Forbes writer Sheraz Farooqi has published an interesting opinion piece focusing on the future of Superman on film, while looking back at the evolution of the character to date, and whether fan nostalgia has hampered the success of the Man of Steel’s cinematic exploits since Christopher Reeve.
The numbers show that every time Superman pushes forward, the audience responds by showing up. Christopher Reeve and Richard Donner’s Superman was a transcendent leap after the George Reeves-led Adventures of Superman television series of the 1950s. Adjusted for inflation, Superman: The Movie made over a billion dollars. The next time Superman truly pushed forward was 2013’s Man of Steel, bringing in the highest box office since then with $668 million. 2016’s Batman v Superman continued the upward spike, giving Superman another cinematic layer and singing to the tune of $872 million.
For Superman to truly thrive, the character must be allowed to evolve in the same way Batman or Spider-Man evolved from iteration to iteration. If audiences and critics can accept that Tom Holland is a different Spider-Man from Tobey Maguire and can also see that Robert Pattinson is a different Batman than Adam West, surely we should understand Henry Cavill is different than Christopher Reeve.
Whether Cavill suits up as the character again or the franchise opts to reboot, one thing needs to happen either way, evolution.