‘Batman vs. Superman’: Snyder Talks ‘Dark Knight Returns’ Factor & Affleck

Published 1 year ago by

Batman vs Superman movie logo 2015 Batman vs. Superman: Snyder Talks Dark Knight Returns Factor & Affleck

Now that director Zack Snyder’s sequel to his Superman film Man of Steel – unofficially dubbed Batman vs. Superman – has been pushed back an additional 10 months for development, we have to wait even longer to see the film and learn what is fact and what is fiction, where it concerns a movie that will serve as the next (and, potentially, most pivotal) chapter in DC’s shared universe.

However, with Snyder out promoting this March’s comic book movie “side-quel” 300: Rise of an Empire – which he co-scripted and produced – that’s given the press a new opening to pick Snyder’s brain about his Batman/Superman crossover. If nothing else, this may help rein in some of the more outlandish rumors out there, like those involving the newly-announced Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg).

When Batman vs. Superman was announced at the 2013 International Comic-Con, Snyder had Man of Steel costar Harry Lennix read a famous quote from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns comic book. In a more recent interview with the French Magazine Popcorn (via CBT and CBM) about Rise of an Empire, Snyder provided a bit more insight on the connection between his new movie and Dark Knight Returns (note that the following is a rough translation):

 “[The] comic book will influence the history of Batman Vs. Superman, on which the writer David S. Goyer and myself will work.”

For those who have neither read Miller’s comic nor seen the two-part DC animated film adaptationDark Knight Returns revolves around a 55-year old Bruce Wayne, who has hung up his cape and cowl and retired after years of battling crime as the masked vigilante Batman. However, rising levels of violence and unlawful conduct in Gotham City inspire Bruce to resurrect his Caped Crusader alter-ego and return to action – something that not only prompts his most dangerous foes to get back in the game, but in time puts the Dark Knight at odds with the U.S. government and its “ally” (or “lackey,” as seen through Bruce’s eyes), Superman.

batman vs superman dark knight returns 570x294 Batman vs. Superman: Snyder Talks Dark Knight Returns Factor & Affleck

Batman vs. Superman in ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ animated movie

Between Superman’s (Henry Cavill) shaky relationship with the government at the end of Man of Steel, 41-year old Ben Affleck being cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and the confirmed addition of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) – who may be joined by additional Justice League team members at some point in the film – it’s safe to say that Snyder’s new movie won’t be a direct adaptation of Miller’s Dark Knight Returns storyline.

However, you can see how Miller’s comic might inform the script by David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio (Argo), by featuring an older version of the Caped Crusader who returns to the spotlight, in part because he is extremely distrustful of the alien from another world (and with good reason). Furthermore, when it was published in the 1980s, Dark Knight Returns was heavy on relevant political overtones; Man of Steel likewise boasts a good deal of subtext drawn from the modernized tweaks to the Superman mythos, so it’s a fair bet that Batman vs. Superman will also heavily feature updated social/political themes.

Ben Affleck in The Town1 Batman vs. Superman: Snyder Talks Dark Knight Returns Factor & Affleck

Ben Affleck in ‘The Town’

During the same interview, Snyder also re-iterated what he’s said before about Affleck playing Batman:

“Ben brings an interesting counterweight to the performance of Henry in the role of Superman. He has the experience necessary to paint the picture of an older and more advised man than Clark Kent, who bears the scars of a seasoned vigilante while retaining the charm that Bruce Wayne deploys when present in the world.”

Like this description of “Bat-fleck,” certain Batman vs. Superman rumors – like how Bats uses drone technology – fit with the idea of Snyder’s film being informed by – but not firmly based on – Dark Knight Returns, while others – see: Bruce Wayne thinking he can resolve his issues with Superman peacefully – seem all the more unreasonable, in that context. Indeed, for now it’s safe to dismiss any future claims that suggest Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel will involve a Caped Crusader who is not like the version depicted in either Dark Knight Returns and/or Alex Ross and Mark Waid’s Kingdom Come comic book (which might also be informing Snyder’s film).


Batman vs. Superman is currently scheduled for theatrical release beginning on May 6th, 2016.

Source: Popcorn [via CBT and CBM]

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  1. There’s a typo in the 5th paragraph, it says “Miller’s Dark Knight Rises” when it should say “Dark Knight Returns”. Really great article though, very excited to see how this turns out!

    • Fixed.

      Thanks for the catch!

    • And while we’re on the subject of errors, it’s Mark Waid, not Mark Weid, who created Kingdom Come along with Alex Ross.

      • Also Fixed.

        • Also, in the last paragraph there appears to be a typo on the link: “he can REVOLVE his issues with….” I suspect it’s supposed to say Resolve. :)

          • Ack, that’s three strikes! I’m out.

            • Also, you didn’t spell your name right.



              But no, seriously, I’m at a time where I’m not too excited about the movie because it’s so far away but once more news comes flying out, I’m gonna be all giddy like a schoolgirl.

  2. Good, I don’t really want a direct adaptation. Excited to finally get to see Snyder’s vision in 2016!

  3. Its an absolutely great book…Dark Knight Returns was a masterpiece.
    If this movie is influenced by it in some way…it can only be good for it.
    Finally…something irrefutably redeeming about this project.

    • “Finally” something redeeming about it? Like the casting announcements somehow brought the whole thing down?

      How’s your vacation been and when do you return to reality?

      • It’s all perspective and taste. Many (myself included) have not been excited about the casting choices that you assumed Anim was talking about. That doesn’t make anymore more or less in touch with reality.

        And your opinion is not any more worthy than anyone elses here.

        This news was rather encouraging though.

        This could be the third in a “Miller-Snyder” trilogy.

        • Typo: That doesn’t make anyone any more or less…

          • Cheers mate!

            Here’s hoping this movie surprises me..

      • So insecure….

        We’ve had this conversation before. I state my opinion. Then you make dumb statements.

        You have to realize…you trust Snyder. Which is perfectly fine.

        I dont. Not with 3 big castings. For the SAME movie. In my opinion, they have all been underwhelming.

        Since you prefer to live in dreamworld, get a life.

  4. I think it’s going to be a live action version of “War”.
    After watching MOS and then analyzing it and how the “New 52″ influenced both the MOS story line and of course War, I cant help thinking that the next film will be a distorted version of War

    • I thought the exact same and it definitely seems like a possibility. Changing some things up like Shazam’s inclusion and maybe Darkseid. I wouldn’t mind it being a little similar since I loved Justice League War but I wouldn’t want them going over board with similarities. I would rather have them explore new story elements on screen.

      • I read your comment wrong lol. For this one, I think it will be just Supes and Bats with a touch of Wonder Woman. As for the Justice League film, exactly what I said above!

    • It’ll have to be a pretty distorted version..
      considering there will be no flash,shazam/aquaman,cyborg or darksied.
      And…that its unlikely to be a justice league movie.

      then again..this movie has gone thru so many weird things..maybe it could be a justice league movie. they’re taking 10 months extra. it’s like they realized we allready have batman,superman and wonderwoman, lets just put in a few more and lets make this whole thing absolutely earthshaking.
      ^^^^^^Probably Not…

  5. the top pic with the 2 logos looks sweet, where is it from ?

  6. Hate to say it but this film is losing some gusto for me. Probably because I keep reading the articles about it when I need to just chill ’til the release.

    • Then stop reading them…

  7. I’m a French speaker, and the translation is actually very relevant here, and does change the context of Snyder’s comment quite significantly.

    In French, when talking about a book or movie, “l’histoire” means ‘the story’. However, in other contexts, the word actually means ‘history’. What’s happened here is that Snyder presumably said the phrase “the story of the film” during the interview, which was translated into “l’histoire du film” by the French reporter, and then re-translated back into English as “the history of the film”.

    It’s not guaranteed that this was the case, but it seems unlikely that Snyder would talk about the ‘history of the film’ specifically, since that’s an odd turn of phrase in any context. I’ve seen some people interpreting this quote to mean that Bats and Supes are going to have an existing and extensive ‘history’ in the film, which would be somehow drawn from TDKR.

    That would obviously be a radical departure from the kind of ‘first meeting’ storyline we’re all expecting, so I think it’s important that people realise that it’s unlikely Snyder was trying to suggest anything along those lines. It seems like he was just generally talking about TDKR influencing the story, which I’m pretty sure everyone would agree is a great idea.

  8. Remember in Rocky III when Apollo had to tape up Rocky’s right arm to get him to learn to jab with his left arm? Because Clubber would have totally been expecting the Southpaw Rocky to jab with his right.

    I only bring it up because I wonder if Zach Snyder will put a halo brace on Ben Affleck to get him to stop that pretty-boy head bobbing thing of his…

    • hahahaa

    • Um Rocky was a south paw boxer!

      • Yes he was. Hence he needed to jab with his left as a surprise (ridiculous though that is); southpaws jab with their rights.

        Also it wasn’t Rocky III and he wasn’t being trained by Apollo; it was Rocky II and Mickey was training him to fight against Apollo.

        • You’re right. I totally got my Rocky’s mixed up.

          ROCKY: The Chuck Wepner Ripoff
          ROCKY II: Learns to fight regular style
          ROCKY III: Learns to fight the “black way”
          ROCKY IV: Learns to fight like a Soviet
          ROCKY V: RIP, Sage Stallone
          ROCKY VI: The Old Man Still Has It (Trademarked)
          ROCKY VII: Fights his way out of the nursing home

  9. I just want to see henry cavill superman story progress. excited about gal gadot (wonder woman) too

  10. They say: “We want to distance ourselves from the source material” but you keep on using many of the scenes in the comics which are key in the story. For instance Bane breaking Bats or the chase where the policeman says; “you are in for a show tonight, son”.

    The director and the Batfleck want to sound original but in the end they cannot escape using what makes the stories in the comics great.

    By the way, isn’t this film a sequel to MoS?

    • What I *think* what Snyder et al are saying is that “yes, Batman will fight Superman and yes, he will wear some sort of Exo-Suit and yes, he will have drones… but no, it’s not THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.”

  11. I wonder what the costume of Batman & new Superman costume will look like.

  12. This is all well and good. I am still kind of trying to wrap my head around the fact that this movie is going to be the biggest movie in comic book movie history and possibly movie history in general.

    I am really happy that this is happening in my lifetime because I know I’m one of many that grew up watching Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series. But, to finally see them both on the big screen…

    Beyond geeked out.

    I am anxiously waiting for SDCC to hear more news and possibly see some set photos/concept art of the Bat suit with Ben wearing it.

    Y’all don’t even know.

    • do you think it would beat avengers box office take?
      personally, i dont think so. also since it has already alienated quite a lot of fans, the response could be poor.
      with batman,superman and ww it could have been a huge movie. with an older-batman, superman and probably a short cameo from ww, its a bigger movie than mos, but nothing more than that
      still excited for it.

      • Did he say anything about box office? He obviously said “biggest” in the sense that Bats and Supes are the first ever superheroes and the most renowned worldwide. It surely is going to be a major event for comic book fans who’ve been waiting for this team-up for, like, forever, and who’ll go see it whether they agree with the casting choices or not. Rest assured that the whiners WILL see it nonetheless.

        • nice to noe tht u can read minds. maybe he did mean in terms of box office. and box office isnt just an indication of how much money is made…but also of how many people saw the movie and loved it, how excited they were for the movie and how big the movie was not only in dollar terms, but viewings.
          like i said, it would have been a huge movie with bats,supes and ww. but with superman and old batman, plus a small ww cameo…its bigger than mos..but certainly not even close to something like avengers2 or 3.. no one is arguing tht batman and superman are probably the most renowned superheros. batman is my fav. superhero…love the current comics as well. but when it comes to film, thor2 did nearly the same amount of business as mos, was better received critically as well.
          sure, mos2 is a much bigger event than thor2…but certainly not the biggest…

          • Yeah right, box office is an indication of how people loved the movie… delusional much?

            Anyway, it’s a little early to have any certainties about a movie that will come out two years from now, don’t you think?

            • yeah right, box office numbers means the people just went to the theater…and slept..with earmuffs..
              they didnt tell everyone they know to go see the movie.
              they didnt go again cuz it was awesome the first time,and they wanted to see it again.
              its not an indication of how many people watched the movie.

              ….not at all..


              its a solid indicator of how well the movie has done, and its unlikely to do this well, if people hadn’t wanted to go see it. avengers was the third highest grossing movie, of alll time. you think it achieved those numbers while people hated the movie and were somehow forced to go see it.?
              get ur simplistic mind into a class in economics, analysis and impact on real world situations.

              obviously there are no certainties. but this isn’t a binding forum. its a comments section. in any case, if you ask any unbiased fan, its a pretty safe bet that mos2 is not going to be the biggest comic book movie in history. it might end up being a huge disappointment. it could end up being a huge hit. but it’ll not be able to overtake the numbers and sheer joy of avengers, nor the brilliant film making of the dark knight.

              • It is an indication of how many people watched the movie, yes (did I ever say otherwise?), but it’s ONLY that. Everything else is pure conjecture and if you can’t see it, your mockery of my intelligence would be pretty ironic, to say the least!

                Also, please try to expand your views beyond the narrowing scope of sales. “Big” doesn’t only mean “successful,” you know…

          • You seem to be making just as many assumptions.

  13. Also, sandy finished the note so abruptly. without asking the readers their opinion.
    haha but anyway… I STILL have hopes about this film.

  14. Sorry.. This movie won’t cut it for me.

    • So go away.

      See? Simple.

  15. This sounds intriguing. I am certainly interested in seeing how it TDKR influences MOS II. The end of MOS has Superman destroying a government drone, so could it be that Batman is the one working with the government this time around? A mirror universe. Wayne Enterprises does do a lot of work with the US government. In a world where drones are following Superman how long would Batman’s real identity stay secret to the government?

    • Blarg, I write not good. Edited.

      This sounds intriguing. I am interested in seeing how TDKR influences MOS II. The end of MOS has Superman destroying a government drone. Could it be that Batman is the one working with the government this time around? Like a mirror universe. Wayne Enterprises does do a lot of work with the US government. In a world where drones are following Superman how long would Batman’s real identity stay a secret to the US government? This time around Clark is the alien with a clear emphasis.

  16. Well I was wondering if these rumors were true.

    I think it would be interesting to see if the exo suit will look like tdkrs. It was always a.favorite of mine.

    I may not be as excited for this movieas.I was..but I’m still excited.

    • If there is an exo-suit, it’ll probably be Zod’s discarded suit or a retro-engineered LexCorp/Wayne Enterprises version of it. Mankind doesn’t have the tech to build a suit that would stop a man who can cut through buildings like they’re made of thin air.

      PS: You have a strange way of using punctuation.

  17. A Ma of Steel sequel that is heavily advertising any type of story with Bats vs Supes, I better see a damn fight between Bats and Supes.

    Also, I think the movie title will NOT be Batman vs Superman. That just doesn’t fit for a Man of Steel sequel.

    • Yeah, it should be “Superman vs. Batman”

      Since it is Man of Steel 2. I guess Batfleck has a better agent.

  18. Ben Affleck has evolved into a very good actor but coming across as old let alone older and wiser is not playing to his strengths at all.

    Despite the age difference he could pass for 30 and looks more like a peer than an elder.

  19. Ben Affleck as Batman is a joke. BIG FAIL
    Thats whatnhappens with nepotism by friendships

  20. A duck is playing Batman? No, wait…oh, that’s Afflack, not Affleck. OK, now that that is settled….

    That cartoon illustration shows Batman looking like he ate too many Bat-Burgers! “Fatman”?!

    • Did you just insult “The Dark Knight Returns” with your ignorance to the fact that he is wearing and armored suit and expect anybody to take your opinion of anything Batman related seriously?

      • Goldie here has a habit of making jokes like this.

    • Yep…old age does that to some people.

  21. I hope Superman’s new costume is a improvement. Hated the one used in MOS.

  22. Why can’t WB hire another director to helm this movie?

    • You are 100% correct. I’m sure Albert Pyun is available.

  23. I don’t see anything new here. Hasn’t it basically been accepted since that Comic- Con reading that The Dark Knight Returns would impact the plot? Or at least that’s what I got based on the dozens of articles on the Net in the following months. Can’t we get something a little more substantial from this movie?

  24. I sure as heck hope that we get some new story lines. I am SO tired of Lex Luthor, General Zod, Penguin, Joker, Catwoman and yawn and yawn and yawn. There is a very rich history – especially in the old Superman comics that I grew up with back in the 50s and 60s – imaginative tales; tales that made you feel like maybe you were seeing something a John Campbell or Robert Heinlein might like. PLEASE DC – give me a story that fills me with wonder. And not just another freaking soap opera/fight club.

  25. I L I K E S M A L L B O Y S

  26. i have a question will it be connected to the dark knight triology cuz for me it was an excellent tiology and the best i have ever seen a superhero so please resopond

  27. To whom it may concern

    I,Brandon, have been watching superheros movie. You’ve made brillant movies but especially Batman which bothers me a lot that Batman have “stiff neck when mask on”. I suggest you do try make it more flexible. I love watching Batman even though I repeated myself watching them the only thing is “stiff neck”. I hope that helps you to realise & see to it. I watch superman movies & yes flexible neck.

    Please let me know if you’re happy with my request

    Best Regards
    Brandon Witten.