We’re still a couple of years off from the release of The Man of Steel, the sequel to 2006’s Superman Returns. Obviously, nothing’s definite yet on this film. Even the title is tentative. For most of its production, after all, Superman Returns was titled Red Sun.
Anything and everything is still subject to change. Which means this is the most creative time for the movie, when potential is still limitless. Before the rumors start flying in full force, I want to toss around some of my own concepts and thoughts on the next Superman movie. Think of it as my Superman movie wish list.
I’m pretty sure producer and director Bryan Singer doesn’t read The Film Frontier. After Superman Returns, I’m confident he’s going to make a fantastic sequel, so he doesn’t need to read this anyway. As for the rest of you, you’re stuck here. Just remember that all ideas and concepts presented in this article are pure fan speculation.
It’s time for Clark to grow up. We saw a bit of this near the end of Superman Returns, such as when he was talking with his son, Jason (Jay-El). The Kryptonian crystals are gone (presumably in orbit on New Krypton), so Clark is left to his own devices now.
And that’s how it should be for the movie, too. Like Clark and the crystals, the Superman movies must now put Richard Donner and Christopher Reeve behind them. Superman Returns was an incredible tribute to both of them. But it’s time for this version of the Superman myth to fully establish its own identity.
One step towards distinguishing this film from previous entries is overhauling the Fortress of Solitude. The Fortress of the movies, to this point, has essentially existed only to house the crystals — providing a means for Clark to “communicate” with his long-dead Kryptonian parents. Now that the crystals are gone, it’s a perfect time for Clark to do some redecorating.
In the comic books, the Fortress usually seems to be more of a museum than anything else (though it now includes crystal interaction with a bearded man who looks nothing like any previous rendering of Jor-El but, apparently, is, in fact, him).
In future movies, I’d rather see it as a highly advanced base of operations. A Superman command center, if you will. Let’s see a mixture of Earth and Kryptonian technologies, as it only makes sense that Clark would draw from both. Since Luthor knows the location (he’s been there at least three times now), it may be time to move the Fortress or otherwise hide its continued existence.
Brandon Routh did a great job in Superman Returns of finding his own middle ground between the bumbling Clark Kent disguise established by Christopher Reeve and the sophisticated Clark Kent as portrayed by Dean Cain.
One of Singer’s nice touches was that he made Lois Lane nearly oblivious to Clark. Five years is a long time, and whatever professional relationship they once established was obviously gone by the time Clark returned. He has a lot of work to do.
For The Man of Steel, I’d like to see the beginnings of a return to that professional relationship. I’d also like to see a bit of the competitiveness that has traditionally existed between the characters in the comic books and various other incarnations.
In Superman Returns, Singer makes it obvious that Clark (in Metropolis, anyway) is the disguise, while “Superman” (including Clark in Smallville) is the true identity. And that’s fine but in emphasizing that point, a lot of the journalistic aspects of Clark are lost. I’d like to see a bit more of the Daily Planet/reporter stuff this time around. Perhaps that’s the Lois & Clark fan in me talking, though.
As for a personal relationship with Lois, Clark obviously has a lot of work to do there, too. The question is, does he want to? While he still loves Lois, there is no good way for him to interrupt her relationship with the seemingly perfect Richard White. For the time being, Clark may be stuck on the outside looking in.
I don’t think this aspect will or should be resolved in the next movie, though. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lois either marries Richard in the course of the movie or is already married to him by the time the film begins. Clark and Lois belong together, but it’s going to take awhile to get there — Superman Returns III at the earliest.
How will Singer eventually get Richard out of the way? I’m betting he’ll die a heroic death, possibly near the end of The Man of Steel. This won’t immediately open the door for Clark, of course, and in fact could add another layer of complexity to re-establishing the relationship.
Another possible out for the Richard character is to turn him into a villain. We’ve already seen the beginnings of his jealousy towards Superman, just a nudge or two more could reveal the uglier side of the “perfect” Richard. This would almost be too convenient of an out, though.
Let’s not forget that Clark, too, revealed a great deal of jealousy in Superman Returns. Turning nice-guy Richard into a villain may be too cynical for a Superman movie, and make things way too easy for Clark.
Should Jay-El go the way of Jar Jar? Who should be The Man of Steel‘s “Khan”? Find out in two weeks by reading the exciting conclusion of “Bryan Singer For A Day.” Same Bat-time, same Bat-place!