Editorial: 5 Things I Would Like to See in MAN OF STEEL 2

     June 19, 2013


Man of Steel is out, it’s a hit, and the sequel is on the fast-track.  For everything I liked about the movie, I felt it was a bit of a letdown.  I’ve heard from multiple people, including our own Steve Weintraub, that Man of Steel is the Superman movie they’ve always wanted to see.  When it comes to the action, I can agree with that assessment.  But when it comes to the character—the man in the suit—I felt he was absent from almost the entire movie.  I can respect director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David Goyer‘s attempt to find a new perspective on the character and slightly reinventing the origin story to do so.  Origin stories are tough because it’s about working towards the character people know and love.  You can kind of see that Superman at the end of Man of Steel, although I don’t know how he got there.

In any case, it looks like they’ve arrived, and I’m interested in where the sequel will take the Man of Tomorrow.  After the jump, I’ve listed five things I’d like to see in Man of Steel 2.  [Warning: spoilers ahead.]

The Blue Boy Scout


I like the corny side of superheroes.  In an attempt to “ground” superheroes, the light, fun aspects get left behind in an attempt for brooding, inner conflict.  This works some of the time, most notably with Batman.  It’s easy to find the drama in a character forged in the death of his parents.  Superman is the inverse.  Even though Krypton dies, it lives on in Superman (whereas Bruce Wayne basically died the night his parents were murdered, and was reborn as Batman).

Snyder and Goyer found a good way to find a strong conflict in Man of Steel by placing Superman in between the beliefs of Jor-El and Jonathan Kent.  But since that’s reconciled at the end of the movie (he’s going to come out to the world), where does the character go from there?  He seems to be at peace, found his purpose in life, and there seems to be a confidence in his powers and his relationship to humanity.  That confidence should lead to the ability to tackle challenges both great and small.  He can rescue a cat in a tree just as easily as he can rescue a falling spaceship, and he should do both.

That’s what makes Superman an inspiration.  Fights make for great spectacle, but if you’re going to cast Superman as a savior, he needs to do more saving outside of a smackdown.  We should be motivated to help each other, and Superman’s good for that too.  He’s a great defender, but that’s not necessarily the same thing as being a great leader.  If he’s going to help humanity “accomplish wonders”, then it should be both locally and globally, and not confined to hitting bad guys.

Lex Luthor’s Fear and Ego


Lex Luthor is almost required for the sequel.  Even though he’s not necessarily Superman’s toughest foe, he’s the most notable, and the two have an interesting relationship assuming it’s played correctly.  The boring Luthor is the one who’s simply jealous of Superman, and gets annoyed when Superman spoils eeeeevil plans.  The more interesting Luthor is the one who has a legitimate qualm with Superman: thank goodness he’s on our side…for now.  It’s too much power for one man to have, and we have no defense if Superman ever becomes our enemy.

It’s a reaction coming from a place of fear, and of course, there’s Luthor’s massive ego, which is a result of his daunting intellect.  He sees himself as humanity’s savior, and he’s actually human as opposed to an outsider.  Remember, the best villains are the ones who think they’re the heroes.  That’s why Zod was interesting in Man of Steel.  You could see where he was coming from even if his beliefs were clearly wrong.  The tougher step is trying to get the audience to not only acknowledge the villain’s beliefs, but to seriously consider them.

The People’s Superman


One of my big problems with Man of Steel is that it never delivers on the goal it sets up: how will humanity react to Superman?  Will they embrace him like Jor-El believes, or will they reject him like Jonathan Kent believes?  We never find out.  We see them run from the destruction, and we see the military’s paranoia, but there’s almost no interaction between Superman and the common citizen.  When a group of random people finally do see Superman, it’s him snapping Zod’s neck and then screaming at the heavens.  If you saw this and didn’t know anything that had come before, you would be absolutely terrified of Superman.

I have to imagine that the question will continue to hang heavy over Man of Steel 2.  As @BrianLynch pointed out on Twitter last night, “MAN OF STEEL 2 should begin with Lex Luthor paying to rebuild everything Superman destroyed.”  It not only sets up a good conflict, but it also emphasizes that Superman has a long way to go in earning humanity’s trust.  How he goes about earning that trust remains to be seen.  Lois Lane can only write so many glowing front page stories.

The Clark Kent Costume


I like that Man of Steel comes to the conclusion that the real costume Kal-El has to wear isn’t the Superman suit, but the Clark Kent look that symbolizes his acceptance of his place in the world.  It’s not just a barrier designed to mislead those who would reject him.  However, it can provide a barrier to the audience’s acceptance of the character.  Because Man of Steel is so intent on creating a “realistic” perception of Superman, it will run up against the problem of Superman looking like Clark Kent but without glasses, and no one acknowledging this flimsy disguise.

The film “solved” the problem for now by having Lois aware that Clark is actually Superman, and there’s no reason why anyone else would know it.  But if Superman is going to have a closer relationship to humanity, then he has to be ready for his close-up.  In the comic Superman: Birthright, writer Mark Waid attempted to solve the problem by saying that Clark Kent wasn’t just an outfit, but a crucial performance.  He couldn’t just be the bumbling, endearing Christopher Reeve act; Kal-El needed to be forgettable and sink into the background.  He had to be the nice guy whose name you couldn’t remember.  Even then, it’s difficult to mask the physique and facial features, and the audience will have to be good sports and suspend their disbelief.  But if they’re willing to believe that the Daily Planet will hire a guy who has no journalism background, references, or a portfolio, the Clark Kent costume shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Welcome to the Planets


Circling back to Luthor, the big problem he presents is that he doesn’t inherently have the superpowers required to top or even match the fight scenes from Man of Steel.  In some of the comics he has a power-suit, but his destruction is usually from autonomous machines he creates or environmental plans he devises.  They can still make for exciting set pieces, but Man of Steel has set the tone in two important ways.  First, Superman needs things he can punch and those things will punch back.  Second, he’s an alien, so can you keep him earthbound?  He’s been welcomed to the planet, but does that mean leaving behind everything else?  Does a rejection of Zod and Krypton mean a rejection of everything beyond Earth?

Superman can go anywhere he wants, and if the filmmakers want to up the stakes, then Luthor might be too small fry or he’ll have to join with a much bigger foe like Brainiac.  That team-up could definitely be a formidable threat, but it’s important to always keep the focus on Superman’s growth as a character.  I have no doubt that Snyder can handle the action scenes, but I believe the heart of the sequel should be furthering Superman’s relationship with humanity and doing so through kindness, nobility, and honor.

Final Thoughts

superman man-of-steel-logo-slice

Because Snyder and Goyer have forged a fresh new direction for Superman, they’re going to have to start finding the path by walking it.  That’s exciting and daunting.  I’m sure some of you are looking over my list and thinking I’m being too traditional, and to an extent that’s true.  I believe there are core values to Superman and the further you stray from them, the less identifiable the character.  Think back to Daredevil (and no, I’m not comparing the overall quality to the clearly superior Man of Steel).  In Mark Steven Johnson‘s adaptation, the character behaves like The Punisher.  It’s clearly not Daredevil from the comics even though he has the suit, the weapons, the abilities, and the foes.  Superman has gone through countless behaviors through the decades, but we know what makes him special.  The best, most iconic characters have defining attributes.  That’s why a site like Superdickery (http://superdickery.com/) is so entertaining—it presents a Superman completely contrary to a general consensus of the character’s behavior.

But again, Man of Steel has taken the Last Son of Krypton in a bold new direction, and when it came to the beats of the film’s origin story, I was intrigued.  It’s a difficult balance between being overly familiar and respectfully traditional, and I don’t envy Snyder and Goyer for what they have to accomplish.  But I’m eager to see what it will be even if it doesn’t match up with my expectations.  Sometimes the best things are the ones you didn’t know you wanted.

Click here for all our Man of Steel coverage.

Man of Steel poster Superman

  • justkiddingnobutseriously

    While I’m onboard for the first thing, I think most people actually wanted to see Superman “confined to hitting bad guys” in the reboot. He even killed a guy. The point was to be different from its cookie cutter Superman predecessors.

    • Captain Unknown

      Even before Zod started firing his laser vision at that family, Superman held him in a headlock, presumably intending to maybe create another portal to the phantom zone for him after he was unconscious. When Zod’s beams got to close to the family, it seemed to me that Supes was just trying to pull his head away and in his desperation, pulled to far and too hard, snapping his neck. Besides, how many times has Superman “died” before? Zod could still be alive and back in a sequel.

      • matt

        No one dies in science fiction….

  • Kal

    I was really surprised by how much I thought this movie was meh. I went in thinking it was going to be amazing and was totally wrong. I dont know if it was Goyer or Synder’s fault (I usually like both of them) but man was this movie was mediocre at best. I agree with the B- Matt G gave it.

    • junierizzle

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Bob

      I think thats cause u went in thinking it was gonna blow ur mind. I saw it was getting split reviews and lowered my expectations. I went in and saw i, and I thought it was pretty fantastic. The only complaints I have is some of the dialog, and they should have ended the action at the end a little earlier. For example, im a Marvel fanboy, have seen every Marvel film since Iron Man 2 at midnight, and I can say I think Man of Steel was pretty much better that all Marvel films besides Iron Man and Avengers. Thats just my opinion though.

      • Merlin235

        I lowered my expectations as well, but was still disappointed. That’s bumming me out.

      • Kal

        And I totally respect your opinion. I Absolutely overhyped it and thats what hurt it for me. Best superman movie? Yes. But it needs a lot of work not to mention I have no idea who Clark Kent is based off this movie. I’m hoping the second one improves on this one. By no means did I hate it, I just was left wanting more.

    • Ramses Ávila

      I don´t know how big whas your expectations but… Do you remember the other superman films? Maybe the teleportation powers of Lane was too much for me, or the dead of father Kent was a little stupid although was beautifully taken to scene.

    • editboy

      I totally agree! The movie left me cold.

      • Strong Enough

        like after a rape?

    • RiddleThemThis

      I honestly think that I may have enjoyed that movie more than Avengers and quite possibly all of Nolan’s Batmans, but i’m most likely a minority on this.

    • Dev1359

      Yeah, I really wanted to love the movie but I only ended up liking certain parts while feeling disappointed with the movie as a whole.

  • Tey

    And same amounts of crazy great action please!

  • jackjack

    It’s realy doubtful that the second part will be more interesting than the first. When all will be said and done, when “MoS” will make a pile of money (especially in the foreign market), WB will say: “they liked it, let’s give them more of that.” So If some people were complaining that the final half of “Man of Steel” looks and feels like a Transformers movie, they should prepare themselves for a Transformers movie in its full length.

  • junierizzle

    I thought it stunk. I won’t get into all of what I hated but this article brought up the thing I hated most: The portrayal of Clark Kent. To me part of the fun of Superman is that he is two different people. I’m not saying they have to have a full blown nerdy goofy Clark Kent but the two have to be different. In Man of Steel Cavil is the exact same person as Clark Kent and as Superman. Even at the end when they threw some glasses on him you could tell he wasn’t going to change.

    • Travis Gowen

      Two quick points.

      1. One could argue that Clark Kent doesn’t truly become Clark Kent until the end of the film so to say Kent/Superman are identical isn’t true because most of the film had him searching for an identity while being grounded to the ideals of helping those in need.

      2. How can you tell he wasn’t going to change? Also, if he doesn’t change is that really a problem? The Dark Knight movies took Batman in a completely new direction than the average Joe had known him as and it was a huge success. Time will tell how this all plays out.

      • junierizzle

        1. He always knew who he was he just didn’t know what to do. All his life he has been Clark Kent raised by the Kents. He wasn’t sure if he should make himself known and help people or just hide his abilities like his father wanted. Jor-el basically told him what he wanted to hear, that he should help people. Same dude only now with a suit.

        2. Well, all they did was throw a big coat and glasses on him. They introduced him as Clark Kent. So we know he isn’t going to hide that he is from Smallville. Hence he is the same dude that was raised by the Kents. And he isn’t goofy or nerdy he’s just a regular joe type of guy. Which is fine, that’s what they wanted to do. It just doesn’t work for me. Part of the fun of Superman for me was that fact that he is two different people. Clark Kent and Superman. Also, they pretty much had to go the regular Joe route because they wanted him to be jacked. Therefore you can’t have a jacked Clark Kent trying to act nerdy while his muscles rip through his shirt. Which was another mistake in my book. Superman is strong because that’s what happens to him on Earth. He doesn’t have to be super buff.

  • Superfan

    Also, use John Williams theme. I know all the know-it geeks will say its too corny & dated. But it’s a great theme and still iconic like Star Wars. They don’t have to use it every time. It be like the James Bond theme they use right now. It’s hardly use until they need it for a special monument. Same can be said with Williams Superman theme. Also, it’s a great theme and it can be adapted to Zimmer style. It’s should be part of Superman lexicon for now on.

    • junierizzle

      I agree. I recall reading very early on that they wouldn’t use it. Such a shame.

    • Romsy

      Forcing every film to use the same music as the original incarnation is idiotic. John Williams score is awesome, but it belongs in and should remain in the movies it was made for.

      If this rule was in effect, every Nolan Batman film should have used Elfmans score. Urbans Dredd film needed to use Stallones Dredd Music. And so on and so on. Let it go, that score belonged to those movies and this one belongs to this set of Superman flicks.

      • junierizzle

        Close your eyes. Now imagine they DON’T use the Star Wars theme in the new Star Wars movie.

      • Kenny Smith

        Yeah except in that case Star Wars Ep. VII is a direct sequel to the original trilogy (including the same core cast); in each example that Romsy used, these are legitimate reboots of popular franchises. It only makes sense to distance themselves further by using original scores. I like the original John Williams Supes score, it’s iconic. But close your eyes and imagine that score over Man of Steel…it would feel horribly out of place. Either way, I thought Zimmer wrote a pretty badass (albeit non-memorable) Superman theme.

      • Strong Enough

        get the fuck over it. this is a new superman.

    • sunshine

      oh god, get over it.

    • Dev1359

      I love the Williams theme but his score doesn’t fit this Superman. Seriously get over it.

  • pinkincide

    I was thrilled Superman killed a guy. Finally a film has the balls to reject the false morality of locking up super villains. They always escape and murder more people, if not endanger the whole world. After a certain point, It’s human sacrifice to let them live. I would have loved to see TDKR deal with exactly this point. Maybe it wouldn’t have sucked so bad.

    • SmellyPants

      EXACTLY! Finally I see someone else say this. I generally say that Batman is Jokers accomplice. By letting Joker live, escape, and kill hundreds more, Batman is effectively just helping Joker out. Batman gets to feel good and say ‘yeah, I’m a good guy, I don’t kill people’ and the Joker gets to laugh it up and keep doing what he does, kill plenty of people, and only suffe little time outs along the way. It IS false morality, Batman would be more moral to kill Joker and save the lives of future victims Joker would have otherwise killed. Instead he just feels good about himself while actually making little difference.

    • Merlin235

      That’s a false dilemma. Super villains only ever escape because writers write it that way. If they could come up with new and unique villains every month, they’d do that too. This world doesn’t really exist, so you get to write the rules. Superman was written with the rules that he doesn’t kill people. Period. Setting this up as some sort of “what if Zod escapes?” argument is a straw man.

  • 1micmcna1

    A few points here. First, going with Superfan, while I would enjoy a mash-up of the new and old themes, my lack of love for the new theme really only stemmed from the lack of time or rather the sparse amounts of time they truly played it (speaking of the one with the word “hope” in the title, you can look it up on youtube). For me, the movie was so disjointed that Superman didn’t really have that one triumphant moment for the music to fit in and really set in your ears.
    As for the article, I disagree with the Luthor thing almost completely. One, if they are going to use Luthor I still contend that they should save him until the JL movie. Here’s why. They have already established a world in which obviously Lexcorp is a big deal (possibly billionaire status but who knows yet) and Waynecorp is also a big deal. Since both are wealthy, they would hang in some of the same circles (using that figuratively, you know Bruce doesn’t do much “hanging” with his rich pals). Having a competitive relationship between the two on who has the better company technology or what have you can easily flow into a Legion of Doom story in JL, which I think is more ideal for the superhero team-up that has never been seen. It’s sorta like what Marvel did with Loki but don’t immediately reveal Luthor as evil into the JL film. Also, I would have to disagree with you as well as a lot of other people who believe that the best villians are those who believe they are doing good. Sure we like to think of this a lot but I would point to the fictional characters of Hannibal and Batman’s nemesis himself, The Joker. Neither actually believe they are doing good but are exceptional and have been in many of their on-screen portrayals. I’m just saying that a villain can be really good without believing he’s doing good–in fact some can be rather bland or forgettable when thinking that ie. Ras Al Ghul or Bane, frankly–though I liked Bane better.

    • Nathaniel Haywood

      I like the idea for Luthor in this article. I don’t think they should save Luthor for the JL movie simply because he’s not big enough for the Justice League. He’s a great villain if used correctly (which has never happened in the films yet), but he’s just not on a JL scale without some serious help of pairing him with another villain (Legion of Doom would be hard to do because you’d have to introduce all of those villains as well as all of the JL). What you’re describing sounds like a good Batman/Superman movie, though.

  • Shawn

    I like that Superman is not a zealot in this one. He’s obviously been exposed to religion as young Clark and is a thinker. Matt Goldberg draws pentagrams with his lipstick.

  • http://hanko9.com/ Henry A. Otero

    I stopped reading at… “I like the corny side of superheroes.” There’s nothing that can be written after that line to make me take this article seriously.

    • Truth

      Then you missed a great article, coming from someone who doesn’t like corniness in my movies. Stop being a pouty little kid and learn how to read paragraphs.

      • http://hanko9.com/ Henry A. Otero

        Sure I’ll go back and read it right now because you say so LMAO

      • Sweet Pea

        You “laugh you ass off” at your own sarcastic comments. You must seem like a lunatic in the flesh…

      • cb

        Please edit that last line until it makes some god damn sense. I’ve read it 3 times, one out loud, and i got nothing.

      • Sweet Pea

        You read it once out loud?? Lol what a pansy! Nice work there broseph.

      • cb

        You know Pea, lol’ing at your own question (one that i already answered) really makes you look like a flucking retard.

  • Kryptonian Knight

    Point 2.

    “When a group of random people finally do see Superman, it’s him
    snapping Zod’s neck and then screaming at the heavens. If you saw this
    and didn’t know anything that had come before, you would be absolutely
    terrified of Superman.” Says MG.

    Uhhmm how about no, this is such a stupid statement even for MG, if I was there I would have seen the same guy that was trying to fry a family with laser beams shooting from his eyes and Supes snapped his neck even though he did not want to do it so he could save a family. These alien were destroying the city killing everyone that was in their way. They were going to destroy every human being that lives. I’m pretty sure I would be grateful that this ruthless alien was dead.

    • ska7triumph

      Oh-kay calm down. There’s nothing stupid about this statement. The film takes for granted in the abstract – and earlier via the Daily Planet trio – that the civilized world knows whom is whom. The sequel gets to deal with Superman’s essential connection to humanity head-on by addressing the city’s collateral damage. Especially post 9/11 when influential folks, paranoid pundits and conspiracy theorists can come out of the woodwork and blame Supes for creating the mess (which he actually started did in Smallville).

      • KriptonianKnight

        False. He never started anything in Smallville. Zod and his soldiers came to his house and not only destroyed it. They picked up his mother by the throat and threw her to the floor. Supes was protecting his mother.

  • John Snitizen

    The sequel should be about how the world reacts to the emergence of a demigod living among them- one in which Johnathon Kent’s predictions are essentially played out. The end of the first movie, as gratuitous and over-the-top as I found the wholesale destruction of Metropolis to be, created a scene as ripe for conflict as I could imagine.

    Think about it. Superman’s first act as a public figure was to lay waste to large swathes of one of the US’s largest cities during the battle against his own kind. His second act was to shake hands with the military-industrial complex. The people are understandably pissed at this otherworldly blunt instrument, and just as furious that the US government has chosen to side with it.

    And while Superman is devastatingly effective in tracking down terrorists and single-handedly winning wars for the US, like some kind of living Predator drone, he is helpless to address mankind’s larger issues, like climate change and global poverty. This could be told through set pieces, montage, and also through Clark Kent’s experiences as a journalist.

    Into the picture steps a coalition of multibillionaire international philanthropists, including Bruce Wayne but led by Lex Luthor, who have been tracking the emergence of a number of superhumans, who have so far remained in hiding, through the use of an artificial intelligence called BRAINIAC- created by Luthercorp and leased to the US government’s intelligence apparatus. This group of financial elites is divided on how to respond to the Superman phenomena.

    All are distrustful of Kal-El. Some want him to renounce his ties to the US and become a “world citizen” accountable to and under the control of the United Nations. Some want him to submit to scientific testing so that his powers can be replicated and/or neutralized. Luthor himself advocates for the use of a nanoswarm, which up until this point he has commercially-deployed in the reconstruction of Metropolis, as a weapon against Superman, to be deployed as needed.

    Bruce Wayne is bitterly opposed to this idea, arguing that the collateral damage from such an operation could be immense. All the while Luthor is stoking the fires of public resentment against Superman and the US government in a secret bid for the Presidency. Riots erupt (perhaps led by an Anarky-like figure?), and, after some internal debate, Superman decides to allow the crowd (who are demanding his head) to storm the Congress building in Washington DC while standing by and watching (as Clark Kent). A gun battle erupts between the rioters and the National Guard.

    Superman decides the time to become a world citizen, protect human life at all costs, and declare his quest for global peace has come, and fronts the United Nations with a speech announcing his intentions to do just that. And at that moment, the Nanoswarm, controlled by BRAINIAC (and secretly unleashed by Lex Luthor) arrives (initially in human form, but exploding into a black cloud), laying waste to the UN headquarters.

    This time, rather than concentrating on destroying the Nanoswarm (as he did with Zod), Superman focuses on saving the lives of the hundreds of innocent bystanders in the building- using the full extent of his powers to do so as the building collapses around them. Superman is carried out over the Atlantic Ocean by the Nanoswarm and does battle with it there.

    The Nanoswarm is immensely powerful and grows more so as it begins to consume Superman’s essence, tearing strips off his body and weakening him. On the verge of defeat, he carries the swarm into space and hurls it towards the Sun. Upon return, he finds that the nanobots are replicating already, and as such the Swarm is seemingly invincible. The US military (of course) is considering the use of a nuclear strike to neutralize the Swarm, and cannot be dissuaded of this option by Superman.

    At that time, Lois Lane is tipped off by a mysterious figure (actually Bruce Wayne) about BRAINIAC and the location of its central hub (standing in for the NSA Data Centre). Lois quickly passes this info on to Clark/Superman, who leads the Nanoswarm on a chase across the country to the secret underground facility, just as the military is on the verge of launching the nuclear weapon. Superman destroys the facility in the nick of time, and it seems as though the day is saved.

    However Luthor is not yet finished- he steps forward and reveals the link between BRAINIAC, the Nanoswarm, and the US Government. He denounces the Government as the biggest threat to its own people, and declares his intention to run for the Presidency. Meanwhile, all evidence of Lexcorp’s involvement in the BRAINIAC program is destroyed.

    In the final act, Superman is paid a visit by Batman, who welcomes him to Earth, congratulates him for stopping BRAINIAC, but also warns him not to think that his godlike power makes him invincible- Batman will be waiting if Superman pulls a stunt like (the end of the previous movie) again. Kal-El in turn imparts a lesson about the fate of Krypton, and about the personal choices he has made.

    Batman reflects that, for all of Superman’s godlike powers, the biggest threat to humanity will always be itself- using Lex Luthor as an example. They then go their separate ways, with Batman flying off into the night, and Superman flying off towards the dawn.

    The epilogue is set in a laboratory, and reveals that Luthor’s scientists have successfully obtained comprehensive samples of Kal El’s DNA, which was the entire purpose of deploying the Nanoswarm against him in the first place…

    The result? Lex Luthor is on the verge of storming the Presidency, now armed with the will of the people as well as the proverbial lock of Superman’s hair/a vial of his DNA. Superman is committed to the preservation of human life and has distanced himself from the US government. Batman and Superman have met, the emergence of superheroes into the public eye has precedent, and the foundations for the Justice League have been laid.

    THAT’S what I would like to see in Man of Steel 2.

    • ska7triumph

      WOW. This.
      Much more complex than I would think even the writers could do. It would take a commitment of 2 sequels not just one. And smart incorporating BRUCE WAYNE in the mix, get the ball rolling for JUSTICE LEAGUE.

    • Natalie

      this is the greatest pitch for man of steel 2 thus far. it lays the groundwork for the trilogy ending with “man of steel vs president luthor” in MOS3 and justice league. the only thing i would add is to have General Swanwick join forces with luthor in mos2/mos3, and Christian Bale reprising his role. anything less than John Snitizen’s vision here would be unwatchable. superb, well done.

    • Spider Jerusalem

      Very good. You a screenwriter?

      • John Snitizen

        Not a screenwriter- aid worker. But let me know if you are a talent scout. ;-)

    • ThisGuy

      100x This. I would watch the sh** out of this movie.

  • albinoewok

    Just wanted to compliment Matt Goldberg on a fantastically fair analysis of the film and it’s future.

    Best piece I’ve read from you Matt, keep it up.

    From a die hard superman fan and lover of the movie. Now who to cast as Lex?

    • Guest

      Christian Bale.

  • Kryptonian Knight

    Point 1.

    Superman’s real kryptonite has always been Clark Kent. It’s the biggest flaw with the character. It’s dumb and insulting, you put on a pair of glasses and no one can recognize you? It’s ridiculous, stupid and dated. It’s a dilemma that you can’t escape. The elephant in the room no one wants to address. There is not one woman alive who would not recognize Henry Cavill because he wears glasses. The guy would look good wrapped in burlap.(I did like it how they dressed him down though as Clark. Have you seen this guy in a suit it’s a GQ cover shot every time. No woman could ignore him at The Daily Planet) I expect to see comic relief in the sequel with this but even if he plays it straight it won’t matter no one watches Superman for Clark Kent just like nobody watches Batman for Bruce Wayne. They are just a bi-products of the fantasy. As for the “Boy Scout” thing, he was true blue enough.There was not one single scene where he wasn’t.
    I want my superman to have a little edge in him.

    When it come to Lex, I would be shocked if he was not introduced but he won’t be the main villain. It’s going to be Braniac. It’s going to be a global crisis with technology that Superman will save and galvanize the world as the hero we all know he is. Lex will be scheming and manipulating in the background setting up for future installments of MOS or JL.

    BTW the soundtrack is expected to hit the top 5 on The Billboards according to reports which is amazing since TDKR peaked at #8. I’m glad because I love the music in MOS and it’s another shot to the mouth of the people that have been way to critical of this movie and music, knit picking every little thing instead of enjoying it as a great starting point. This movie is on track to eclipse a billion and I’m happy because the last son of Krypton is here to stay!

  • John Jay

    I sort of see Lex Luthor in the same light as the character of Jared Cohen in the movie Margin Call. At least, in a potential MoS sequel. Cold, methodical, and surgical.

  • R

    I agree with every point mentioned in this article and it’s cool to see others with similar ideas. Don’t get me wrong the movie was good but I think the addition of some of these points would only have elevated the film. Many people that had some type of a problem with the film are thinking along these lines. For the most part it’s not because people want to complain or bash the movie, it’s because they want to see every element of the character portrayed on film. There’s a reason he’s known as king of the heroes. Some say putting every complexity of this character on screen would be too hard or boring but I for one don’t think that’s impossible to do in one movie…..or at least a trilogy. If they can bring the action and add some of what was said in this article then I’m sure the next movie could be the pinnacle superman that most everyone will finally agree on. But ultimately they had an awesome start with this movie and it’s only up from here.

  • Rohan Vemula

    I just want to see LOBO in the sequel! :)

    • Lex Walker

      I think that’s a long ways out, if ever, unfortunately.



    Well, i love the suggestion that Lex foots the bill
    to rebuild metropolis, his distrust of an Alien, and his rise to power.
    And don’t forget, Zods World-Machine was creating Kryptonite with those
    pulses, so i expect Lex’s cleanup may be partrly to harvest that.
    (Though i expect Bruce Wayne to take some interest in that too)

    Zods ship wasn’t just destroyed, it was sent back to the Phantom-Zone,
    so theres a mirriad of consequences there. That has basically opened up a
    nest of Galactic/kryptonian criminals if Zods broken ship dislodges
    them on arrival. Possibly with co ordinates to Earth. Also, we don’t see
    who survived that portal exit. Remember that brainy bald krypto guy
    that seemed to know the technology that we all thought was going to be
    Lex Luther when casting arose? I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns up
    again as Brainiac.

    Only thing that was missing
    from MOS for me was a bit more heart, warmth and color. Same thing
    missing from Nolans and Snyders films. But i still loved MOS.

  • NH

    Here’s my french review

    on the movie:


  • obrien89

    just as Johnny responded I am in shock that a person able to earn $5475 in a few weeks on the internet. did you look at this web page —–<<>> Jam40.ℂℴm

    • Lex Walker

      Johnny said no such thing, you’re lucky he doesn’t sue you for libel.

  • chris gault

    I was surprised by how much I liked the movie and look forward to a sequel. superman is a tough character to bring to live action without looking silly … they did a great job.

  • Nathaniel Haywood

    I actually agree with most of what is here (which surprises me). I don’t think we need too much of the “boy scout,” but I would like just a little so that we can see that Supes actually cares about real people and not just in the abstract, “I must sacrifice myself to save my adopted planet Earth” kind of way. I think the Lex Luthor suggestion is a great one. I would love to see Lex actually used well in a Superman movie for once. That doesn’t mean he has to be the only villain – it wouldn’t be hard to pair him with Braniac or Darkseid. I also agree that now that we have the Daily Planet Clark, let’s see how that works in this new world. These ideas are not too shabby – especially if they were implemented right and in accordance with this new Superman’s world.

  • ikkf

    I agree with a lot of what’s said here too. I felt like I watched just the first half of a great movie –and I mean that in a good way– with MOS. It definitely felt like a setup for some great sequels, a bit like 2010′s Robin Hood felt like “Robin Hood Begins.”

  • ikkf

    By the way, “general consensus” is redundant, because consensus by definition means “general agreement.”

    This message brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

  • Alan Burnett

    “One of my big problems with Man of Steel is that it never delivers on the goal it sets up: how will humanity react to Superman?”

    Oh, by YOUR problem, did you mean something The Playlist – and NOT YOU – mentioned? How is it THAT HARD to write YOUR opinion? And it’s obvious you read that piece because YOU COMMENTED ON THAT ARTICLE, GENIUS: http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/the-best-worst-of-man-of-steel-20130617 So Collider is in the business of stealing other people’s ideas, then? And it isn’t enough that critics analyze a film, they also feel the need to TELL THE FILMMAKERS WHAT TO DO. Goldberg’s ego is stunning …

  • Jamesy

    Would love to see Luthor working with the Government as part of a defence team, dealing with threats against the U.S etc, he goes over the top and sets his sighs on Superman, runs for Presidency to convince the world that Superman is dangerous. This could be an interesting route, instead of having him as the rip off bond villain coming up with evil plans.

  • derpderp

    I figure the next step in the MoS movies is Superman forging his code of ethics. Killing Zod will punt him into more angst and brooding about how he can use his powers without causing casualties. Also, while I want Luther to be more than a mustache twirling bad guy I hope they get his kryptonite mech suit going and not land shark schemes!

  • Noneofyouaresafe

    You know what I’d really like for the next Superman movie? For all the ungrateful fans to stop badgering filmmakers with what they think a Superman movie should be like and let the creative people decide that for themselves.

    Pre-Returns: Yay, a return to the Donner era!
    Post-Returns, Pre-MOS: Boring! Donner sucks! Moar fighting!
    Post-MOS: Too much CG and fighting! Snyder sucks! Moar saving people!

    You see, this is why we can’t have nice things.

    • junierizzle

      So you want people to hold their opinions and just accept whatever the filmmakers give us? Are you aware you made this statement on a movie site?

      What’s wrong with not liking the choices the filmmakers made? If they trimmed down the fighting then the people that loved the fighting would have wanted more fighting. No movie has ever pleased everybody. Again, are you aware you made this statement on a movie site?

      • Noneofyouaresafe


    • editboy

      No one is ever happy with anything, and Reeve rocks! The people who say Donner sucks are sometimes the one’s who are putting their cash down for mindless shit (JJ Abrams “Star Trek”, anyone?), and just don’t like or can accept that Donner and Christopher Reeve nailed it! They want their own Superman….when, in fact, I believe it’s been done as best as it can be and Hollywood should just move on to something else.

    • luuke

      Go live in Mozambique then if you want be isolated, loner

  • ska7triumph

    Very good post analysis here. I’d agree with every point.
    Something to add: how to reconcile and develop the budding (yet rather forced) romance between CLARK and LOIS, on and off the field. There’s only so many times LOIS can get into trouble and have Supes save her – while finding that special time for them to grow that bond.

  • Preemptive_Thinking

    Dr. Hamilton is the enemy in MOS 2. He was sucked in the Phantom Zone and will return for revenge!

  • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

    Credit where credit is due, Goldberg has actually been writing some very nice articles the last several weeks.

  • brNdon

    ALthough Brainiac would be awesome, I don’t want to see another “spaceships come to Earth” Superman. At least not in the second movie. They could have Lex Luthor fund Metallo in the second film. It would be a way for Lex to be the villain behind the muscle.
    As far as Clark and Superman looking too much alike for a disguise to work. I have seen it in real life and had my own personel aha moment regarding Superman. At a Halloween party a friend of mine was dressed in a 70′s-ish outfit and wearing glasses. When I asked him who he was dressed as, he took his glasses off and before he even told me, I though to myself that he looked exactly like Niel Diamond, which he was. And it clicked in my head at that moment how Clark Kent could go around unnoticed as Superman.

    • Kryptonian Knight

      Sorry to be rude but not everybody is as naive as you. Nobody built like Cavill would be considered a nerd or blend in without someone saying “That dude is buff” or “You must workout” Your talking about a newsroom where everything is scrutinized and evaluated by the detail and your going to tell me that with today’s technology someone would not recognize him? Sorry,
      sell your Kool-aid somewhere else cause I ain’t buying. It’s a flaw as I wrote below!

      • Spider Jerusalem

        “Your talking about a newsroom where everything is scrutinized and evaluated by the detail”

        If it’s an American newsroom, that’s debatable.

      • brNdon

        Your obviously not sorry, dick. I was just mentioning a particular a-ha moment that i experienced. I didn’t say it would work for Cavill specifically, especially since they barely changed his hair. Just that I can see how Clark Kent could go unnoticed.

  • Alan Burnett

    “It’s easy to find the drama in a character forged in the death of his parents. Superman is the inverse”, which I guess is why – in nearly every take on the character – he loses at least two parents (and, in many others, three). I suppose there is no room to grieve or experience any loss or conflict for Superman … because he needs to be saving kittens? Some BRILLIANT logic from Goldberg.

  • Ty

    This was superman 0 it was a story of kal-el creating superman an Clark. Look at batman begins, there is so much a sequel can build on, start with people’s reactions now that he’s at the planet, do more flashbacks to fill in more gaps of Clark’s past. Luthor is the perfect character the business man politician the son of metropolis, he doesn’t have to be the villian or main villian but involved on the story.

  • Andrew Meeks

    Nailed it Matt.

    Great perspective.

  • poppincherry

    MOS is an overrated POS! And god help us if Henry’s fucking girlfriend Gina Carano becomes WW.

  • Captain Unknown

    What I think should happen in 2 is that Metropolis is reeling from the SM/Zod fight. And many around the world don’t trust his intentions. Including Metropolis Mayoral Candidate and Multi-Billion dollar CEO Lex Luthor . He talks with Superman to help rebuild the city (who agrees) and also asks for his help in creating cures for several diseases using the MoS’s strength and alien physique. The thing is: they can’t pierce his skin even with diamond, so a scientist suggests to Luthor that they use a new meteorite substance to do it, saying that it’s not from Earth and it may work better. The element happens to be a bright, translucent green, dubbed Kryptonite by Luthor after it severely weakens Supes. LexCorp develops the cure and earns more. Then he asks Superman if he can create an exoskeletal suit in case Supes ever went bad or was mind-controlled. He agrees and Luthor creates a suit based on Supes’ strength and physiology. After the suit is constructed, he asks him for one more test: what happens when he comes into contact with the red rock on the other side of the meteor? The element is red kryptonite and makes him go insane and destroys Luthor’s factory. Luthor goes after Superman in his new power-armor and beats him. Pointing out to the world that Superman is unstable, Superman gets voted off of Earth. While living on the moon, he hears Luthor tell his assistant that everything went according to plan by using Red Kryptonite to turn the fearful public against him and that the alien is gone and that his original plan can now continue. Hearing this, he rushes back to Metropolis and confronts Luthor about his nefarious plans. Luthor says they are true and takes out a blade made from Kryptonite and attacks him. Without his strength, Supes must stay alive long enough to get the word out about Luthor. Luthor eventually wins the fight and is about to kill him when Lois enters the office. Realizing Luthor’s plan, she reveals him to the world. Luthor captures her and brings her to an alternate facility, where he says that Superman is going to have to come after him. Superman meets him in a warehouse where Luthor’s new Kryptonite weapon power suit is waiting to kill them both. They fight to a stalemate until an outside object gives Supes the upper hand where he defeats Luthor, who is sentenced to jail. Meanwhile, Superman goes to the object and finds that is a small black object in the shape of a bat.
    Post-Credits scene: There’s a note on the reverse side with a location and time. Superman goes to it to find a man in the shadows who needs to know if he made the right decision by saving Superman’s life. When Superman asks who he is, he ignores and just says, “Keep an eye out for my sign.” and disappears.

  • Guest

    Why does everyone say that there needs to be a lot of punching in a Superman movie? Who cares about story, character development, or heart and soul, for that matter! The level of ongoing destruction in this movie is one of the things that blew it for me. Everything was rushed, and let’s get on with the punching and fighting, right?! Even the opening, on Krypton, had this gi-normous action sequence that was way too much! Jor-El running, flying, swimming, fighting….sorry, that didn’t make me care. In fact, very little did.

    Costner was definitely heartfelt, and Fiora was the best villain of the movie, even past Zod, whose technology was more than threat than he. But ultimately, “Man of
    Steel” was just a big “Transformers” video game, and it’s clear that Warners and DC are only trying to match “The Avengers” and not be themselves. This, I feel, will muddy their waters; the desire to catch up with Marvel.

    “MOS” felt like a trilogy of movies, all overstuffed into one. What are they going to do in the next one? Destroy an entire state? A nation? A continent? In time, Superman will meet fist to fist with some other equally powerful being and Earth will just explode with that one powerful blow. Ridiculous!!! Thanks, but no thanks!
    I’ll take Christopher Reeve’s version over this pointless display of carnage
    any day!

  • editboy

    Why does everyone say that there needs to be a lot of punching in a Superman movie? What about a GOOD story, character development, a little humor, or even heart and soul? The level of ongoing destruction in this movie is one of the things that blew it for me. Everything was rushed, and let’s get on with the punching and fighting, right?! Even the opening, on Krypton, had this gi-normous action sequence that was way too much! Jor-El running, flying, swimming, fighting….sorry, that didn’t make me care. In fact, very little in this out of control movie did.

    Costner was definitely heartfelt, and Fiora was the best villain of the movie, even past Zod, whose technology was more the threat than he. But ultimately, “Man of
    Steel” was just a big “Transformers” video game, and it’s clear that Warners and DC are only trying to match “The Avengers” and not be themselves. This, I feel, will muddy their waters; the desire to catch up with Marvel.

    “MOS” felt like a trilogy of movies, all overstuffed into one. What are they going to do in the next one? Destroy an entire state? A nation? A continent? In time, Superman will meet fist to fist with some other equally powerful being and Earth will just explode with that one powerful blow. Ridiculous!!! Thanks, but no thanks!
    I’ll take Christopher Reeve’s version over this pointless display of carnage
    any day!

  • Jason Howler

    Hey Matt,

    Remember when you made condescending remarks about the Man of Steel comic-con footage, and you thought it wouldn’t amount to anything? I do. Now here you are talking about what you’d like to see in a sequel. Sometimes I wish you would choke on your own shit since that’s all you put out anyway.

  • Will

    Wouldn’t bother me if Luthor didn’t show up til say the 4th movie…Braniac, Darkseid,
    Doomsday, Someone new….would be better without Lex Luthor anywhere in sight.

  • sunshine

    hi, i’m matt, i hate everything. meh meh meh…

  • torlaclone

    Luthor makes sense as the villain in the 2nd movie, ala Joker being the big gun in the second Nolan Batman movie. Thing is they didn’t plant many seeds in the first film hinting at Luthor from I could tell. I don’t think we’d ever see anything outlandish as Mongol. Doomsday seems realistic as does Cyborg Superman. I like the idea of Cyborg Superman without the 4 Superman storyline from teh comics. A villain that could really keep him on his toes.

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  • Nomis1700

    I LOVED the film! But I wouldn’t say there’s no room for improvement ;) I’m looking forward a lot to the sequel and to see Lex Luthor done right. One way to top the spectacle is to shoot all action sequences in IMAX :D

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