.m.]
A new report says Warner Bros. is in “active development” on a sequel to Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. I accept this is going to happen no matter what but I'm here to hope they do some heavy thinking on how they're going to approach it first.
I didn't hate Man of Steel and I didn't hate Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice but they both had some very clear issues from where I sat both as a long-time DC Comics fan and an entertainment writer. And if you made me narrow it down to just one thing I'd tell you I thought there wasn't enough actual heroism in them. I hope that changes.
Here's the Man of Steel sequel story, so far only being independently reported by The Wrap:
Henry Cavill’s Superman will fly solo again in a sequel to “Man of Steel” going into active development at Warner Bros., a person familiar with the project told TheWrap.
Despite Superman”s battle with Batman, DC has been silent on a sequel to “Man of Steel” featuring Superman solo, leading many frustrated fanboys to believe that another film wasn”t going to happen. But a person close to the project told TheWrap that Superman is a top priority for the studio and getting the character right for audiences is of tantamount importance.
Again, I'm sure another Superman film is inevitable, the character is a big draw, but let's look at the current situation. This is how Warner Bros' DC Comics movie slate stands:
* June 2, 2017: Wonder Woman
* November 17, 2017: Justice League, Part 1
* March 16, 2018: The Flash
* July 27, 2018: Aquaman
* October 5: Untitled film
* April 5, 2019: Shazam
* November 1, 2019: Untitled film
* June 14, 2019: Justice League, Part 2
* April 3, 2020: Cyborg
* July 24, 2020: Green Lantern Corps
It's also been reported Margot Robbie”s Harley Quinn is getting a film that would also featuring other women from DC Comics lore (Batgirl, the Birds of Prey were floated) and there's that inevitable Ben Affleck Batman film.
So when we'll actually see Man of Steel 2 is anyone's guess. Man of Steel 2 may be one of those untitled slots.
This sequel news today is not substantive, nor it is surprising, but it does bring up questions of where Warner Bros. is taking their superhero universe. If there's one marked difference with how Marvel and Warner operate it's that Marvel has someone like Kevin Feige to steer their massive ship. That's actually a really important job and part of why fans seem more positive overall with Marvel's film output.
Geoff Johns was recently promoted at DC Entertainment and now holds two positions, President & Chief Creative Officer. That promotion apparently happened months before it was actually announced. He and Executive Vice President Jon Berg are now in charge of all DC Entertainment films and so, I hope, they're finally on the right track although we don't know for sure when we'll start to see the effects.
Trailers don't always match with the tone of the actual film (as some folks who saw Suicide Squad this weekend can attest) but the new Wonder Woman trailer completely sold me (not to mention everything else we've been hearing so far) and the first Justice League trailer really grabbed me and seems to follow what they've been saying, that this film will be more fun.
I can't speak for everyone but I could use some fun. I know, you've heard that before with regards to DC movies.
My thoughts were now are that Warner should really consider parting ways with Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer on DC Entertainment properties. I know Snyder likes comics and superheroes but his vision seems to differ drastically from what audiences are looking for. There's room for dark stories sure (Watchmen is an obvious one), but Superman to my mind is not. And from almost every interview I've read with Goyer, he actively dislikes superheroes and misunderstands their core concepts entirely.
Speaking more specifically to Man of Steel 2, let Superman save people. A lot. And every day people, not just people threatened by a supervillain/end of the world kind of stuff. Some of the best moments in Man of Steel were when Clark saved people. Whether it was a bus-load of kids or his old pal at the IHOP, and a lot of that was cut from Batman v Superman to the detriment of the entire story. Let Clark Kent have an actual life, not just vague images of one. His balance between a real job, a relationship, and being a superhero is actually really interesting in and of itself. Really. They've written comics about it and everything.
Of course we'll have several more films between now and another Superman film so there's plenty of time to work on his characterization but the easiest way to turn things around is to reboot the character in-universe. I'm talking about when he comes back from the dead in Justice League. Fingers crossed someone working on the film thought of it before me.
I'm not sure if I can actually even convince myself this is a good idea but I've got one more to throw out from left field. Make the villain Mister Mxyzptlk and go completely wild. Heck, separate the film into three different scenarios the trickster has made up and have three different directors work on it in their own style creating a completely unique look and feel in each part. Ok, maybe we don't need that much fun.