Director Zack Snyder had plans to bring Supergirl into the DC Extended Universe that he first established with Man of Steel, although it’s unclear if the recently announced solo movie for the Girl Of Tomorrow will build off of his designs. Indeed, since his departure from Justice League, the future of the DCEU in regards to Snyder’s vision is increasingly murky.
What may well be in the future at Warner Bros. is a Supergirl movie, with speculation running wild after a recent report. Fans immediately wondered if the movie would star Melissa Benoist, who plays the role of Kara Zor-El in the Supergirl television series on The CW, and how it would connect to Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel.
Whatever shape the Supergirl film, which currently has 22 Jump Street writer Oren Uziel handling the screenplay, will take may be up in the air, but what’s important is that this isn’t the first time Kara Zor-El has been brought to the DCEU. In fact, she’s been a tangential part since before even Batman.
- This Page: Supergirl Is Already In The DCEU
- Page 2: How Did Zack Snyder Tease Kara Zor-El?
- Page 3: Will The Supergirl Movie Ditch Snyder’s Vision?
The Man of Steel Prequel Comic Introduced The DCEU’s Kara Zor-El
In 2013, a Man of Steel prequel comic (with a story by Snyder, screenwriter David Goyer and then DC Entertainment CCO Geoff Johns) told the story of Kara’s life on Krypton and revealed how she came to Earth long before the events of the movie.
This Kara Zor-El was an inductee of the Explorers’ Guild and an aspiring space pilot. Kara graduated with honors and was awarded Krypton’s highest honor, the Star of Rao, for both her sterling academic record and for capturing Dev-Em – a classmate who killed her boyfriend and tried to murder Kara in a bid to eliminate his competition for one of four new positions in the Explorers’ Guild. Kara was quickly appointed to a command post on one of 1000 starships – each equipped with a copy of the Growth Codex that created all Kryptonians – that would leave Krypton forever, as part of a “great age of expansion” that would build Kryptonian colonies on other worlds.
Not all of Krypton’s High Council was pleased by the idea of Krypton establishing a presence on other worlds, however, and they sought to undermine it in a small fashion by freeing Dev-Em and allowing him to hide on Kara Zor-El’s starship. Dev-Em killed the rest of crew while they were in suspended animation and changed the course of the ship, intending to start his own New Krypton with the woman who ruined his plans forced to serve him. Naturally, the independently-minded Kara had other ideas and the two struggled, wounding each other as the ship crashed in the Arctic region of prehistoric Earth. The comic concluded with a figure leaving the crashed ship, though it was not clear if the survivor was Kara Zor-El or Dev-Em.
Zack Snyder Said Man of Steel’s Open Pod Is “Something More”
Even without the prequel comic book, fans still speculated as to hints of Supergirl’s existence in Man of Steel. Chief among these hints was an open pod in the background when Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent first explored the Kryptonian scout ship that was buried in the Arctic ice shelf. Some thought this might be the mechanism through which Supergirl would be introduced later; the Supergirl of Superman: The Animated Series was revealed in a similar fashion, after Superman found a teenage girl named Kara in suspended animation among the ruins of Krypton’s sister planet, Argo.
Snyder later shut down this line of speculation. In a conversation on Vero, a fan directly asked Snyder about the ending of the prequel comic and the open pod in Man of Steel being signs that Supergirl existed. While his response was largely glib and ignored the status of the pod, Snyder did point out that the fan was making a large assumption that it was Kara Zor-El, perhaps suggesting it wasn’t her who left the Fortress of Solitude in the prequel comic.
Snyder was more specific in another chat on Vero, where he specifically said the open pod was not a sign of Supergirl. Describing the pod only as “something more“, Snyder elaborated that it was a sign of “not Supergirl, but someone.” This has prompted a whole new line of wild speculation, with everyone from Krypto the Super-Dog to Snyder’s proposed “real Doomsday” being suggested as the mystery passenger.
There Is A Supergirl Clue In The DCEU… Somewhere
Despite pointing away from the pod and the prequel comic as signs of Kara Zor-El’s presence on Earth, Snyder has confirmed that he had plans for opening a pathway to introduce Supergirl in later films. To the annoyance of fan theorists everywhere, however, Snyder has kept quiet as to the specifics of what those plans are. All Snyder has said is that “there’s another way to get her that we put right in plain sight.”
Was Kara present for the original battle with Steppenwolf thousands of years ago in Justice League? Did she become the mother of the Amazon race? Could the advanced, near-magical technology she had access to allow her to establish what would become the city of Atlantis before it sank? Considering the long span of history between when she crashed on Earth in the prequel comic and the start of Man of Steel (the film said it had been 20,000 years), there are many possibilities.
Ignoring the comic book, there are other ways that a Supergirl of sorts could be introduced into Snyder’s reality. The most obvious means is the Kryptonian Growth Codex. Used properly, the Codex could create a true newborn Kryptonian – a spiritual cousin of sorts to Superman. Or perhaps a literal cousin if Clark were to use his own DNA as a template?
Kara’s Traditional Origin Doesn’t Fit Into the DCEU’s Krypton
Regardless of what plans Snyder had and what he managed to set-up in the films he had finished, Supergirl’s origins would have to be heavily altered to bring her into the reality of the DCEU. Her classic origin story is incompatible with Snyder’s vision of Krypton for several reasons. The chief one is that Supergirl’s classic origin requires her to have made her way to Earth in the same circumstances as her baby cousin – an impossibility given the story of Man of Steel.
In the original Silver Age comics, one Kryptonian city – Argo City – managed to survive the destruction of the planet thanks to a dome designed by the engineer Zor-El – brother of Jor-El and uncle of Superman. While he had built the dome to help manage the weather of his hometown, it proved powerful enough to preserve the atmosphere within the dome after Krypton’s destruction and the ground underneath the city as well. Unfortunately, the land under them slowly changed into Kryptonite and the lead shielding Zor-El created to protect them was eventually shredded by meteorites. This led Zor-El to use an emergency rocket he had constructed to send his daughter Kara to Earth.
Ignoring the scientific implausibility of a city not being instantly atomized by the destruction of a planet, there is another conflict between the two visions of Krypton. The classic Krypton of the comics is a far kinder place, with family units not unlike those on Earth. Despite their access to advanced technology, the people of Krypton in the comics still behaved in a manner that we would consider largely recognizable.
What little we see of Krypton in Man of Steel suggests a far different society, structured around guilds and houses rather than nuclear families. Children are created through genetic engineering and bred towards specific purposes within Kryptonian society. The idea of romantic and physical love is viewed as anathema, with Zod being visibly disgusted when he learns that Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van gave birth to Kal-El in “the natural way.” It is difficult to see Zor-El learning of his brother’s plans for his “secret child” and using them to save his daughter in the same fashion as in the comics in this reality, given that there’s a fair chance Zor-El might not exist with the same sense of brotherly affection we saw in the comics.
While the image of Kara Zor-El presented in the Man of Steel prequel comic side-steps most of these issues, it introduces a whole host of other problems. The idea of Kara having a boyfriend, her interactions with her parents after her graduation and Dev-Em’s plans for Kara once they were marooned together seem to conflict with the Kryptonian ideas regarding love, family and sex presented in Man of Steel. The prequel comic also introduces a massive plot-hole, with each of the scout ships being equipped with a copy of the Growth Codex. Zod’s reasons for needing Kal-El and Jor-El’s plan to steal the Codex fall apart when you realize there was a copy of the Codex somewhere on the scout ship in the Arctic and that Zod could just as easily have taken that instead of bothering with trying to capture or kill Kal-El. Never mind trying to locate one of the other potential 999 colonies!
Why This New Supergirl Is Probably Different
Ignoring these problems the prequel comic raises, there are many other reasons to believe that we’ll see an entirely different Supergirl in the upcoming film. For one thing, few people read the prequel comic relative to the number of people who saw Man of Steel. Given that, it seems silly to adhere to that one story when the problems caused by accommodating it far outweigh the benefits.
Another reason we are likely to see a different kind of Supergirl is the simple fact that Warner Brothers appears to be trying to move away Zack Snyder’s DCEU. One need only look at the Justice League movie and the changes wrought by Joss Whedon’s reshoots to see how badly Warner Brothers wanted to move away from the darker vision offered by Batman v Superman. Given that and how resistant Warner Bros. is to the idea of releasing a Snyder Cut of Justice League, it seems highly unlikely they would accommodate his plans for Supergirl.
All of this is, of course, assuming the Supergirl movie will come to pass. DC has a long list of projects in development, many of which have been so for years. Having a screenwriter is a strong step, but that needn’t mean Kara Zor-El is locked into a big screen appearance. This may be just a spec script, or the whole project could exist in part as a bargaining tactic in WB’s contract negotiations with Henry Cavill. What does seem clear, though, is that Supergirl isn’t being made with completing Snyder’s vision in mind.