Although Henry Cavill’s future as Superman remains in question, it doesn’t look like the DC Extended Universe is shutting the door on exploring Kryptonian mythology entirely. Last month, it was reported that Warner Bros has a Supergirl movie in development, with Oren Uziel penning the script. While Cavill’s departure from the DCEU hasn’t been officially confirmed (and the actor’s Instagram video raises more questions than answers), supposedly there are now plans to shift focus onto moving Supergirl forward rather than the long-discussed Man of Steel 2. Now there’s also word that rather than take place in the present, the Girl of Steel’s movie would be set decades in the past.
In its report about Warner Bros stating that no decision has been made yet regarding Henry Cavill making more Superman appearances, The Playlist mentioned that currently the Supergirl movie is being envisioned as following the eponymous heroine as a teenager in the 1970s. This is subject to change, but if the ’70s angle is cemented, that would mean Cavill would definitely not be appearing, as his Kal-El/Clark Kent wasn’t born until 1980. So just like how the 1984 Supergirl movie was only loosely connected to the preceding Christopher Reeve-led Superman movies, the DCEU’s Supergirl movie would also be a standalone piece, and this time, Kara’s cousin isn’t even around for people to talk about.
Kara Zor-El being older than Kal-El is nothing new, as in the comics, Kara was already a teenager when Krypton exploded, while Kal was a newborn. However, through unusual circumstances (it all depends on which story you read/watch), by the time Kara landed on Earth, Kal was already an adult and become Superman. So it’s an interesting movie for the Supergirl movie to follow along with Kara at a time when her cousin isn’t even alive. That being said, what isn’t clear is where Supergirl would be set? Is it following Kara while she’s still on Krypton, or is the movie giving a Superman-less version of Kara’s origin story on Earth? The latter would deviate from the source material significantly, but then again, we did see in Man of Steel that one of Kryptonian pods in the Fortress of Solitude, so at least there’s some groundwork already laid for Kara to have awoken on our world decades before people would hear the name Superman.
Period piece superhero movies have become more common in recent years. In the DCEU, Wonder Woman showed Diana of Themyscira visiting the outside world for the first time in World War I, and Wonder Woman 1984 will revisit the heroine in, well, you can guess the year. Setting Supergirl in the 1970s would be an interesting way to flesh out the DCEU’s pre-Man of Steel years further, and it would be an even bolder move to show Kara becoming a superhero without any Superman influence in her life. Nevertheless, this project is its the early stages, so perhaps circumstances will change and Supergirl will be changed into a contemporary tale.