Welcome back to another edition of The Superman-On-Film Weekly Planet, where I’ll discuss any recent Superman news that relates to his exploits on the screen.
This week there’s been very little in the way of news when it comes to a new Superman movie, but then again that’s been the case since Justice League came out. At the time, I remember hearing that the studio was actually quite happy with Joss Whedon’s take on the Man of Steel in the film (and don’t shoot the messenger, but word is that Henry Cavill was, too), and there was hope for where he could go now that he was back from the dead with a new lease on life.
But when Justice League fell on its face at the box office, that all but killed our chances of seeing another solo Superman movie starring Cavill. When that happened, the internal belief at the studio was that this iteration of the character had worn out its welcome and failed to connect with a large enough audience to warrant further chapters. This belief stemmed from the fact that 2013’s Man of Steel didn’t live up to the internal projections the studio had for the $225 Million reboot, followed by the rough reception 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice got, and 2017’s Justice League opening to a dismal $92 million.
Through three movies, the studio had gotten the impression that this Superman just wasn’t cutting it.
So here we are, nearly four years since the last new Superman appearance on the big screen, with nothing concrete to discuss about what’s next.
This week, the news items related to Superman are that Michael B. Jordan’s HBO Max limited series Val Zod has taken a major step forward, and that our beloved Supes is directly referenced in a line of dialogue in Marvel’s The Eternals.
While both of those things are pretty cool, I’d like to steer your attention towards a different Kryptonian that we actually do know some concrete things about: Supergirl.
In Andy Muschietti’s The Flash, Sasha Calle is set to play the Girl of Steel in a story that spans the entire DC Multiverse. We even got our first tiny glimpse of her in the DC FanDome teaser for the film.
What’s interesting about Calle’s Supergirl is that there are several interesting ways Muschietti could be going with her. Just based on two things that were set up in Zack Snyder’s DC films, he’s got options to pull from. And if you think that’s crazy, since DC has shifted away from the Snyderverse, think again, because there are several clear signs that this film will borrow from what’s come before.
The most obvious sign is that Ezra Miller is back as the Scarlet Speedster, and that Ben Affleck agreed to get back under the cowl as Batman for The Flash, but even Calle’s Supergirl is linked to the Snyderverse in that Muschietti has her wearing the same “S” crest as Henry Cavill.
When it comes to Superman on Film, we’ve had three versions of this symbol- each unique to the Superman who wore it. Christopher Reeve had his:
Brandon Routh had his:
And Henry Cavill has his:
When you consider that Muschietti had the entire DC multiverse to pull from, and that he had the creative freedom to do whatever he wanted with this version of Supergirl, I think it’s very notable that he chose to keep the Superman crest that was designed for Snyder’s movies.
But what if that’s not the only link?
See, Snyder planted multiple seeds in his DCEU movies that could’ve grown into Calle’s Supergirl. The most known of those seeds is the backstory he gave the Kryptonian scout ship in Man of Steel, where a prequel comic revealed that Kara Zor-El had been on the ship, leaving her current whereabouts a mystery.
But an even more interesting seed was planted in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, because in that film Lois Lane is pregnant with Kal-El’s child. How would that connect to Supergirl, you ask? Because Calle’s Supergirl seems to draw great inspiration from the Lara Lane Kent version of the character, and that version isn’t Kal’s cousin, but rather his daughter.
In 2014, comic book creators Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo came up with this new iteration of Supergirl, which reimagined her as the super-powered daughter of Lois and Clark.
Of course, Muschietti is under no obligation to continue anything that was set up in ZSJL, but that didn’t stop him from bringing back Kiersey Clemons to play Iris West. That’s super notable because she didn’t appear in the theatrical cut of the film (which is considered the official canon) but did factor into a key Flash sequence in ZSJL.
So it’s clear the director has a healthy amount of respect for Snyder’s choices, and I’m keen to learn more about this new Supergirl we’ll be meeting next year.
Lastly for this week, I’d just like to point out how Dwayne Johnson very recently continued to discuss the idea of Black Adam battling Superman- which is an idea he’s been seemingly obsessed with for several years now. Check out this response he had on twitter, to a writer suggesting Superman could defeat Adam:
Johnson wants this showdown to happen so badly, folks.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading!