Man of Steel needs to be big. It needs to clean the slate of previous film follies and wow audiences. Essentially it needs to do the opposite of what Superman Returns did, which, in case you missed it, turned Superman into an absentee father. Good job Warner Brothers. Anyway, here are just a few ideas of what I think the studio can do to make Superman the film franchise it can be. I don’t go into everything that needs to be included such as certain characters like Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen because I think that is fairly obvious. This is a very loose and brief outline of some of the villains that I would like to see throughout the film franchise (assuming it will be a trilogy) as well as some story elements that should also be included.
First of all, let’s start with the villains. The bad guys need to get progressively bigger and badder through the course of the films. In my opinion the best place to start is with Brainiac but it’s already been confirmed that Zod will be featured in the first movie. I have mixed feelings about this since he was already the big bad of the original Supes sequel Superman 2. Granted that was in the seventies so I can understand why the studio would want to bring him back and introduce him to a modern audience. He’s got the muscle, attitude, and bloodthirsty desire to rule the world and if done right he could make for a great villain for the Man of Steel in, well, Man of Steel. I just hope that this isn’t treated as a remake of Superman 2. I really don’t think the studio will go down this path seeing as how the reboot/sequel that was Superman Returns was a box office bomb (and, once again, they should probably try to avoid the whole bastard child thing).
So, since Zod is the villain of the first movie then let’s move on to the sequel. Like I said before I think Brainiac would be a great baddy for Superman to face. He’s one of Superman’s greatest villains of all time. He’s big, he’s bad, and he likes to collect miniatures. (It’s a lot more menacing than you think). In Grant Morrison’s current run on Action Comics he revealed that Brainiac has invaded Earth in the form of the internet. Crazy right? I’m not saying that the movie needs to do the same thing. BUT you could have Brainiac take over all of Metropolis via the internet. Then he could take over the Metropolis defense systems or something and have Superman FIGHT Metropolis FOR Metropolis.
Now for the third movie I WOULD say the villain is an obvious choice. Darkseid. BUT since DC/WB are supposedly going forward with a Justice League movie my thinking is that Darkseid would make for the ultimate villain of that franchise. So with that said I think that Lex Luthor would be the next best choice for the villain of Superman’s third movie. He is a HUGE part of Superman’s mythology and has the capacity to kick some serious Superman cape. BUT Supes needs a villain he can actually punch in order for the movie to be, you know, entertaining. So the studio needs to include Lex’s classic power armor and a butt load of kryptonite weaponry. (More on how he can possibly acquire this tech later.) We’ve never seen his power armor in anything other than the comics or cartoons and now would be a great time to do it.
Now let’s move on to some elements that should be included. First of all, for the love of Ra, make it Sci-fi! Superman is an ALIEN. He landed on Earth on a SPACESHIP. Superman is inherently sci-fi! Why not take more advantage of this? One way to do this is to showcase more of his Fortress of Solitude. It’s his Bat-cave (only without the bats and I don’t think it’s technically a cave). Anyway, in the comics the Fortress has always been a place of sci-fi wonder, full of all kinds of crazy sci-fi super tech and relics of Krypton. It even holds Superman’s intergalactic zoo! Okay, so maybe the studio should leave that bit out but still, it’s friggin’ awesome! The fortress has been used in the previous movies but I’ve always wanted it to be used in more important ways. It’s a chance to see the Man of Steel when he’s not bumbling around as Clark Kent or saving the world as Superman. It’s a great way for the audience to connect to Superman on a more personal level. The fortress is a piece of Superman’s home and he cares for it deeply.
This leads me to another possible plot element. You could have Luthor break into the fortress and discover plans to a few Kryptonian weapons. Like a super powered suit of armor perhaps? He can also discover all sorts of other secrets about Superman and use them against him. You could even have Lex turn the entire fortress against Superman! They could even have the final climactic battle happen INSIDE the fortress!
Getting back to making the Superman movies more sci-fi is Metropolis. It’s called the City of Tomorrow for crying out loud! Why not make it the leader in the world’s technology? Make the city into a shining city of technological light in full CGI glory. Have Superman fly through the city Spider-man style (but you know, with less webs). Plus, as a part of the Metropolis skyline they should also include S.T.A.R. Labs. It’s been a big part of the comics and various Superman TV shows. Imagine what a big movie budget could transform Metropolis and S.T.A.R. Labs into. I’m thinking something along the lines of Massive Dynamic from Fringe. And if Lex Luthor is causing all sorts of techno trouble then who can Superman turn to for extra help? No, not you Tony Stark, S.T.A.R. Labs! Sorry Tony, have a scotch or something.
So, there ya go. What do you guys think? Are there better villains in Superman’s rouges gallery that should be featured in the films? What about other elements of the Superman mythos? What else should be included in the upcoming Superman movies?