Projected movie releases in the DC Extended Universe have been quite plainly mapped out for the next five years, however, there are a couple of projects that are not yet set in stone, one of these is a Man of Steel 2, or at least the next instalment of the Man of Steel storyline. However, given the mixed, if we are being generous, reception of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and the muddled attempts to try and incorporate so many characters at once and progress their stories simultaneously, how about a different angle. I am referring to the idea of making the next step in the Superman movie series not actually a Superman movie, how about taking a super villain’s perspective?
I would actually like to single out Lex Luthor for such a role, this is because Lex is a unique super villain, in that his only ability, truthfully, is his incredible intellect. He is also arguably Superman’s greatest foe which is a truly incredible feat for someone with no recognisable superhuman powers, up against THE superhero. However, this is what would make such a movie so entertaining and a complete refresh for the genre, not simply because it would be seen from the bad guys perspective but because it could quite easily be made into a thriller rather than a simple action movie. Lex is all about manoeuvring and being one step ahead, it would be a fantastic spectacle to watch him concoct and execute a devilish strategy and constantly be ahead of his rival. The duality of his nature would also be better explored in a dedicated setting, his public persona behind which he hides and the darker and twisted obsession with being the best and eradicating those who he perceives to challenge him.
It would also force the audience to think and engage with the movie in a way they wouldn’t have had to do so before, making them engrossed in everything that happens because you could miss something which is central to Lex Luthor’s thinking. Challenging the audience and ask…are you as bright as me?
Lex Luthor could be THE bad guy for the Justice League to take down, but instead of saving his appearance until later, like Marvel have done with their big bad, they could show off how brilliant he is now and build and develop the character, even tempt the audience to like him. Lex notoriously plays the long game and his story involves a long standing obsession with bringing down superheroes, so understanding this element of frustration in his character may require a view from his perspective and a longer story arc than just showing up on queue.
The fact is, people have been left a little frustrated with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and with there being no end in sight to the flood of superhero movies DC/Warner may need to act fast in order to retain interest not just in the genre but their own characters as this movie was meant to lay down a marker to Marvel that DC had arrived on the scene and were ready to compete for the hearts and minds of fans. However, this intent now seems to be wavering. Nevertheless, there is an opportunity here, if they so wish to take it, to do something unique and exploit a weakness in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in that they have very few convincing, let alone lasting, super villains, whereas DC have some of the most well known and the most layered and interesting in all of comic books. They have to do something new, because the road ahead looks like a long one for fans, that may last longer if the output isn’t up to expectations, so change it up DC and use all the tools in your arsenal.
That’s my two cents on a prospective Man of Steel 2 and how DC could make the genre more interesting I hope it was of value to you. What do you think about the DC Extended Universe? Does it need a Man of Steel 2, would you like one? How about a villain led plot? For Superman or Batman perhaps? Thanks for the read and let me know your heroes perspective.