With Henry Cavill returning as Superman, now is the chance for Man of Steel 2 to be the true Superman sequel that should have released before Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. For a long time, Man of Steel 2 looked destined to remain unmade, with the old DCEU regime showing little outward interest toward making a sequel, and Henry Cavill’s status as Superman frustratingly murky. Now officially branded as the “DCU,” the franchise finds itself under the new leadership, and Henry Cavill’s Superman return in Black Adam came as a delight to many.
Back in 2016, the then-DCEU decided against developing a proper Man of Steel sequel, instead forging ahead with Batman v Superman and the beleaguered Justice League. This reactionary tactic sought to play catch-up with the MCU, which had already enjoyed huge success with The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Instead of building slowly through individual DCEU solo films such as Man of Steel 2 and Aquaman, DC took the quick route toward a team-up, and the gamble didn’t pay off. With James Gunn and Peter Safran now overseeing the DCU and Henry Cavill back in his red underwear, that missed Man of Steel 2 opportunity can finally be rectified.
Why Man Of Steel Needs A True Sequel
To never see Henry Cavill don that iconic red cape in a starring role again would represent a huge cinematic superhero injustice. Considerably darker than other Superman movies, Man of Steel was intended as the start of a larger Superman journey, and you could even argue that Clark Kent only truly became Superman at the end of his debut outing. Leaping straight from Man of Steel to Batman v Superman short-changed Henry Cavill by failing to give his Superman the necessary room to develop, meaning the Justice League death and rebirth story rang hollow. Man of Steel 2 could provide that character growth.
Arguably the foremost reason Man of Steel still needs a true sequel in the DCU, however, is the huge popularity of Henry Cavill as Superman. Demand for Man of Steel 2 is almost as feverish as calls for the Justice League Snyder cut, and not nearly as outlandish a prospect. Cavill himself has expressed a desire to explore the more traditional, hopeful Superman persona audiences are familiar with, but due to the darkness of Batman v Superman and Justice League, fans rarely witnessed that aspect of his character come to fruition. Thanks to James Gunn leading the DCU, those character developments can now happen in Man of Steel 2.
What Could Man Of Steel 2’s Story Be?
One of the biggest challenges when conceptualizing a Superman movie is deciding which villain the hero must fight, since few enemies are as powerful as the great Kal-El. With that in mind, Black Adam could be Superman’s big threat in Man of Steel 2. The Black Adam post-credits scene heavily teases a coming clash between Superman and Black Adam; the only issue is whether that mighty showdown happens in Man of Steel 2, Black Adam 2, or a different DCU movie entirely. If Man of Steel 2 is indeed Henry Cavill’s next Superman appearance, the sequel would have little choice but to explore the fallout from his face-to-face with Black Adam.
Regardless of whether Superman fights Black Adam or a classic comic book antagonist such as Brainiac, Man of Steel 2 must continue the emotional journey that follows on from Superman’s brush with death. How a man already balancing two personas copes with dying against one villain only to come back and fight another must sit near the very top of Man of Steel 2‘s agenda. With James Gunn and Peter Safran now taking point at DC movies, anything is possible, and that includes making the Man of Steel 2 movie that should have released before Batman v Superman.