Why The Live-Action Superman: Red Son Movie Would Be A Mistake

At the moment, the DCEU has four movies under its belt – Man of SteelBatman V SupermanSuicide Squad, and Wonder Woman. And while the latter has received near-universal praise, reactions to the other films have been mixed at best. This is a franchise still trying to find its footing, and the best way to do that is by having a clear focus.

Regardless of where you fall on the Marvel vs. DC debate, there’s no disputing the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A big part of that comes from having focus. They first established a firm foundation in one area before moving on to others. Only once The Avengers were on solid footing did they move elsewhere. That’s why Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange came later.

Right now, the DCEU needs to have that same kind of focus. The priority should be establishing the Justice League’s corner of the universe. Once you’ve got them in place, then you can move on to other areas of the DCEU. Such as the cosmic side with Green Lantern Corps. Or the mystic realm with Justice League Dark.

The DCEU has yet to firmly establish what kind of character their Superman will be, or how he’ll relate to Batman, Wonder Woman, or the rest of the League. But they’re now contemplating giving viewers a completely different version of Superman, one who will interact with a different Batman and Wonder Woman? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to us.

For decades, comic book fans have accepted the concept of alternate universes. When we see something like Superman: Red Son, it doesn’t confuse us. We know that’s a different take on Superman. We understand it has no bearing on the character’s adventures in the core DC Universe. And we’ve taken for granted just how easy it is for us to draw those distinctions.

The average moviegoer is who Warner Bros. needs to appeal to for success, and they don’t have the same background as comic fans. There are still people who think that Batman V Superman is a pseudo-sequel to The Dark Knight Rises. How are those same people going to react when they see a trailer for Red Son? With a different actor playing Superman flying around with the USSR hammer and sickle on his chest? Henry Cavill’s Superman landed in Kansas in the late 70s/early 80s. But the version in Red Son crashed down in the ’50s. That will leave many scratching their heads, mark our words.

That’s not to say Warner Bros should avoid a Red Son movie altogether. There is a way for the studio to have their cake and eat it too, and it’s a path they’ve walked many times before. Such as when adapting classic stories like The Dark Knight ReturnsThe New Frontier and All-Star Superman.