For the first few years of the DCEU, Warner Bros. held up Superman as the star of the franchise. But after a string of disappointing movies – not to mention Henry Cavill’s reported departure from the role – it’s clear that a shakeup’s in order, and that could mean putting Clark Kent’s saga on ice for at least a few years.
If you ask writer, director, and podcaster Kevin Smith, however, Warner would do better to keep the Man of Steel alive. Speaking on the Fatman on Batman podcast, the one-time writer of the ill-fated Superman Lives explained why he thought that taking a break from Superman stories is not the way to go.
“That’s a mistake,” Smith said. “I think you need to keep your big guy vital. This is the very first superhero ever created, the ‘king of the superheroes’ if you will, the one that paved the way for everybody else. While we’re in this amazing era, this renaissance of comic book movies, don’t leave your best guy on the bench.”
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While Cavill’s collaborations with director Zack Snyder have received mixed-to-negative responses from fans and critics, Smith seems confident that the property would still be salvageable if Warner took some inspiration from the old Richard Donner Superman flicks.
“Just f**king hand it to somebody who’s going to make it what everybody knows that character to be,” Smith suggested. “The character’s a symbol of hope, man. Like, go back and watch 10 minutes of the Christopher Reeves Superman and use that as the DNA for what they do going forward. It’s not about some Christ parable, or he’s this f**king alien from another world, he’s just a good f**king dude. It’s that simple. You can make a movie about a good f**king dude.
“The Christopher Reeves and Dick Donner version of Superman is just so beautiful and so simple, and that character is beautiful and simple, but not simple like he’s stupid, simple in that it can appeal to anybody, you know what I’m saying?”
It’s hard to say what Warner has lined up for Superman, with the studio even remaining ambiguous on whether or not Cavill has actually left the role. Still, as last year’s Justice League proved, a character this famous can rarely stay dead for long, so you can bet that Supes will be returning to the big screen somewhere down the line, albeit probably after a longer period of silence than we’re used to.
In any case, while we await clarification on the future of Superman, we still have quite a few DC outings heading for cinemas, including Aquaman on December 21st, 2018, and Shazam! on April 5th, 2019, followed by Wonder Woman 1984 on November 1st.