It sounds like the fever dream of a fanboy trapped in the heat outside Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, but Superman and Batman will share the screen in a follow-up to “Man of Steel” set for release during the summer of 2015.
Director Zack Snyder took the stage during the Warner Bros panel to announce that there would be another Superman movie directed by him and co-written with David S. Goyer, but that when the last son of Krypton returned, he’d bring DC Comic’s other biggest hero with him. The audience was then treated to a logo that combined two of the most iconic symbols in pop culture.
Snyder and a subsequent press release didn’t offer much info beyond that, but we do know a fair amount about the meet-up based on some previous reports. So as we start our countdown clock to 2015, let’s review what we already know about the Batman and Superman movie.
A Superman We Know
The press release from Warner Bros following the panel confirmed that Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, and Diane Lane would all be back for the follow-up, erasing any doubt that this will very much be a sequel to “Man of Steel.” That film has already cleared $635 million at the global box office and renewed the public’s interest in seeing the character on the big screen, thanks to a reboot style largely cribbed from Christopher Nolan and his “Dark Knight Trilogy.” The similarity of those two properties might make one think that a meeting would only be natural, but we already know that such a team-up almost certainly will not take place.
Not Nolan’s Batman
As Goyer explained to MTV News at the “Man of Steel” premiere, Christian Bale’s take on Batman does not exist in the world that Cavill’s Superman inhabits. “‘The ‘Dark Knight’ films do not exist in the same universe. Zack [Snyder] has gone on record,” he said. “The fact that we have Wayne Industries on the satellite, Bruce Wayne exists in this universe.”
And while the combined logo from the panel confirmed as much by using a bat-symbol entirely different from the sharp Nolan design, it also provided our first look at the “Man of Steel” world version of the Caped Crusader, who will be played by an actor who has yet to be cast. The symbol resembled the one worn by an older Bruce Wayne in Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns,” a tale that factored into the Comic-Con panel in more than one way.
Hero Versus Hero
Snyder welcomed “Man of Steel” actor Harry Lennix to read a passage from the Miller book. “I want you to remember, Clark, in all the years to come,” he read. “In all your private moments. In all the years to come, my hand at your throat. I want you to remember, the one man who beat you.” While Snyder clarified afterward that the movie would not be an adaptation of “The Dark Knight Returns,” the Miller run would inform their story.
Translation: We will see Batman and Superman at odds.
Some of the best stories featuring the two legendary heroes sharing the same space put their perspectives on justice and morality in direct conflict. Pitting Batman and Superman against each other has been a mechanism for character development that comic writers have returned to over and over again for good reason, and Snyder looks to be doing the same thing here.