Batman vs. Superman: Let’s Do This
Warner Bros. stunned everyone this year at San Diego Comic-Con when they announced the big news: the sequel to Man of Steel would feature not just our favorite Kryptonian, but also one of his greatest allies and rivals. A Batman/Superman flick is every DC fan’s dream, but are we really ready for it? Has Cavill’s Superman been established enough in moviegoers’ hearts to pull off this dynamic?
Huffington Post Live asked me to join Tony and two other comic book fans on a segment discussing these questions and more. Though I found it difficult to speculate given how little we know about the film so far, it was still a fun conversation filled with lots of hopeful theories. You can click here to see a ~3-minute teaser (video at the top of the article).
We can still make up for the lack of psychic marine creatures in the Watchmen movie, Snyder.
We briefly discussed potential villains in the segment, but I think it’s safe to assume that Lex Luthor will play a prominent role. I’m doubtful that The Dark Knight Returns inspiration mentioned at SDCC will extend to include the leader of the Mutants and all his glorious body adornments, or Bruno and her… very offensive body adornments. Joker, as chic and frightening as he is in TDKR, likely won’t be featured in the movies again for a while. Secretly, my fingers are still crossed for the day we say Starro take the silver screen because, I mean, how hilarious would that be?
The biggest question that’s surfaced as a result of this announcement is probably, “Who’s Batman?” Which version will he be and who will play him (since Christian Bale seems to have no interest in reprising the role)? We don’t know. All we do know is that this film’s classic graphic novel inspiration, The Dark Knight Rises, tells the story of post-retirement Bruce Wayne in a deteriorating Gotham. Donning the cowl again isn’t easy for the man, especially since everyone seems to want a piece of him… even Superman. While Snyder made it clear this won’t be a direct adaptation of Frank Miller’s work, the idea of an older Batman pitted against Cavill’s Superman, armed with his intellect and cunning over strength, is pretty exciting.
Old!Bats probably doesn’t sell as well as young!Bats, though, so let’s take a look at the next viable option. Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be a perfect fit: not only would he serve to bridge Nolan’s trilogy with the Man of Steel films well ahead of the eventual Justice League mega-movie, but he’s also an established actor that, in my opinion, could pull off a Terry McGinnis Batman without issue. He even looks like him! How many of you have been dying to see a live-action adaptation of Batman Beyond, anyway? Now, if they could just sneak Carrie Kelley/Robin in there, we’d all forgive and forget the bat-nipple fiasco entirely.
There was a lot of “too soon” talk in the HuffPost segment. It’s too soon for Superman and Batman to appear in a film together, they say, because Clark Kent barely came to terms with his identity in the first film and this new Batman hasn’t even been introduced yet. Negative Nancies, the lot of ’em! We have two hours plus to work with: why can’t Snyder develop Superman and introduce Batman at the same time? Plus, we don’t need another Batman movie beforehand. Comic book fans know who the character is and previous movies have established him in the general public’s minds. Batman’s “bang-brood-bat” origin can’t (shouldn’t) deviate that much from what we’ve already seen so as to merit the delay of this new, different film. It would be overkill.
DC has been stealthily acclimating us to this whole thing, in case you hadn’t noticed. Even before their panel at Comic-Con, they were handing out posters in their booth featuring Jae Lee’s Batman/Superman art. This comic series has been out for a while now. I haven’t had the chance to read it just yet, but I’m a big fan of Lee’s art from Before Watchmen: Ozymandias. The writer, Greg Pak, is also one of my favorites from his previously Marvel-exclusive work, especially Prince of Power with Fred Van Lente. He’s great at what he does, he’s a very nice guy in real life and he sports an amazing beard. Let’s face it, that last note alone means he deserves your money.
In terms of tying comics with corresponding movie promotion, though, Marvel has also tried something similar recently. They hyped a huge Age of Ultron event well before their own big announcement of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. They also canceled their Winter Soldier title, likely to be rebooted in time for the Captain America sequel. Sneaky comic book companies, sneaky!
Patience is a virtue (that I don’t have).
I am, obviously, incredibly excited about this Batman/Superman movie. There’s been more than enough setup for it, it’s a concept that fans obviously want to see played out and, if executed correctly, it has the potential to wash out the bittersweet taste left in our mouths after the first Man of Steel. Unfortunately for us as fans, everything is a waiting game now. So sit back, relax and imagine because 2015 is still fairly far away.
What do you imagine? What version of Batman are you rooting for and who would you like to see play him? Let me know below!