I want you to remember, Clark…in all the years to come…in your most private moments…I want you to remember…my hand…at your throat…I want…you to remember…the one man who beat you
Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Returns
When Zack Snyder made a surprise appearance in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con 2013, we knew something special about to happen. A few hours prior The Hollywood Reporter revealed that a Man of Steel sequel was going to be revealed with the extra spice of the return of Batman. These two iconic heroes have been at the helm of DC comics for decades, both very different in ability but they still follow the path of good. These two figureheads have constantly been compared. They can be seen as mirror images, moral opposites, yin and yang. Superman as the golden boy, the celebrated hero, the moral do-gooder. Superman prides himself on his image and the people that idolize and love him, he takes pride in ‘doing the right thing’. Batman however doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty, doing what has to be done.In their functionality as a hero, they also operate completely differently. Being an alien from Krypton, Superman has several genetic traits, including practical indestructibility, heat vision, super strength, agility, among many others. This paints him primarily as a warrior, who solves his problems using his genetic skill-set with little after-thought. Batman, is ultimately just a determined man. He relies on his expert knowledge of martial arts, and close quarter combat skills in addition to a wealth of stealth tactics. He typically plays more as the detective, than a combatant.For many the argument is clear, Superman has a vast array of powers and physical strength that Batman can’t compete with. But still this film can be amazing!
We all know that Batman and Superman can be the best of buddies at times obviously with the Justice League or even when they are brought together to battle a villain, but what Warner Bros. & Snyder sound like what they are intending is to make the two caped heroes lock horns in a battle. But this is not the first attempt, back at the turning of the millennium Warner did intend on shooting this ultimate battle.The intention of Batman Vs. Superman would be to use its expected box office success to serve as a springboard for the individual relaunch of both characters’ moribund movie series in the future. Andrew Kevin Walker, was hired to pen the screenplay for the feature; his draft was later rewritten by Akiva Goldsman. The script establishes Bats and Supes as having been friends and allies for a while. Bruce Wayne has decided to retire in order to settle down to with his new bride Elizabeth just as Clark Kent reveals that he is getting a divorce from Lois Lane.The murder of Bruce’s ward Dick Grayson, perverted the Dark Knight Detective’s mission into a thankless quest for vengeance. Elizabeth could very well be his last chance at a life free of loneliness and pain.She dies with a gruesomely wide smile permanently plastered on her lovely face, a calling card the Joker.Bruce understandably wants to track down the Joker, but although Superman wants to help he is not prepared to let his old friend commit murder in the name of avenging the death of a loved one. Batman returns to the streets and quickly makes it known in true fashion. Superman is experiencing some troubles of his own with Kryptonite falling into the wrong hands and finds that Lex Luthor has been masterminding a grand scale revenge scheme that will ultimately result in Batman and Superman going mano y mano at the beginning of the third act. After several battle royales evil is punished and the world’s finest are amigos once more.
The finished script – including Goldman’s revisions – attracted the attention of German filmmaker Wolfgang Petersen and soon the studio gave Batman Vs. Superman the green light. Actors like Jude Law, Josh Hartnett, Colin Ferrell, and Johnny Depp were mentioned as possible candidates for the two lead roles. Soon after the movie went into pre-production executives at Warner Bros. starting getting cold feet about the project; they feared that if the film flopped at the box office or at best performed below industry expectations any interest in future Batman and Superman sequels would evaporate, the latter of which was being developed alongside the team-up project with J.J. Abrams on scripting duties. Abrams’ grandiose design for a trilogy of Superman films – trilogies were becoming very big in those days – impressed Warner execs with its lighter, franchise friendly tone and greater potential for merchandising and other ancillary revenue. Only one, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, loudly voiced his displeasure with the studio favouring the permanent shelving of Batman Vs. Superman. He left Warner Bros. two weeks after the project was cancelled refocus the studio’s energy and finances on producing the two super legends’ solo pictures. Petersen’s dismay over the project’s collapse was temporarily set aside when Warners offered him the director’s chair on the mega-budget historical war epic Troy. Christian Bale had been considered for the role of Batman during the brief pre-production and though Batman Vs. Superman never made it before the cameras the studio would keep him in mind for the role in a different feature.
So the Nolan Batman era is behind us, Snyder has resurrected Superman from the ashes. It has grossed over $600 million world wide, and Superman fans are growing by the day. Even before we parked our bottoms at the movies for Man of Steel, Snyder did confirm a sequel. But we all know that the main purpose of the return of Superman was to start establishing a Justice League movie. Marvel have done very well out of their Avengers Phase 1, but the future still looks bright for them with Phase 2 in full swing and Phase 3 in the pipeline. With the announcement in San Diego on Saturday, Warner. have confirmed a 2015 release date and also a Flash movie in 2016, then Justice League in 2017.For me this is the last chance they will have to make this happen, they are being very brave in my eyes releasing the film in 2015 with Avengers: The Age of Ultron and Star Wars VII coming out that same summer. But you can never say no to a bit of competition I guess. Snyder and David S.Goyer are penning the film, with Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas sitting in as Executive Producers. Nolan for me will not be that key for this production, he will be very busy with Interstellar out in 2014.Also confirmed is the return of Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane, but Batman has not been cast as of yet. This film is going into production in early 2014, so there must be a plot and some form of script all ready otherwise DC & Warner wouldn’t give it the green light. This announcement has divided fans and critics alike, personally for me this film has to be made. Just for the bases many fans have wanted to this battle for a long time. The whole image of being a comic book fan has erupted in recent time, being a geek is cool apparently. I understand that many hardcore comic book fans will disagree with this announcement, and I see their point. But DC & Warner aren’t going to listen too a small collective of people. They want the hard earned cash of every Tom, Dick & Harry. This movie is gonna happen, so we might as well deal with it.
I find it difficult to visualise what kind of Batman we will see, Christian Bales is not returning. So then the question leads too, do we have a young Batman or an older Batman? The first real clue comes from the quote at the top of the article, this quote was read out at Comic Con. It comes from the graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. In this story Batman has retired, and comes back to fight mutant colony, then shit goes down. He ends up fighting Superman and beating him. I won’t get into much detail as I don’t want to ruin the book. For me the concept of an older Batman is the best way forward for the this new breed, it basically means you don’t have to fall into the Nolanverse. But the fact that people know who Batman is should be enough, I would anticipate a Batman in his early to mid forties, so still strong and slightly fresh. But for me that’s as far as my imagination will go, I want to see Snyder and Goyer’s vision. If it were a middle aged Batman, I would love to see possibly Jon Hamm as Batman (I know other people have other ideas). For me if I was told this is the basic idea of the film I would be happy. But like any other fan I will wait with anticipation and an open mind. They need to keep a balance in the film also, as we need to remember that this is a Man of Steel sequel not a Batman movie. Thus the reason I could see Lex Luthor being the main villain in this film, this will establish that we are in Superman land (unless Batman will be the main protagonist). This is a mammoth of a task for any director but I do believe that Snyder has that drive in him to succeed. He is a fan boy himself, and he has also made some of the best comic book films of the last 20 years in Watchmen, 300 and Man Of Steel. One thing is I will not be surprised if this film will be delayed, but if not I do look forward to the Clash of the Franchises in 2015.