This article contains potential spoilers for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Justice League movie, and more.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice arrives in theaters on March 25th, 2016. Considering that it’s been nearly two years since this movie was announced, saying that it’s now less than one year away still feels like a cruel trick sometimes. Nevertheless, here we are. The movie that will set the stage for the rest of the DC Superhero Movie Cinematic Universe has a lot of work to do, as it will introduce most (if not all) of the Justice League roster.
Here’s how this article works: we’ve got all the newest announcements right up top in this “latest news” section, and then as we go through the piece, more general info and some story-specific spoilers will follow. Read on with care!
The Latest News
There’s a new official synopsis for the movie, which comes to us via the good folks at Collider:
Fearing the actions of a god-like super hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.
So, that “new threat” could be any number of things, but we speculate on that down in the “villains” section of this article. Although, truth be told, we know who it is…we just aren’t at liberty to say at the moment.
And check out these new photos of the costumes and the Batmobile interior!
License! Global has another look at the Batmobile in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It doesn’t look good. I mean, the picture looks good, but things don’t look good for the Batmobile. Check it out:
That’s definitely had some mileage put on it, hasn’t it?
Pretty cool, right? Now, you’ll probably want to watch that trailer again…
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer
If you want to know what’s going on in this one, we have a shot-by-shot analysis of the trailer for you right here.
We always knew that Man of Steel would be the beginning of a new DC Comics cinematic universe. What we didn’t know was that its sequel would be the movie that really introduced the rest of the DC Universe. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice isn’t Man of Steel 2, that’s for sure, and it’s shaping up to be much more than just a Dark Knight Returns inspired hero vs. hero slugfest.
In fact, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is going to have to do all the heavy lifting that solo movies would ordinarily do, as it will introduce new versions of Batman and Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and possibly quite a few others (including the Flash and Robin). By the time the Justice League movie rolls around, you won’t have to learn how the team formed, as it looks like this one will have gotten that out of the way for you.
The slogan on that Aquaman poster is “Unite the Seven.” While Aquaman is King of the Seven Seas, the seven in question are certainly Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman, The Flash, and…someone else. Robin? Nightwing? We haven’t heard very much about Green Lantern being in this movie, but there’s still Scoot McNairy’s mystery role to consider (more on that below). It seems that Green Lantern is being saved for the Justice League movies, but we’ll get you more on this as we hear it.
Batman v. Superman Story
Zack Snyder co-wrote the story with David Goyer, and Chris Terrio (Argo) came in to help write the screenplay. The story draws some inspiration from The Dark Knight Returns, the classic story by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley which climaxed with an impressive street fight between Batman and Superman. While there are likely going to be some similarities, Goyer has stated that the film won’t be an adaptation of that work.
It looks increasingly likely that some of their conflict may stem from the controversial ending to Man of Steel, as Mr. Goyer promised, “we will be dealing with this in coming films…He isn’t fully-formed as Superman in [Man of Steel], and he will have to deal with the repercussions of that in the next one.” The trailer certainly points to that fallout being a major component of what puts the two of them at odds, as the media seems to be stoking a firestorm surrounding Superman’s presence and actions.
As for what else Batman vs. Superman has in store, well…it looks like we’re going to get a gathering of heroes. There’s a whole mess of DC Comics superhero movies on the slate, including Justice League and Justice League 2, both of which will be directed by Zack Snyder. We figure that whatever differences Bats and Supes have with each other in this one should be resolved by the time they get around to Super Friends: The Movie.
[related article: Complete DC Superhero Movie Release Schedule]
And speaking of all those characters…
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Heroes
Henry Cavill will return as Superman and Ben Affleck will play Batman/Bruce Wayne. Affleck fits the mold of the “older and wiser” Batman who “bears the scars of a seasoned crimefighter” that Warner Bros. was looking for, which neatly sidesteps the need to re-establish Batman’s origins on screen once again. There have been some origin flashback sequences filmed, though, because what Batman movie would be complete without young Bruce Wayne sobbing outside of a movie theater, right?
A better look at Ben Affleck in the Batman costume has surfaced. It’s just an unaltered version of the Batman image that appeared on the IMAX posters, but it’s still our best look yet at Ben Affleck actually wearing the batsuit.
Check it out:
Zack Snyder, director of this movie and fan of sneaky Twitter reveals, just showed off two pop-art flavored Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice posters AND a fresh look at the Ben Affleck Batman costume.
Alright, enough about Batman…
While the first live-action meeting of Batman and Superman is historic enough, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice goes even further, by introducing Wonder Woman into the mix, played by Gal Gadot. There’s no word yet on just how large her role in the film will be, but this will mark the first appearance of Wonder Woman on the big screen, and her first live-action appearance (not counting an unaired NBC television pilot from a few years back) since Lynda Carter hung up her bracelets in 1979. We do know that the character’s origin will follow the recent New 52 reboot, so she’s the daughter of Zeus and Queen Hippolyta.
Jeremy Irons will play Batman’s right-hand man, Alfred Pennyworth. While we don’t know how much from previous incarnations of the character Irons will draw on, Alfred is described by Zack Snyder as “Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman.” He’s a serious presence in the trailer, offering a revealing speech to Bruce Wayne.
Scoot McNairy has an unspecified role, too. Speculation on his part has ranged from Morgan Edge to Jimmy Olsen to Hal Jordan…we’re hoping he’s Blue Beetle, but wouldn’t count on that. At one point there were rumors that Nightwing (or at least Dick Grayson) would appear in the film, with Adam Driver’s name initially having surfaced as a contender for the role. However, Driver has denied any involvement with the project, and his current commitments to the new Star Wars trilogy now safely rule him out. Maybe this is Scoot McNairy’s role. We have no clue.
Ray Fisher will play Vic Stone…who is also known as Justice League member, Cyborg. He’s also scheduled to get a solo movie in 2020.
After playing games with the press, Jason Momoa is playing Aquaman. Get another look at him in all his magnificence right here:
There is also an Aquaman solo movie in development.
Jena Malone has a role in the movie, although what it is hasn’t been revealed. She appears to be playing Carrie Kelley, the female Robin who was introduced in The Dark Knight Returns comic, though. Expect other similarities to that story, too.
Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, and Diane Lane will also reprise their Man of Steel roles. Holly Hunter, Callan Mulvey, and Tao Okamoto are on board in roles created specifically for the film. It’s been confirmed that Christina Wren will return as Carrie Farris in this one, as well.
Tyrese Gibson posted a bit of fan art depicting him as Green Lantern on his Instagram page with the caption “rumor has it that.” This probably means nothing, and I’m waiting on a reply from his representatives (don’t worry, I’m not holding my breath), but as Dwayne Johnson showed us with the Shazam movie, sometimes where there’s smoke on social media, there’s fire. That being said, I’ve heard that there wouldn’t be a Green Lantern appearance in any capacity until the first Justice League movie, but things can change. Meanwhile, there’s a Green Lantern solo movie on the calendar for…2020.
[related article: Everything You Need to Know About the Justice League Movie]
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Villains
The only villain that we’re completely sure of is Jesse Eisenberg as Superman’s arch-foe, Lex Luthor. David Goyer has stated that “Lex [Luthor] in this world is more a Bill Gates or Rupert Murdoch like character. He’s probably a multi, multi billionaire. He’s not a crook.” While this quote comes from an interview that was conducted well before the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice announcement, Goyer’s vision for Lex would certainly put him in the same social circles as someone like Bruce Wayne. Zack Snyder describes Luthor as “a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman.”
Check out the first image of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. This is actually pretty cool. It looks like a mugshot, and Eisenberg looks plenty menacing…almost like Frank Quitely’s Lex Luthor from the pages of All-Star Superman.
“He’s not any of the Lexes that you’ve seen, that’s for sure,” director Zack Snyder told Entertainment Weekly, “other than him being a captain of industry and one person to the world and another person to himself. And bald, of course….Our Lex is disarming and he’s not fake. He says what he believes and he says what’s on his mind. If you can unravel the string and decipher what he means, it’s all there.”
You can hear snippets of Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor whipping people into a frenzy with anti-Superman rhetoric in the trailer. My big question is…did he lose his hair in the battle of Metropolis and that’s why he’s so pissed off at Supes?
As for other potential villains? Well…
Doomsday is in this movie in some form, as well. After hearing this from one of my own sources last summer, this information has been verified repeatedly over the last few months. The most recent confirmation comes from Umberto Gonzalez (formerly of Latino Review, currently of the recently launched Heroic Hollywood), who dropped some knowledge on the Shanlian on Batman podcast.
There had also been some info from ComicBook.com who believe that General Zod’s corpse becomes Doomsday thanks to experiments by Lex Luthor. This will allow Michael Shannon to appear in the movie in some form. Shannon was spotted around the set back in November, so it’s possible that this is true.
Warner Bros. has been itching to get Doomsday on screen to tell some version of the “Death of Superman” story for almost twenty years now. While it would be great to see Doomsday show up, here’s hoping they don’t try and do the death/resurrection of Supes thing too early.
There are also indications now that Brainiac is the guy manipulating Batman and Superman into fighting each other, and once his villainous presence is revealed to the world, it will lead directly into the first Justice League movie. We haven’t verified this ourselves, but it would make sense. I can’t help but wonder if his mental powers are helping to turn the tide of public opinion against Superman, as well.
We’re going to see minor baddie the KGBeast as an agent of Luthor’s, although probably without a costume or a code name. You can click here for some more details if you want them, but this gets pretty spoiler-y.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Posters
These were the same posters handed out to the people who attended the IMAX screening of the trailer on April 20th:
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Production
Principal photography began in Detroit in the spring of 2014 and the film shot in locations as diverse as Illinois, Africa, and the South Pacific. Some second-unit filming already took place, including at a football game between rival college teams from Metropolis and Gotham (this might be where Vic Stone/Cyborg is introduced), as well as locations in Illinois which have doubled as the Kent farm. Spy photos from the sets are starting to emerge around the web, as well, including shots of the LexCorp headquarters and a Superman statue under construction. Filming wrapped in December of 2014.
Batman vs. Superman is produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder. Hans Zimmer will return to provide the score for the movie. However, when Zack Snyder stated that they’d want Mr. Zimmer back “as long as he’ll have us” he also seemed to confirm that Zimmer wouldn’t reuse any previous Batman themes, in order to distinguish this version of the character from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films. Junkie XL is helping out on that front.
And speaking of those Dark Knight movies, one thing that Snyder is now definitely carrying over from Nolan is the use of IMAX cameras. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice will be partially shot in IMAX.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016.
Den of Geek will present a special Batman v. Superman night on March 28th in New York City. Click here for details on how you can join us!