Welcome to Issue #30 of The Marvelous Da7e! Well well, I’m so used to this time of year being an endless discussion of Academy Award nominees and Sundance movies that I bought my comics re-read list for Captain America; The … Continue reading

Marvelous Da7e #30: The Stories Behind Moving Man of Steel 2

TheMarvelousDa7e30 man of steel superman

Welcome to Issue #30 of The Marvelous Da7e!

Well well, I’m so used to this time of year being an endless discussion of Academy Award nominees and Sundance movies that I bought my comics re-read list for Captain America; The Winter Soldier (starting with the 2 Winter Soldier TPBs and Nick Fury VS. S.H.I.E.L.D.) way too soon. Quietly, Warner Bros moves Man of Steel 2/Batman Vs. Superman/Superman Vs. Batman to May 2016. When I say “quietly,” I mean they dumped it late afternoon Friday the day Sundance started, so: when there weren’t a lot of news sites watching.

But, they hadn’t counted on the reporting sphere they’ve created. The Marvel/DC/Star Wars sphere that is never-sleeping and always hungry. The sphere I now live in full time. The place where people talk about what they’ve heard and then some asshats yell about it like there’s some sort of Scoop Olympics and everyone needs to get the gold or be called out as a hater and everything wrong with entertainment journalism.

I guess if one gives the appearance of lowering the bar for what constitutes a printable rumor, the first thing that happens is one gets flooded with rumors. Some of them are crazy, like the thought that Affleck or Snyder is going to walk off Man of Steel 2, and some of them aren’t so crazy. Some of them even come from sources that seem reputable.

With that in mind, let’s digest the news together that Man of Steel 2: Batman Vs. Superman has been migrated to 2016 while the DC/WB team re-orients and comes up with a suitable plan for how to compete in a Post-Man of Steel/Post-Avengers franchise media landscape.

The reasons for this move are probably simple, though there are many suspicions floating around. The most likely version I’ve heard is that Warner Bros is willing to have the next DC Comics movie be the kick-off point for the Universe, immediately branching out into Justice League films and offshoot films for the popular heroes. Gal Godot has revealed that her Wonder Woman has been signed on for three films, which would be Man of Steel 2, JLA and presumably either a solo film or another team-up like how Black Widow gets to play in Captain America: Winter Soldier this spring.

The problem with having this many huge movies up in the air at one time is that movies don’t usually fall together on their own, and rarely in the time-frame, budget or order that you expect them to, especially in the pre-production phase. It looks like Warners was so quick to bet on the future of Man of Steel that they knew Batman was going to feature in MOS2 before Snyder’s vision of Superman ever hit theaters. Man of Steel making the money it did, the idea grew: take on Marvel by flooding the universe early and diversifying as they went (much like the ever-evolving Star Wars model we keep discovering more pieces of). As Batman Vs. Superman put together a photo-shoot with it’s Jim Lee-inspired Batsuit and everyone got the crazy idea this could work out, the plan to hitch JLA to the back of MOS2’s production gained some steam.

The move was a result of the chaining of the movies and the consequences that has. First, both the JLA and MOS2 scripts need to be finished and they need to interlock to put up with DC’s planned idea of a cliff-hanger structure to counter-act Marvel’s “post-credits scene” linking. That means that the end of Man of Steel 2 has to include the Justice League, which means the Justice League members must be cast and organically introduced in MOS2. So as the Universe evolves, the demand for a fully-formed interconnected franchise becomes a juggling act of business and creative.

If Man of Steel 2 starts shooting in May like Gal Godot has said, then the production of the movie wasn’t moved as much as the delayed release date would make it seem. Or, if you consider some football game B-roll having already been shot, then Snyder has already started his never-ending production schedule, shooting MOS2 while phone-conferencing with Goyer on the JLA script. These things take time to put together, as Kevin Feige and his nebulous “we have decades of plans” hinting would probably tell you.

Now, onto the rumors (as in things from a single source or from multiple sources that I can’t prove aren’t hearing it from each other in a mad, mad echo chamber), and my mental attempts to grapple with them.

First, and one that’s been coming from several people: Joaquin Phoenix is going to be Lex Luthor. Seems entirely possible. Mostly because people like money and it’s not out of the realm of possibility for Phoenix to be Lex Luthor in this Universe and do other films that might be more important to him. Either this is something that Warner Bros really wants to happen or it is already happening for a five-picture deal. That’s the spectrum of this rumor.

Second, Kevin Smith has seen a Jim Lee-inspired Batsuit. It’s hard to tell who is parrotting Smith and who is an independent source confirming a rumor, but it seems likely to me that Batman will don the Grey-and-Blue on screen for the first time since Adam West. That means tiny ears on the cowl and a big black bat across the chest. This seems like it’s happening. The more interesting thing I’ve heard is that Batman will actually wear 2 batsuits in the film, but where as Grey-and-Blue has already been designed and Affleck has worn it, the second Batsuit is more armored like the one in the Dark Knight Returns and Kingdom Come comics. I bring this up, because this rumor seems a bit more expected in a movie where Batman fights Superman, because: of course, Batman would die without an armored suit. However, this suit is still being designed, so Kevin Smith and Jennifer Garner can’t tell you about it yet. This also made me think better about that time I heard Superman’s design is being tweaked to look more Kingdom-Come-ish as well (S-curl, ho?)

Third, Josh Holloway: they want him to be Aquaman. Go back to the rumor post I put up this week, sharp-eyed viewers will notice I cut one of the spoilers from the forum post. I did that because it speculated on who WB wants for Aquaman and it looked like old news. The new news that seems the most likely is WB is talking to CBS to reach a deal with Holloway and his series Intelligence. They seem to like Josh Holloway enough that one of our sources believes it will dictate Aquaman’s involvement. I haven’t heard great things about Intelligence and I’d prefer Sawyer wipe out Vincent Chase’s hold on the Aquaman spot in my brain. Man, in hindsight, I wish I hadn’t watched so much Entourage.

Fourth, since why-the-hell-not, it sounds like Batman and Robin’s rumored conflict in Man of Steel 2 is going to lead to some Affleck solo bat-films. Those films might be looking for both Red Hoods and Nightwings (thoroughly skipping over years in the Batman mythology) and I guess they like Jensen Ackles from the CW’s Supernatural for one of those parts. Supernatural fans, welcome to Batman world.

The bottom line is: this could all be in flux, everything about the DC Film Universe is at the moment as Snyder and Goyer wrestle to provide a direction (and if any of the rumors from earlier in the week are true, a direction that builds off the consequences of Superman’s actions in Man of Steel) for several upcoming films. This only looks like disorganization when compared to Marvel, who have totally met to decide what’s going to happen on May 6th, 2016.

If I had to guess what is going to happen with Marvel’s May 6th 2016 release, I’d say Dr. Strange gets announced as going into that spot in the next couple of months, then – after Captain America: The Winter Soldier does good business in April – they’ll push the Phase Three movie into April 2016 to give Man of Steel 2 some space.

If I got my WISH, Marvel would put a solo Hulk movie on May 6th 2016. They’d let Mark Ruffalo do his “green” Hulk movie on, say a Planet Hulk, and leave it sitting there like a Green Behemoth on May 6th. Hulk movies usually don’t do well, so there’s little chance of it winning the weekend, but I’d nab #2 easily and the weight of those two movies landing on the same day would punish anything that dared to come out later in the month. The message from Marvel would be: we’re not scared of your two flagship characters.

Most of that seems unlikely to happen, but it’d make me so happy to roll from one theater to the next and see dueling comic book movies.

Anyway, DC plopping a movie down on a Marvel date was bound to happen sooner or later. I just can’t imagine there’s anything to be gained from either perspective knowing that putting Man of Steel 2 in Phase 3 could plop JLA up against Avengers’ Infinity Gauntlet trilogy capper. And THAT day would be the day to die happy.

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  • Pat Kolp

    Interesting. Great article.

  • AlexiasLazar

    Still pending is the inclusion of ‘Arrow’ and “The Flash,’ though by casting C/B listers like Gal and Jensen, it may happen!

  • Mike

    Fantastic article, as always. I’m curious to know your thoughts on DC’s handling of this situation so far. A lot of the news I’m hearing lately gives the impression that DC is still not clear on the direction they want to take for the DCU. Considering that filming on MOS2 is very near, this is more than a little troubling for me as I’m sure it is for many DC fans… Would love to hear your opinion on this issue.

  • Pat Kolp

    I hope they dont cast Holloway as Aquaman, although i like him as an actor, i dont think half our JL memebers should be old. Batman? yeah that makes sense but lets have a some what 20′s or 30′s aged aquaman and a young GL.

  • Warren

    Jensen Ackles actually voiced the Red Hood in the Batman:Under the Red Hood animated movie. Just wondering if there’s some confusion there or if they actually want him to also play the live action version.

  • Trevor DeBus

    Question: How would Superman change his suit, if it was provided as an “undersuit” by his father and that ship was mostly destroyed in the battle of Metropolis? Isn’t the one he’s wearing the last one?
    Unless he salvaged the ship and some technology that allowed him to make a new one…
    Also: AWESOME article!

  • The__Usual_Suspect

    Well done. I like the bit where you mention the idea of these big-screen battles. Good news for us watching them.

  • Pat Kolp

    That would be pretty cool if he was the red hood. And i like the idea of them skipping over the time where Dick Grayson was robin. Interesting.

  • black

    I can see if now.. the expandables version of justice league.. by the time justice league comes out they will all be old farts

  • Howie

    The reason the MOS sequel, Batman vs Superman (it’s not MOS2, production called it BvS; and not even superman vs batman, so enough w/ the mos2), was pushed back is because of the defining factor no one seems to remember or be touching on. What happened just before this delay broke; who was in meetings w/ the bigwigs of wb; who refreshes franchises turning movies into money presses? dndadah -Dwayne theRock Johnson! Production would’ve continued as scheduled had they not landed the actor. As soon as he came on board they had to readjust, and as soon as he did sign in they did adjust, almost immediately. It’s great, too bad we all have to wait, but still he’s great to have in a franchise.
    And this whole idea of having JL, then branch off into solo films has been the plan since mortal, so don’t think it’s something new.
    We all want a Affleck directed Batman franchise.

  • axebox

    If the suit is organic it could just be reformed, yet still be the “same” suit. Just a guess.

  • axebox

    I am wondering this as well. Arrow is turning into a fantastic show and character. It wouldn’t be hard at all for DC to include Arrow in any of the films.

  • kapow!

    Well-thought out article. Thank u

  • NatSolo

    the problem is is that they’re so desperate for a justice league, they don’t care how they get there so long as they don’t have to do any work. i understand the apprehension of building a cohesive universe via solo’s with the way GL performed. but it would have been so much better if they actually had a plan in mind after tdkr finished that trilogy, and MoS was about to be released.

    they could have had a WW solo featured exclusively on themyscira with the world engine playing a part in that environment at the end of a ww film. they could have had a hal jordan space coppin’ when he hears about the events in mos. we could have had a flash movie where that world engine could have been responsible for the malfunctioning of that particle accelerator like in the Arrowverse, which may or may not have been partly responsible for giving flash is powers. and since we just had a batman trilogy, his reveal could have been the last, in a batman vs superman/justice league. we could have gotten the flash, WW, gl, between 2014-2015 and had justice league perfectly set up by 2016.

  • NatSolo

    I’m curious about that as well. if the kara prequel comic is too be believed as canon, the suit was probably created in the ship since there was no male from the house of EL in that scout ship.

  • Trevor DeBus

    I like. Especially how the world engine connects everything: messing with the fishes (Aquaman), disturbing the peace (Wonder Woman), giving Barry Allen his powers (Flash), and causing Green Lantern to return to earth to help with the cleanup.
    Maybe Hal is off planet and discovers a lost Kryptonian outpost with a defunct world engine, and is able to help with the cleanup because of what he found? Or offers some (sarcastic) insight into ways to balance it’s effect of the environment?

  • Pat Kolp

    Also, after the JL, who will write and direct all the other movies? will they have Goyer do a rough draft for all of the new movies? you cant really have Snyder and goyer do all the movies for the DCCU

  • Kalyeb Gordon

    dont forget Affleck, I think Katheryn Bigelow (Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) would make a great addition to the DCCU. as well as Sam Mendes (SKyfall) for maybe a Wonder Woman movie.

  • Hillb817

    I just can’t believe that we are even reading posts like this! Talking about the next big Marvel movie or DC movie. Let alone the new Star Wars movies that are going to star the original cast? Really sometimes I can’t believe i’m not dreaming. I can remember being 15 thinking it would be so cool if they made a Avengers movie or how cool would it be if they made a Thor movie. We live in exciting times makes me feel like i’m 15 again.

  • CComry

    I predicted that this film would enter production hell when is was first announced, and recent events seem to support my prediction.

  • asdfdsf

    I personally find Jenson ackle to be a decent cast for the rumored batman/Red Hood movie spinoff but he’s too old.

  • Pat Kolp

    Those would be some good names.

  • Chris Groves

    I REALLY hope that they let the CW shows be their own ‘universe’, and keep the films as their own universe. Arrow has already introduced and ‘tweaked’ so many characters, and Flash will likely do the same. To properly co-ordinate and make everything work would be a headache, especially since these shows were not initially conceived as being part of the DC film universe.

    So we would hit a weird spot of ‘there has been no indication of these properties taking place in the same universe, but now we’re going to retroactively say that they WERE always in the same universe’. It’s like using a flashback to reveal Uncle Ben’s “real killer” in Spider-Man 3. It feels too ‘on the fly’.

    NOW, if they want to commit to getting involved in the ‘Gotham’ TV series, and make it an official prequel series to the DC Film universe, than that could certainly work out, since it would be preceding the events of MOS and be ‘in front of’ the timeline and current events of the MOS, Batman vs Superman, and Justice League films.

    It would also be a fun roundabout way to give glimpses to the past of the ‘DC Film Universe’ incarnation of Wayne/Batman. It doesn’t seem like they’ll be doing a Batman Begins-esque ‘origin film’ for Affleck’s Batman, so having a TV show that can dabble into that story a little would make up for it.

  • Chris Groves

    I’m keeping fingers crossed that Bryan Cranston will be cast as James Gordon, reprising his ‘Batman: Year One’ voice-role, and that MAYBE Year One will sort of serve as the ‘loose origin story’ of Affleck’s Batman.

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  • BoomTube77

    I’m just going to say this and be out… Even if Batman wears a super armored suit he would still not be able to go toe to toe and die in a battle with Superman. Severe internal damage…sever damage from inertia… I know ppl loves their Batman, but come on. Batman is just a gnat buzzing around in Superman’s face!

  • T

    He is NOT too old! He’s perfect.

  • runner_j

    Good analysis, Da7e. I agree with everything except one thing: A full-on Planet Hulk movie would kick ass at the box office. The Hulk felt a little watered down to me somehow in his first two films, but audiences really responded to the way the character was done in The Avengers. I think Marvel would give us the solo Hulk movie we all would want to see, and frankly I don’t think we have seen as yet.

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