What’s Happening With The Superman Sequel?

Published 7 years ago by , Updated September 12th, 2013 at 9:33 pm,

superman s symbol Whats Happening With The Superman Sequel?

With the news last month that Warner Brothers planned on rebooting the Superman film franchise, I thought it would be a good time to give an overall status report on everyone’s favorite big blue boy-scout. And let you folks know what’s going on…as of now, at least.

First things first, no director or screenwriter(s) have been hired nor are any in negotiations at this time. Warner Brothers is simply looking at a few candidates as potential “feelers.” Nothing more, nothing less.

If there’s anything the studio learned from Superman Returns, it’s that they’re not going to hand over another blank-check to a “big name” director. So more likely than not, the eventual director will be someone who works well with the material, sees eye-to-eye with the approach they’re taking and (most importantly) can be easily controlled by the studio.

An example of this would be when Peter Jackson was first hired for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Bryan Singer for X-Men, Sam Raimi for Spider-Man, etc. You get the idea.

superman tom Whats Happening With The Superman Sequel?Regarding the big question of casting before anyone asks, the answer is no: Tom Welling will not be Superman. For some of you, take a moment, and let whatever feelings you have about that out of your system.

The studio isn’t going to spend $150-$200 million (if not more) to produce Smallville: The Movie. Like it or lump it, that’s exactly what it’d be if they went with Welling. Additionally, the failure of X-Files: I Want to Believe this past summer further proved that cult following doesn’t equal mainstream audience. So one can’t argue that Welling would bring in “a big audience” during the opening weekend.

I don’t care if you love or hate the idea of him as Superman on the silver screen. He’s not in the running. Sorry, but it ain’t gonna happen. Get over it.

Whoever becomes the next Superman/Clark Kent will be an unknown for obvious reasons. For the studio, it’s easy to nab one down to a multi-picture deal (i.e. cheap) and for the filmmakers there won’t be any “baggage” coming into the project with said actor.

Now what about Wanted and Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar who’ll tell anyone with a set of ears (and more importantly, a camera) that he wants the writing gig? Well, his claims about “being a Marvel guy” as the reason Warner Bros. rejected his pitch last year are 100% Grade-A B.S. Plain and simple, they hated it.

But what of his recent claims of writing an epic Superman trilogy that’s a second away from being greenlit with his phantom “American action director” at the helm? Uh, that would be: no.

I don’t doubt his love for Kal-El, and maybe he’s met with a director in the past. But if he was really in the running, he wouldn’t be talking out loud to the press before being heard (again) by the studio.

Furthermore, he’s had a well-documented history of flat-out fabricating news-items just to get himself press (i.e. his claim of “knowing” Jim Caviezel would play Superman in Returns and Eminem “begging” to star in Wanted – both turned out to be bogus rumors that he started!) Therefore… you can’t honestly take him at his word on the matter – especially since there’s been no one to come out and back-up his claims.

And Millar wasn’t the only comic-book writer the studio heard pitches from. The likes of Grant Morrison, Mark Waid and Geoff Johns also came in with takes on how to properly revive the franchise. And like Millar, they were shot down. So it’s safe to say they’ll begin hearing from screenwriters again.

Quite frankly, I doubt we see Krypton’s last son return to the silver screen for… awhile. They’re currently projecting a 2011 release. The thing is though, Warner Brothers appears to be damn-near booked with arguably the three biggest blockbuster tent-poles for that year: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows – Part II, Batman III and The Hobbit.

They just plain don’t “need” Superman right now. Although it’s definitely a priority to get the Man of Steel back on track. But they can honestly afford to take their sweet time (which they are!).

That, and after the reception of Superman Returns, they want to make damned sure this revival film will be something that everyone (i.e. WB, DC, Legendary Pictures, etc.) is 100% behind.

But rest assured, Superman will return to the silver screen…eventually!

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  1. Vic.. I understand, I really do, but.. :) “The Man Of Steel” upcoming movie header is bordering on woefully anachronistic! Please drop the M.O.S. moniker, thanks.

  2. you guys are so annoying!! way to crush my dreams, and about 900 million other peoples dreams. we all know that tom welling was born to play the part of superman. and i will NOT get over it, and i dont understand the problem, if he dosent want to do it, then convince him, he didnt want to play the part in smallville at first either. and if its gonna cost heaps, then who cares. look at titanic; they had to build a whole new ship, millions of dollars. but they got the money back because the movie was a hit. and let me tell you the superman movie will be a hit if tom welling plays the part.

  3. Tom Welling is good in Smallville and that’s it! I love Smallville but a Superman movie with Welling would tank worse than Superman Returns. Fresh new start sounds good to me.

  4. do you actually have a source about the Welling thing or are you just espousing your personal take on the matter as fact again? I would think if you were making that declarative of a statement you’d have some backing behind it other than your conclusion that WB doesn’t want “Smallville: The Movie.”
    If we’re going to talk about what WB wants, it might help if you have a source from WB actually telling you as opposed to making an assumption. WB WANTS a successful film, and wont want to mess around a second time, that’s rather obvious. But what has a higher likelihood of success? Some unknown face in the role again who could bomb like Routh? Some big name star that people see as “Famous actor in Superman suit?” Or a guy who has a massive built in fan base (Google him and have a translator handy), is “known” but known for playing Clark Kent, and the show where he plays him isnt that widely known where 70% of the film’s general audience likely wont know enough about Smallville either way to prejudge the film. And those that do likely have the mental capacity to separate the two.
    Remember Kenneth Branagh? Played Hamlet in the film in the 1990′s? He also played the same character on stage for years in England at the world’s most famous theater. Yet had a whole new cast around him.

    Oh and while we’re on the subject of cult TV followings into film, while X-Files tanked for obvious reasons (huge time gap between shows end and movie debut), that formula worked out pretty darn well for Star Trek. Just sayin’

  5. This whole thing sounds opinionated and sounds like things YOU want to happen.

  6. Vic ,
    DONT take down the MOS header until we have something official one way or the other.
    It just makes more sense .

  7. I thought brandon routh had signed a multi-film deal to be Superman.

    Its a shame, I didnt think he did anything wrong, I think he pulled it off.

  8. I have to agree with Jamie on the casting of Smallville’s star in the movie. Doing so could backfire big time, for a number of reasons.

    First, if someone was a fan of the show and saw the star of Smallville was the star of the movie, they may come to expect “Smallville: The Movie.” They get there, see other roles recast, events from the series ignored or contradicted, and their expectations color their perceptions. This leads to the movie getting attacked for not following on as the fans expected it to, and could hurt the earnings of the movie.

    Second, someone who never bothered with the series sees that show’s star reprising his role in the movie. They may decide not to bother with it as they don’t want to go into a movie with so much backstory to it and end up feeling lost. Now, this is not guaranteed to happen as Star Trek didn’t suffer from that, but Star Trek also didn’t have the ongoing story lines that have become so common these days.

    Third, and I’ll admit this is the least likely of the three, someone like me, who hates Smallville sees it’s star as the star of the new Superman movie, and decides not to bother with it because of the perceived ties to the series. I don’t know how many people like me there are, but when the series premiered, there were a number of us who were determined to boycott the show. Whether they all still feel that way, whether the numbers were that large to begin with, I won’t speculate, but they did, and may still, exist.

    A casting choice that could be perceived as tying the new movie to Smallville could be disastrous for the movie’s earnings. It seems to me that it’s definitely safer to cast someone new in the role.

  9. @Brian

    I can vouch for the fact that this is not just based on opinion and there is in fact a source. As of right now everything in this article is ACCURATE.


  10. Thank you for calling it like it is with Millar. I’m getting sick of the fanboy love for what usually amounts to terrible stories from him.

    That said, I disagree about Warner not needing Superman. Superman, like the other movies you mentioned, can be exploited on so many marketing and media levels that another film, if successful, can’t hurt their bottom line. If the trend of people going to the movies in tough economic times holds (as it almost always does), it wouldn’t hurt to have another good film ready.

    Personally, Warner Brothers should have just went with Grant Morrison and based the film off of All Star Superman. But, what do I know, its not like that book is a best selling, award winning book, right?

  11. I know this will get me persecuted but has anyone stopped to think that superman hasnt been a phenomenon in so long because hes boring? Now dont get me wrong i like Supes but nowadays hes just to tame for the general population. His undying kindness, infallible sense of rightness and lame boy scout ways are just not interesting. Add to that that hes impossible to harm unlesss you work in the old Kryptonite which by now im sick to death of seeing in any form whether it be on smallville, in the movies or the comics and all in all the man is just not very interesting anymore. He will always remain a legendary character in pop culture but his days are done unless they completely reinvent him making him slightly more flawed and flesh out his one dimensional justice seeking nice guy personality which theyll never do and millions of fanboys would bring about world war 3 if they did. just my two cents.

  12. I think the major Problem with Superman Returns was it felt like the character hadnt really changed, But in reality the world has changed .
    the movie Superman Of 1978 just doesnt work any more .
    It is Sad but true.

  13. If they announced tomorrow that Tom Welling was Superman, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Is he the greatest actor in the world? NO. Was Brandon Routh the greatest actor in the world? NO, but he was half decent as Superman. Tom Welling certainly looks the part and could play the role of Superman and Clark Kent. The chances of it happening are pretty damn slim though.

    WB is going forward with a “revamp” ie “reboot”. They aren’t going to want to bring the Smallville universe onto the big screen, and in my opinion you can’t have one without the other. Just like you can’t just have Brandon Routh as Superman and go in a different direction. Routh’s Superman has a kid, remember?

    No amount of “mind-erasing kissing” or “flying circles around earth” will erase or change that Tom Welling brings the Smallville Universe and Brandon Routh brings Singerverse.


  14. People don’t want nobility or altruism in their “super-heroes” anymore. Hence the big-blue boy scout theme with Supes can’t work in this day and age. He has to fall and then redeem himself in the eyes of the people in the movie to relate to us.They want to see that these beings with fantastic powers are just as “human” as we are and make mistakes, have faults and are capable making poor, rash decisions or bending the rules to ‘get to the bottom’, win the day /girl. Lets face it everyone wants film noir characters.

    To which I say


    Bring on those loveable, dysfunctional, sociopaths and lets see how it really will be WATCHing this kind of “super-hero” movie

  15. As usual, Mr. Screenrant, how do you know that Tom Welling won’t be considered? You can say until you’re blue on the face that you have a source, you have no proof. It looks like YOU don’t want him in the role, period; and you want to pass this as some kind of priviledged info. So, you could also get over it because I’m sure no one at the WB will ask for your opinion either way. Or maybe you just want the traffic? Because throwing Tom Welling’s name has that effect…

  16. If Vic says Welling wont happen,
    its because he has verified it with a reliable source.

  17. Vic didnt write this

  18. Greenknight,
    would you go see a Watchmen sequel?
    just curious.

  19. @helena

    I didn’t write this, one of my guys did. But you should know that I personally think that Tom Welling would make a GREAT Superman – problem is the Smallville connection/baggage.

    I think it’s a bummer, myself, especially as I think he’s really going to come into his own this season on the show.


  20. My mistake .
    I was responding to Helena
    who referred to the author as Mr.Screenrant.
    sorry about that jaime.

  21. To those of you saying a “squeaky clean” hero won’t work in this day and age, what do you think of the concept of the Captain America movie that Marvel will be putting out in a couple of years? He falls under the same category.

    I do agree that he’s been portrayed as kind of a boring character – and the problem is that the attempts to humanize him or show internal conflict have made him seem weak and weepy.

    I’d rather see him struggle against the idea of using his power to just take everything over and “rule” us instead of getting all goofy over Lois Lane.


  22. It would be Interesting If Zod returned
    and somehow convinced Superman at least temporarily that humanity needs an iron fist rather then a velvet glove.

  23. @ Vic,

    then if you have a source on something like that, which you are so intent on emphatically putting out there, why not cite the source? Even if it’s just “Studio sources.” I’ve been doing journalism for a LONG time and your piece reads like an editorial at best, and at worst a fanboy rant that belongs in a superhero forum.

  24. @Brian

    I will leave it up to Jamie (the author of this post) to defend his position once he gets back online.


  25. In Superman Returns, it felt almost like the first movie in outline. The kid is a fine twist but completely complicates the age old mythos.

    And yes, every time we see Supes, he’s up against someone with Kryptonite in his back pocket.

    Back when Doomsday killed Supes, Clark came back eventually, and was very fragile, as in, very human.

    Anyone remember the cover art, with Clark with long flowing hair, swinging around on a rope to rescue someone?

    I think someone has to write up a script that somehow incorporates a microscopic sliver of, yes, Kryptonite, that gets permanently embedded in his body and tones down his invulnerability.

    Just a thought.

  26. If Routh is out, so am I,,,,

  27. Contrary to what some wish to assume, the information from the article comes from very-reliable sources. It’s legit.

    Sorry if you don’t like it, but that’s what’s going on with the SUPERMAN film franchise.


  28. I still dont see any proof, and the article still sounds like its what you want to happen. And people need to stop saying things about Vic lol HE DIDNT WRITE THIS.

  29. @ Brian, Helena, Oscar
    What would you consider proof? It’s kind of a no-win question for the author. If he drops a name he could lose not just a valuable source but a level of reputation. It’s a pointless exercise to try to press for that kind of verification. In most instances an answer won’t be dignified. Beyond that I guess you’ll have to explain yourselves. Remember the power of the press is owning one. Your certainly free to own one, if your able.

    A reputation is built over time. Since no one is perfect having a platinum one is very, very hard. If you must judge at least hang around for a year then make your case. Of course, “the errors of the leaders are amplified by the numbers that follow without question.” So please don’t think I’m vilifying anyone for asking.. Just wondering how you think the question can be answered. 8)