Movie Reviews

James Gunn's Superman Needs To Ditch A Classic DC Villain

James Gunn is writing a new, younger Superman film for DCU, but it needs to ditch a classic DC villain to reach its full potential. Gunn announced that while he is writing a Superman movie, he is moving in a different direction without Henry Cavill. This is a big swing and the first indicator of just how different the new DCU could be.

While it is clear a new Superman is coming, it is not yet clear who the villain of the film will be. The film is not an origin story, but it will focus on a younger Clark Kent which opens up different story potential. Superman has a variety of villains and while not quite the Batman rogues gallery, Gunn is spoiled for choice for the new movie. There is one villain that he should stay away from, and that is Lex Luthor.

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Lex Luthor is an iconic villain and certainly an interesting character, but as things stand he has had an iteration pop up in every version of live-action Superman. This new Superman must do something new to justify rebooting right after Henry Cavill was announced to return. It can’t be the same old, same old from past eras otherwise it won’t work. Deciding to leave Lex Luthor out of the picture would be the type of move that would set it apart from other Superman stories in the past.

James Gunn has a 10-year DCU plan. That gives plenty of time to go back to Lex Luthor later down the line, but first Gunn must explore new territory and set up the universe in a new way before going back to the old staple villains. Building up to Lex Luthor and having him appear in the third film of a trilogy could work wonders for the character. Enough time will have passed, so he can feel exciting again and cause problems that the new version of Superman will not have faced yet.

Leaving Lex Luthor alone for now will keep things fresh and give Superman villains that have yet to appear on the big screen their time to shine. Brainiac is a villain that could be very interesting on screen and would pose a different type of threat to Superman than Lex. Brainiac is one of Superman’s most powerful villains and is good enough that he could be saved to go up against the Justice League, depending on the take Gunn wants to go for.

Other villains like Mr. Mxyzptlyk and Bizzaro could be very interesting to see what Gunn could be able to do with them. If Gunn’s track record of films like Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad is any indication of how he will tackle Superman, then Mr. Mxyzptlk, a magical trickster, could be exactly what this new version of the Man of Steel needs to set it apart from the rest.

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James Gunn needs to ditch the classic DC villain Lex Luthor for his new Superman movie, but doing so could open the door for the new DCU in a bold and interesting way. Other villains like Parasite, who can absorb anyone’s superpowers, and Ultra-Humanite, the first villain Superman ever faced in the comics, could be other interesting roads to go down. Whatever way Gunn decides to go, it’s clear a new direction will not just help Superman, but the new DCU as a whole.

More: DC’s Multiverse Makes Henry Cavill’s Superman Exit Worse

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