Variety laid out what’s ahead for Warner Bros. and DC Films in the wake of Joker and the first-look signing of JJ Abrams.
Batman, Harley Quinn, potentially other villains, and even Green Lantern have something in the pipeline and Superman kind of got lost in the conversation. The studio apparently has no idea how to “make Superman relevant to modern audiences” and may keep Big Blue on hiatus for the next four years.
Sandman co-creator Neil Gaiman caught wind of this news and disagreed with the conclusion. On Twitter, Gaiman responded to a tweet linking to a Forbes piece commenting on the lack of resonance Supes has these days. He wrote it’s not about making Superman relevant but instead making him “inspiring.”
You don’t make it relevant. You make it inspiring. https://t.co/mN0g7QG9b6
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) December 2, 2019
The Forbes piece talks about “the boundless optimism that defines Superman” which other heroes — Captain America, Wonder Woman, Shazam — possess. It’s a quality paying off for them in terms of box office and popularity.
Superman, on the other hand, the article contends, can’t surmount his “absurd” and messed up mythology, adding “he’s not cool,” edgy, funny, or malleable.
Gaiman isn’t alone; the Internet and the comic book world think differently. Another writer, Kurt Busiek, offered his observation on Superman’s relevance last month, tying the Kryptonian’s cause to climate change.
We won’t even bring up the need for truth in a world of lies, justice in a world of inequality, or the “American way” of community and shared commitment to ideals in a world of division.
— Kurt Busiek Resists (@KurtBusiek) November 26, 2019
And artist Phil Jimenez chimed in. He feels the world hasn’t lost touch with “truth, justice, and the American way.”
Ugh. As if “truth, justice, and the American way” weren’t insanely relevant these days https://t.co/giU8P07tzO
— Phil Jimenez (@Philjimeneznyc) November 26, 2019
Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen had this to say: “He’s never been more relevant. He’s Mr. Smith meets George Bailey in circus tights.”
He’s an ethical, principled man fighting against corruption. He’s never been more relevant. He’s Mr. Smith meets George Bailey in circus tights. https://t.co/W3GKDiNp6e
— Erik Larsen (@ErikJLarsen) November 26, 2019
Other public figures and comic readers jumped on Forbes too. Patton Oswalt quoted the same tweet as Gaiman and facetiously pitched a version of Superman that is a sly reference to Joker. He may be onto something given that film’s success – but probably not.
make it super-gritty, kinda early 70s Scorsese-style, he’s a failed reporter or something and lois lane is just a figment of his imagination and call it SUPER https://t.co/pJWcPMIKvx
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) December 2, 2019
There isn’t a shortage of pitches or possibilities for new Superman movies. Warner’s “conversations” with Abrams are confirmed and he’s tried to get a film based on the property up, up and away since 2004.
WB also met with Michael B. Jordan. He has his own ideas yet to be publicized. Not that it matters, they didn’t come to an agreement and don’t sound like they’ll bother looking for a director or writer, regardless of Jordan’s schedule.
And there’s still Henry “The Cape Is Still Mine” Cavill. He never truly was fired or walked away despite appearances and his silence since Justice League came out.
Moreover, after working with Christopher McQuarrie on Mission: Impossible – Fallout, they went to Warner with a pitch for Man of Steel 2.
According to McQuarrie, there were “no takers” for their “original” idea. He wrote the following, rather scathing, remarks on Twitter in July, later taken down:
“Too complicated to explain. It tied into the Superman movie that Cavill and I were proposing. No takers.
The studios have never cared for my original ideas. They prefer that I fix their broken ones.”
WB seem okay with having a DC Extended Universe sans The Last Son of Krypton for now. Supergirl, by most accounts including ours, is poised for a movie before her cousin Kal gets another.
Is Superman still relevant? Of course, he is, but leave your thoughts below.