According to director Zack Snyder, an open Kryptonian pod in Man of Steel wasn't meant to set up Supergirl in the DCEU. A pivotal scene of 2013's Superman movie sees Henry Cavill's Clark Kent enter a Kryptonian spaceship. While on board the ship, Clark finds out the truth of his alien heritage. For years, though, one of the biggest talking points of the sequence is an open pod that can be seen in the background.
The presence of the pod suggests that Superman isn't the only survivor of Krypton in the DCEU. This would naturally point to Clark Kent's cousin, Kara Zor-El, otherwise known as Supergirl, being apart of the universe. However, the truth is that the pod wasn't a clue pointing to Supergirl, but rather something (or someone) else entirely.
Zack Snyder was recently asked about the pod, because of the reports that the DCEU is planning a Supergirl film. Snyder didn't reveal what the pod was supposed to hint at but he was emphatic about it not being a Supergirl clue. "The open pod was something more," the director explained (via ComicBook). Snyder's answer is frustratingly vague but it does make clear that the pod was more than a harmless Easter Egg.
The specifics are something that is known only to Snyder and anyone who worked closely on Man of Steel, but some educated guesses can be made. There have been rumors for years that Superman villain Brainiac was supposed to appear in Man of Steel 2. It's conceivable that the DCEU's Brainiac could've stowed away on the Kryptonian ship to get to Earth and the open pod was supposed to set up his arrival. If not Brainiac, then there are other Superman characters who have been known to travel by alien pod. The most notable among them is Daxamite Mon-El, who was a recurring character in The CW's Supergirl TV series.
Interestingly, Snyder's comments do contradict an existing canon story. Around the release of Man of Steel, a prequel comic was released, setting up the universe. Written by the film's scribe, David Goyer, the prequel story introduces Supergirl to the DCEU. This version of Kara Zor-El is a member of the Kryptonian Explorers Guild and she's searching for habitable planets for Kryptonians. The comic ends by confirming that the open pod did belong to Kara Zor-El but leaving her current whereabouts a mystery. So much time has passed since the release of the comic that it's unlikely Warner Bros. and DC would still consider the book canon, but Snyder's comments seem to suggest it was never an official story anyway.
If Warner Bros. does move ahead with a Supergirl movie, the DCEU can easily retrofit Kara into the open pod. It would take a bit of exposition to cover how Supergirl was on Earth (before Superman) and still didn't participate in the events of Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, or Justice League. However, this is no bigger an issue for the DCEU than Wonder Woman 1984 explaining why Diana disappeared from the world and how Steve Trevor is back from the dead. It's only a minor continuity issue. So, regardless of what Zack Snyder intended for the Man of Steel pod, if it means anything now, it's probably Supergirl.
Source: Zack Snyder
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