What Do Warner Bros., Zack Snyder, And David Goyer Have Planned For The 'Man Of Steel' Sequel?

Warner Bros. made it clear last week that they were eager to move on a Man of Steel sequel when they fast-tracked the project with director Zack Snyder and writer David Goyer returning — days before the first Man of Steel had even hit theaters. Now a new report reveals just how impatient the studio is. According to a source, Warner Bros. is hoping to push out Man of Steel 2 by 2014, with Justice League following the year after.

That's a tight schedule for any movie project, let alone ones as expansive and expensive as these two. Good thing, then, that Snyder and Goyer have already started thinking about where to take Superman next. Hit the jump to get the details and read their comments.

And going that fast could ultimately do more harm than good. Man of Steel just had a record-breaking opening, so Warner Bros.' impulse to strike while the iron is hot is entirely understandable. But if a rushed production leads to an undercooked sequel, fans may lose faith in Warner Bros.' ability to handle the character — let alone build a Marvel-style cinematic universe with Justice League and other DC movies. Then there's the fact of post-production requirements, as the heavy digital effects for a film like Man of Steel take months and months of work.

For what it's worth, though, Snyder and Goyer seem to have already given some consideration to what might be coming up for dear old Supes. For one thing, Snyder envisions the all-American icon going more international in the sequel. "100%... that was always a thing that would be in the evolution of Superman," the director told the BBC Radio 4 Film Programme. "He has no choice but to become global."

Snyder continued with his thoughts on Superman's American-ness:

[I]t's okay for Superman to be American. He's quintessentially an American creature and creation. I wanted to pay homage to the superhero as coming from the heartland of America, and the "Why?" of that. I was really interested in just how American he was, and I think in the best possible way, the Kevin Costner cornfield kind of way. Which is why I really wanted Kevin and Diane Lane to play those parts [Ma and Pa Kent] because they really represent a believable America but an America that is also... we do it in the most realistic way we can but still all of the icons are very much represented in a way that I don't know exists for real. But you want it to. Like a Norman Rockwell documentary... handheld Norman Rockwell.

Interestingly, as Bleeding Cool points out, Man of Steel and Man of Steel 2 scribe Goyer has already written a story in which Superman finds himself giving up his adopted country. In Action Comics #900, Superman decides to renounce his American citizenship so that his actions won't be interpreted as U.S. policy anymore. It'll be interesting to see if Goyer and Snyder decide to draw from that plotline for the next movie.

But first, they'll have to figure out how to resolve some of the issues they've created for themselves with Man of Steel. Like the fact their Superman very much exists in the present, not in the 1930s when Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster first conceived of him. As Goyer explained to Bleeding Cool:

The challenge for us moving forward is how to depict Superman in a world like this, in a world where Twitter exists, in a world with social media. To me, the interesting challenge is "Could he solve hunger in the horn of Africa? What would he do with the Arab Spring? What would he do in Syria?"

Partly you could argue "How could he not intervene in something like the situation in Syria?" but the other argument is "Is it a hornet's nest if he intervenes? Does he have the wherewithal or the knowledge to intervene in something like this?"

To me, that's the interesting challenge. It's easier for Batman because he just exists in this little pocket of the world, he's not violating sovereign airspace every day.

There's also — Man of Steel spoilers ahead! – the fact that they're no longer pretending that donning a pair of glasses renders Superman unrecognizable to others.

In our minds there are people in Smallville who know Superman's secret as well [as Lois], Pete Ross seems to know, there's probably a couple dozen people who know and we thought it would be interesting if they're protective of him.

We were able to sidestep the issue of the ludicrous glasses disguise in this film but going forwards, we're going to find ourselves in a sticky wicket. Zack and I have definitely talked about "Okay, hmm, this will be interesting." Clearly Perry White and Steve Lombard see Lois kissing Superman at the end of the film. Perry's not an idiot. Moving forward, he's probably going to say to Lois "What's up with that?" We're definitely going to have to go through some story gymnastics. [End spoilers.]

At the same time, Goyer mentioned that he tried to slip in a few Easter eggs in the movie to help set up the rest of the DC universe, including references to Lexcorp, S.T.A.R. Labs, and Wayne Industries. "There is musing about Lex Luthor, conversations that Zack and I have had on set, but it all depends on what happens over the next month," he said.

Again, it's clear that Goyer and Snyder have already put a lot of thought into Superman's next moves. But there are a lot of things that come between mapping out a storyline and opening a film in theaters, and 12-18 months doesn't seem like a lot of time to craft a new movie. Do you think they're moving too fast? Do you like their ideas for the next film?