Warner Bros./DC fast-tracked development on the sequel to Man of Steel even before director Zack Snyder’s Superman franchise reboot had opened in theaters. However, it wasn’t until the 2013 Comic-Con when everyone found out that another staple DC superhero will make an appearance in the film: Batman, to be exact. The Caped Crusader won’t just make a throwaway cameo in the sequel, either, based on the announcement – by returning screenwriter David S. Goyer – that the official title for Man of Steel 2 will probably be Batman Vs. Superman (or possibly Superman Vs. Batman).
The new Bruce Wayne could make things complicated for Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) in both his work and in his personal life, especially if Goyer’s script takes its cues from some of the most famous Batman/Superman stories that’ve been told in the past. For example, in the World’s Finest animated movie (released in 1997), Wayne begins a relationship with Kent’s fellow Daily Planet journalist and romantic interest, Lois Lane – who, in that universe, is still oblivious about her co-worker’s real identity.
MAN OF STEEL SPOILERS AHEAD!
Things are going to be different in the Man of Steel sequel, if only because Snyder and Goyer’s take on the Superman mythos changes things up – so that Lois (Amy Adams) is well-aware that Clark Kent and Kal-El are, in fact, one and the same – that is, before Clark starts to work at the Daily Planet. Cavill spoke with IGN just before the Batman/Superman announcement at Comic-Con, so the site didn’t have a chance to pick his brains about the Clark/Lois/Bruce dynamic in the film.
Nonetheless, Cavill did address the benefits of having Lois know who Clark really is (logistically-speaking):
“I think it’s essential [for Lois to know Clark's secret] because if we’re trying to base it reality, there’s no way that Lois has these direct interactions with Superman, and then doesn’t recognize Clark sitting next to her in the office. If she falls in love with Superman, and she’s ignoring a guy who looks just like Superman, behaves just like him, and has the same kind of mannerisms and behavior, then what does that say about Lois? I like this relationship. She saves him just as much as he saves her.”
Goyer’s Man of Steel script included a couple scenes that established how Lois was a pivotal factor in Kal-El’s decision to make himself visible to the public’s eye; not to mention, she provided him with emotional support when he killed General Zod. However, while the pair are on more equal footing from an emotional perspective, when IGN asked Cavill if he wanted Clark and Lois to be more equals, he responded:
“More equals? Well… Can you be equal in power to Superman? I don’t know.”
The interviewer then clarified they meant in terms of emotional power, to which Cavill added (while pausing to think for a moment):
“Yes, absolutely, but [brief pause] 100 percent.”
Cavill’s response calls attention to a simple truth about Superman: no matter how emotionally-vulnerable he becomes, he is still a super-powered alien who is without an equal on Earth (as far as pure strength and physical power goes). That is why Snyder’s indicated that the Man of Steel sequel will address the fallout from the first movie - rather than attempt to top its predecessor in terms of pure world-destroying spectacle (by pitting Kal-El against another equally-powerful opponent). Instead, it sounds as though the sequel will challenge Supe on a more personal/psychological level, with the addition of a character like Batman.
Similarly, Cavill assured IGN that the comparatively light-hearted final minutes from Man of Steel do not foreshadow a more jokey tone in the sequel:
“It wasn’t necessarily a comic effect that I was going for. I mean, I’m not looking at it from your perspective — how you see it — when I’m playing a character. I’m looking at it from a character’s personal experience, and what he’s going through internally. And at that stage of the story, he’s finally reached the [point] where he can be himself. And someone’s in on his secret, so he’s not alone any more. And there’s a different kind of energy behind that. There’s no longer this sense of, ‘I’m alone. What do I do? And now there are aliens invading, who are my people, who want to destroy my planet, and the people I’ve come to love.’ It’s now moved on from that. And so I don’t see that as a chance to play comedy, I see it more as Superman evolving and coming into his own.”
Superman’s newfound confidence might not go over so well with Bruce Wayne, who will probably be less than trusting of a super-powered individual who flies around the planet and does whatever he feels is right (not after the destruction he caused in Man of Steel). Similarly, now that Lois knows Clark’s secret, the latter will have yet another person to answer to – whenever he makes a mistake or does anything questionable as Superman, that is. Could Batman therefore use the Clark-Lois relationship to his advantage in the Man of Steel sequel? (Short answer: it’s a definite possibility.)
Let us know how you think Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s relationship will come into play in the Man of Steel sequel, in the comments section of this article.
Man of Steel 2/Batman Vs. Superman is tentatively slated to reach theaters by Summer 2015.