Now, lets think about it. Usually the first film in a saga is great, a second film is lukewarm, but good enough to get you thinking, I wonder where they take this next, and number three sucks ass. Examples: Spider-Man 3 (I don't agree with this one), Godfather 3 and Crocodile Dundee 3.
What about 4's, what about movies that are good enough to warrant a fourth sequel?
Well, if the director is Christopher Nolan and is not story wart at the same time and will cave in to the studio. Let us think that the new Superman film series by Zack Snyder will not be a trilogy but a quadrology merging with the Justice League movie. In the new movie, it will deal with Superman being alone in the world, an example first brought by Bryan Singer in Superman Returns. He is an alien amongst humans, he has powers nobody else has, he is good but viewed malign, he is alone. The only others of his species, Zod and Faora, are fucking evil. So the second movie will undoubtedly deal with the aftermath of it, him coping with the fact that he is alone instead of just dealing with it. the third film will have him accepting himself, if the Dark Knight Rises goes that direction and I'm thinking it will, so where will the fourth film go?
Well lets look at my proposed villains:
For Man of Steel we have Zod
For the sequel which is say should be called the Men of Steel, we have Bizarro or the Eradicator (see why?)
For the third-quel we should have Lex Luthor himself, trying to break the public's trust in Superman.
Zod will break the humans trust in Kryptonians and make Superman an Outlaw, but how can you catch an invincible man who runs really fast? Hit him with a train, it happened in the new Action Comics it can happen here. On the point though, in the sequel, you need Bizarro, the Eradicator or the Cyborg Superman. The simple reason why is, he is fighting himself, essentially. He needs to realize that he is alone and he needs to do something about it, he cant face others like him, so he's got to face himself. He's also got to become the face of the public some time in this movie. In the third film I'm guessing Lex and his robot suit or something like that will have Lex succeeding in tarnishing Superman's public image but Supes still coming on top.
What room does that leave for a fourth movie? None. The Dark Knight Rises wont and maybe this one wont either, Spider-Man 3, despite the development of Spider-Man 4, did not leave room for a sequel except for Sandman blowing himself away.
Here is what you can do, make a standalone movie that ties in to the greater franchise. We don't need Superman in a series involving his own problems anymore, lets focus on the world now. That is why we need a Justice League film. While the Avengers focuses on the problems of its characters, the Justice League movie needs to focus on the world. Lets say the DC world is just like ours, because hey, DC is much more realistic [I mean Marvel needs to reboot their comics, the stuff they are doing is like, hey, is this same continuity? Did they not do this twenty years ago and the public still has the same reaction... guhhhh.], it will show the poverty and the cryings of the people.
So this fourth Superman movie needs to the cornerstone of a said DC Cinematic Universe. It needs to show Superman facing something bigger than himself, something like Mongul. Someone that can literally beat the shit out of Superman and kill him that way, of course he needs to be insane like Doomsday to actually do it, though. So lets say he faces Mongul, the public learns: If you hit something hard enough, it can bleed. Going in to that, lets enter the first two Justice League movies, number one: the Parademons and Darkseid. If Mongul beat the shit out of Superman, what will these guys do? Simple, it will make Superman less important and therefore the need to exclude Superman, as he is a huge ass character anyways, and put the same amount of emphasis and importance on other guys like Aquaman and Wonder Woman will be given and therefore the public wont say, "Why didn't Batman make a plunger and shove it up Darkseid's ass?" or, "Wait... he's Superman... why didn't he just be super?".
One question will, however, be asked, "He's Superman. I thought you can't beat him up?"