“Man of Steel” Was Always Designed to Set Up DC Universe

In a new interview, DC Film producer Charles Roven revealed that they had planned from the very beginning to have “Man of Steel” be the film that would launch the DC Universe of films.

“When we started with Man of Steel, we knew that we were going to expand the universe,” DC Films producer Charles Roven told ComicBook.com in an interview. “From the moment that we started with Man of Steel, we knew that once we opened up the Superman… You can’t do Superman without talking about aliens existing in our universe. We knew that we were going to have to really consider what the world building would be beyond the unique film. Then, as soon as Warner Brothers announced that slate, we really got intensive about it.”

“But the thing is, each unique film in the DC pantheon is going to be unique because the directors are different except for Zack directing Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the two Justice League movies. Each one of those directors, whether it be David Ayer or Patty Jenkins or James Wan, they are bringing their sensibilities and a different production designer and different costume designer, et cetera. That world building will still be of the same DC Justice League universe, but have its own unique point of view,” Roven said.

Roven also explained that it was important for them to do a Wonder Woman movie before “Justice League”, to introduce her as “part of the trinity of DC Comics”.

Source: ComicBook.com

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32 Comments on "“Man of Steel” Was Always Designed to Set Up DC Universe"

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Jeremiahboor
Member
Just saw a video of Snyder saying Superman and Batman “couldn’t talk to each other in their suits, or it would lose credibility” or something ridiculous like that. (It’s why there is so little dialogue when they’re in costume) I hate to bring up the costume again, but it reminds me of when he said, “Hey guys, we tried, we really, did, but it just didn’t look right no matter how we tried to include the red trunks.” Aside from being a poor director, he’s been on record saying things that imply that he doesn’t like Superhero comics as much… Read more »
LJ_602
Member

I think he really does like Frank Miller’s work but doesn’t care that much about comic characters.
His work on 300 and shoe horning The Dark Knight Returns into BvS proves that IMO. But I don’t think he cares that much for anything else.
That moment apologists point to when countering this argument is when, after being hired to direct Man of Steel, he is asked who his favorite comic book character is. He shrugs, looks away, plays with his shoe and says, “I guess Superman?”
And to that I say, if you believe him I have a bridge to sell you.

Rod
Member

Actually he has gone on record as saying Batman is his favorite, NOT Superman

LJ_602
Member

There’s an interview where, as I point out, he said it was Superman.
But as I point out he didn’t seem to be very honest about it in his mannerisms.
For something that is “actually” “on record” there doesn’t seem to be a record of it I can find.

cpm72586
Member
In the words of Lex Luthor, “Wrong!” Give this man a breath mint because there ain’t nothing but BS coming out of his mouth. MOS was supposed to start a solo Superman franchise in the same vein as Nolan’s Batman films. It’s a fact. From Snyder himself… “Like what Chris Nolan is doing and what I’m doing with Superman, what they’ll do with Justice League will be it’s own thing with it’s own Batman and own Superman. We’ll be over here with our movie and they’ll kinda get to do it twice which is kinda cool.” Here’s the video of… Read more »
svillar13
Member

I think that maybe in the beginning when he was finishing up Sucker Punch it might have been a different idea, but when they actually sat down and started writing and producing it could have been set up from he beginning. I see no contradiction here as this video is super old and both statements could totally have been true.

cpm72586
Member
“When we started with Man of Steel, we knew that we were going to expand the universe,” “From the moment that we started with Man of Steel, we knew that once we opened up the Superman… You can’t do Superman without talking about aliens existing in our universe.” Those two statements right there suggest from the very moment Chris Nolan, and David Goyer started writing MOS the plan was to start a shared universe. That was simply not the case as evidenced by the video I posted. Conversations about JL clearly took place between Snyder, Nolan, and WB, and the… Read more »
SuperJMC79
Member
Given the time that has passed, assuming that Roven’s recently released quote from Comicbook.com is new, is it impossible to allow that the passage of time has changed how he sees the assertion that it was always intended to be a more broad universe? Meaning; the initial thought that it would be a standalone Superman trilogy transforming into a shared universe was relatively short-lived in comparison to what is being put together now, so it can feel like this was their plan from the start. I suppose it is possible to get worked up over the fact that they (Zack… Read more »
manofsteel
Member

With the Wayne Enterprises satellite cameo, and the Lexcorp Tower and tanker cameo, I think there was enough connective tissue in Man of Steel to build the universe. The opening of BvS from Bruce’s perspective sold it all to me.

Xag
Member

The satellite was a cameo munch in the same vein Gotham shows up in superman returns. The opening of BVS is precisely that retcon they needed because it hadn’t been set up at all.

A real plan would have not needed to revisit man of steel ate the beginning of BVS. With bruce showing up at the end of it to set up the next. Much like the Joker card appears at the end of batman begins to set up the dark knight.

DE-EL
Member

I figured given the Batman and Booster Gold references. Not to mention the Aquaman one after the first flashback…

cpm72586
Member

Those are small, tiny little Easter eggs most people never even would have noticed. Even on the press tour for MOS Snyder described the Wayne Enterprise satellite as more of a little nod to Chris Nolan, then some world building clue.

When asked to clarify what the Wanye Enterprises logo meant, Zack Snyder replied, “I’m saying..well, it’s a nod of the hat and a tribute absolutely. I wanted to do something for me that just acknowledges the amazing partnership and friendship that I have with Chris [Nolan], and I just wanted that in the movie somehow.”

Steve Wright
Editor

They are easter eggs, but they served the purpose of letting you know Superman is part of a larger world. I think things were sped up from their original plan, but I also think that they did always intend to expand.

SupermanArmy
Member
Just a thought exercise. With the smashing success of Deadpool and Logan, would WB seriously consider making a rated R Superman movie? Or will live action Superman movies always reside in the PG and PG-13 space? What would a rated R Superman movie look like visually and feel tonally? (I know BvS Ultimate Edition is rated R but the movie doesn’t really feel like a rated R movie despite a Batman who has hit rock bottom mentally and wants to be act like the Punisher. Even the dream sequence with Superman in the lair using his heat vision to kill… Read more »
DE-EL
Member

Yeah, I don’t think they’ll ever do a rated-R Superman film. I mean, DCEU Superman has never even said a curse word and the absolute worse thing he did (for the greater good) was break an enemy’s neck without it coming off as graphic. No, I don’t think even Zack Snyder has the stomach to do that with Superman…

Jeremiahboor
Member

Though it would be a mistake to make an R-rated Superman, I have no doubt that there are plenty of people that would like to see that happen, Zack Snyder included. He already made superman and Batman kill and had some disturbing things to say about Batman in prison which I won’t get into. What made the R-rated Deadpool so successful was the fact that it was true to the character and had so much of what people liked about him. Trying to force superman into an R-rated movie would be like trying to make a PG Deadpool movie.

Steve Wright
Editor

If they did it, it would be for violence. But, Superman wouldn’t be going around saying Eff You or Eff this. It would be the storyline’s violence and gore that would call for it. You can get an R rating from action and violence. But, I so don’t think they would ever do that at this point with Geoff in charge.

Lobo needs to be R Rated and any Justice League Dark movie to be done right. Even Constantine works better with the R Rating.

redcape
Member

I can’t figure out WHY Deadpool went over the way it did. I mean once he donned the mask he turned into a late night comedian. Along with all the slicing, dicing, swearing and brief nudity it has one of the stupidest plots ever. If the WB ever want’s to go in that direction I hope they stay far away from using anything revolving around the JL characters especially Superman.

Quite honestly the only thing I saw in the R rated version of BvS that gave an R rating was the f-bomb. And that wasn’t even really necessary.

JasEl
Member

They added some blood splashes in the Batman fight against the henchmen.

Steve Wright
Editor

R Rated Batman? Yes. I would bet my mortgage that will happen. Superman? No. They won’t go there. Doesn’t fit the character. I could see an R Rated Batman and Green Arrow. Their worlds could support it.

Supermaniac
Guest
WB doesn’t function the same way that Marvel Studios (and Disney) do. They (WB) are very encumbered by an organizational setup that has “too many fingers in the pie”. Everything they do is by committee – a committee that – by and large – has never picked up a comic book. The decision-makers at WB don’t understand their super hero licenses at all. In it’s earliest stages, the plan for Superman was to launch another Batman-esque franchise (that’s why Superman was so “dark and gritty”); if it was successful, then they would look at a sequel, or even other properties… Read more »
Steve Wright
Editor
The smartest thing they’ve done is bring in Geoff to run things. They are slowly learning their lessons and lets not forget that they are still in their infancy here. Marvel was not what Marvel has become when they first started either. Iron Man was a great beginning..Iron Man 2 and the Incredible Hulk(which is highly underrated if you ask me..i love it and it’s eminently re-watchable) however were not critical hits. The first Captain America was good, but not great. It wasn’t until Cap 2 and the Avengers that they started to really hit their stride. Wonder Woman will… Read more »
Steve Wright
Editor
I would be cautiously optimistic about JL. It seems they’ve learned their lesson and I don’t get the BVS only with more jokes. It think the movie will have that serious tone when it comes to the danger of the enemy, but I don’t see it being as dark as BvS. They’ve been stating from day one, even before BvS came out that it was going to be really dark and the subsequent movies would begin to become lighter. I’m pinning my hopes on Geoff Jones at this point. They have a true comic book guy in charge who I… Read more »
DE-EL
Member
I agree. I remember Chris Terrio going on record before BVS came out to say that JL was always going to be lighter, comparing BVS to Empire Strikes Back and the saying “Darkest Before The Dawn”. Also, I think it’s important to note that Zack Snyder is still directing this film and he doesn’t have a history with doing lighthearted films. Even his animated movie explored some pretty dark themes. Also, I’m confident that he had always planned to go this route with Superman one way or the other. I’m just not sure if he planned on adding Batman or… Read more »
LJ_602
Member

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Hollywood
Member

I can believe it was made with the hopes of setting up a universe, but I’m also convinced it was more like throwing something against the wall to see what would stick than a thoughtful, coherent plan.

NeoRanger
Member

Pretty much this. The world-building in MoS was just cute references and we’d known that since the movie was released. WB wanted their own cinematic universe, but I doubt they were sure they’d launch that with Man of Steel at first. Reportedly, Snyder wanted a post-credit sequence in MoS, but Nolan veto’ed it; I assume that, acting as a producer at the time, Nolan didn’t want to risk setting up expectations for a continuation, before they saw how the movie did, especially after Green Lantern.

redcape
Member

As a side note regarding Green Lantern. I didn’t think that GL was as bad as it was made out to be. It was flat because of one thing and one thing only. And that was stupidity of have Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan and a few absolutely stupid environments when using the rings power.

NeoRanger
Member

GL wasn’t bad, it had a solid structure, a few pacing and aesthetic issues, but it was overall okay; far closer to the early MCU-style film than even modern MCU. But yeah, it was flat, kind of boring, it justifiably couldn’t generate interest for a cinematic universe.

Steve Wright
Editor

I think the reason GL didn’t work was because they tried to do too much at once. It was too big for an introduction to the character. I think a smaller movie, contained with Hals training with the Corps and seeing his friendship/adversarial relationship with Sinestro disintegrate with the ending being a battle between them would have been much more effective, less expensive and would have worked.

It’s not “HORRIBLE” movie. It’s just bleh and it just is sensory overload with a ridiculous final battle.

Hollywood
Member

I second this.

Supermaniac
Guest

The entire subplot with Hector Hammond was stupid and pointless, and could have easily been left out of the movie.

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