When you squint your eyes and look at it faintly, you can catch the outlines of what a Man of Steel sequel might have looked like in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The finished DC crossover product has the obvious and expected introduction of Lex Luthor, the continued romance of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, and finally the world’s reaction to what Superman, or a “god on Earth,” really means to humanity.
Of course, all of that kind of gets buried and communicated in shorthand when the main story thread is arguably Ben Affleck’s Batman and his vendetta to put Superman’s corpse in the ground, the introduction to Wonder Woman/other Justice League founding members, the imminent threat of Darkseid, and other third act twists that do not need to be spoiled here. And with the DC Extended Universe going full-speed ahead toward next year’s Justice League Part One, it seems unlikely that we’ll see another movie squarely focused on Superman and his world again anytime soon.
Yet, director Zack Snyder and actor Henry Cavill are still more than a little keen on narrowing the focus again on Metropolis.
“I think if we could get a good script, it would be great to have a standalone Superman movie.” Snyder said while chatting with IGN. “I think that would be fun to do. Part of the reason we haven’t announced the standalone Superman movie was to support some of the events of [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice].”
Cavill, meanwhile, was more explicit in his interest for Superman to take center stage again, however that will be entirely determined by the box office success of BvS.
“I do believe it depends on the success of this movie,” Cavill said. “If this goes well then we can start to negotiate with Warner Bros. to develop a standalone Superman, but they’ve got their plan set out for other stuff and Justice Leagues, and various other movies. It’s about finding the time really. It’s something I would be very keen to do.”
Personally, I would love to see a Superman movie starring Cavill and Amy Adams that allowed both to smile and embrace the optimism of this specific mythology that seemed present if muted in Man of Steel but almost entirely absent in Batman v Superman. A Superman film where Kal-El is allowed to actually bring hope to the people of Earth? That would be quite the marvel, indeed.
As for its likelihood, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice stands at $681 million grossed worldwide. In just over a week, this is more than Man of Steel’s entire gross, and a global $900 million haul remains within the realm of possibility. If a movie this grim can do that, imagine what a movie featuring a Superman that actually inspired would do…