Despite over $650 million at the global box office, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel remains one of the most divisive superhero movies of recent years. Where many fans embraced the gritty take on Superman mythology, others simply could not get past the reckless destruction the Man of Steel and antagonist General Zod left in their wake. Based on the Batman V Superman trailer, it doesn’t sound as though the DC shared movie universe is going to ignore the destruction of Metropolis, or the danger the hero poses to mankind, but there’s no doubt that plenty of fans were (and will continue to be) put-off by aspects of Snyder’s reboot.
Yet, one part that most viewers did enjoy, regardless of how they felt about the full film, was the filmmaker’s portrayal of Kal-El’s father, Jor-El, Kryptonian society, and their doomed planet. Now, two years after the film’s release, actor Russell Crowe wants to return to his Jor-El role – for a Krypton-set prequel.
Speaking with MTV, Crowe stated that ever since he saw Snyder’s vision for Krypton, the actor was interested in exploring Jor-El’s backstory – and would be excited to reappear in the DC movie universe.
Check out the video from MTV below (followed by the prequel quote):
“What sparked my interest, once I saw how Zack was creating Krypton; it always sort of went through my mind: I’d like to see what made Jor-El Jor-El, what made him and Zod legendarily or folklorically friends. What split them apart? The philosophy that spilt them up. So, a prequel.”
While some viewers were put-off by where the Man of Steel movie ultimately landed (especially when it came to the death of General Zod), Crowe’s depiction of Jor-El was generally well-received – as was Michael Shannon’s Zod. As a result, the idea of a prequel film that followed Jor-El and Zod’s friendship and ultimate falling out would, for many moviegoers, be a welcome addition to the film universe – especially because it could also bring back fan-favorites Antje Traue as Faoral-Ul and Ayelet Zurer as Lara Lor-Van (Superman’s mother).
A prequel film would, obviously, not include the super-powered abilities bestowed upon Kryptonians on Earth but Snyder gave Jor-El enough slick fighting moves as well as interesting mythology (the codex), alien creatures (the H’Raka), and Kryptonian drama (the ruling counsel) to ensure a prequel could provide solid theatrics, world-building, and action (capable of satisfying moviegoers – even after multi-hero team-ups like Batman V Superman and Justice League).
That all said, the idea of a live-action exploration of Krypton isn’t entirely unrealistic – since it is already happening on the small screen. Man of Steel writer David S. Goyer is working with Syfy to tell the story of Superman’s grandfather – Jor-El’s father (a character that has not been prominently featured before).
While Krypton has yet to be ordered to series, it is only in the early stages of pilot development, Goyer released the following synopsis of what to expect:
Years before the Superman legend we know, the House of El was shamed and ostracized. This series follows The Man of Steel’s grandfather as he brings hope and equality to Krypton, turning a planet in disarray into one worthy of giving birth to the greatest Super Hero ever known.
Of course, Krypton isn’t the only House of El show in development – with CBS producing a weekly TV show based on Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El (read: Jor-El’s brother’s daughter). The takeaway here: a Man of Steel prequel isn’t an entirely crazy idea – as several storytellers are actively working to cash-in on characters connected to Superman.
We don’t know yet how Krypton or the Supergirl TV series will shape up but with a set of scene-stealing leads in Crowe and Shannon, a Man of Steel prequel might be the best shot modern viewers have at unpacking Superman’s family backstory in live-action – not to mention a quality standalone comic book story adaptation.
Of course, Crowe is just talking about a project he would enjoy doing – not teasing a film that is actually part of DC’s plans. Still, if we learned one thing from Jor-El in Man of Steel, it’s that wherever Superman goes, there’s hope (you know, because the El family crest means “Hope”).
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman – June 23rd, 2017; Justice League – November 17th, 2017; The Flash – March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman – July 27th, 2018; Shazam – April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 – June 14th, 2019; Cyborg – April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern – June 19th, 2020.