Over the past week, HBO has aired Man of Steel about as often as the Food Network airs Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I've seen Man of Steel a number of times already, but have found myself watching bits and pieces throughout the week while it's been on TV. I suppose a part of me is hoping -- perhaps praying -- that I will somehow fall in love with the movie. That way, I can at least view the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film with a sense of optimism rather than a sense of dread.
While I'm certain the Man of Steel sequel will be a cash cow for the studio, I worry that the film will fall well short of fans' expectations and put the future of the DC Universe in jeopardy. The studio seems hell-bent on keeping pace with the Marvel Universe instead of taking their time to layout a successful plan for creating their own.
As I've said before, what's made the Marvel Universe so great is that they've not only given each major character their own solo film, but they created a believable world where heroes can actually exist. It feels like Warner Bros. wants to stick to the Nolan-Dark-Knight blueprint and try and fit heroes into a world grounded in reality. Not the right way to go.
Regardless, I am interested in seeing where Batman vs. Superman picks up and how much the events from Man of Steel will factor into the plotline. With that in mind, here are my three main questions about the upcoming film.
How Does Lex Luthor Not Know Who Superman Is?
Lex Luthor is said to be a brilliant young mind, and while I'm interested in seeing how Jesse Eisenberg portrays the character, one question keeps lingering in the back of my mind: How does Lex not know who Superman is?
It seems that anybody in their right mind and with the proper resources could figure out the Man of Steel's true identity. Think about it; if an alien race comes to Earth and starts attacking a small town in Kansas, chances are there is a reason they picked that specific location, right? If Luthor started his search there and did background checks on all the residents, he would likely find stories and urban legends surrounding one Clark Kent. Now, this could very well be a key plot point in Batman vs. Superman. Does Luthor look there, and more importantly, do the citizens of Smallville embrace their town savior and protect his true identity from the general public? I grew up in a New England town, and everyone there was like one big family, so it is not out of the question to think a town would watch out for one of their own. However, the lies of a few townsfolk likely wouldn't stop Luthor from discovering the truth. Plus, the world knows that Lois Lane is close with Superman, so Luthor will probably try and discover the truth (or at least clues) through her.
Metropolis or Gotham?
The film is going to feature both Metropolis and Gotham, but the question remains as to which city will receive the most screen time. I get the feeling Gotham will play a more prominent role, despite the fact that this is Superman's sequel. The film will probably start off with Bruce Wayne coming to Metropolis to help Lex Luthor rebuild the city before things shift back to Gotham. We know the Batmoblie will be in the movie, which means the Batcave has to make an appearance, as does Wayne Manor. Gotham seems a likely place for a climactic battle between Batman and Superman to take place. Plus, you've already destroyed Metropolis, so why not do damage to a new city? Also, Superman can shuttle back and forth between cities with ease, so I foresee a battle between Batman and Superman taking place on the Dark Knight's turf before the two team up and return to Metropolis to confront Lex Luthor. The other question that needs to be asked then, will we see (or get a tease) of any infamous Batman foes while we are in Gotham? I'm going to say we will.
What About Wonder Woman?
You've all heard the expression, "Feeling like a third wheel." Well, that's exactly how I feel about Wonder Woman (played by Gal Gadot) in this film. With the working title of the movie being Batman vs. Superman you almost forget that she is going to be appearing in the movie. Rumor has it she pretends to be an employee of Wayne Enterprises so she can search for something that belongs to her tribe, but that storyline in and of itself sounds like it should be its own separate film. It's going to be hard enough fitting Batman into a world where a man in spandex and a red cape flies around, so to try and bring Wonder Woman into the fold right away, too, seems like a huge mistake. She is a prominent character in DC mythology, one that deserves the respect of an origin story like some of the other big name heroes. She is not a secondary character that can just be thrown into the mix like Black Widow in Iron Man 2. If she is going to be one of the main members of a Justice League movie she deserves as much screen time and development as Batman and Superman. Right now, I get the feeling her presence will feel like an unnecessary addition. Now if it were Christopher Nolan at the helm of this film, I'd have more confidence, but with Zack Snyder leading the way I have a feeling Wonder Woman will not get the character development she needs and deserves. Hell, Snyder couldn't even develop a compelling Superman in Man of Steel.
So even though we are still two years away from seeing Batman and Superman square off on the big screen, fans everywhere continue to wonder what direction this movie is going to take and, more importantly, can this film lay the foundation for a successful DC Universe?
If Man of Steel is a sign of things to come, then we should all be thankful that Captain America 3 is scheduled to come out the same day as Batman vs. Superman. That way, we can at least watch one superhero universe that got it right.
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