By Drew Kiess
Superman fans have been asking for five years now about when we can expect the next Superman movie (that is, if you don’t count Batman v Superman or Justice League as Superman movies) will hit the big screen. Personally, seeing as Superman is my favorite superhero (please, no questions at this time), I share the sentiment. I am absolutely of the opinion that the more Superman content in the world, the better.
Leading up to Justice League, there was a lot of chatter about how Warner Bros. was really excited for this retooled version of Superman, and how they were hoping it would be a launching pad for more stories with him. Unfortunately, the portrayal of the character was overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the CGI used to remove Henry Cavill’s moustache. However, beneath all of that was a vision of Superman that I believe has a lot of potential moving forward, particularly seeing and hearing how much Cavill enjoyed it.
In the end, Justice League did not prove to be the right vehicle to showcase this new Superman. Criticism from Snyderites aside, there was just too much drama surrounding the film and not enough tickets purchased to accurately gauge the audience’s appreciation of any aspect of the movie. Which is a shame because I still happen to think the film is a blast, even with the rough edges.
If Superman is going to continue on for DC Films, a new vehicle is needed to bring him back into the good graces of general audiences. Rumors have been swirling for some time now that that vehicle will be next year’s Shazam!. This would be perfect.
If the reports are correct about Shazam! taking its cues from the Geoff Johns ”Justice League” stories, then this Billy Batson is going to need a mentor. In a world where Superman actually exists, how would Billy and his friends view him? Some may see him as a hero, others as just a big blue boy scout. It could be fun to see this played out and watch Billy learn to be a hero from someone like Superman.
From a logical point of view, adding Superman into Shazam! makes sense. For one, it adds a recognizable hero into a movie starring an untested one. Although Shazam is not exactly an unknown, he certainly has not been a heavy hitter in some time, and Superman could add a level of familiarity to the project. And as mentioned above, this would be a solid vehicle to portray Superman in a new light for the audience. He is no longer the new kid on the block like he was in Man of Steel, and he’s no longer facing personal doubt like he was in Batman v Superman.
It’s time to finally see Superman as the veteran superhero that the new heroes can look up to and too finally be the example that others are striving to be like. Billy Batson is the perfect opportunity to display that side of the character. Not doing this would be a widely huge missed opportunity.
It’s time to bring Superman into a role of mentorship. If not in Shazam!, then soon. If DC Films wants to make Superman viable again in their film universe, then it needs to strike now and not wait around. We already have the perfect actor. It’s time to give him the perfect Superman.