The DCEU is full of what-ifs, and one of them is the sequel potential of Henry Cavill's Man of Steel. Directed by Zack Snyder, the 2013 film served as the launchpad of the superhero franchise, introducing a new Superman anchored by a fresh origin story and a much darker take for the character.
The film delivered many iconic moments and introduced several major players like Amy Adams' Lois Lane and Diana Lane's Martha Kent. Despite that, Man of Steel still received a divisive reaction from fans and critics, but this didn't stop Warner Bros. from developing a follow-up in the form of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The sequel featured the debut of Ben Affleck's Batman and Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor, but it felt more like a Justice League prequel than a standalone Superman adventure. This means that a proper follow-up for Man of Steel has yet to materialize, but this could be derailed due to the unknown future of Cavill in the DCEU.
Now, Snyder has opened up about his original plans for Man of Steel 2.
ZACK SNYDER ADDRESSES VILLAINS FOR MAN OF STEEL 2
Justice League director Zack Snyder recently sat down with the Post-Credit Podcast to promote his upcoming Netflix film, Army of the Dead, and he talked about the sequel to Henry Cavill's Man of Steel.
When asked which other DC villains he would've brought to the sequel, Snyder confirmed that they “talked about a Brainiac movie” while also teasing that the Kryptonians that are in the Phantom Zone are “probably still around:”
“We talked about a Brainiac movie. But I do think that the Kryptonians that are in the Phantom Zone are probably still around. And there was always a possibility for their return. Faora and whoever’s left. That was a thing that was always out there that we talked about as a possible sequel.”
The visionary director also mentioned that “it's best to give Superman these extraterrestrial challenges” due to the insane power set that the Man of Tomorrow has:
“I just think it’s best to give Superman these extraterrestrial challenges because I think you’ve got to be careful with — other than Lex Luthor, because, of course, you have to continue with Lex, because Lex is his real nemesis — but I think you really have to look outside of the Earth for challenges for him because of how powerful he is.”
WHAT'S THE FUTURE OF HENRY CAVILL'S SUPERMAN?
It would've been fascinating to see Henry Cavill's Superman pitted against Brainiac in a live-action feature, but unfortunately, this will likely serve as a pipe dream for now.
On a plot level, it makes narrative sense for Superman to face Brainiac in a potential Man of Steel 2 since it could propel the heroic journey of the character before settling in with the rest of his teammates in another Justice League team-up.
Snyder's comments about letting Superman deal with extraterrestrial challenges are in line with his current vision for the DCEU. Man of Steel served as the first contact between Earth and aliens, and it seems appropriate for sequels to continue dealing with dangerous threats from space.
Meanwhile, Snyder's idea of Kal-El duking it out against other Kryptonians from the Phantom Zone presents numerous story opportunities, especially after how the first film ended. A glimpse of the fictional prison was seen in the DC blockbuster, and seeing more of this iconic location would've been a visual treat for fans.
It is currently unknown if Snyder and Cavill will return for more Man of Steel sequels, considering that Warner Bros. is now moving forward with another film that is centered on a different Kal-El.
Still, the multiverse creates a prime opportunity for the Snyderverse to return in some form, and the fact that Snyder has a story in mind should serve as a huge launchpad for a sequel down the line.