Then again, the last thing I want is for them to cram someone like Lex into a movie where he wasn't supposed to be. That's the problem with reactionary writing by a studio... The goal should be to write a good script, not to hit all of the marketing goals. It's all a balancing act, but it's far too easy for the studio to get that wrong. They'll say that Lex was a hit, so the next thing you know, Justice League involves them bringing in Lex to be a reluctant part of the team. Now you have Lex Luthor on the Justice League.
It's like when they made Spike a good guy on "Buffy". It just didn't work for the character or the story, and it was done for all of the wrong reasons.
There would be no way to get Batman out before Justice League at this point. It would take a year of development on that movie, followed by production, followed by post. It would be two or three years away, which would then put Justice League at at least four years away. That would push back the introductions of every other character they have... basically, as I said before, they'd be better off just scrapping the whole plan at that point. Because it's a train wreck, compounded by the horrible PR that would be surrounding them because of it.
They can still make tweaks to the script for JL, and even reshoot some stuff if they want. They can bump up colors in post. They can do a lot of things within the structure of their schedule. None of that is really unusual though.
The thing with Man of Steel is that he isn't Superman until the end of the movie. They don't use the name, because that's not who he is. This isn't Superman being Superman. This is Clark accepting what he is, where he comes from, and who he wants to be going forward. There isn't room for optimism, because the movie's plot is about this man of steel being vulnerable and terrified. And there's no way to avoid that. He was raised to be scared of what would happen if people found out about him. The whole movie is about him living his worst nightmare, pretty much. And for a lot of it, things go the way his parents told him it would. The government doesn't trust him. They come after him. His alien heritage is a threat to the world and everyone wants him torn apart.
Iron Man is a fun movie, but it's not a good character piece. And Clark can't be Tony. There was no room in Man of Steel for him to be the light, optimistic guy that we know from the cartoons, because that's not who he is yet. The movie wasn't called "Superman".
Most people (again, not you) don't care about Clark Kent. To most people, Clark Kent is the disguise that Superman wears, and that is how the earlier movies approached the character. The story of his upbringing is glossed over. The fact that he had real human emotions is glossed over. They want the man with his hands on his hips and the cape blowing being him. But if you approach the character as a real character, you can't go there. That is the end of his development, not the beginning of it.
What I see when I watch Man of Steel is a story that I can relate to. It's a story about a guy who has skills that aren't going to make his life easy. He's not going to have the normal life that his parents had. He doesn't know how to make those skills work for him. He doesn't feel comfortable in his body. He doesn't feel comfortable in the world around him. Every time his powers have shown themselves to people around him, they made him look like a fool or an outcast. Even when he saved the bus full of kids, he was smacked down because of it (not literally).
But throughout the movie, he comes to understand who he is as a person. He comes to understand where he comes from. He comes to term with what he wants to be, and he overcomes the fears that he has been living with his entire life. That's the beauty of the scene where he steps out of the fortress and learns how to fly.
He does have a sense of humor, and he does have the warmth that we have come to expect from Clark, but he is presented as a real person. The animated shows don't make him a real person. They show him as someone who is so powerful that there is always a way for him to get out of a situation with his hands clean and the perfect curl on his head. People complained about him killing Zod, because "that's not Superman". But if you put characters into live action, the bar is raised. There was no convenient place for Superman to put Zod, where he could eventually escape and destroy even more buildings later. There was only the sloppy answer. And the thing that made him a hero in that moment was that he was willing to sacrifice his cartoonish ideal version of that outcome for the sake of the innocents. It hurt him, but it had to happen. People keep saying "Just put your hand over Zod's eyes", but he will have to take his hand away at some point.
Going forward, I do expect to see a different version of the character. I'd like to see him lighter and more like what we know, but I don't want them to use the humanity, and I don't want these movies to be a live-action cartoon, like the Marvel movies. If I want a cartoon, there are plenty of them out there. In live action, I want them to take these characters and explore them in a real world, full of flesh and blood people.
I love the arc of Man of Steel. I do see it as extremely optimistic. I just think that it's a more grounded version of that optimism, and it makes the optimism more earned.
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