Late last week John Schnepp, the director of the documentary The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, which examines the breakdown of Tim Burton and Nicolas Cage’s collaboration on a Superman movie in the 1990s, appeared on a podcast for PopCornTalk and dropped the interesting tidbit that Mad Max visionary/director George Miller is in line to make Man of Steel 2 for Warner Brothers/DC. This is just a rumor, but Miller previously tried to make a Justice League movie for WB/DC called Justice League: Mortal—which would have starred Armie Hammer as Batman—that was scrapped in 2008, so it’s not like the idea of George Miller + superheroes is too out there for Warners. I’d be into Miller’s take on the character, as his post-apocalyptic sensibility jives with the ruined Metropolis of the DC cinematic universe.
Warners keeps promising us a “director-driven” DC universe, as opposed to Marvel’s producer-driven model, but since Zack Snyder has already established a tone, it’s unclear as yet how far they’ll really let filmmakers wander off the reservation. David Ayer’s Suicide Squad looks of a piece with what we’ve seen so far from Superhero Face Punch, and Warners has already dismissed one director, Michelle MacLaren, after her take on Wonder Woman veered too far from theirs. If there’s a lesson to be learned from Marvel’s example, it’s that shared continuity means restriction, so it will be interesting to see how WB/DC manages the balancing act.
As of right now, there’s no Man of Steel 2 on the DC movie slate, but with a potential trilogy on the table for Batfleck, it’s not unreasonable to think they’ll revisit solo Superman at some point, too. But DC’s movie future rides on Superhero Face Punch—it has to be a BIG hit, like billion-dollar big. Warners is having a TERRIBLE summer, and they’re eating a metric ton of sh*t from their shareholders, as the decision to push Superhero Face Punch out of this summer—it was originally slated for July—has been awful for their bottom line. (And given how Captain America: Civil War is shaping up, a really questionable choice. Had they stuck to July, they probably would have triumphed over Marvel’s off year.) And if people still don’t take to Henry Cavill’s Superman next year, a Man of Steel sequel will be first on the chopping block.
You can hear Schnepp’s remarks here.
Here are Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer arriving in Rio this weekend.