Before Warner Bros. stepped in Zack Snyder had planned for multiple sequels to 2013’s Man of Steel starring Henry Cavill as Superman.
The apparent cancellation of the so-called SnyderVerse has been one of the greatest losses for the blooming DC Extended Universe so far. Just when it seemed like the cinematic universe had found its niche, with the exciting Christopher Nolan trilogy leaving a void that needed to be filled by talented filmmakers, the DC world was thrown off balance again.
Arguably, the film that has suffered the most from Warner Bros.’ decision to cancel the SnyderVerse-related projects has been the original Man of Steel. Superman has always been a notoriously difficult character for the big screen. Some critics consider his morals and his overall brand of heroism “dated” or irrelevant to modern culture, which might be partially why we never got a proper Man of Steel solo sequel.
Still, it seems like a waste to let a film with as much potential as Man of Steel go to waste, especially when there are so many questions left unanswered about Krypton and Superman himself by the end of the movie.
For those reasons, we’ve compiled a list of five burning questions left unanswered in Man of Steel that could be addressed in potential sequels.
What Has Changed For Superman After Coming Back From The Dead?
It’s no secret to anyone that Zack Snyder loves symbolism, especially if it’s related to Christianism in any way. That’s why he relied so much upon portraying Superman as a deity rather than just a hero for most of his appearances in the SnyderVerse – a trend that began with Man of Steel and its existential questions about how mere mortals would see someone like Superman. Something that would have no doubt continued in Man of Steel sequels too.
That said, when it comes to religious imagery – specifically Christian and Catholic imagery, in Superman’s case – nothing comes close to the symbolism of Superman rising from the dead in Justice League. His resurrection might have been a bit rushed in the original cut of the film, but the symbolism and religious allegories were turned up to eleven with the release of the fabled Snyder Cut.
Religious or not, dying and returning to the world of the living must have some ramifications for whoever goes through that process, no matter if they’re made of steel or any other metal or alloy. It’s a life-changing experience – quite literally – that must have left some scars on Superman’s psyche. So, what changed with the Man of Steel after his apparent demise?
Even though the Snyder Cut tackles some of these questions, there’s only so much that can be done without devoting an entire solo film to these metaphysical questions. Superman might have survived the events of Man of Steel, but it’s obvious that a potential sequel to the 2013 epic would need to introduce at least some minor plot points related to Clark Kent’s death and eventual resurrection.
What’s Lois And Clark’s Relationship Like In The Man Of Steel Universe?
One thing that we have to keep in mind, despite Zack Snyder’s spectacular directing job, is that Man of Steel is an action flick first and foremost. Therefore, some elements relating to Clark’s life outside his iconic Superman costume are kept to a minimum compared to the more bombastic action setpieces we see in the film.
Maybe that’s why Superman’s romance with Lois Lane feels a bit rushed in the first film. By Batman v Superman, it seems almost like Lois and Clark have been married for ages, while the truth is that we barely know what they have in common, other than the external knowledge that “Superman loves Lois Lane in the comics.”
A proper Man of Steel sequel could go deeper into what makes their relationship work. There’s a lot of chemistry between Henry Cavill and Amy Adams, that’s for sure, so seeing them together again in another Superman solo film would be just what fans of the franchise are waiting for. At the very least, they make a much better couple than Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. Or Jared Leto and anyone else, to be honest.
Is Superman Truly A Flawless Hero?
If there was one thing that the original Man of Steel could have used a bit more of, that would have been real personal stakes for Superman to fight Zod. Sure, he “saves” Metropolis from the Kryptonians out of a sense of duty, but the hero lacks any personal motivations for doing so.
A sequel to Man of Steel would need to evaluate Superman’s actions in the first movie through an objective lens. Why didn’t Superman take the fight away from the city, where the superpowered men with capes flying around wouldn’t be able to bring down so many skyscrapers?
There’s also the matter of Superman resorting to breaking his golden rule to end Zod’s onslaught. Killing another person (even worse, a fellow Kryptonian) must have had some serious psychological effects on Supes, so it would be great if we got to see if he continues to see himself as a hero after the events of Man of Steel. Outside of the Justice League movies, of course – but, as we know, Superman is more or less a glorified deus ex machina in most of the DCEU films anyways.
Are There Really No Other Kryptonians?
With most of the remaining Kryptonians either dead or trapped in the Phantom Zone, things are looking pretty lonely for Superman at the end of Man of Steel. While it seems like Kal-El was meant to be the only surviving Kryptonian in the DCEU, long-time DC fans know for sure that there must be more Kryptonians around.
A Man of Steel sequel could introduce some of the most notable Kryptonians from DC’s publication history, including Kara Zor-El, better known as Supergirl. Even if there are really no more Kryptonians left in the DCEU, those sent to the Phantom Zone might eventually make it out of the pocket dimension, and they’re more than likely to want a rematch with the Man of Steel.
Were Jor-El’s Plans Really Noble?
A vital piece to the puzzle of what the future of a potential Man of Steel saga would have looked like lies in the Kryptonian Codex and Jor-El’s plan to save the Kryptonian species. Even though we might see Jor-El as an altruistic character mostly because he opposes Zod, the truth is that the scientist might have had other plans for humanity all along.
For starters, Jor-El and Zod have the same objective: to save what remains of Krypton. The difference is that Jor-El prefers a much less violent approach – one that could take centuries to complete. The unification of human and Kryptonian DNA made possible thanks to Kal-El’s merging with the Kryptonian Codex would have made any descendant of Clark Kent almost entirely Kryptonian. In the end, Jor-El’s plan was a sort of long-term terraforming of Earth. Again, same objective, vastly different plans.
Does this make Jor-El a villain in the long run? Maybe not; but, at the very least, he could still be considered a morally grey character that does whatever is needed to ensure the survival of his species. A sequel to Man of Steel, much like the sequels to the original Superman back in the eighties, could have explored Superman’s relationship with his Kryptonian roots, not to mention with his biological father.