With vast box office numbers already (£144 million and counting… after five days), new superman flick ‘Man of Steel’ is surely the start of a new franchise.
But what can we expect from ‘Man of Steel 2’? Along with two other UK sites, Yahoo! chatted to writer David S. Goyer on the eve of the film’s release to pick his brains about the future of Superman.
*Warning: Some spoilers below
Real world problems
Supes’ antagonist in ‘Man of Steel’ is fellow Kryptonian General Zod. But for ‘Part 2’, the villain could be someone, or something, closer to home and far more grounded in reality. Talking about making the character relevant again, Goyer hinted at the uniquely 21st century issues facing Superman, such as social media, private military corporations and drones.
“I think that the challenge for us moving forward is how to depict Superman in a world like this,” he said. “Could he solve hunger in the horn of Africa? What would he do with the Arab Spring, what would he do with Syria? Partly you could argue, how could he NOT intervene in Syria? But then, is it a hornet’s nest if he intervenes? Does he have the wherewithal, or the knowledge, to intervene in things like this? It’s easier for Batman, he exists in his own pocket of the world, he’s not violating sovereign airspace everyday.” Intriguing stuff.
A new Lex Luthor
One earth-bound character who seems a safe bet to appear in a sequel is Lex Luthor. Goyer and director Zack Snyder worked several references to the evil genius into the movie, but the writer thinks a ‘Man of Steel’ Lex would be “very different” to the Gene Hackman version from the Richard Donner movies. “This is a Bill Gates-like-Lex, who is probably worth 60-70 billion dollars,” said Goyer.
A gateway to other DC movies
There’s also a cheeky shot of a ‘Wayne Enterprises’ satellite in the film, along with a mention of S.T.A.R. Lab (a research facility in the comics). It was obvious early on that ‘Man of Steel’ would - the studio hopes - usher in a new wave of DC comics movies to rival the far more successful Marvel franchise, but how this’ll work is only just becoming clear.
“It was our hope that [‘Man of Steel] would be the ‘zero issue’, that from this point onwards possible films would expand into a shared universe,” said Goyer. “In the ‘Man of Steel’ world, there might be other [DC] characters out there. There are other superheroes in that world, but I don’t know that they’ve come forward. They might be helping people but they don’t have costumes, and when Superman announces himself to the world, he’s the one that changes things.”
If the public accepts their version of Superman, Goyer argues, then they have a tone for a shared universe moving forward, a “DC world that is slightly more grounded”.
The final thorny issue Goyer and co. will have to deal with in the sequel is Superman’s “disguise” – i.e. a pair of specs - an idea the writer said is “ludicrous”. ‘Man of Steel’s origin story manages to mostly sidestep the issue, but it’ll have to be confronted next time said the writer.
The conceit that Lois Lane can’t work out who Superman is has also been ditched here. “Lois [is] one of the secret keepers,” he said. There are several other people from the film who may know who the character actually is, including Daily Planet editor Perry White – which could make Clark Kent’s first day at work interesting. “We’re gonna have to go through some story gymnastics if we move the story forward,” he admits.
‘Man of Steel’ is in cinemas now.