There’s no doubt that Hollywood works under its own rules, hence Man of Steel 2 being stuck in the Phantom Zone for seven years. While director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill and Amy Adams, didn’t make the crazy Marvel money on the big screen, the film is constantly cited—for better or worse—as one of the most talked-about superhero films of all time.
In 2020, Henry Cavill made an appearance on Snyder’s Man of Steel rewatch on Vero where the Snyder Cut of Justice League was officially announced. Fans expected the actor to confirm his participation in future Superman films but were left disappointed by the lack of clarity in terms of his future.
It’s nothing new, though, as there’s been constant speculation that The Witcher star has hung up the red cape for good.
Of course, seeing Henry Cavill get behind the Snyder Cut only made fans long for his Superman in a Man of Steel 2 movie even more. There’s no doubt that he’s become synonymous with the part and the audience would like nothing more than to see him tackle the role of Clark Kent / Superman one more time. While there are rumours that he could appear as the Man of Steel in various cameos across the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), the actor deserves more than a guest appearance in films.
Considering the state of the world right now, there’s a need for hope and optimism. Created by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, Superman has long been the symbol of hope, courage and faith. He’s the one hero who could easily make the world bend to his whim, yet he chooses to be what Earth needs him to be. In many ways, he’s the prototype of what a superhero should be: Someone who puts his own needs after the greater good of everyone else.
Unfortunately, a recent report suggested that Warner Bros. Pictures doesn’t have faith in Henry Cavill leading his own Superman film or Man of Steel 2. While the news item doesn’t cite any legitimate sources and sounds more like speculation than fact, it’d be a shame if it’s the truth.
At this point in his career, Cavill has established himself as a bankable actor, with starring roles in Mission: Impossible – Fallout and The Witcher. While DC and Warner Bros. are doing better than what they were in 2017, losing someone of Cavill’s calibre and star quality would hurt. The actor who replaces him as Superman will have pretty big shoes to fill and be met with much scepticism.
One thing that history has taught us is that people mellow over time. There seems to be a renewed interest in the DCEU, the Snyderverse and Henry Cavill’s Superman in Man of Steel 2, and Warner Bros. should take note of it. If anything, he deserves one last hurrah as Big Blue. Nothing lasts forever, but the world needs a Man of Steel 2 more than ever.
Superman & Lois Proves Man of Steel 2 Could Happen
It’s strange how the internet works. A few months ago, fans were saying Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman was a jobber for Supergirl and the live-action TV series would be One Tree Hill with capes. Then, The CW’s Superman & Lois arrived and everyone was paying attention again.
The reason for all the interest? Because it looks so similar to Man of Steel’s aesthetic, as if it took direct inspiration from Zack Snyder’s 2013 film (which was produced by Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder, Zack’s wife). Amazing how that conversation has changed as well, right?
When Man of Steel soared into theatres, there was an outcry about its interpretation of Superman. The colour-grading was too muted, the Zod neck snap was wrong, the costume was not blue enough, Clark Kent didn’t smile enough, and where were the traditional red underpants?
The “not-muh-Superman” gang lost endless years of sleep and potential lovers as they lambasted the film for not being the version of the character they wanted. Yet, in the time since its release, opinions towards the movie have softened as the audience recognises it was actually a pretty good comic book movie.
As a result of this swing in emotion, the pleas for Man of Steel 2 have multiplied, with many hoping for Henry Cavill’s Big Blue to make a comeback in his own solo film. With all the endless drama and upheaval at Warner Bros., though, no one knows if this will ever happen.
In Warner Bros.’ mind, the fans don’t want Superman. The studio thinks this because not a lot of people showed up for Man of Steel. But times are different now and tastes have changed. Maybe the comic book movie audience is more mature now and recognises that the MCU isn’t the only way to make films and there’s room for different-looking features.
While most fans would rather see a Superman film than a TV show (or TV shows), the latter might be the way to convince the studio that there’s still interest in the iconic hero.
Superman Villains We Want In Man of Steel 2
If there ever is a Man of Steel 2, who would be the villain to challenge Superman? Would they be a single entity or a villainous team? Who could go against Henry Cavill’s Superman next?
Here are our picks for who could be used as the DC villain or villains in a Man of Steel sequel.
10. General Sam Lane
General Sam Lane, the father of Lois Lane, is not an outright villain but his disdain for meta-humans and for Superman could be an inspiration for Man of Steel 2.
The General’s blind zeal against Superman could see him team with a true villain like Lex Luthor or Metallo. Believing the ends justify the means, General Lane could go too far. The tension between Lois, Clark and her father could be the dramatic glue holding the film together.
In modern comics, Mongul is only slightly weaker than Superman. They could go toe-to-toe against one another, offering epic battle scenes. Man of Steel 2 could have the evil warlord teleport Superman to Warworld, Mongul’s war planet. Superman would be forced to fight as one of Mongul’s gladiators. This gladiator premise would only have to be a slight focus of the film though, otherwise comparisons to Thor: Ragnarok would be heard forever.
Mongul is an enemy of Hal Jordan as well. Perhaps Green Lantern could be reintroduced in Man of Steel 2. Imagine Hal joining Superman in a galactic space battle against the warlord. The Black Mercy, a hallucinogenic, magic, alien plant that gives its victims their every desire is one of Mongul’s favourite weapons.
A sequel could touch on The Man Who Has Everything storyline where Superman falls prey to Mongul and the Black Mercy.
Metallo, the cyborg with kryptonite power source in his heart, is one of Superman’s most iconic foes. Depending on which comics you read, John Corby is either a journalist, petty thief or a soldier under command of General Sam Lane.
Metallo can offer a real threat to Superman in Man of Steel 2. It’s debatable if he would be used as the only villain or if General Lane and Lex Luthor would be pulling the strings behind the scenes.
It’s tricky to include Darkseid for the sequel. Zack Snyder’s Justice League teased the villain’s plan to head to Earth. Of course, if he were to feature in a sequel it would force a Justice League War storyline. For Darkseid to re-emerge as a threat much groundwork before Man of Steel 2 would have to be laid. The epic nature of a Superman, Darkseid battle would be the stuff of dreams.
There are several versions of the character but what they all have in common is the ability to temporarily absorb the life-energy, superpowers and knowledge of their victim. The most popular adaptation has Rudy Jones as Parasite, his latest live-action appearance being in the CW’s Supergirl series.
In Batman v Superman (2016), Zack Snyder or Warner Brothers dived in too deep with Doomsday. They could have used him for one of the sequels to Man of Steel. They took out the big guns too early in Superman’s arc. Having bitten off more than they can chew, the studio should lower the stakes, simplify the story and use a less high-profile villain like Parasite.
Though less of a threat than Doomsday or Darkseid, Parasite can still challenge Superman, due to his abilities to neuter and mimic his abilities and extraordinary powers.
Neil Quinn a.k.a. Ulysses was created by Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr in Men of Tomorrow. As a boy, Ulysses’ parents thought the Earth was doomed. To save him, they sent him into the fourth dimension. Once there, he developed superpowers.
Ulysses and Superman have similar origin stories and in Men of Tomorrow they start off as kindred spirits. The friends have a falling out. Although they share much in common, their views and understanding of the world and of humanity could not be further apart.
Adapting Ulysses for Man of Steel 2 could see the exploration of Ulysses’ fourth dimension homeworld. The budding friendship between Clark and Neil could be used to simplify and ground the storyline. Any Man of Steel sequel might have to scale things down after Batman v Superman and Justice League.
Clark and Neil’s disparate world views could be used to further show the alien, Kal-El’s love for humanity. His heroism contrasted against Ulysses’ betrayal and abuse of power.
4. Vandal Savage
Savage is not one of Superman’s primary adversaries, but Vandal’s presence is all over the Earth. His wicked schemes forever fomenting strife and suffering. Vandal’s immortality and constant manipulation of world events means he has incredible potential as an onscreen villain.
In Superman #50, Vandal discovers from the Krypton archives in the Fortress of Solitude that Superman’s ancestors caused Vandals creation when they deflected a comet heading for Krypton. The meteorite crashed on Earth instead, transforming a pre-historic Neanderthal into Vandal Savage.
Vandal’s disdain for Superman springs from the hero’s affection for humanity. Instead of enslaving humanity and ruling over them, Superman humbles himself and serves them. In Savages’ eyes, it should be the other way around. Exploring these concepts while including a few other heroes like Flash or Green Lantern, sounds quite exciting for Man of Steel 2.
3. Manchester Black
Manchester Black is a powerful supervillain sometimes antihero. He has telepathic and telekinetic abilities can read and control minds and cast illusions. Black is a leader of a super-powered vigilante gang, called The Elite, who dole out extreme forms of justice which are often at odds with the merciful approach of Superman and the other heroes.
The animated film Superman vs. The Elite is based on What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and The American Way? This comic explores Superman’s moral and ethical struggles. Manchester Black’s telepathic abilities would look really cool on film and his merciless justice would create the dramatic tension needed to explore Superman’s high ideals and why they are so important for inspiring Hope.
2. Lex Luthor
There is no Superman without Lex Luthor. Unfortunately, Batman v Superman toyed too much with Lex’s character. Jesse Eisenberg’s interpretation didn’t work and his casting as Lex was questionable.
If Lex were to return as a villain in Man of Steel 2, he would have to be re-cast or Eisenberg would have to change his approach depicting the character. Lex could team with General Sam Lane or Brainiac to destroy Superman. A deeper study of Lex and his insane genius would also have to be explored.
Fans are rabid for Brainiac to appear on film. Geoff Johns’ Brainiac storyline in Action Comics is an obvious reference for any Superman film featuring the alien A.I. Supergirl features prominently in it as well. She could appear with Superman on film and help fight against Brainiac. Lex could also feature, as he puts himself at Brainiac’s disposal, hoping to gain greater knowledge and power while defeating Superman.
Superman has a varied rogues gallery which is often overlooked for film — Lex Luthor and General Zod being the two villains used most extensively. The damage done to the DCEU after Batman v Superman and Justice League has affected Superman and Man of Steel sequels, necessitating more traditional, straightforward villains-not that any of them are boring or lacking in any way.
Weirder characters like Bizarro and Mr. Mxyzptlk probably can’t be used just yet.
Jesse Eisenberg Probably Won’t Return As Lex
Jesse Eisenberg has opened up about the possibility of returning as Lex Luthor in Man of Steel 2.
It’s no secret that his portrayal of icon villain Lex Luthor in the DCEU’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was met with polarising reactions.
While some enjoyed the different take on the popular character, most fans would have preferred a Lex more in line with the comic books. Given his cameo at the end of Justice League, it was safe to assume that Eisenberg would be returning for future films, perhaps even Man of Steel 2. However, it seems Jesse doesn’t believe that to be true.
In a recent interview with ComicBookMovie, while promoting his upcoming film Zombieland: Double Tap, Jesse Eisenberg sat down alongside co-star Woody Harrelson to discuss their respective comic book characters. When asked if they knew when they’d appear next, Harrelson responded with a “yes”. Jesse, however, seemed uncertain: “Different venues. I will say, quite confidently, different venues. His will be, like, kind of a movie that people go to and mine will be in my living room that people occasionally go to but mostly one at a time.”
While it’s obvious that Eisenberg was joking, it also seems pretty clear that he was well aware of the negative feedback regarding his portrayal. In fact, it seems like he has accepted that his time as Lex Luthor is pretty much over.
Again, in a different interview with ComicBookMovie, Jesse Eisenberg confirmed that while he is interested in returning, the studio probably wouldn’t be keen. “You know, my background is in theatre where you do a play 200 times and you feel like you’re just getting the hang of it by the last performance. I would love to play any character again. After a movie ends, the actors usually turn to each other and say, ‘Oh, now I finally know what I’m doing and I understand what my purpose [was].’ Actors, in my experience, do like playing roles again but that particular one is just not up to me. I’m sure I could do a one-man show somewhere but no one would, you know…”
There’s no doubt that after Justice League‘s “failure”, Warner Bros. has completely changed direction with the franchise, doing away with a lot of their plans for a cinematic universe. Instead, the studio seems to be focusing their attention on doing good solo films, like Joker.
That said, should there be a Man of Steel 2, or any form of continuation with the Superman story, there’d need to be a Lex Luthor present. It’s just not plausible to have a Superman film without Lex looming around somewhere in the dark.
A photo taken on the set of the Batgirl movie suggests Lex Luthor is still in prison, in reference to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This probably means that Zack Snyder’s Justice League ending is being disregarded.
Characters That Will Definitely Return for Man of Steel 2
A Superman story isn’t a Superman story without the world’s core characters. You can expect to see Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Harry Lennix as General Swanwick, and maybe even Russell Crowe as Jor-El and Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent.
The Rock’s Black Adam MUST Fight Henry Cavill’s Superman
It would be the ultimate showdown: The Rock’s Black Adam vs Henry Cavill’s Superman in Man of Steel 2.
It took many tries and its fair share of trial and error, but it seems like the DCEU is finally taking shape. Well, kind of. While it might not be as solid as the MCU yet, it seems like the chaotic nature of the DCEU might be the reason why there are so many unpredictable events happening each week.
One of such unpredictable events was the overnight sensation that was 2019’s Shazam! A movie that was almost certainly expected to fail became one of the DCEU’s most solid instalments, sparking its own sub-series within the larger cinematic universe.
Surprisingly, the second film in this series won’t be Shazam! 2, but an adaptation of Black Adam starring none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson<. However, Black Adam is unlike any of the former “heroes” of the DC Universe, and his status as a good guy in the DCEU remains to be confirmed. A superpowered juggernaut like Black Adam deserves a properly epic showdown – and there’s only one hero in the entirety of DC Comics that could provide us with this combat for the ages: Superman. And not just any Supes will do. No, we want Henry Cavill's Superman to come back for a tussle with The Rock’s Black Adam.
First things first: who exactly is Black Adam? One of DC’s most formidable supervillains, Black Adam can usually be found duking it out against Captain Marvel (that’s Shazam’s name in the comics) and the rest of the Marvel Family. At least, that was his original character.
Like much of the DC comics universe, Black Adam has seen his origin story and status as a supervillain revised in recent years. He’s still not a nice guy – far from it –, but, at the very least, he’s now considered an “antihero” by some other DC characters.
Possessing many of Shazam’s abilities, Black Adam is truly a force to be reckoned with. Even the Man of Steel would have a hard time fighting him, as he harnesses magic powers, which, alongside green kryptonite, is Superman’s other major weakness (as established in 1964’s Superman #171.)
Having Dwayne Johnson as one of the DCEU’s major players is a heavy blow for the MCU. Now’s the chance for DC to show that they can still capture the zeitgeist of the superhero film phenomenon, and there’s no better way to do that than with a proper crossover event.
Even though the status of Henry Cavill in the DCEU seems nebulous at best, there’s still a chance that we might see him reprise his role in the upcoming The Flash film. More than just another solo movie, this Flash is set to be a turning point for the future of the DCEU, as it could introduce the concept of multiple realities to the cinematic universe.
If there’s one thing that we can all agree on is that Henry Cavill’s Superman didn’t get all the proper solo films he deserved. Making an appearance in the upcoming Black Addam film would be a great way to reintroduce his character to the DCEU, especially because a DC universe without Superman is unthinkable.
Considering the live-action version of Billy Batson, aka Shazam, looked up to Superman as an idol of sorts in Shazam! That could be the perfect segway to tie the narratives of both the Marvel Family and the Man of Steel together. In the end, we would get two things fans have been waiting for for a long time: a proper superpowered anti-hero DC film, and the return of Henry Cavill as Superman.
Black Adam vs Superman in Man of Steel 2 just makes so much sense.
Fans Picked Director In Unofficial Poll
In 2016, Collider posted a poll that allowed fans to pick a director for the Superman sequel, Man of Steel 2. The top five might surprise you.
Collider listed 30 directors and gave fans the choice of voting for who they thought would make a great director for the upcoming Superman film.
The list of possible directors for Man of Steel 2:
Josh Trank – Fantastic Four, Chronicle
George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road, Babe: Pig in the City
Brad Bird – The Incredibles, Tomorrowland
Matthew Vaughn – X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service
Susanne Bier – The Night Manager
Michelle MacLaren – Breaking Bad
Lorene Scafaria – Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Joss Whedon – The Avengers, Serenity
Bennett Miller – Moneyball, Foxcatcher
Phil Lord and Chris Miller – The LEGO Movie, 21 Jump Street
Francis Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, I Am Legend
Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker
Damien Chazelle – Whiplash
Alex Garland – Ex Machina
Denis Villeneuve – Sicario, Prisoners
Pete Docter – Up, Inside Out
Jeff Nichols – Mud, Midnight Special
Drew Goddard – The Cabin in the Woods
Jonathan Levine – Warm Bodies, The Night Before
Christopher McQuarrie – Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Jack Reacher
Jennifer Kent – The Babadook
Steven Soderbergh – Ocean’s Eleven, Contagion
Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer – Stranger Things
David Michôd — The Rover, Animal Kingdom
Cary Fukunaga – True Detective, Beasts of No Nation
F. Gary Gray — The Italian Job, Straight Outta Compton
Zack Snyder — Man of Steel, 300
The fans have spoken and chosen George Miller as the winner with a whopping 33% of the vote. In second place was Brad Bird with 11 percent. Matthew Vaughn took third place with 8%. Zack Snyder only managed to come in fourth, which isn’t that bad considering the amount of talent on the list. Surprisingly, Joss Whedon placed fifth as a potential director for Man of Steel 2.
Man of Steel 2 and JJ Abrams – A Match Made in Heaven?
The news that J.J. Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot, signed a wide-ranging deal with WarnerMedia for $250 million is huge. It’s a massive deal, leaving no doubt that Warner Bros. trusts the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director to tackle its biggest blockbusters and IPs – perhaps even the long-awaited Man of Steel 2.
In 2019, rumours circulated that Abrams was set to helm the Superman franchise. Now, with the news of the Warner-Bad Robot deal being official, it isn’t outside of the realm of possibility.
It might be a bit premature to speculate, but all the signs are pointing to him taking on a colossal DC property – and with Matt Reeves on Batman, Superman is the next logical step. JJ Abrams might have sights on Man of Steel 2.
What most people don’t realise is that Abrams is a Superman fan, having written a script for Superman: Flyby in 2002. For years, he tried to get the project off the ground, with either himself or others as the director, but it was finally scrapped in 2006 for Superman Returns.
Since then, Abrams has gone on to establish himself as an A-list film-maker in Hollywood. He’s successfully helmed both the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises, becoming a darling of the studios (for the money his films bring in) and a popular director among the viewers in the process.
He has established a clout that not many directors possess and is able to tell a studio which project he’d like to tackle and when. And judging by the fact that he’s recently contributed to a Spider-Man comic book series along with his son, it’s evident that the genre is still top of mind for him.
A J.J. Abrams Man of Steel 2 film, starring Cavill, would certainly generate a lot of hype, and it’s something that a majority of film fans would love to see.
Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel Never Truly Got to Be Superman
Did we ever get to see Henry Cavill become the Superman he was intended to be in the DCEU? As Zack Snyder explained, his character arc is incomplete. A Man of Steel 2 movie would probably have seen our beloved hero become the superhero/saviour he was meant to be.
If there’s one thing that the DCEU still hasn’t gotten precisely right, that would be the way it develops its characters. The sudden release of 2017’s Justice League meant that the DCEU had to act first and ask questions later with most of its characters, including Batman and Superman.
The rushed nature of the DCEU’s storytelling never gave Cavill time to shine as the Last Son of Krypton. However, this could be the beginning of a new era for the DCEU, and Henry Cavill’s career as Superman.
One of the reasons why Cavill’s portrayal of the Man of Steel was such a hit among fans has to do with how well he looks the part. Standing at 1.85 meters tall, Henry Cavill is an imposing figure, especially when compared with the rest of his Justice League co-stars. Well, except for Jason Momoa, of course.
Aside from his chiselled face, Cavill also has the physique to nail the look of a superhuman. While he might not be as over the top as someone like Dwayne Johnson, Cavill’s build look more in line with the Superman character than Christopher Reeve, or even Tom Welling.
However, looking like the Man of Steel isn’t enough to be the Man of Steel. Even though Cavill’s Clark Kent had his chance to establish a well-developed relationship with his foster father in Man of Steel, the emotional side of his version of Superman is left a bit stunted.
Perhaps one of the worst omissions of the DCEU’s version of Superman is that he has never fought against some of the Man of Steel’s most iconic villains – at least, not properly.
The emotional connection between Luthor and Henry Cavill’s Superman is nearly nonexistent. And it would take a lot of talent to turn someone like Eisenberg into a threatening villain. When you have one of the most famous Superman villains in such a bad state, you hardly have a Superman mythos to speak of.
That might be the main reason why Henry Cavill never feels like a real Superman: his struggles always seem to be part of the battles of a bigger team. Only his confrontation against General Zod could be considered somewhat personal – and even then, it felt more like a forced encounter than anything else.
Whichever way you look at it, the basics for a solid Superman are everywhere to be seen in the DCEU. The only thing left to do is to give Henry Cavill another chance at a solo Superman film.
Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman got two films, and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman is on his way to getting a sequel. There’s no reason why Henry Cavill shouldn’t get the chance to play Kal-El once more, especially since fans have been so supportive of his performance.
That said, the future looks a bit grim for this version of Superman. Only time will tell if we’ll get to see a new actor donning the red and blue suit of the Man of Steel.
Let’s hope we finally get to see Henry Cavill‘s Superman save a cat from a tree or help an old lady across the road. We need that charm to return to superhero movies.
Most importantly, we need a new Superman movie.