Screenwriter Max Landis is a big Superman fan.
The “Chronicle” screenwriter has been a fan since he was a kid. He also worked on 2011 short, “The Death and Return of Superman” and in November is putting out a the seven-issue Superman comic, “American Alien.“
So it’s little surprise he has an idea for a “Man of Steel” sequel.
While speaking with Screen Junkies, he gave his take on what he’d like to see in a Superman sequel directed by none other than James Cameron.
It’s not too bad. The internet thinks so, too.
What’s Landis’ idea? Check it out:
In the wake of destruction of over half of Metropolis at the end of “Man of Steel,” Superman is a universally reviled figure. Clark Kent, a small town boy who had never even been in a fight before he was attacked by a military man, forced to decimate a city he loves, has terrible PTSD, and has given up being Superman. He gets the shakes every night. He’s trying to date Lois Lane, but the fact that he has a secret, that she is doing a huge piece on, is being very reviled about the idea that Superman was ultimately a negative thing. The destruction is 9/11. It’s ten 9/11s.
Clark moves home. He is miserable, but he has to do one more assignment before he leaves his job at The Daily Planet. And we get to really see this guy. He’s living in New York post-9/11 basically. Everyone on the street has graffiti saying … “Superman sucks.” Everyone also doesn’t understand, because it’s the age of the internet, that Superman and Zod are even necessarily two different people. Keep in mind that the first time the world saw that Superman suit was him destroying the city. So, for all they know, they were just two random aliens, and that haunts Clark every night because he thinks of himself as a man and as an American and as a good guy, and that tortures him.
He has to do one more thing.
He has to go interview this billionaire investor named Lex Luthor. He goes to interview him. He doesn’t understand why he’s been chosen. He’s a rookie interviewer. He’s Lex Luthor, he’s a shark investor. He treats his employees like s — . He’s basically an evil Elon Musk. But, when you’re sitting there with him … he’s kind of great.
Landis makes it out to be that Lex Luthor knows Clark Kent is Superman, and then proposes that the two — who famously become arch enemies — work together.
“You and I have an image problem … I think I can repair your image. We’re gonna start branding you,” says Landis. “You’re just one man. You’ll never know where you’re needed and when. I am a corporation. I can send you where people need you most. I will have eyes and ears open for people in need, but I need you to do favours for me. I need you to repair facilities around the world.”
Landis posits that Luthor would help to make Superman look like the “greatest humanitarian figure of all time.” The two then start working together with Luthor sponsoring Superman.
“He suddenly has a ’60 Minutes’ interview,” continues Landis. “Everyone starts to love Superman like they do in the comics and understand that what happened in Metropolis was a mistake.”
From here, Batman enters the picture, warning Kent that he can’t trust Luther, and that he should work with him and a group of Earth’s biggest heroes, aka the Justice League.
Instead, Luthor gets Superman to track down every future member of the Justice League — Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, The Flash, and Martian Manhunter — believing that they’re a bunch of vigilantes.
When Superman captures all of them, Luthor tells him they now have a legion of superheroes powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with any nation and any military group in the world. His next mission is to take out Batman.
“As things grow in emotional intensity by the end of the last act, Superman, with Batman, goes rogue,” says Landis.
The two team up to free the Justice League and fight Luthor.
Landis then went on to continue that he’d want to focus on another huge Superman villain, Doomsday, for “Man of Steel 3.”
As someone who enjoyed “Man of Steel” a lot (and you can read my take on it here) a lot of Landis’ idea makes sense.
We could see Luthor discovering Superman’s secret identity. (Come on, Clark. Those glasses aren’t fooling anyone.) And regarding the heavy destruction that occurred in “Man of Steel,” it sounds like director Zack Snyder is attempting not only to punish Supes for his role in what happened in next year’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” but also to show how the event affected him emotionally.
Check out Landis deliver his pitch for the “Man of Steel” sequel below:
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