Superman fans have finally gotten what they have wanted after waiting for the last nine years, a new Superman film is in development with Henry Cavill reprising his role from Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Fans have been bewildered at Warner Bros. for not having Cavill reprise the role in a new film, as Cavill’s performance as Superman/Clark Kent is widely regarded by fans as one of the best performances in the DC Extended Universe.
But finally, the DCEU will be bringing back the actor for a Man of Steel sequel. As previously stated it has been nine years since the last Superman film and by the time Man of Steel 2 — or whatever they choose to call the sequel — releases, it will have been over a decade. So what is this film going to look like, and who might reprise their roles or make their debut in the DCEU? Join us as we speculate when Man of Steel 2 might release, and which characters might appear in the upcoming superhero movie.
Who might be in Man of Steel 2?
One thing we know is that Henry Cavill will be back according to reports, otherwise, it wouldn’t be Man of Steel 2. Based on the trajectory of Superman’s story in the previous DCEU films, it would be very surprising if Amy Adams did not return to play Lois Lane, and it would not be too surprising if the pair would be raising a family in the sequel, as Zack Snyder had confirmed that she was pregnant in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
So we might get Superboy in Man of Steel 2. Rather than suggest an actor to play him, this would be a great opportunity to cast someone without a large following, especially if they were to have the character stay a boy over the course of the film. If they are continuing the threads set up by the rest of the films there is also a good chance that Jesse Eisenberg will return as Lex Luthor, even if it is just in a cameo appearance. The last time we saw him was in Zack Snyder’s Justice League where he seemingly set up a sequel by revealing Batman’s identity to Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello) one of Batman’s villains.
As far as returning characters from the original Man of Steel go, we might also see the return of Perry White (Laurence Fishburne), Martha Kent (Diane Lane), and Jor-El (Russell Crowe). While Jor-El is dead, there is nothing stopping him from appearing in a vision to Clark. The other two characters seem to be more obvious choices as both characters are still alive and directly involved in the life of Clark Kent/Superman, with Perry White as his boss, and Martha as his mother.
As for characters who were not in the original film, we could easily see any of the Justice League appear, except maybe Ezra Miller as the Flash. Ezra Miller has been going through legal troubles recently and might be looking at jail time so they might not be available for filming, which is of course pushing aside the rampant controversy that the actor has been embroiled in lately. But Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Batman should all be open to at least a cameo in a sequel as the least likely one to appear — Ben Affleck’s Batman — recently filmed a cameo for Aquaman 2. There is also the possibility that Sasha Calle, who is poised to play Supergirl in the long-awaited and much-delayed movie The Flash, will reprise her role in Man of Steel 2. Although her appearance is most likely tied to how well The Flash does, or if it gets released at all. It would not be unheard of for DC to take the opportunity to recast their Supergirl, however unfortunate that scenario might be.
But enough with the supporting characters, who will be the villain of the film? It is possible that the villain could be Lex Luthor but as he was the main villain of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice it seems unlikely that they will double dip. For the villain, it is possible that they could finally tackle Brainiac in a Superman movie. Brainiac is one of the greatest villains of the DC Universe and is easily one of Superman’s best. He is from another planet called Colu, and has beyond super-human intellect, making him insanely difficult for any brute force heroes to defeat. Brainiac was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, first appearing in Action Comics #242 in 1958. He is green and is a master of his own technology, living in a ship modeled after his own skull, using tendrils to extend his movement abilities. As for who would play one of Superman’s greatest foes, one actor who would be a good choice has already voiced the character, John Noble. Known for his roles in The Lord of the Rings, Fringe, Sleepy Hollow, and Elementary, John Noble voiced Brainiac in the animated film Superman: Unbound.
But if the 74-year-old actor is deemed to be too old for the role, as Brainiac usually isn’t an older man, you could go with somebody like Antony Starr. Antony Starr is well-known for playing Homelander in The Boys and he is certainly no stranger to playing evil characters. You could easily imagine the actor sitting in his ship while he is painted green, stealing Kandor and turning it into the bottle city.
If Brainiac is not chosen as the villain, we could get a pair of villains. An interesting choice would be Bizarro Superman and Mister Mxyzptlk. The two characters are somewhat tied together in the comic books, with Mister Mxyzptlk’s powers creating Bizarro in one of his origin stories. Bizarro is the ultimate opposite of Superman and is actually sympathetic as he does want to be his own version of Superman. With that being said, seeing two Henry Cavills in different costumes would be an interesting choice for a sequel. For Mister Mxyzptlk, there is only one choice for who could portray the character in live-action, none other than Danny DeVito. DeVito would be perfect for the magical imp from the Fifth Dimension. Honestly, if Warner Bros. wants to make a kid-friendly Superman movie, and move away from the darkness of Man of Steel, Bizarro and Mister Mxyzptlk might be able to inject humor and fun into Henry Cavill’s Superman.
If Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s teases are to be believed, then Henry Cavill will be reprising his role as Superman in Black Adam, the film releasing on Oct. 21, 2022. Therefore Dwayne Johnson could easily reprise his role in Man of Steel 2 as well, either as the main villain (which seems unlikely) or in a cameo appearance.
As for when the film will release, it was only just announced. Henry Cavill is also an in-demand actor currently starring in Netflix’s The Witcher. If filming for the movie began immediately the film would probably release either in late 2023 or early 2024. But with how early in production this film currently is, it would not be too surprising to learn that it might release in 2025 or 2026, which is more likely.
Hopefully, Warner Bros. sees the positive reaction to the news and does its best to make the film in a timely manner. After all, Dwayne Johnson waited years to have Black Adam made, while The Flash was supposed to release years ago. But if we are indeed getting a Man of Steel with Henry Cavill, it will probably be worth the wait.