It might be the cornerstone of Warner Bros.' proposed DC universe, but Man of Steel wasn’t exactly the most popular (or successful) flick out there. So, will the semi-sequel address fan complaints in any tangible way?
Not really, according to star Henry Cavill.
In an interview with Cineplex, the Superman actor admitted fan reaction has been somewhat “mixed” to his turn as Clark Kent. For those keeping score, Man of Steel clocks in at a ho-hum 56 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with most complaints focusing on its “generic blockbuster” take on DC’s mightiest hero. Some fans were also let down by exactly how the film interpreted Superman himself, and the fact that the character could be a bit … boring at times.
But, instead of having any type of knee-jerk reaction to those criticisms, Cavill said the focus in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is on making that world bigger and more expansive. Considering the glut of new characters, that makes sense, and could certainly work out well. Though expanding a universe some fans didn’t really like that much in the first place is always a risky approach.
Here’s an excerpt from his comments:
“The reception of my first Superman movie, from what I’ve read, was fairly mixed. Everyone I’ve spoken to enjoyed the movie, but [not] unlike if you’re going to meet a stranger in the street, they’re not going to badmouth you to your face. There’s no intentional move, I don’t think, in Batman v Superman to address any issues that people had with Man of Steel. It’s just a continuation of that storyline and they continue to develop that world and introduce new characters.
I think maybe people may look down on some popular-culture stuff, but they’re actually very complicated and interesting characters. Superman especially, he’s just wonderfully rich and one of those things, for me, that’s just enjoyable to play. There’s so far you can go with it; if you really, really delve deep into the character, there’s so much you can do. It’s just about exploring it within the vehicles and finding what you want to do. He’s going to have some very interesting character development in this one.”
Cavill touches on the old refrain that genre material sometimes gets the short shrift, but we’d argue that’s not entirely true. We’re at peak geek these days, and good movies can transcend the genre. Heck, the Dark Knight films did just that for Warner Bros. (not to mention the better installments from Marvel Studios), so it can certainly be done. But is director Zack Snyder the man to carry DC into the promised land? That’s the real question.
We’ll get our answer when Batman v Superman opens March 25, 2016.