A new series of articles called the ‘Justice League Movie Cheat Sheet’. We breakdown elements from the film up until release.
For the first entry in the series, we pick the most illusive man in the film yet: Superman. Superman has not appeared in Justice League marketing yet (except the first official team photo). Let’s break down who he is and what we know about him in relation to the film.
Superman first appeared in Zack Snyder’s debut entry to the DC Extended Universe: Man of Steel. The film was directed by Zack Snyder and written by David S. Goyer. Released in June 2013, Man of Steel made 668 million USD in worldwide Box Office. Zack Snyder had always been a figure of controversy. However, this was the mainstream superhero film that thrust his name into the public limelight.
In the film, Superman seeks enlightenment. Clark Kent (real name Kal-El) discovers he’s an alien very early in age and spends his years trying to use his powers for a purpose. Upon discovering an ancient crashed Kryptonian ship, his journey begins. However, the ship gives out a signal that catches the eye of General Zod. One thing leads to another and Zod finds Kal-El back on Earth. Afterwards, Zod attempts to terraform Earth into their former home of Krypton. Unsurprisingly, Superman rejects the offer and the conflict is set in motion.
The main issue the public had with the film was the amount of civilian causalities and destruction that Superman and Zod left in their wake. A few skyscrapers were toppled in the process of Zod and Superman zipping through the sky beating each other like Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. After an era of “safespace” Marvel movies with no consequences, audiences weren’t ready for reality. That’s what director Zack Snyder sought to accomplish with Man of Steel — reality. The unnecessary debate still stirs to this day on certain sections of the internet despite the film having two sequels so far.
JUSTICE LEAGUE ROLE
Unfortunately, next to nothing is known about Superman’s role to play in ‘Justice League’. For those who have been living in a cave, Superman paid the ultimate price in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
In that film Superman took a Kryptonite spear to the heart of Doomsday to kill the merciless beast. However, his weakened state made him susceptible to an impaling from the monster, killing him almost instantly. The sequence was an adaptation of the famous “The Death of Superman” comic book. At the end of the film, it’s revealed that Clark had planned to propose to his longtime girlfriend Lois Lane. Afterwards at the funeral, Lois pours some dirt on Superman’s privately buried casket which then starts to levitate seconds later.
Superman has not appeared in a single piece of marketing for Justice League except for the publicity shot seen above. Nobody has any idea on the role he’ll play in the ensemble team-up. Director Zack Snyder himself refused to mumble a single peep about the dead hero. The question remains: Will Warner Bros reveal any information before release?
There’s plenty of hopes and ideas running rampant in the fanbase about Superman’s revival. A lot of people hope he returns with the classic black suit from the comic books post-death. For those who want more information on the storyline, I’d recommend the animated feature Superman: Doomsday. On the other hand, perhaps the Justice League publicity shot is just a red herring. There’s always a chance he plays a villain role. Perhaps Superman is revived by Steppenwolf under some sort of mind control as a ‘final boss’, putting a nice spin on comic book movie villains. His role is up in the air right now, and that’s for the best.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR SUPERMAN?
Not much is known about Superman’s appearance in Justice League. Therefore, it’s hard to say what the future holds for the character in subsequent DC Extended Universe films. A certain thing we can bank on is an appearance in the sequel to Justice League to be directed by Zack Snyder.
For the past four years now there’s been rumors on the horizon of Warner Bros developing a Man of Steel 2. Whilst that’s probably likely, there’s been no official announcement or rumored date from the Hollywood trades. It’s probably lower on their priority list than some of the films they already have directors and writers for. In Mid-March, it was rumored that Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman) would direct the Superman sequel. Regardless of the fact, Superman definitely has one confirmed future appearance in Justice League: Part 2.
However, one has to wonder how much Henry Cavill can fit into his now ever-growing schedule. The actor is a huge fan of playing Superman evidently. His personal dog is named Kal and he just envelops himself in the role. He’s always smiling and glistening with joy at San Diego Comic Con appearances. Yet, the man of steel is bringing more job offers and fame to the British actor. He recently appeared in Warner Bros’ The Man From U.N.C.L.E, he’s filming Nomis and will appear in Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission Impossible 6 alongside Tom Cruise.
What do you see for the future of Superman?