There's no moment in Man of Steel that explicitly announces itself as the beginning of a larger superhero universe, the way Nick Fury arrived at the end of Iron Man to tell him he wasn't the only superhero on their radar. But if you pay even the slightest attention to the way superhero movies are made these days, you know that Man of Steel is intended as the kickoff to a much, much bigger world of films, a chance to bring more DC Comics characters to the screen and eventually unite them in a Justice League movie.
All of those plans are technically on hold until Man of Steel opens this weekend, but given how huge the movie looks, it's really only a formality that's keeping Zack Snyder, David S. Goyer and other WB executives from talking openly about plans for the DC Universe. That doesn't mean Goyer won't drop some hints, though. The Man of Steel screenwriter has already opened up about Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor are part of Man of Steel's universe, and in this Bleeding Cool interview he's a big more up front about how Superman's actions in Man of Steel will lead to more superheroes coming to light:
Having seen Man of Steel I have no idea where they're supposed to be implying that there are other superheroes in this world, but much of the film's emotional through line revolves around Superman being the first one. He's warned repeatedly by Pa Kent (Kevin Costner) that the world might not react well to a super-powered being, and when he does first reveal himself Superman is perceived as a threat by the American military. Eventually, of course, he grows into the heroic role we know him for, and apparently we're supposed to imagine that Bruce Wayne is somewhere nearby in Gotham, suddenly inspired to put on a cape to carry out his heroic deeds. That's not how it happened for Christopher Nolan's version of the character, but since it's been long confirmed that Nolan's Batman won't have anything to do with whatever the DC Universe goes from here, that's not really an obstacle anymore.
The problem that Warner Bros., DC Comics and everybody else has as they continue to drop these hints and set up the pieces for their long-term plan is that Marvel has done it first. The wild success of The Avengers proved that what many thought long impossible-- a superhero team-up film with standalone movies to introduce it-- can work out, and now DC is stuck essentially playing catch-up, starting all over again with Man of Steel and hoping to launch something just as big on their own…5 years after Iron Man set the pace for Marvel's version. There's every reason in the world to think that DC could succeed-- but in this early stage, it's hard to see anything but the long road on the way to getting there.
Staff Writer at CinemaBlend
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.