How I’d Shape a DC Cinematic Universe…

If you missed it the other day, I kind of complained about the state of things with how Warner Bros. have been mishandling their DC Comics properties and the roller coaster ride that has been the DC Extended Universe. It’s time to get off this ride because no one is having fun.

And I’m not the sort of person to complain and claim the suits in charge should put me in charge without having some kind of plan in place. Obviously, there will be some characters that I’ve put more thought into than others, which is the nature of personal bias. But that’s not to say I wouldn’t be a complete professional and flesh things out for each character and movie in a way that stays true to the history of the source material but also tells a relevant and compelling story for the 21st century. So here’s how I would do things…

Oh, and I won’t be casting any of these roles at this time. I personally believe Henry Cavill is still a perfect choice for playing Superman, but in the interest of starting all over again… well… I’ll cross that bridge if I ever decide to devote another post to this thing.

Phase One

Superman

Yes… the title is simply Superman. Why go crazy with a complicated subtitle when this does the job just fine? And, yes, we begin with Superman. DC’s first superhero should kick things off in a cinematic version of that universe. Without Superman there never would have been a Batman or a Wonder Woman or a Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this world, at this point in time, Superman operates alone. There are certainly rumors of other costumed heroes in other cities, but nothing that can be substantiated… yet.

First off, let’s ditch the origin, okay? Is there anyone out there at this point who isn’t aware that Superman was put in a rocket by his birth parents as his home world exploded around them and was sent to Earth to be raised by a salt-of-the-earth farming couple in Smallville, Kansas? To the three of you who were not aware of this character’s not-so-secret origins at this point, I invite you to revisit the plethora of Superman related media already available for consumption.

Next, let’s have both of Clark Kent’s parents still alive a kicking. Different stories have done it in different ways and it’s usually about 50/50 that one or both parents are either dead or killed off at some point during the story. As if Clark needs the death of Jonathan Kent to act as a catalyst for him leaving the farm to become the superhero he’s destined to be. I love the idea of Clark still having a close relationship with his parents, dropping in on them and asking for their advice from time to time. Superman should have an unshakable moral compass and a lot of that came from the influence of the Kents.

As for supporting characters, it’s certainly a Metropolis crowd. At this point, Superman has already been operating in the city for some time. People are excited to see him, even if he is still something of a mystery to the general public. Clark Kent has been working as a journalist for the Daily Planet since just before Superman made his public debut. In the newsroom we definitely want to see the tough-as-nails editor-in-chief, Perry White, and the younger (late teens/early 20s) staff photographer, Jimmy Olsen. It would be nice to see some of the other Planet staff like Cat Grant, Ron Troupe, or Steve Lombardi, even if only in an off-hand Easter egg kind of way.

Lois Lane has a friendly but competitive and somewhat flirtatious relationship with Clark. They work closely together on a lot of stories, often sharing a byline, especially on stories relating to Superman. Lois is fully aware that Clark and Superman are one and the same. Because she is not galactically stupid. She’s an investigative reporter. If she’s in a pickle and is rescued by this flying guy who looks a lot like her new coworker, just without the glasses, she’s gonna figure it out. And Clark’s okay with this because he trusts Lois, 100%. She thinks he’s cute, but wouldn’t dare tell him. He’s kind of smitten, but keeps her at arms length, believing that it could be dangerous for anyone to be too close to him. And as the daughter of a 4-star general, she is well trained in self defense. She can get herself into and out of plenty of scrapes without the aid of a Man of Steel.

Lex Luthor is an obvious antagonist, but not the primary antagonist this time around. Only a few years older than Clark, he is a powerful and wealthy businessman with a brilliant, genius-level scientific mind. As such, he is incredibly influential in Metropolis and has voiced his concerns regarding Superman and his unknown, possibly extra-terrestrial origins. Luthor raises the question in the minds of many of Metropolis’ citizens that Superman could easily be an advance reconnaissance soldier, scouting out our planet to see if we are vulnerable for invasion. Luthor claims he isn’t fearmongering, simply playing devil’s advocate and advising Earth’s governments to be prepared for such a possibility. Luthor is charismatic enough to even play nice, attempting to stay in Superman’s good graces. Superman sees through Luthor’s deception… But Luthor knows Superman can prove nothing.

A small extremist group latches on to everything Luthor has stirred up. They have a mysterious benefactor, who we eventually learn is Luthor himself. This mystery leader of theirs coerces an angry, down on his luck man named Rudy Jones to sneak into a LexCorp lab to supposedly steal a new weapon that could potentially hurt or even kill Superman. Jones uses his position as a LexCorp custodian to gain access to the lab in question. But he is a pawn of Luthor, who uses the opportunity to expose Jones to a radioactive device that transforms him into the villain known as Parasite.

Jones, believing he’s just turned into a deformed monster, flees the LexCorp Tower and returns to his fellow anti-Superman extremists. Of course, they’re all terrified of him, not knowing Jones has been transformed. In the scuffle, Jones discovers that, with a touch, he can feed off of others’ life energy. He kills everyone in the group, leaving shriveled husks in his wake. He then begins formulating a plan to go after Luthor, believing he is at fault for all of this.

Lois covers the story of the decimated extremist group and puts Clark on the trail of Jones. At their first encounter, neither are prepared for the effect that the Parasite will have on Superman and vice-versa. Superman is weakened, but not incapacitated. Parasite gains a level of strength and speed that he never dreamed of. Superman is forced to retreat, realizing he could easily be killed by this creature if it got a firm hold on him.

Parasite lays low for a few days, having fed enough to be completely satisfied thanks to his brush with Superman. But as that energy wears off, he realizes he wants another taste of what he can get from the superhero. His plan is now to get Superman’s attention, drain him, then go after Luthor in one last act of revenge.

Of course it never goes the way the villain plans. Superman stops Parasite, saving Lex Luthor. Luthor grudgingly thanks Superman for saving his life, which only infuriates him more… as if he owes Superman something now. Lex Luthor is not the kind of man who likes to be indebted to anyone. Superman remains extremely polite in a kill-him-with-kindness kind of way.

Roll credits…

Mid-credits scene: Luthor takes a champagne flute that Superman drank from after Luthor so generously proposed a toast for the gathered press. He passes the glass off to a woman in a white lab coat and orders her to find any trace of DNA she can that could have been left by the Man of Steel.

Post-credits scene: Clark and Lois are walking in the city in the evening. Suddenly Clark hears a loud screeching alarm that only he can hear. A concerned Lois tries to ask him what’s wrong, but he can’t even hear her over the noise. He ducks into a dark alley then takes to the air, flying toward the source of whatever is making this horrible sound. Within seconds, he reaches the Arctic Circle and sees a small object enter the atmosphere and ultimately crash into the icy glacier below. Once the object is buried, the sound stops. Superman lands next to the impact crater and begins to carefully examine the area. Then the glacier begins to tremble and a structure begins to build itself from beneath his feet. Before him stands his Fortress of Solitude.

Okay… I went a little overboard with the detail on that one. Can you tell I’ve thought about what I think would make for a decent Superman movie for a while now? We get a villain we’ve never seen on the big screen before. Because have we ever really seen anyone other that Luthor or Zod? I mean, really… And the DNA thing sets up the possibility of Bizarro in the next movie. And sets up the possibility of Superboy existing down the line for a Teen Titans movie. That would be more of a Phase Two kind of thing, though…

I know I said I would go through my idea of Phase One for DC’s Cinematic Universe. But I got super long-winded with Superman. So I’ll ask… Did you like this detailed format? Or should I make it a lot more succinct and just give the basics and timeline for these things? Let me know what you’d rather see in the comments and I’ll either do the same with the next movie tomorrow or power through the rest of Phase One with shorter descriptions of each movie.

4 thoughts on “How I’d Shape a DC Cinematic Universe…

  1. Pingback: My Version of a DC Cinematic Universe – Part II | The Confusing Middle

  2. Pingback: Ending Phase One of My DC Cinematic Universe | The Confusing Middle

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