You'll be forgiven if you forgot the existence of the 1997 superhero film Steel which is based on the DC Comics character and starred NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal. After all, the film was a huge flop at the box office and panned by the critics for its cheesiness. But that doesn't stop O'Neal from wanting a sequel after all these years.
Speaking with PopCulture.com, O'Neal reflected on his turn as Steel/John Henry Irons in the film and his interest in wanting to do a sequel now that the visual effects are much better than the time when the film was made.
"Well, if you look at the Steel character, it's me. It's all me, John Henry Irons is me," O'Neal said. "You know, when we did the movie, I would have liked to have those Iron Man effects, but nah, we did the movie in the early '90s, and technology wasn't as it is now, but I would love to be able to do a redo of that."
He added, "Same effects that they use in the movies, that they use now. I think it would be much better appreciated, but... You know, you're a comic book guy, I can tell. When Superman died, he came back as seven different people. I got John Henry Irons, if you look at all the comics, that was me."
A sequel to Steel is highly unlikely at this point. There is a zero chance that it will happen given the reception and reputation of the film. It is nice to hear though that O'Neal is still enthusiastic about the character after all these years and he is interested in taking a crack again. Nothing can beat the love and passion of one person. But then the reality is DC Comics or Warner Bros. will not greenlight a sequel to a film that flopped at the box office 24 years ago. There is also no demand from the audience as Steel has become notorious for being a bad film.
To some extent, O'Neal is right that perhaps the film might be produced better today when visual effects are much better than it was in the 90s. Fortunately, thanks to the CW series Superman & Lois, John Henry Irons lives on the screen today with Wole Parks playing him. Just like in the comics, the character is a supporting ally of Superman in the series. His presence has been received well by fans and the cliffhanger of the first season finale hints at the character's larger role in the second season.