Thoughts on Man of Steel 2 (aka Batman vs. Superman)

Batman vs. Superman (Man of Steel 2)If you know me, you know my reaction to this already: wait and see. I absolutely LOVED Man of Steel, and am hoping that Man of Steel 2 is another great Superman film. Including Batman in the film only scares me as much as I want another Man of Steel and not a half Supes/half Bats movie. I want Clark at the Daily Planet, I want Superman doing more super things like in Man of Steel and I want more Smallville and Ma Kent.

That said, with Affleck, my first instinct was to think negatively about it… but then I thought, no. I won’t give in to even my own negative thoughts about what it could be. Usually, in these situations, my own imagination will tend to take things way out of proportion, and only when I see it will I understand if it does or doesn’t make me happy. I feel the same way about Gal Gadot being cast as Wonder Woman.

My thoughts are that there’s going to be a Lex Luthor/Bruce Wayne business deal type of thing, and I think Affleck is perfect for what I’ve heard they’re going for. His work in the last few years has shown that he’s got the chops to pull it off. I remember the same reaction to the casting of Heath Ledger as Joker, and we all know that turned out to be a stroke of genius.

With Wonder Woman, we’ll see how she’s included, and how much. It could be, for instance, a part of a montage during which Clark is reporting about heroes appearing all over the world. We don’t really know the extent of the character’s role in the film, and won’t know until reports from the set, or the movie is released.

I’m not one to prejudge a movie based on what characters are in it, who’s playing them, or my own ideas… as a fan of Man of Steel, I feel that (this being the same creative team) it’s in good hands, and they’re not going to do anything like this lightly. I think it’s fine that they’re going the Marvel style route with their films now. It was a big gamble for Marvel and it pulled off, so why not?

The theme of the movie needs to be about Superman earning his place as a hero in the world, now that the world knows about his existence. In fact, his existence is much more complicated in that the bigger story is that there is life on other planets. This leads to the possibility that Brainiac could become a major villain in either Man of Steel 2 or 3 (as does the Codex being part of Superman’s blood).

My thoughts are that Batman already exists in the world of Man of Steel, so he’s come to Metropolis to check out the new hero on the planet, and perhaps to make a deal with Lex Luthor at the same time. According to rumors, he’s also got a date with a woman named Diana. Diana being Wonder Woman.

As long as they don’t dwell on the other heroes, and simply have them appear enough to make sense with the story, and the next leg of Clark’s journey toward becoming the hero that Superman is, then I don’t have a problem with it. It has to make sense to grow the character of Superman and/or Clark Kent, and it has to mean something.

If Man of Steel was about how he became Superman and ultimately chose to save earth rather than his own actual home, then Man of Steel 2 needs to take the next step in his progression. If that means that we must see a battle-hardened, years of being a hero, Batman, as well as a Wonder Woman that may or may not have been active in the public eye yet, all so that Superman can learn how to balance his life as a hero with his life as Clark Kent, then so be it. Which makes me think that perhaps *balance* is the right theme for the sequel to take.

Since I wrote the above about a month ago, more has happened in the world of Man of Steel 2.

Ben Affleck on Man of Steel 2

We’ll start with some comments that Ben Affleck made about being cast as Bruce Wayne / Batman. [via comingsoon]

“When they asked if I would be Batman, I told them I didn’t see myself in the role and I was going to have to beg off. They said I’d fit well into how they were going to approach the character and asked me to look at what the writer-director, Zack Snyder, was doing. The stuff was incredible…..It was a unique take on Batman that was still consistent with the mythology. It made me excited. All of a sudden I had a reading of the character. When people see it, it will make more sense than it does now or even than it did to me initially.”

He then commented on the difference between his character and the Christian Bale version, and how his version doesn’t actually step on any toes there.

“I don’t want to give away too much, but the idea for the new Batman is to redefine him in a way that doesn’t compete with the Bale and Chris Nolan Batman but still exists within the Batman canon. It will be an older and wiser version, particularly as he relates to Henry Cavill’s Superman character.”

And finally about the reaction of the internet:

“I understand I’m at a disadvantage with the internet. If I thought the result would be another Daredevil, I’d be out there picketing myself. [laughs] Why would I make the movie if I didn’t think it was going to be good and that I could be good in it?”

Two more cast members: Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth

Snyder stated, “Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.”

Eisenberg is the same age as Henry Cavill, and has proven that he can play a guy that people instinctively hate, so in my mind he seems to be a perfect choice for Lex Luthor.

The director added, “As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.”

Jeremy Irons is a solid choice for Alfred, following Michael Caine in playing the role, Irons is different enough to be able to make the role his own.

Snyder’s film stars Henry Cavill, reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent, Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. The film also reunites Man of Steel stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

The new film is currently being written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.

The film is set to open worldwide on May 6, 2016.

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