‘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. if we’re following the Dark knight blueprint Lex is next. Followed by Doomsday in part 3.

    I had an idea for the Lex Luther reinvention a couple years ago. i never wrote a treatment but i got the idea when i saw diehard and i thought about how Hans would have been the perfect Lex.

    A sophisticated careful but all powerful terrorist leader who can bring the planets financial institutions to their knees. As a matter of fact the arrival of superman unearths the planets dependance on him for whatever it is that he supplies whether it be technology, information or weaponry.

    people would be split into tow camps because whatever it is that lex supplies is so important that some people don’t want to give up.

    • i meant two not tow

  2. Superman has never, ever, dealt with real-world issues in other countries and such, and I think it’s high time it started.

    • He kind of did in the Earth One graphic novel.

    • Yes, he has. Go watch the old Fleishcer cartoons.

  3. IIRC the “Truth, Justice, and the American way” started because of the Red Scare during the 50′s.


  5. Lex Luthor should be the guy Metropolis turns to help rebuild the city and I can easily him doing anti Superman campaign because of all the destruction he caused. Also in return for his services in helping finance the cities reconstruction he is allowed access to some of the kryptonian tech lying around after the battle. While playing around with the tech an AI is discovered that has an long acronym for a name that spells out Brainiac, and Lex figures he can control Brainiac and have him be a controllable hero instead of Superman who is more of a loose cannon. Of course Brainiac will break Lex’s control and have his agenda. I thought about writing this after watching Jeremy Jahn’s spoiler review of MOS where he talked where he wanted a sequel to go and part of what I wrote is from his ideas.

    • My two Cents; How about Lex luthor being a business man billionaire owns Stocks in S.T.A.R. and builds Cyborg sort of a robocop that goes haywire and have superman defeat/allow self control. Walla!!!

    • wow man that is a really good story line i like that idea.

    • God, I’m so used to seeing people copy things like this and claim it all as their own. Just glad you mentioned Jeremy’s name. Good on you.

  6. On going World – Good;

    On having a small portion of Smallville population knowing of the secret – Ridiculous; Over the years it must be more than that, people talk in little towns. One girl gets pregnant to young, everyone who bought a loaf of bread at the corner store will know about it. Pete’s mom was adamant about what Clark did. She is sure to have blasted her mouth of at the church about this ‘Jesus’ saves thing. So I’m guessing more than half the population will know about him. Many, who are surely rednecks, must’ve jumped on the phone as soon as that Zod Message went on screen.

    That kiss… The most idiotic pushed in our faces trying to show some emotions scene ever. They should have removed it completely and just have Superman save her, and moved on to save more people. Bring the love interest in the second movie.. Here it just looked so pushed that it had no emotions at all.

    The glasses disguise only work if Clark has a different hair style than Superman. Which in this movie didn’t happened at the end..

    What needs to happen in MoS2 is to get actual writers.. People who will have the ability of putting a flow and pace through the movie that makes sense.

    So many things wrong in this one it’s ridiculous. The way he just suddenly learns that he can fly (if he knew before hand you really think he would jump like an idiot and let himself plow through a mountain?); The costume colors vs Krypton’s costume colors make no sense. Jor-El “Willing” the ship to make that costume would have made it the same he wore, not change it up to the ol’ blue and Red (dark); The fact the Jor-El says he built the ship yet the ship is over 20,000 years old.. So that would mean Jor-El was older than this? The continuous flashbacks that brought you out of the pace; the fact that he lets Jonathan fetch a dog while the tornado is coming up on him instead of going for it himself knowing he’s got all that power (ps no foot would’ve been stuck so if he thinks Jonathan could make it he would too!); Lois, The army; and half of Smallville know the secret .. The Army and National Security would just swarm the damn farm! Jor-El being a scientist, yet is able to go head to head against a breeded and trained General in a fight? If he was grown to be a scientist, he would’ve had his a$$ handed to him in two punches.

    Not telling Clark is going on a trip because the key is “signaling him to go north” and finding the ship makes this version just a very lucky damn guy to find the ship (we know he’s going there because of the call, but that’s because we saw Donner’s Superman.. Else he’s just damn lucky..).

    The time it takes Zod to try to kill the family.. In this version he would’ve blasted them in a second, but no.. he toys with Superman?? Makes no sense.

    Then there is the effects.. They don’t make us feel like Superman can fly, other than that one scene where he lifts up form the ground horizontally. ps. if he can do that very gently, why does he ask Lois to move back before take off?? Is he seriously showing off??? Even Superman Returns had better effects to make us believe he could fly. MoS we believe that little CGI characters can fly.. But not him. The cape is also horrible.

    Did I like the movie.. Sure a little bit. But it sure wasn’t the SUPERMAN movie that was built up by all the marketing ploys… 6/10 MAX for this one.. And I’m being generous because the cast were good.

    • To me, Zod was over 20,000 years of age… He stated they were clones of clones, and there memories and personalities were stored. And, Superman stories were very crazy in the Golden Age. It would be crazy if she did not kiss that HUNK of a superhero; it was not about romance but mostly gratitude…. He was kind of into her after she kiss him.

      • Jor-El says he built the ship the exiled Kryptonians and Zod were on, not the 20,000 explorer ship that was discovered in the arctic.

  7. I, too, was kind of speechless at the amount of destruction during the final fight sequence. I think much of how I reacted upon viewing said destruction was influenced by the many comments I ‘ve read concerning the “leveling of Metropolis”. But looking back on it, this is NOT what I observed at all. What I saw was a DOWNTOWN or BUSINESS DISTRICT experiencing major property damage. I may be wrong, but I assume the small area I saw depicted on screen did not represent the entire city of Metropolis.

    As for the complaints I’ve read concerning Kal-El not doing enough to assist innocent by-standers, it seems to me that critics conveniently overlook the fact that this “super man” is a rookie! Poor guy hasn’t had the suit on for a week and he’s already expected to respond to major situations like an old pro. Sometimes I think we’re too media savvy for our own good. We’re so smart we deny ourselves the pleasure of enjoying a good movie.

    • Well said!

    • The problem people have seems not to be with the film’s internal logic, but with the concept of this film in the first place that necessitates such scenes. Yes, he is a rookiee in this, though he was in the first Donner film too, and still managed to save people, attempting to because of his inherent goodness. The new one doesn’t seem to care.

      Now, the older film’s Superman wasn’t facing anything like the apocalyptic-level threat of the new film, though I think one could argue it was simply misguided (plot concept-wise) to put all of that on Superman in his first real appearance in costume. This film’s story felt rushed along, and ramped up much too fast if it is to be a whole series. So fast you can see even the writer is worried about how to deal with what was unleashed here. The Donner films got it right in saving Kryptonian foes for later on, after the origin, I think. That is just too big for the first adventure, without bringing the character to places that he doesn’t seem to fit without changing him too much.

      Again, it is not the internal logic of his world, but the idea for the film story itself that may contain a flaw. Food for thought.

      • “The Donner films got it right in saving Kryptonian foes for later on,”

        I wouldn’t necessarily say that Donner got it right because he introduced the Kryptonian threat in his second installment. Within the context of Snyder’s film Zod seemed like the most logical choice because he’s a threat connected to Clark’s origins and essentially that was what the film was about. Introducing an alien threat early on also lays the groundwork for how earth is to respond to Superman’s presence as well as other potential villains. Luthor springs to mind, as the aftermath of the Kryptonian threat could be something he would likely use to his advantage to sow seeds of distrust for a being like Superman. IMO the threat in MOS wasn’t to big ala Darkseid or Doomsday and neither was is to small, it seems as though it was just right.

    • Way too much fast paced action and overdone special effects. I had to close my eyes a couple of times to give my eyes and brain a rest. These CGI guys have too much power in these films. The director needs to get the special effects under control and make them serve the story, not just shove them in to dazzle the audience. There’s far too much implausible action and improbable physics taking place. King Kong was especially guilty on this count. I’m all for suspending disbelief but only when there is a foundation of believability in a scene. As for the body count, it was ridiculous. Hollywood is really starting to dehumanize the innocent bystander by rendering them as so many ants being crushed underfoot. If you’re going to kill someone off with a ton of bricks or an oil tanker, at least make us care about them first with a few close ups or personal reactions.

    • On the destruction note:

      They do several aerial views of the city as a whole, and the destruction is a relatively small percentage of the city as a whole. Most of the buildings that they are actually shown fighting in are also either empty; under construction or a gigantic parking garage. I’m personally in the camp that had the military and police busy evacuating the city after the Black Zero made landfall, but people don’t like that concept very much. People seem to forget that Superman was on the other side of the planet while a lot of the Black Zero destruction, and likely evacuation, was going on.

  8. I would like to see someone like Idris Elba as Lex. This guy has some serious presence on screen and can be both a good guy and a bad guy all in one.

    • Interesting selection, Rayster. I remember his chilling performance in “The Wire”.

      I’m STILL scared.

    • Elba would be a great choice for Lex Luthor. He can portray Luthor as a trusted well known industrialist who is contracted to clean up the destruction in Metropolis for the real purpose of obtaining Kryptonian technology. He will use this tech to defeat Superman using indirect means to hide his true evil nature. Besides, he cannot go toe-to-toe with the Man Of Steel directly.

  9. My suggestion for the “MAN OF STEEL 2″ is LEX LUTHOR working with BRANIAC!

    • I would save a Lex luthor and Braniac pairing for the third installment. For the 2nd installment we need a more grounded villain. We’ve already had an extraterrestrial for MOS. Metallo being the main villain with Luthor being more of a background villain could work. It could also be an introduction of Kryptonite.

  10. Superman being more realistic, dealing with real world issues and villains fitting into that real world has all been done in the T.V. series Smallville…..granted that Man of Steel is more grittier, but that is because it’s a major motion picture. They can use many villain ideas/concepts from Smallville and develop them much further and more hardcore

  11. Me personally I would had Lex Luthor and Bizarro as the villains in the sequel, then do Parasite as the villain in the 3rd movie.

    By doing this you eliminate the notion that Krpytonite is the only thing that can kill Superman. You can hint or show Krpytonite but its not going to be used as a plot device if you use these 3 villains.

  12. I suggest this guy:

  13. I think they should stick with Nolan’s way of making villains by first as they already did making it a villain of origin which in the batman series was rhaz al ghul and in man of steel was zod so now they should make it their most iconic arch enemy being lex Luthor. Then they should think from there as to a deadly enemy of overwhelming strength which pushes the character to the limit as bane did in batman which in man of steel could be darkseid and doomsday

    • I totally agree!!!!

  14. I would love to have seen a Superman reboot take place in the original time period of the 1930s, but too late now. OK, the discussion seems to be around future story lines. How about Lexcorp gets into biogenetics and Luthor,with plans to eventually clone Superman, obtains some kryptonian DNA and starts experimenting on apes. Enter Titano, an experiment out of control with kryptonian powers. And while Supes is dealing with Krypt Kong, Luthor unleashes his human clones of Superman gone awry in the form of Bizarros. I can hear the groans but keep in mind, these characters are from COMIC BOOKS. Either we honor the genre or we don’t. They need to recast Lois Lane. As much as I like Amy, she’s just not the character.

  15. The question of “what should Superman do in the world?” is actually pretty straightforward – nothing, at least not unless he is invited to do something. If there is a real God, this would still be the best possible world. Free will means nothing if God is solving all our problems and intervening to stop us from behaving badly. The same argument applies to Superman. He cannot solve our problems and intervention would only create solutions that we don’t subscribe to ourselves. Ultimately, Superman can be an inspiration, but he cannot interfere, except, as I said, where he is invited. Admittedly, this still leaves a lot of grey area, but it is better than having him galumphing around the world as “the Ugly American.”.

    A few years ago, Superman renounced his American citizenship (not that “Supeman” ever had it) because he was tired of people the world over seeing him as an instrument of American imperialism. I think that was a smart move on the part of DC and it is one that the filmmakers should consider. Inside the US, Superman can be an American – outside, he has to be make it clear to the world that he is not a weapon.

    • I agree with your Superman “prime directive” analysis, that he can’t interfere in human history, just help people as he sees fit, but I disagree with the DC move to renounce Superman’s U.S. citizenship. There is nothing wrong with Superman having his own national identity and embracing the values it stands for. Why wouldn’t he be proud to be an American? He doesn’t have to involve himself in international disputes but neither does he have to reject the country that bred him. Certainly he can oppose forces that threaten to turn America down the wrong path without abandoning its ideals.

  16. How about this? the villains should be metallo and parasite.The director and writers ahould choose who will be the main villain of these two. and of course, a supporting role of lex luthor. lex luthor should be in the third sequel. Parasite can absorb superman’s powers but without his powers he has no effect on kryptonite on metallo’s chest. Try to make this story out of it.

  17. The whole movie was good it was spectacular was enjoyed watching it at IMAX.
    But I don’t like the ending what’s the point of introducing themselves and wearing an eyeglasses at the end.

  18. I would like for them to use led as the one that discovers doomsday like the cartoon movie.

  19. I would like for them to use lex as the one that discovers doomsday just like the cartoon movie.

  20. What if……Am I the only one who thinks in some sort of time loopy thingy that the codex skull at the beginning of the movie is Kal-El?? where else would the kryptonians get their full genome from one body part??

  21. WTF does barack obama have to do with Superman? Jesus these Hollywood people are so stupid.

  22. Lex Luthor as the main villain but not him in his armour suit. I’d like to see a Lex Luthor who was disgusted by Superman’s recklessness re collateral damage during his fight with Zod and his crew and believes that Superman is still a threat to earth. hence, using his resources, he developed Parasite, Metallo (of course, need to introduce kryptonite early in the sequel), Amazo and/or Livewire, (not all four of course, that’ll just be too cluttered).

    • doesnt anyone realize Kryptonite WAS already introduced? it was the Kryptonia atmosphere. instead of a rock. Lex will use the kryptonian technology to make artificial Kryptonia atmosphere all around Superman, thus a real world application instead of a little green rock. Personally, I love it. Kryptonite will be Kryptonian atmosphere artificially created by Lexcorp. Mark my words.

  23. I was criticized for interjecting politics in my opinion of this latest over-hyped failure at trying to reintroduce & reinvigorate Superman back onto the silver screen, yet here Snyder directly references Obama while expressing his views for Superman’s projected role on a “global” scale in a sequel. Unfortunately however, Obama is pretty much of an embarrassment on the “global” stage right now as well as being an unmitigated disaster here at home with his one corrupt scandal after another hit parade that seems inexhaustible in its ability to keep cranking out one “hit” after another with no end in sight. That said, Snyder might want to seriously reevaluate where he looks to for inspiration for any future endeavors he attempts. Especially when doing a follow up to such an over-hyped fiasco like the Man Of Steel.

  24. I like the idea of Lex in the second one with Brainiac, and then, the third one being Doomsday. However, I do not want the movie to return in 2014, because, I want them to take their time with it. I want a record breaking movie to compete with The Dark Knight and The Avengers. This movie did great, but, I doubt it, that, it will get four hundred million. The competition is enormous, right now, and, they need to get the best Superman movie they can out there. I think one year is way too rushed to get another Superman released. The Dark Knight was great, and, they need to find a way to do something like this with Superman. This is from someone who was not a Batman fan, at all, until The Dark Knight. I mean, I hated Batman, because, I was a dedicated Superman fan. However, The Dark Knight was unbelievable, and, they need to find a way to do this with Superman. The Man of Steel was great, and, I don’t get what the problem with the ending was. Superman did not want to kill Zod, but, he did not have a choice. Zod, even said, before the battle that one of them was going to have to die. They did a great job with the movie, and, it was not an easy task to reinvent Superman.

  25. Also, I am hoping they kill Jenny Olsen to bring in Jimmy. I have nothing against her, but, I always liked Jimmy a great deal. Superman was what I cared about, but, Jimmy I could relate to. I can’t wait to see Clark in the sequel. To me I am more excites to see what they do with that part of movie more than Lex.

  26. I keep getting confused by the two biggest complaints I keep seeing.

    First is how much action there is in the third act. Second is how much destruction takes place. To the folks who keep complaining about these two things, I have only one question:

    Did you make these same complaints for The Avengers?

    A lot of New York gets blowed up in that film. I mean, A LOT. I’m betting thousands of people died. I’m further betting some of Hulk’s smashing, Thor’s lightning and Ironman’s missles are responsible for some of the death and all kinds of the destruction. Does Tony sulking his way through Ironman 3 placate everyone on this score enough that nobody is making this comparison?

    Also, like Man of Steel, the entire third act of The Avengers is one giant action set piece. I didn’t hear a lot of people complaining about it getting mind numbing or any of the other complaints that have been leveled at Man of Steel.

    So what gives? Why give The Avengers a pass on this and Man of Steel gets a fail?

  27. I think the “Eradicator” or “Death and Return” story would be cool. Since he has a ship, The Cyborg Superman villain is a possibility. And Doomsday on the big screen?! That would rule.

  28. I will look forward to any of the super villains as long as Lex Luther is not the main one. I don’t mind Luther being a part of the many enemies superman has but with today’s technology I want to see the villains that battle superman like in the comic books. I read that the justice league movie may bring dark side to the screen to battle against the league.

  29. I really like the fact that Superman and Lois have this awesome plan and the General agrees, yet the President was never even consulted. Or any government.