Will Superman, Batman Team Up Onscreen?

'Man of Steel' producer Charles Roven talks about the connection between the 'Dark Knight' trilogy and Superman.

Ever since “Dark Knight” trilogy director Christopher Nolan stepped in as a producer on “Man of Steel,” fans have wildly speculated that Gotham City and Metropolis would become sister cities, with Superman being primed for a team-up with Batman. But those dreams have been dashed thanks to “Man of Steel” producer Charles Roven, who set the record straight at the Super-film’s red-carpet premiere.

“The Chris Nolan universe ended — as far as Chris Nolan directing, for sure, but I think he’s completely [done] — with the ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy,” Roven told MTV’s Josh Horowitz. “That’s the statement and the stories that he wanted to make.”

As big of a bummer as this might be for lifelong DC Comics fans, who passionately want the company to establish a cinematic universe similar to Marvel Comics’ string of interconnected blockbusters, it does make sense that a godlike alien visitor with the power to move mountains and defy gravity wouldn’t fit in with Nolan’s ultra-real and gritty take on the Caped Crusader. But that doesn’t mean the two couldn’t meet up someday within the context of a new, shared universe.

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“[Christopher Nolan] and [screenwriter] David [Goyer], when they were constructing the story, and when Zack [Snyder] came in and it was important to him [that] whatever the world was that we were building here, it allowed for the possibility [of a shared universe],” Roven said. “We didn’t want to create a universe where that wasn’t possible.
We wanted to create a universe where that might be possible.”

The trailers for “Man of Steel” have already hyped up an expanded Super-mythos beyond what we see in the film, such as the LexCorp building seen in Metropolis’ skyline. The building appears despite the fact that its owner, Superman arch-nemesis Lex Luthor, is nowhere to be found in the film. But that building was placed there knowingly, Roven said, an indication of the classic villain’s chances of popping up in a future film.

“We did make the decision to let you know that there was a Lex, but we also made the decision and we felt that in order to accomplish what we wanted to accomplish in the story, he wasn’t the antagonist that we wanted to spend time with on this movie … We certainly talked about him long enough to make sure that if we’re going to have that in there, why are we going to have that in there?”

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for any references to Lex Luthor when “Man of Steel” opens on June 14.

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