The news is sure to send fans reeling, since a team-up film including both of DC’s most bankable – and beloved – superheroes has been on the lips of many close to the project. Henry Cavill has voiced his interest in seeing the pair on screen, and Snyder’s well-placed Man of Steel easter egg all but confirmed the studio’s intent to some extent.
Pairing the last son of Krypton and Gotham’s dark protector may seem like a guaranteed success, but the film will need a solid story. Batman/Superman stories are some of the best DC’s writers have crafted, so here are the Top 4 Stories the Batman/Superman Movie Should Adapt.
Zack Snyder made it clear when he announced Batman would appear in the Man of Steel sequel that Frank Miller’s pivotal comic book would be playing a large part in the film. Explaining that “The Dark Knight Returns” wasn’t going to be adapted into live-action, but that it would allow he and David S. Goyer to tell a story they both wanted to – and we think we know what they’re getting at.
Anyone who either read the comic book (or watched the animated adaptation) knows that the fight between Superman and Batman is one for the ages. A Superman who thinks he can’t be touched is brought to his knees by Bruce Wayne, who views the world not as one of hope, but of despair and fear. If Snyder and Goyer were looking for ways that comic writers had brought the pair of titans together as foes, not friends, Miller’s series is the best example.
If that’s truly the path being taken, the chance to tell a story in which Batman and Superman disagree and ultimately face off seems right up Snyder’s alley. Forgetting the size of the battle that would ensue, it would also open the door to far more grounded and less-than-formulaic standalone superhero films. Not to mention lay the groundwork for a Justice League that is anything but simple to maintain.
We certainly aren’t the first fans of DC Comics to suggest that adapting the “World’s Finest” animated film is the correct course of action in realizing the Batman/Superman onscreen, but it bears repeating.
The film manages to bring the Last Son of Krypton and the Dark Knight together not as a force for the betterment of society, but as a result of the forged alliance between two other DC characters: Lex Luthor and the Joker. With each villain entrusted with killing the other’s nemesis, Batman is forced to face an egomaniac not all that different from his Bruce Wayne identity, and Superman is forced to suffer the Joker’s unique brand of torture.
With a final unveiling of Lex Luthor (his presence was teased at length in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel) and yet another chance for an actor to portray the most famous of DC’s villains (Joker), a live-action World’s Finest would be a marketing dream come true. And with large action sequences throughout, it could match the size and scale of competing blockbusters.
“Public Enemies” was a good enough story arc to send the “Batman/Superman” comic series off to the races, so millions of comic fans can’t be wrong. The original story, written by Jeph Loeb, put the two DC mainstays together in the fight of their lives.
When billionaire Lex Luthor is elected President of the United States, he sets his sights on eliminating Metropolis’ big blue Boy Scout by positioning him as an enemy of the state, and placing a bounty on his head. With few people to trust besides the Dark Knight, Batman and Superman team up to fight off not just mercenaries, but superpowered individuals looking for a payday.
Both Lex Luthor’s wealth and the public’s fear of Superman were established in Man of Steel, so a film based on Public Enemies would keep developing those same themes. The story has already been adapted into an animated feature that was essentially one prolonged action sequence, so it would be sure to earn its admission price on special effects alone.
As memorable for the art style as the changes to core DC fiction, “The Supergirl from Krypton” arc in the “Batman/Superman” series is one most fans of either hero will keep fresh in their memory. Beginning when Kal-El’s cousin Kara crash-lands in Gotham Harbor, her emergence (and discovery of her powers) draws the attention of both Batman and Superman, who quickly restrain her, and discover her as yet another survivor of the House of El.
Questioning everything Kal-El has believed about his loneliness and isolation – and proving that Batman’s suspicions about god-like aliens aren’t soothed by blood relations – how the story plays out from there seems destined for blockbuster success. Darkseid appearing to kidnap the young girl for his own purposes, Batman and Superman forced to work together in rescuing her from Apokolips, and even an appearance from Wonder Woman would gets fans on board with not just the core group of heroes, but the Justice League’s future foe.
Of course the action must hold meaning along with spectacle: Superman is forced to fight not one, but several of Darkseid’s Female Furies at once, while Batman shows the paths he’s willing to take combating evil that Superman never could. Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer already included Supergirl in their film’s universe, and while Kara’s arrival might take a different form, the foundations to make it happen are present.
That concludes our top ideas on how a Batman/Superman movie could not only stand on its own two feet, but build toward the larger Justice League continuity that Warner Bros. finally seems willing to acknowledge is their best strategy for the coming years.
What’s your take on the announcement? Should Snyder and co. focus on adapting one of the best stories from the past, or come up with something completely new? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Stay tuned to our Comic-Con 2013 Coverage for more on the Batman/Superman movie.
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Featured Image Source: Balsavor @ DeviantART