The Dark Knight ReturnsZack 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.