‘Man of Steel’ Director & Writer on What Has to Happen in ‘Man of Steel 2′

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 23rd, 2013 at 9:41 am,

Man of Steel New Suit Close Up Man of Steel Director & Writer on What Has to Happen in Man of Steel 2

There may have been a time when Man of Steel seemed a risky proposition, but it has come and gone. While Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot is smashing box office records, the Hollywood rumor mill claims that Warner Bros. and DC Comics are already planning the next step.

Some reports claim that both Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer are already working on a sequel, but rumors of a Justice League film refuse to die. All the smart money rests on the studio moving to a Man of Steel sequel first, but as Snyder and Goyer have explained in recent interviews, writing that story won’t be easy; and any potential sequel means Kal-el will have to broaden his horizons.

Lest anyone believe that Superman’s duties to the world minimize the importance of his American upbringing, it is Kal-El himself who states in the film that he’s about as American as it gets. Clark Kent’s Midwest upbringing helps shape his character as both Clark and Kal, but now that he has emerged onto the world stage, his duties extend far beyond the United States.

Man of Steel Stars and Stripes Man of Steel Director & Writer on What Has to Happen in Man of Steel 2

As Snyder explained in an interview with BBC Radio 4, while the Man of Steel sequel may still be years away (or releasing next year, according to some) the director already knows how Superman’s responsibilities will be changing in his next feature film:

“He has no choice but to become global… That literally has to happen. But for me I was really interested in – and maybe it’s because Barack Obama’s president now – it’s okay for Superman to be American. He’s quintessentially an American creature and creation. I wanted to pay homage to the superhero as coming from the heartland of America, and the “Why?” of that.

“I was really interested in just how American he was, and I think in the best possible way, the Kevin Costner cornfield kind of way. Which is why I really wanted Kevin and Diane Lane to play those parts [Ma and Pa Kent] because they really represent a believable America but an America that is also… we do it in the most realistic way we can but still all of the icons are very much represented in a way that I don’t know exists for real. But you want it to. Like a Norman Rockwell documentary… handheld Norman Rockwell.”

At the risk of seeming exclusionary to any Superman fans from outside of America, it’s hard to disagree with Snyder’s claims that Clark Kent represent much about the homegrown, quiet character of the American farmer – a side to his character that comic book writers (and screenwriters) have tapped into for decades. And while Norman Rockwell never featured an airplane-strewn main street reduced to dust in his paintings of small town America, the quiet calm of Smallville serves its purpose in the movie as well as ever.

Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent in Man of Steel Man of Steel Director & Writer on What Has to Happen in Man of Steel 2

Talk of a Man of Steel sequel may center on proposed villains in conversations among fans – and it’s hard not to, given the fact that Lex Luthor’s presence is felt, even if it’s never seen. But even if Lex is being bandied about by Goyer and Snyder, the screenwriter explains that dropping Superman into our modern world means several answers have to be answered before a ‘villain’ can be introduced.

In an interview with BleedingCool, Goyer claims that the challenges facing Superman are much closer to home:

“The challenge for us moving forward is how to depict Superman in a world like this, in a world where Twitter exists, in a world with social media. To me, the interesting challenge is “Could he solve hunger in the horn of Africa? What would he do with the Arab Spring? What would he do in Syria?… Does he have the wherewithal or the knowledge to intervene in something like this?”

To me, that’s the interesting challenge. It’s easier for Batman because he just exists in this little pocket of the world, he’s not violating sovereign airspace every day.”

As for which villain will be next to test Superman’s resolve…

“There is musing about Lex Luthor, conversations that Zack and I have had on set, but it all depends on what happens over the next month. There are obviously those Lexcorp easter eggs in the film and clearly you can see from that, to the extent to which we can intuit things about Lex, it’s not the Gene Hackman version. This is a Bill Gates-like Lex that is probably worth 50, 60, 70 billion dollars. It’s a very different Lex.”

Lex Luthor in Man of Steel  Man of Steel Director & Writer on What Has to Happen in Man of Steel 2

Although Snyder has set the record straight (numerous times) about leaving the door open for Justice League characters, it’s clear he thinks Superman needs more time to grow before joining the rest of humanity’s superheroes (for what it’s worth, star Henry Cavill agrees with him). Yet anyone paying attention to the numerous easter eggs and hints embedded in Man of Steel sees the seeds being planted for the future, specifically where Lex Luthor is concerned.

Luckily, Goyer did give a few more details on how this group of filmmakers will continue to change the nature of Clark’s ‘secret identity,’ but given that the quotes relate to certain spoilers for Man of Steel, those who have yet to see the film should stop reading now.








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  1. I seen MOS Sunday night and what a flick almost bought tears to my eyes. Remembering being a young kid and my mum taking me by the hand to the cinema to see superman 2 but the cinema at that time was playing a double bill and I seen superman. Just like being a kid again loved every minute of it and Henry and Zah and co yous guy rock well done its been a long time coming and it has been worth the wait, can’t wait to get this on bluray

  2. I seen MOS Sunday night and what a flick almost bought tears to my eyes. Remembering being a young kid and my mum taking me by the hand to the cinema to see superman 2 but the cinema at that time was playing a double bill and I seen superman. Just like being a kid again loved every minute of it and Henry and Zah and co yous guys rock well done its been a long time coming

  3. Please lets not start talking about Doomsday yet. Too soon. Lets get the more classic villains in there. Like I mentioned above: Metallo, then Bizarro & Brainiac & throw in Parasite not so much as a main villain but nevertheless a major threat. And lets not forget the sadistic Darkseid. Save him for one of the latter films. Toyman too needs to be a villain: but not using toys as weapons but more of a pedophile threat. A sick & twisted individual. Perhaps Bizarro would kill him?? lol! Even Lex Luthor begs Superman to take care of Toyman (Winslow Schott) to where Superman responds to Lex “Oh NOW you need me Lex! Its always about the children with “YOU people!”” You gotta have Toyman. Mxyzptlk & Lobo never. Too silly & outlandish even for a comic movie. Doomsday should be the main villain for….I dont know…..Justice League 3 ??!!

  4. In the sequel would like them revisit the idea that they had for the third Christioper Reeve superman movie that they never went with. was that in first draft they had Superman facing off against Brianic and even having him meet his cousin Kara Zor el aka Supergirl and the plot involved time travel.

  5. Not Lex Luthor, he has been done to death, can we please focus on the numerous other villains that we can see an exciting fight scene from rather than a bold guy plotting for a majority of the movie? I’m sorry, but I really want to avoid Lex being a main villain for a long time in the Superman series.

    • AGREED!

    • I think Lex Luthor is too obvious for the 2nd movie. I’d rather see someone else in 2, and perhaps see Luthor hinted at toward the end of 2, to become a major player in 3 and beyond?

      • i think lex should e the guy behind everything in 2. from the villain all the way to rebuilding metropolis. no lex battle suit or anything like that until 3

  6. It would be nice to see MOS2 be closer to home, much the way the newest Rambo film was. He’s already been established in a way that would compliment this idea nicely (not completely invulnerable), they could even set the stage for some more alien activiy such as Doomsday which we would not get to see until part 3. Too many alien invations just seem contrived after a while, and I’d hate to see the series run out of steam before it begins.

  7. I think in MOS2, Lex should be in it but not even revealed as a villain. He should be the Bill Gates type figure, helping to rebuild Metropolis. He should be viewed as a hero to the public and this should solidify his run for presidency. In the sequels (hopefully after Justice League, or for MOS3) as president, he should then turn the public’s view of superman as the cause to all of the destruction! He should also use his unlimited presidential resources to study and reverse-engineer some kryptonian tech to make his mech suit, and also work with kryptonite waaaaaayyy down the road.

  8. Brainiac!!!!!
    Give the people something extraordinary, Something out of this world!
    Superman doesn’t have to be restricted to Earths modern problems…

  9. id say in the next film lex luthor should rebuild metroplis putting the blame on superman…this will cause people to question if they really want superman around…superman will have to struggle with being unwanted but needed by the people and he will have to use a lighter touch when fighting and defeating enemies

    the third film should bring in the monster that destroys superman the same way bane did in dark knight rises….im talking about DOOMSDAY

    i dont think he should be as global as these guys suggest….maybe do a few things around the world but not get involved with politics and wars….a global dissater is a good way to get justice league movie off the ground…something that superman cant do alone

  10. Ok, I keep hearing sequels, no…
    This needs to be an ongoing story, not a sequel. People always seem to become disappointed when a part 2 doesn’t meet expectations set by an origin story. The 2nd movie needs to be a continuation, not an entirely different path with familiar characters.

  11. I Want to see Darkseid!!!!!!!!!!

    • I think Darkseid would be a great villian for the Justice League (just like Thanos for the Avengers)

  12. i would love to see michael rosenbaum reprise his role as lex luthor. and i know some people think that it would confuse fans but i dont think so. go to change.prg and sign my petition to get michael rosenbaum to play lex in man of steel 2

  13. i would love to see michael rosenbaum reprise his role as lex luthor. and i know some people think that it would confuse fans but i dont think so. go to change.org and sign my petition to get michael rosenbaum to play lex in man of steel 2

    • lol… No

    • He was awesome as lex luthor, but im pretty sure that he wouldnt want to.
      he left smallville after season 7 for a reason. i know that he hated shaving his head every day, and he wanted to do more comedic roles. he was one of the best parts of that show though, especially in the end of the 7th season when he was full on evil.

  14. Make MOS II or Justice League introduce Lex as the villian, but have the world believe he is good guy for most the movie. Make him the ultimate sociopath – businessman – politician that believes an alien with that much power is not good for america & the world. Have the leaders of the world agree, and most of the population. Wouldn’t we all be worried someone with that much power like superman could do harm if he so choose? Thats what the movie could play on, fear. Introduce Bruce Wayne/Batman who agrees, and is fooled by Lex for most the movie. Also introduce kryptonite, the great equalizer. Bruce Wayne unsure about Superman’s humanity helps lex and his R&D department to create weapons/tools to use against superman. In the end he see’s superman/clark kent is a good guy but its too late and Lex Luthor uses the power of kryptonite to take control of the world and power his mech suit. lol the idea could use some work but basically the jist being Lex is almost the anti-batman/bruce wayne supersmart, manipulator. Bats and Supes joining forces in the end. I just think its better then hey im a superhero too lets be friends. Batman should be wary of superman for most the movie. BOOM. did I blow your mind?

  15. in this they ask what villian would help further expand superman as a character, being an avid follower of the movies, the T.V. show (smallville) the comics and the lore both past and present i believe that a great adversary (or two) that can help him expand further both as a human and as a kryptonian would be to go for a villian that has yet to be explored. Personally i feel that Zod is used to much as a bad guy just because there are so many diverse ones out there and lex and zod seem to be the only two that get attention. (although i think that this was by far the best Zod, even out of the comics)Back to the origonal statement though, in order to help superman grow more he has already fought the physical with the other kryptonians, now he needs to fight the mental, with brainiac, i feel that if brainiac were to be used as a bad guy it could help him become more mentally prepaired for the superman he eventually has to become. i also feel that parasite would make a useful villian as well due to the fact that he can temperarily turn clark human, and by doing that it can help clark face his own humanity (which up to this point he has not done) either one, or both together i feel would make him grow because he’d have to focus on the power of his mind (which is a power not shown enough as to how genious he acutally is) over his muscle to take down the single, or double threat

    • I don’t really know the lore, but I like the new Movie very much. Whoever the next villain will be, just make sure he is hyper-realistic, and have better names than “Brainiac,” even if they stem from the same concepts. I hope they don’t sully this universe in the sequels.

      • No. This movie wasn’t hyper-realistic, therefore neither should the sequel. The villain’s name in the comics was Brainiac therefore that’s how it should be in the movie. Your idea for a sequel would suck

  16. The next villain needs need to be Darkseid, President Luther and Vandle Savage. With Jon Jonz as a sub plot.

    • I hear they might be saving Darkseid for the Justice League movie.

  17. I think Lex would be an obvious choice with the ability to bring a more human side to the continuing story.

    I can easily see Lex as a “Bill Gates” type of mogul. After the devastation to the city, and likely a lot of his property he probably feels Superman and any other non terrestrial being is bad news. Gathering parts of the alien ships used by Zod and reverse engineering them would give him the tools needed to “Protect” our planet, including his own version of Kryptonian Battle Armor for a one to one with Superman.

    There could even be some connection to Braniac, accidentally resurrected by Luthor, that would make a great final scene leading to the next film. Those little hovering, agressive robots could easily mutate into a Brainiac with a little misguided help from Lex.

    With the struggle he is already facing after the killing of Zod, fighting a human Luthor would bring it all home again.

  18. The problem with making the film realistic is that it becomes harder to properly depict Superman’s villains in film, since most of them are anything but realistic. General Zod and Lex Luthor will obviously fit into this kind of world but it won’t be so easy for others. I would love to see Brainiac, Darkseid, Doomsday,or Metallo appear but I’m skeptical if such good villains can be done right in this kind of film. They already scrapped Brainiac from the first film on account of him not being realistic enough.

    • what about matrix (supergirl)? she can be a nuclear man like villain created by Luthor. A protoplasmic lifeform that LexCorp has created; yet, leaving Lex in the background.

  19. If Lex were used the whole dynamics would need to be changed in his relationship with Superman. He has obviously been around long before Superman’s existence. Lex Luthor would have to be the Tony Stark in his world.

    A part of me would like to see Braniac’s appearance. Maybe in a combined mesh of the two. This would allow a way for those that fear Superman a way of seeking to control him and the greater realization that there are others located out in the universe. We learned we are not alone anymore and that is just as frightening as having an alien living on our own home world. Super or not.

  20. I think both lex luthor, and brainaic would be awesome. Brainaic as the main and lex luthor as the support. Those two have also team up before to take down justice league.

  21. I think it is in the podcast ep. 96 that one of the panel members (if not most of them) suggested – and I absolutely agree – a double villain scenario. Obviously, Luthor is a definite. A Stark-like, stinkly rich business mogul and entrepeneurial genius, who for the sake of eye-service, offers a lot to help in the reconstruction of Metropolis and while doing that, question the motives of this so-called Superman, accuse him of being responsible of the disaster befalling the city and in some ways, wage a campaign to oust him if need be (almost similar to Harvey Dent’s DA character… sorry for the comaprisons. Not intentional). And to make things worse, to prove his point, here comes Braniac.

    Braniac is the most logical choice after Zod to step into the villain role. Not only is he strong, but he’s intellectually out of this world. Enough to rival even Lex Luthor.

    I don’t know the possibilty of introducing Kara into the mold. That would depend on how Nolan/Goyer hope to work it into the script. If it won’t work, drop her till later.

  22. Bruce Willis for Lex Luthor. Willis could bring complex range and toughness to the role.

  23. I think for the second movie villian, Lex should be in the background of what happens. I hate to use this example but sorta in the way that Thanos was in the background of what was happening in the Avengers or how Guy Pearce’s character was in Iron Man 3. Of course I don’t think MOS should have a puppet villain or anything like that, but have a someone like Braniac involved and at the end show that it was because of Lex that Braniac was on earth to “test” Superman or something along those lines. I think the MOS films would run into the probably that the Dark Knight series did and peak with the 2nd film because the 2nd film showcased the bigger and more well known villain. I personally did not like TDKR simply because they made it too political, it was too drawn out, and the action was simply lacking. I was afraid Nolan would turn MOS into the DK and the action would be minimal and very anticlimatic, and to my pleasure I was very happy with the results. Anyways, I think Lex should at least be made a little more obvious in this film, whether we show his actual face or not is a toss up. I think a Batman Begins type ending with an obvious hint towards Lex for the next film would be suitable. I do however think that he should not be alone as the main bad guy. He can test Superman’s intellect, morality, and his place in this world while another physical enemy (Brainac, Metallo, etc) Darkseid should only be a JL villain because he is one that would give more than just Superman trouble. Bizzaro would be a risk, but I think he too could be used by Lex Luthor if the character was done right. Smallville did a good job on the idea of Bizarro, but budget kinda held the idea in check. I think with a good budget and using the template SM used of someone who could pass as Superman, not some weird looking goofball with his powers,it could work very well. Parasite would also be a good one if you twist the story to say that he is a Lex experiment and justify the character as a threat and one that Superman has trouble with. As long as the people behind MOS look at Nuclear man from SM4 and do the complete opposite of that, they will do decent in the efforts at least.

  24. Do you think that in the prequel comicbook, that DEV-EM could be Zack’s version of Doomsday? Him killing his own people, being mad, being alone on in space for so ten years and how all kryptonian are genetic engineered….

  25. i think they should bring on a new enemy,someone from this time,and pair them up with the brain interactive construct,also take us all to the phantom zone,like they did with the movie.

  26. …or they could just not make a sequel.

  27. Superman 2 – Lex Luthor
    Superman 3 – Doomsday

    Lex Luthor is impossible to not put in, and the Superman-Doomsday event is one of the most iconic in superman (and maybe all of comic) history. It may seem like the dark knight rises all over again (hero dies, but comes back and wins in the end) but it seems like the two things to do, if he is going for 3 movies.

  28. A MOS2 story could easily introduce and/or lead into a JLA movie. I’m not going to address villains except Lex being a behind the scenes villain maybe running for President after rebuilding Metropolis and appearing to of helped defeat the main villain. In MOS2, Superman should struggle balancing life as Superman and Clark realizing he is still 1 man super or not, and could use help. I imagine social media being used in the film to express the publics view on Superman, both good and bad. This could include stories from around the world of random saves pre-MOS and Lois could use these stories to motivate Clark. At the end, I envision Lois and Clark at a press conference about Lex’s announcing his run for President, but Clark is not there. Lois finds him afterwards by himself in this big hall. Lois asks him what he is doing and he tells her that some of the stories about random saves he remembers, but there are many from parts of the world he has never been and wonders if he is not alone, not necessarily kryptonian, but others that are willing to put others in front of themselves and make the ultimate sacrifice “like him” Then a camera pan up to see the Batman statue from DKR. Credits. I think that would AWESOME!!

  29. Brainiac, Lobo, Parasite or Metallo…
    Somebody extraordinary but not Lex Luthor…