Warner Bros. has been teasing a sequel to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel – a proper one – for years, but so far, nothing has been confirmed. Christopher McQuarrie recently revealed that he pitched one to the studio that they turned down.
Based on the direction that the DC Extended Universe is headed in and the fact that contract negotiations with Henry Cavill over the role of Kal-El always seem to be on the rocks, the sequel may never happen. Some fans really want it; others don’t. Here are 5 Reasons We Need Man Of Steel 2 (And 5 Why We Don’t).
10 Need it: It could fix the first one’s problems
While it wasn’t a terrible movie by a long stretch, there were certainly a lot of problems with Man of Steel. For starters, it was all dark and gloomy and Christopher Nolan-y, which was the wrong look and feel for a Superman movie (Fox’s 2015 Fantastic Four reboot made the same mistake).
Also, making the Kents a pair of miserable pessimists who want to shroud their son’s powers at the expense of drowning schoolchildren and, as a result, turning Clark himself into a moody, angsty Holden Caulfield type who didn’t see the point in heroism, was all wrong. A sequel could fix those problems.
9 Don’t need it: A complete reboot would be better
In recent years, the DCEU has been finding its feet with lighter, more optimistic movies starring heroes like Aquaman and Shazam, moving away from the grim tone set by Zack Snyder in Man of Steel. Superman needs a movie that’s more in line with James Wan’s Aquaman than Snyder’s early DCEU entries.
Perhaps the DCEU’s solo Superman franchise is better off starting from scratch than dragging out its current mediocrity. Henry Cavill doesn’t need to be replaced – he’s got the geeky charm and heroic confidence to play the perfect Superman – but everything else about Man of Steel (its plot, its characterization, its tone) could do with a reboot.
8 Need it: The DCEU needs a proper Superman movie
Man of Steel didn’t feel like a true Superman movie, because a huge chunk of it was dedicated to his origin story and when he did get into action, he was inexperienced and didn’t really know what he was doing.
The DCEU needs a proper Superman movie, where Clark Kent has figured out his purpose (to be a hero – not that complicated) and can spend the movie building a close, personal relationship with one of the great as-yet-unused villains from the comics. There still hasn’t been a really great Superman movie starring Superman as we know him in the age of big-budget blockbusters.
7 Don’t need it: The DCEU has shifted its focus to other characters
Although the DC Extended Universe started off with DC’s most popular characters like Superman and Batman, it didn’t find true success until it shifted the focus to lesser-known characters like Aquaman, Shazam, and the Suicide Squad. Man of Steel might have been the springboard for the whole franchise, but it doesn’t seem like Warner Bros. is interested in using Superman as the anchor holding it all together anymore.
Frankly, if the studio wants to focus all of its attention on the characters that make the DCEU work, like Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, they won’t get many complaints from fans.
6 Need it: The first one has a lot of unresolved storylines
Man of Steel was clearly created as the first chapter in a franchise. Although we still have yet to see a direct sequel, some of the storylines set up by the first one have been continued or paid off in subsequent DCEU movies. Still, a lot of them have been left untouched, and the others have yet to provide closure.
Kal-El’s romance with Lois Lane, Clark’s relationship with his mother (“Save Martha!”), and the question Supes keeps asking himself (“Does the world need Superman?”) have all been left open-ended and need to be followed up. Man of Steel 2 would present the perfect opportunity for this.
5 Don’t need it: Batman v Superman already was Man of Steel 2
Batman v Superman was conceived by Warner Bros. to be the sequel to Man of Steel, and in many ways, although it was mostly told from the perspective of Bruce Wayne and viewed Superman as a public figure as opposed to up close and personal, it is exactly that.
It followed up on the events of Man of Steel by showing the destructive effects of the final battle with General Zod on the people of Metropolis and world’s response to the existence of Superman (hero or menace!?), so it was essentially a sequel to that movie. If we’ve already seen Man of Steel 2, regardless of whether or not any of us liked it, then there’s no need for another one.
4 Need it: Superman hasn’t properly processed his death and resurrection
In the wider DCEU, since the events of Man of Steel, Superman has been impaled on a Kryptonite blade by Doomsday, killed in cold blood, buried and mourned by the world, and resurrected by a Mother Box.
Superman hardly got any screen time in Justice League, so he hasn’t really had a chance to process the fact that he died and came back to life. A Man of Steel sequel could explore this. It would be a great internal conflict to add some emotional layers to the action and it would also present an interesting acting challenge for Henry Cavill.
3 Don’t need it: The tone is all wrong
The tone of Man of Steel was clearly influenced by The Dark Knight (and even its title is a rip-off, using the hero’s little-known nickname to make it sound less comic book-y), but while that tone worked wonderfully for Christopher Nolan’s take on the powerless, street-level vigilante that is Batman, it just doesn’t suit Superman.
You can’t make a grounded, gritty, realistic movie about an alien who can fly and has X-ray vision. Lord knows Zack Snyder tried, but whereas Nolan punctuated his dark style with dark substance, Man of Steel is all flash. It’s a hollow shell – and it’s the wrong shell.
2 Need it: There are plenty more Superman stories to explore
If there’s no Man of Steel sequel and the DCEU is charging forwards with rebooted franchises and new takes on characters, then that makes it seem like it’ll be a long time before we see Superman on the big screen again, and that would be a great tragedy.
There are many beloved Superman villains that have yet to be portrayed on the silver screen – Brainiac, Metallo, Mister Mxyzptlk etc. – and there are a ton of iconic storylines left to explore. For example, it would be awesome to see a Man of Steel sequel take us to Bizarro World. Henry Cavill as Bizarro Superman opposite himself as regular Superman would be incredible!
1 Don’t need it: No one is really begging for it
There are plenty of movies that fans are begging to see sequels to – Dredd, Kill Bill, Step Brothers – but Man of Steel just isn’t one of them. There’s a minute community of fans that connected with Zack Snyder’s Randian, objectivist take on Superman who wouldn’t mind seeing him again, but there are no trending hashtags or online petitions campaigning for a Man of Steel sequel.
The 2013 original grossed around $668 million at the worldwide box office, which is impressive, but not astounding, and it has a half-decent 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Most of the moviegoers who did see the first one can’t even remember what happened in it.