ByGoku San, writer at
Industrial Engineer and a film buff. Follow me on twitter @GokuSan8788
Goku San

I liked Man of Steel and was initially disappointed that we won't get a stand-alone MOS sequel but more I think about it, I feel DC is doing the right thing.

The following are the reasons I feel it is the step in the right direction.

A) Man of Steel's reception

Man of Steel was an okay film, not great, not terrible. While a commercial success, it was a critical flop. Rotten Tomatoes : 56% , Metacritic: 55%. Stats don't lie.

Word of mouth was also quite poor since it dropped 66% on the second weekend from its opening weekend tally.

Consider the following examples.

1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was a critical flop (Rotten Tomatoes 58%) but grossed over 1 billion due to the acclaimed Lord of the Rings trilogy that came before it.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in spite of being a vast improvement over its prequel (Rotten Tomatoes 74%) grossed less.

2. X-Men: Last Stand coming off of highly successful X1 and X2 grossed 102 million opening weekend although it had mixed reviews (Rotten Tomatoes 58%)

X- Men: Days of Future Past due to X-Men: Last Stand's poor reception in spite of getting rave reviews grossed just 91 million opening weekend.

In all likelihood, if DC made a Man of Steel sequel it would have shown a decline in earnings. Once a franchise shows a downward slide studios cancel the franchise. Batman sells like hot cake. So using Batman as a stepping stone to building DC cinematic universe while at the same time giving support to the Man of Steel franchise is a very smart move indeed

B) Man of Steel's content problems

People had the following issues with man of Steel

1. Superman was dead serious, introspective, brooding loner instead of being a grinning , sunny , corny sociable farm boy which the character is generally portrayed in most incarnations [ Pre-New 52 mainly]

2. Aftermath of Destruction in Metropolis, Smallville and Superman killing Zod were not addressed

According to Snyder 5000 people died in Metropolis and Smallville. Superman himself unintentionally caused hundreds of deaths via collateral damage and also billions in property damage while battling Kryptonians. At the end of the movie however everything was glossed over and no repercussions were addressed.

The above two problems are mutually exclusive. If we address the destruction , superman will be wracked with guilt and regret. He will never forgive himself and spend the entire next film feeling depressed and moping. If we make superman happy and carefree in the Man of Steel sequel it would have caused people to feel betrayed over the fact that 2nd point wasn't ever addressed.

However since Batman is in the movie the movie can take a somber tone and address Man of Steel's destruction problems and no-one will have a problem with the serious approach since Batman is suited for such an approach.

C) Superman is the greatest icon but a problematic cinematic character

1. Lots of CGI required.

Superman can lift 100 tons , faster than speeding bullet and hence to portray him on-screen in all his glory heavy use of CGI is required. due to lots of CGI the stakes and emotional weight of action sequences is lost. Remember how awesome looking the Superman vs Zod Final Battle was , but still lacked emotional investment due to knowledge that its CGI Zod and CGI Kal-El kicking the shit of each other with no-one even getting a scratch. People and critics are increasingly getting tired of special effects usage. They want actual stunts, practical effects etc. which are impossible in a Superman movie.

2. Doesn't suit grounded, gritty direction that DC is taking the cinematic universe in, hence requires a strategy overhaul.

Superman was created as a response to economic depression. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the character as an escapist fantasy to make sure that people can escape their daily problems and believe in the impossible. He was never created to be a reflection of our dire times. He is supposed to be our most optimistic fantasy. Man of Steel portrayed issues such as 9-11, terrorism, government mistrust etc. portraying a grim outlook on current society which is great, however the character they chose was never made to reflect on our problems rather to give wings to our dreams and hence it got mixed reception and polarized audiences.

So after taking stock of Man of Steel , Batman V Superman and Justice League can improve on the portrayal of the character , after which Man of Steel 2 could be a much more improved sequel.


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