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As if a sequel to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel was ever in doubt, the blockbuster’s performance over the weekend solidified Warner Bros. (easy) decision to move forward with more Superman movies and, probably, a Justice League of America film. Snyder’s Man earned a stellar $125 million since opening on Thursday evening, setting a new record for a June opening – besting the $110M earned by Pixar Animation Studio’s Toy Story 3 back in 2010. Now we’re hearing that Warner wants a Man of Steel sequel on the fast track … though you still might be surprised at just how fast the studio is hoping to respond.
If you can believe a Wall Street Journal story that broke Sunday evening, Warner is hoping that Snyder and his screenwriter, David S. Goyer, can get Man of Steel 2 in theaters in 2014. As in “next year.” Which is insane. The site quotes “knowledgeable people close to the studio,” which doesn’t exactly have me lining up at the ticket booth waiting to catch the next chapter in Kal-El’s journey. But it does mean that an official announcement regarding the future of Superman on screen could be coming down the pipe soon rather than later.
The reason for the fast track on Man of Steel 2? The WSJ says that Warner likely wants to keep its Justice League of America project on track for 2015. That date was announced a while back … long before Man of Steel even opened. It’s WILDLY ambitious to think that Warner can get all of its JLA ducks in a row in order to hit a 2015 release date. But maybe. Just … maybe.
You have to assume that this is a direct response to the fact that Marvel and Joss Whedon have the wheels spinning toward The Avengers 2, which is going to open in theaters in May 2015. But as you know, there were multiple steps Marvel took before reaching a second Avengers movie. So far, in addition to launching a Superman franchise, the studio has closed the door on the Dark Knight franchise and released a subpar Green Lantern movie. That’s not exactly Marvel’s Phase One.
Now, let’s focus on the Man of Steel sequel. A few key elements are in place to say that 2014 is possible … though improbable. Snyder and Goyer are locked in, and can begin working on the movie immediately – if they haven’t started already. The cast and the production team likely would just transition right into the sequel. It reminds me a little bit of Fast 7, which is racing toward a July 2014 release even though Universal just released part six. But even with that franchise, they have been doing several of them over the years. Man of Steel is still kind of new. Can Snyder pull it off?
I’m torn. Part of me thinks that Snyder and his team should be given time to develop what they have started in Man of Steel. At the same time, I can understand Warner’s sense of urgency, and a desire to strike while the iron is hot.
What do you think? Is Man of Steel 2 possible for 2014? And should Warner keep the JLA movie on its schedule for 2015? Or is that production schedule too crazy, and it’s bound to affect the finished product? Share your thoughts below!