After the backlash to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros.’ decision to “lighten” the tone, and handing over directing duties to Joss Whedon on Justice League, it’s very clear that the DC Extended Universe has diverged from the original vision laid out by Zack Snyder when he launched the DCEU back in 2013 with Man of Steel.
While it’s unlikely we’ll ever learn exactly what Snyder had in mind, Jay Oliva – director of the likes of Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and storyboard artist on Man of Steel and Batman v Superman – has revealed that Snyder was looking to play the long game with Superman, and intended on a five-movie arc for Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel.
“Man of Steel was never meant to have a sequel because it was supposed to be chapter 1 of a 5 chapter story,” Oliva posted on Twitter. “Notice how BvS follows exactly after MoS? It’s like book two of Harry Potter… Back in April 2013 (before MoS released in June) I was tasked with doing the Superman 75 short. I met with Zack who was the exec producer on it and he showed me storyboards of BvS with Batman already in it. AND it was a Batman from DKR.”
Oliva went on to suggest that Superman’s story would have played out across Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, Justice League 2 and an unrevealed fifth movie.
Instead, Superman’s future is now uncertain in the wake of Justice League’s negative reception and underwhelming box office performance. Justice League 2 is off the cards for the time being, and rumours of Man of Steel 2 have been circulating for a couple of years now without any real movement. There are however whispers of a possible a cameo in Shazam!, which is currently in production ahead of an April 2019 release.