Could Henry Cavill’s next appearance be the best Superman movie yet?
Even the most avid DC Universe enthusiasts must admit that, thus far, the franchise has been a blended bag. At one cease are stable and effective solo memories like The Batman and Wonder Woman; at the other, the disordered mess that changed into the 2016 Suicide Squad. The first Man of Steel likely falls someplace in the center, a completely unique and exciting take on Superman with loads of factors to like, however in the end a movie that failed one of the maximum crucial factors in superhero stories. Now that Man of Steel 2 seems to be officially in the works, it has the opportunity to do what the unique never did – construct itself around a sturdy topic.
What exactly does a solid subject appear to be in a superhero film? In order to paintings, a film’s topic has to tie into its principal conflict. In superhero movies, this generally takes the form of a villain bent on domination or destruction, like Wonder Woman’s Ares (David Thewlis), who desires to destroy humanity due to the fact he would not agree with they deserve the arena given to them by way of the gods. Diana (Gal Gadot), alternatively, is naive and optimistic, having lived her sheltered life on Themyscira, and he or she believes that humans are inherently true. But while she sees the atrocities human beings devote in opposition to each other, she wavers on this notion. In the give up, it is Steve Trevor’s (Chris Pine) selfless sacrifice that convinces her that at the same time as humanity is indeed incorrect, it is worth fighting for. “It’s now not about deserve,” she tells Ares throughout their fight, “it’s about what you trust. And I accept as true with in love.” It’s a easy, powerful message with a clear throughline from Diana’s inner struggle to the very last war.
A Chance for a More Hopeful Superman
Like Wonder Woman, preceding iterations of Superman have generally targeted themselves around easy, fantastic subject matters: desire, optimism, and of path, reality, justice, and the American way. In the sooner comics, the Christopher Reeve movies, and most TV variations, Clark makes use of his powers to protect humanity due to the fact he appears like one of us, only a healthful Kansas boy who takes place so that you can fly. Zack Snyder’s tackle Superman become a departure, focusing instead on his status as an interloper and his problem becoming in; Henry Cavill, even though, has hinted that Superman’s subsequent look will go back to a extra traditional, nice tone. So, how may a brand new solo Superman film reconcile Clark’s feeling of being an outsider with the “joyful” tone that we see in more traditional Superman memories?
The answer, of path, is Lois Lane. Amy Adams’ Lois – greater than Clark’s parents, fellow heroes, Daily Planet colleagues, or every body else – is his connection to humanity. The starting of Justice League units this up truely in the cellular cellphone photos taken by children, where they ask Superman his favored factor about Earth. He smiles wistfully to himself, and the photos cuts off before he answers, however we understand he’s thinking of Lois. Man of Steel teases this too, however, like the various things it sets up, it in no way will pay it off. When young Clark’s powers show up and crush him, Martha (Diane Lane) advises him to “make the world small,” and this could have been a terrific tie-in to Clark’s connection to Lois later within the movie. The sequel has another chance to repay this setup: to Clark, Lois is the arena, and while he feels crushed by using the burdens put on him, and disconnected from humanity, he makes the sector small – he thinks of Lois.
Superman Has Always Been About Sacrifice
Lois can be an effective vehicle for themes of connection, but also for themes of selflessness and sacrifice. Movies like to turn Superman into Jesus, but this version of Superman has already given his own life to save humanity once. What, then, does he have left to sacrifice? His mother, and Lois. Clark already experienced a major loss as a young man when his father sacrificed himself to protect Clark’s identity, and it turned him into a purposeless wanderer, at least until he found a replacement father in an ancient Kryptonian ship. What would the loss of Martha or Lois do to him? How would he find the strength to carry on? Where would he find his connection to humanity without Lois? What lessons could he learn about grief and resilience?
Another thrilling possibility is a scenario in which Clark has to choose among saving someone he loves or saving a massive group of people. It is probably a little cliché (Batman has already carried out some thing comparable two times), however it would work flawlessly with the subject of selflessness. (For the record, I’m not rooting for Clark’s mom or Lois Lane to be killed off. But if the subsequent Superman movie wants to explore themes of sacrifice, this has to be a opportunity.)
Alternatively, Henry Cavill’s cameo within the mid-credit scene of Black Adam teased the idea that the 2 of them may want to square off sooner or later, and this would be an terrific possibility to tie in Black Adam’s subject matter approximately the ethics of killing. Superman was pressured to homicide Zod along with his naked hands on the give up of Man of Steel, and it actually harm him to achieve this. If Clark and Adam faced each other with this query striking within the balance, Clark could ought to solution for his movements in his in advance film. This could not best function a strong subject matter for the sequel however would additionally redeem the shortage of payoff to this theme within the original.
Although a villain is often a requirement in superhero movies nowadays, a extra optimistic Superman movie would additionally gain from scenes of Clark saving human beings from herbal failures or injuries. This might fit well with themes of wish and idealism, themes for which Superman has stood for years. We have not visible a lot of these forms of scenes to this point in the DCEU, however they used to be not unusual in Superman films of the past. The scene in Superman Returns in which Clark catches a crashing aircraft and lands it gently on a baseball diamond in front of a cheering crowd is a great instance. It’s gratuitous in that it doesn’t have plenty to do with the plot, but it has everything to do with the subject matter of that film: the world needs heroes.
With over eighty years of comics records to draw from, not to mention the option to write new, unique stories, DC Studios has countless possibilities for setting up both inner and external conflicts for Kal-El, and drawing strong subject matters from those conflicts. Let’s desire that with new chairs and CEOs at DC and in all likelihood a new director on the helm, Man of Steel’s sequel will build the form of grounded and compelling topic that its hero–and its audience–deserve.
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