7/03/2013

Man of Steel (2013) Superman (Henry Cavill)

What should, or shouldn't be in the sequel to Man of Steel?

Since it's release on June 14, Man of Steel has been wowing audiences with it's characterization and action-packed scenes. However as the studio gets ready to release a sequel, and lead up to a Justice League movie, it risks alienating hard-core fans. They could kill the whole franchise again.

Zack Snyder has shown a very different side of Superman - from unsure child to confident adult - and has been bending all kinds of rules of what we think makes him the champion for truth, justice and the American Way. I'm not just talking about the costume. More than ever before, the Man of Steel sequel needs to avoid alienating fans and bring him closer to the family audience that has made him popular for over 70 years.

Nothing stays fresh forever, so change is a good thing. It'll keep Superman alive for future generations if they push boundaries.

Here are somethings that need to happen for the second Man of Steel movie.

Guilt Over Zod's Death

In Man of Steel, Superman kills Zod to save a family. It's odd that he didn't seem to mind buildings falling on top of people, but he freaked out over three guys, but whatever. This is controversial, but I have a different perspective.

I was bothered by it too. My first thought was "Superman doesn't kill" but then remembered he killed Zod in Superman II. We just didn't see it. It seemed brutal because he killed Zod in such a shocking way. 

Now that Superman has killed someone, what now? Well, the first thing that needs to be shown is he has an incredible amount of guilt over the death.

It should haunt him and lead to his "no killing" stand. It was Superman's first fight. He didn't know how to handle things, but he learned from it and pledges to never cause another death if he can avoid it. 

That's the Superman we know and love. 

Lex Luthor

We understand. Lex Luthor is Superman's greatest villain and you don't want to bring out your big guns in the first shot. Just like Christopher Nolan didn't bring in the Joker till the second film, you don't want to use Luthor in the first. But now's the time.  We can't enjoy Superman without seeing his greatest nemesis. Sure General Zod was Superman's equal in strength, but Luthor is superior to Superman's mind. It would be a battle royale of brain versus brawn.

LexCorp showed up in the Easter eggs from the last film, so we know he's in the Superman universe. Whether he's a ruthless billionaire, or a mad scientist, Superman needs to face off against his mortal enemy. Saving him for the third film would be a huge mistake and would just try the patience of the fans.

The xenophobic theme of Man of Steel, that aliens have arrived and are clearly more powerful, fits perfectly with Lex Luthor's greatest fear. The fear that Superman could one day turn on humanity.

Bring on Lex Luthor. Superman needs him. It'll be hard to find an actor to play him, but Kevin Spacey was the best part about Superman Returns.

They could even tie Lex in with Clark's days in Smallville by establishing he was a childhood friend. One bit of warning with this idea though.

Cut Back on the Flashbacks

Man of Steel is full of flashbacks since it's an origin story, but enough is enough. While the non-linear storyline made it interesting, it also made it confusing. Jumping from Clark at 24 to Clark at 10 to Clark at 33-years-old made for some confusing moments. The story didn't really come together until they stuck in the present.

It worked a little better in Batman Begins because the story felt more cohesive and in The Dark Knight the flashbacks stopped. Man of Steel should follow the same pattern.

The sequel should have no flashbacks and just stick to the story...with one exception.

Jonathon Kent

The most moving parts of Man of Steel are with Jonathon Kent,  played by Kevin Costner. Even though he's dead,  there's still an opportunity to bring him back in flashbacks and show their complex relationship in between the revelation of his son's alien origin and his death.

They could deal with the crushing guilt he feels over his father's death. Also, Clark could contemplate how his father's prediction of his revealing his alien origin didn't come true.

These are the only flashbacks that should be in the sequel.

Space Travel

One thing that the movies have never dealt with is that Superman isn't just an American hero. He's a hero to the whole universe.

We know Krypton colonized other planets, and Superman should travel to see some of them. As the last Kryptonian he has a responsibility to check on the other colonies since they abandoned them.

It would also open up the DC Universe to the myriads of aliens and planets from the comics and even tie in the Green Lantern Corp.

Lose the Grey Tones

The first movie was all muted colors and gray tones.  This fit with the gloomy tone of Superman dealing with such themes as death, loss and identity.  We're past all that. 

In the next movie we should see more color.  Not that it should look like a circus tent,  but it couldn't hurt to show a reflection of Clark finding himself and gaining confidence. 

This happened in The Dark Knight,  the sequel to Batman Begins.  The first movie was all dark tones and shadow,  but the second showed light and color.

The world is scary, but Superman flies in the light not the dark.

Kryptonite

Man of Steel focussed on Superman's weaknesses and unsurity about his place in the world. We got to see him learn to fly and face his future, but he's still the all-powerful Superman. Kryptonite showed up in the very first Superman movie, so it's overdue in the second.

There are lots of variations of Kyptonite the movie can use. The traditional green, the original red, gold, blue, white, silver, black, orange and even periwinkle.

Whether it's from his home planet, or some synthetic compound, Superman has to face his greatest weakness.

A Few Laughs


While Man of Steel is a serious take on Superman, it needs to have a few laughs. The humor in Man of Steel felt forced, but Amy Adams has great comic timing and they need to use that more.

What do you think should, or should not, be in the Man of Steel sequel?

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13 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Definitely need to lighten the tone a bit.
Krypton itself was his Kryptonite. Or at least that's how i interpreted it.
And more space travel!

Pat Dilloway said...

Can't really argue against any of those. Could they find someone better for Ma Kent than Diane Lane? Or just write her out entirely. She was awful. And maybe they can find a way for Lois to get amnesia about Clark being Superman because that seems kind of limiting.

DAVID WALSTON said...

Great points & a great read. The flashbacks were a little confusing at times, but I understand needing them. TDKR had flashback in it also, but it was intended to tie everything up in a nice little bow. Mabe Luthor could be pulling the strings in the next film so he is around for the Justice League movie.

L.G.Smith said...

I still haven't been out to see this one, though I've read some of these points on blogs and in the media. I think there's always a risk of flashbacks being confusing, but you're probably right about including the father. Those could be some touching moments.


I really gotta get out and see this one. Maybe on 4th of July. :)

MPax said...

I liked the Krypton stuff the best... no surprise for a sci-fi geek, huh? I think they should show Superman helping to rebuild Metropolis in the 2nd, since most of the buildings were destroyed. :) I didn't mind the deviations. I thought they made Superman more fun. What if there was some consequence to killing Zod? To Superman. Physical and psychological... maybe a rift in the timeline. Yeah, I could get into that. And I think he should lose the top half of his uniform. :D Just teasing.

Al Diaz said...

I haven't watched Man of Steel yet, but you just gave me quite an insight of the movie. Very good. :)

Maurice Mitchell said...

Sorry All! I should have put in a spoiler warning. Hopefully it didn't spoil the movie for you. :) I'm glad you like it though.

Maurice Mitchell said...

ROFL You made me laugh with that one Mary. I just imagined him in his new shirtless costume with an S tattoo on his chest.

Krypton was amazing! It was a visual feast and had such an ancient look to it.

Maurice Mitchell said...

When Costner said, "You are my son" I thought I was gonna start bawling. Seriously though, flashbacks can be a powerful technique and many films use it to good effect, but this one just felt overdone.

Maurice Mitchell said...

David, that's a good point about Dark Knight Rises. The story couldn't have been told without flashbacks. Especially with the ending.

Maurice Mitchell said...

She didn't have the motherly quality we're used to Pat. It seems like mothers for superhero Moms are getting hipper and younger every year.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Yeah Krypton is one big piece of Kryptonite. If would be interesting to see how they explain it's origins in the film. Especially since the ship went into hyperspace and didn't carry any with it as far as we know. Maybe the Fortress had some.

Cecilia Robert said...

It'd didn't spoil the movie for me. I'll go watch the movie even after reading your post. :D Haven't come around to heading for the theaters :(

Ooh I just love how Lex's mind works

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