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So How Does 'Man of Steel' Indirectly Setup a Future 'Justice League'?

by
June 14, 2013

Man of Steel / Justice League

Last night, audiences flocked to theaters for midnight showings of Man of Steel, and while some might be disappointed at a lack of a scene during or at the end of the credits like when Marvel set up The Avengers at the end of Iron Man, that doesn't mean there aren't nuggets of a larger DC Comics universe on the big screen that could lead to more. After all, we just heard a Man of Steel sequel is being fast-tracked with director Zack Snyder and writer David S. Goyer returning, the latter also having a deal for a potential Justice League movie. And while the new movie doesn't directly set it up, there are hints at a larger world.

For those with keen eyes, you might have noticed a couple cool Easter Eggs in Man of Steel, but there are two very intriguing ones. First, the LexCorp logo, the company operated by Lex Luthor can be seen several times in the film, most notably on a dual tanker truck where Superman is battling General Zod in Metropolis. That means Lex Luthor is already an established businessman in Metropolis, and he'll likely come into contact with our hero sometime later in the franchise. But for now, that's just part of the world-building and a fun nod towards fans.

Another similar addition appears in space when a satellite is destroyed, but not before catching a glimpse of the same Wayne Enterprises logo from Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy. So does that mean Nolan's Batman franchise will link with Snyder's new take on Superman. We actually have a definite answer on that as Goyer told MTV:

"The 'Dark Knight' films do not exist in the same universe. Zack [Snyder] has gone on record. The fact that we have Wayne Industries on the satellite, Bruce Wayne exists in this universe. Lex Luthor exists in this universe. Other metahumans do exist in this universe, so the hope is, depending on how the film does, that we'll be able to roll into some other films."

That "other metahumans" comment is interesting, and ScreenCrush points out another interesting detail from Goyer on a different Easter Egg saying, "We mentioned S.T.A.R. Labs at one point, that’s kind of a connection to Cyborg.” Comic fans will know Cyborg as a cybernetically enhanced human who was a member of the Teen Titans for a long time, but in more recent comic book series he has become a founding member of the Justice League. So read from that what you will.

So what does this all mean? Well, Goyer explained their thought process to Bleeding Cool:

"It is our intention that, in success, this would be the zero issue and from this point onward, possible films could expand into a shared universe. In our world, the Man of Steel world, Zack has gone on record saying that we’re implying there are other superheroes in this world. But I don’t know that they’ve come forward yet. The idea is that Superman is the first one. There might be people helping people, but not in costumes, and that Superman comes forward and announces himself to the world. In him announcing himself, he’s the one that changes things."

So in a way, Man of Steel is like Iron Man in setting up a larger universe, but Goyer, Snyder and Nolan are just being a little more subtle about it. There's even speculation that a minor military character named Carrie Ferris (the one who calls Superman "hot") might be a variation on Carol Ferris, the love interest of Green Lantern hero Hal Jordan. And while there's certainly been discussions of a shared universe, Goyer is careful to point out that it's up to audiences and how the films are received. He told HeyUGuys:

"It would be disingenuous to say Warner Bros doesn’t hope that this would be the starting point for a shared universe. And Zack has said that Bruce Wayne exists in this universe. It would be a different Bruce Wayne from Chris’ [Nolan] Dark Knight trilogy, and it would be disingenuous to say that Zack and I haven’t had various conversations on set, around ‘what if’ and ‘moving forward.'

That having been said, it’s all going to depend on the next few weeks. Warner Bros has hopes that there will be more Man Of Steel films, and that this will be the beginning of a shared universe. We could meet Batman, or Wonder Woman, or the Justice League in these movies. But they all hinge on box office reception."

So while Man of Steel may not have had much pomp and circumstance setting up a DC Comics cinematic universe like Marvel. There are at least some seeds planted for this to grow into a multiple franchise comic book world, hopefully shepherded by Christopher Nolan. But for now, audiences should just enjoy Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, a humanizing story arc for a godlike hero brought to life effortlessly by Henry Cavill, complete with an epic, unforgivingly action-packed third act with Michael Shannon making for an incredible villain. See the film, and stay tuned for more on Superman and Justice League. Thoughts?

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  • capitandelespacio
    Cool down, Ethan, some details are a little bit forced to really think they are setting to the Justice League movie. Besides, try to simple enjoy Man Of Steel and stop thinking about the future. The movie itself is so awesome, that it didn't bother about the "post-ending" credit scene. It's a great stand alone movie, refreshing and action packed. In my opinion, try to put a "Spoiler Alert" warning on top, some people can be annoyed by the lack of warning.
    • Sky
      I knew not to read this before seeing the movie, why would you read something about how the movie connects to the future of DC Studios movies... there def going to be spoilers its not like he got these ideas from the trailer
  • JL
    If they don't get Bale's Batman and Cavill's Superman in the same film it will be a travesty and injustice. Make it happen !!
    • comicman
      Totally agree. There is no need to 'reboot' Batman. It will never live up to TDK. Besides, Nolan already set up Robin. They got Batman and Robin, er NIGHTWING set up. Personally, I'd love to see Nightwing in the JLA instead of Robin...Robin, costume and all, has always been really, REALLY gay. And I say this being a big fan of Batman and Robin/Nightwing. Becoming Nightwing was the best thing Grayson did. Yeah, yeah, I know Robin was also in the Teen Titans. It was a really good comic but the Teen TItans comic title does sound like the name of a boy band.
    • Ty D
      dude, you really think Bale's Batman will work with Cavill's Superman? really? Bales Batman was great but hardly the best depiction of Batman. Batman is supposed to be a Master martial artist, acrobat, detective, and we didnt see much of that. Well we did but it was really watered down. I couldnt possibly see the TDK Batman performing well alongside Man of Steel Superman and whatever other JL members we see. We're definitely going to need another one. They'll have to reboot it although i dont think they should start from the beginning. Enough origin stories.
  • RyansTake
    I see no reason why Batman can't exist in this universe, as conceived in Nolan's universe. Here's hoping Superman does so well that WB realizes how awesome it could be for fans (and WB's pocketbooks) to unite the two. That Superman is actually a really good film may be enough to convince Christian Bale to come back on board for the lighter scheduling that a JL movie would require. Nolan and Goyer are already there, and if anyone can make the two universes converge, it's them.
  • Maverick
    Damn. Man of Steel is opening as a rotten tomato. 57%. I'm going to heed that warning. My suspicions are slowly being confirmed one by one. I never thought Goyer and Snyder had the chops to pull off an epic Superman film.
  • Maverick
    Enough talking about it. Show it! Man of Steel didn't show any of this. Instead all we got were some ad placements that we could clearly see mixed in with some teaser of two famous characters' corporate banners that were hard to spot. At least in Iron Man 1, Nick Fury actually showed up.
    • mroeder97
      Wtf
  • http://senzafine.net/ Yahzee
    ... will you people stop it with your Justice League already? All I wanted was an epic Superman movie and that's what I got and I'm happy with it. But you all want for Warner is to copy whatever Marvel is doing, and then complain about lack of originality in Hollywood.
    • batsupe
      Well said Yahzee
  • Blackbelt_Jones
    Wow,yeah ,don't put spoilers in the tittle of your article......"Man of Steel sets up a future Justice League" that's what the Zergnet link says right up front,you can't not see it......Zergnet...serves me right.
  • Gus Ledesma
    Just make an Injustice movie puhhhhleaaazzzzeeee, superman was forced to kill zod in Man of Steel. That to me should be a prelude to a starting point for the plotline to Injustice.
  • Kev
    I would STRONGLY urge all of you (including the writer of this article) to read the prequel comic for Man of Steel (written by Goyer and Snyder). There are HEAVY implications for at least one JL character that will quite possibly show up in the Man of Steel sequel. Basically this prequel comic could have been the extra scene at the end of the credits. So Snyder and Goyer absolutely set a strong presence for the DC Universe in Man of Steel...they just did it outside the movie.
  • Dustin_Fuston
    Did anyone notice the clearance code to one of the miltary actions was "Trident"? #Aquaman
  • Corey Ross
    They should get all the individual character movies together first before any JL talk...they have to get the long awaited Wonder Woman movie off the ground, Batman & Flash...Yea that'd be pretty much piggy-backing off of Marvel's formula, but it's a proven formula now so why not...I'm in on all the superheroe movies tho..this is becoming my favorite genre in films..I grew up with the comics, TV shows and trading cards so this is candy land for me
    • Deje
      Definitely, the Marvel Cinematic Universe lead-up films were done also to inform the audience (Especially the hardcore comic book followers) of the interesting inhabitants of that reality in relating these people in the most efficient way MARVEL could without a number of aspects being too apparent, and in that they became able to bring the most prominent characters shown by far together in one excellent mash-up. This is THE way to bring together superheroes who has very interesting stories that has been told in excess before they become a part of big screen live-action, and thus is THE way to initiate the forming of the Justice League. This isn't MARVEL's exclusive way to bring together superhero teams, this is the ultimate way. MARVEL Studios did this simply because they know what the MARVEL followers would like to see. (Minus the disappointments such as: Hawkeye's "issue" in 'The Avengers', how Iron Man 2 was written and that Hank and Janet Pym were excluded from 'The Avengers' due to settings in time.
  • Cock_Lesnar
    Need a Flash movie. The most underrated superhero of all time
  • Lucy Stewart
    I'd have liked to see Bale's batman but never mind...I'm sure the next one will be ace too! I like the idea of Cyborg being involved...I imagine him being the result of some Luther engineering. I'd also like to see Oliver Queen involved but I guess since Arrow is doing so well, they won't do that. I absolutely LOVED Man Of Steel and cannot wait for the sequel and for the Justice League movie, it's all just so exciting! :) I'd also love to see Supergirl (laugh all you want lol) and Wonder Woman but time will tell!
  • Angry Lester
    First off, No Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern!! Cast Ma Ma from Dredd as Wonder Woman. C Bale needs to be Batman. Need the Legion of Doom! You don't need top name actors to fill the parts. It's so much better with people we don't or barely know.
  • mroeder97
    I absolutely hate what I'm hearing! If Nolan's batman trilogy isn't connected to the superman/DC universe, then why the fuck did they make 3 stand alone batman movies. Nobody can deny that those movies were great. Why would you just throw away a great story like that. People keep complaining that it was too realistic and dark to be connected to the justice league. That doesn't fucking matter! You can still use all the same characters and actors that Nolan created and connect it to the rest of the dc universe. JGL?

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