Should Batman Get a Mention in ‘Man of Steel’?

Published 1 year ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 6:14 pm,

Batman Cameo Superman Man of Steel Movie Should Batman Get a Mention in Man of Steel?

Excitement for Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, Man of Steel, continues to grow – even after our readers dubbed it their Most-Anticipated Summer 2013 Film. Despite a massive opening weekend box office for Iron Man 3, the film resulted in a mixed response from comic book die-hards who asserted that it “wasn’t an Iron Man movie” – leaving the door wide open for Superman to make a big splash. Seven years back, a similar complaint was leveled at Warner Bros. for Superman Returns – with many fans and casual moviegoers maintaining that Bryan Singer’s spiritual successor to Superman II didn’t “feel” like a Superman movie. If the positive word-of-mouth for Man of Steel is to be believed, director Zack Snyder must have learned from Superman Returns‘ backlash, successfully positioning his Superman reboot as both grounded and true to the nature of the Kryptonian character – and a fitting start for a DC Comics shared movie universe.

Over the last few years, we’ve heard various rumors about what other DC heroes and villains might appear (or at the very least be referenced) in the Man of Steel story – everyone from fan-favorite antagonist Lex Luthor to Justice League staple Wonder Woman. Now, a new (albeit very thin) rumor suggests that not only will Batman be mentioned in Man of Steel, the film will also make it clear which version of the caped crusader (Christian Bale or reboot) is part of Warner Bros.’ forthcoming plans.

Superman Wonder Woman Batman Movie Rumors Should Batman Get a Mention in Man of Steel?

Before we dig into the rumor itself, it goes without saying that unconfirmed word-of-mouth reports from untested “sources” creates a very slippery slope – a lesson that should be familiar to anyone already following the back and forth “scoops” about Christian Bale’s future Batman prospects. For that reason, take the following speculation with a bag of salt. The only reason we’re reporting on the rumor is to discuss the question: should Batman be referenced in Man of Steel?

The original report surfaced over at Comic Book Therapy who claim they’ve been told that “Wayne Enterprises will be mentioned” in Man of Steel and that there will be “a direct reference to the Batman character” as well. The site did not know how either element will (allegedly) be addressed – and did not specify where their information came from. Additionally, the report suggest that aforementioned Batman is not the same version of the character portrayed by Christian Bale. This means, assuming the rumor is true (NOTE: don’t hold your breath), Warner Bros. either intends to entirely reboot Batman for their shared Justice League movieverse (likely) or that they will continue the “John Blake” spin-off story established in The Dark Knight Rises (less likely).

Given that the LexCorp skyscraper clearly appeared in the final Man of Steel trailer, it’s possible that a Wayne Enterprises building could show up amidst the Metropolis skyline. However, a direct reference to Batman is a bit harder to believe – especially one that would outright dash the possibility of seeing Henry Cavill and Christian Bale on screen together in the Justice League.

Batman Man of Steel Movie Should Batman Get a Mention in Man of Steel?

Regardless of how an individual moviegoer might feel about Bale’s version of Batman (responsible for nearly $2.5 billion in total box office dollars across three films), priority number one for Man of Steel is to reestablish Superman as a must-see superhero movie series – especially since a sequel is already in the works. Keep in mind, forced “Shared Universe” story arcs were notorious for muddling Jon Favreau’s original vision for Iron Man 2 – bogging the plot down with characters and comic book references that served The Avengers buildup but not the core Iron Man series story. As a result, adding nods to the larger DC Comics universe would need to be handled very carefully. It’s doable but there’s risk in even mentioning a character as iconic as Batman – which could easily distract from the emotional Superman-centric story of Man of Steel.

After all, Warner Bros. has a lot riding on Man of Steel - given that Superman is a highly-profitable brand and has the potential to be an enormous moneymaker for the studio. Even though fans often refer to Singer’s Superman Returns as a failure, the film was a financial success – even on $270 million budget. For that reason, Warner Bros. knows that there are plenty of box office dollars (and merchandise money) to be made with a Superman movie that fans are much more enthusiastic about – specifically one that can hang with fan-favorites like The Dark Knight and The Avengers.

Positioning the new Superman movie for the best chance of success even led Nolan (who serves as an executive producer) and writer David S. Goyer to omit Superman from the film’s title – a point the screenwriter brought up on a recent Empire podcast:

Marketing began early on in that we decided not to call it Superman, that was very deliberate [...] That was Chris [Nolan] and I, [calling it ]Man Of Steel, and Warner Bros. said, “Why?” And we started talking about it, and we said, “We want a line of demarcation in the sand between the old and the new.” We always knew we would be using the Superman glyph or the shield as we call it. But Man Of Steel was also supposed to represent our take, which was he’s a man, but he’s not made of flesh and blood, metaphorically he’s a man of steel. So that was sort of like the whole thing wrapped up in a nutshell.

Considering that “deliberate” approach to Man of Steel marketing, the filmmakers are no doubt aiming to keep their focus on a fully-formed Superman character story with crowd-pleasing action moments – not clutter the film with divisive shared universe “name drops.” Not to mention, as we recently learned with Iron Man 3, audiences may have embraced shared universe stories but they can also get pretty hung-up on film to film logistics.

As we’ve discussed on the Screen Rant Underground podcast, a button scene featuring Christian Bale and Henry Cavill (similar to Nick Fury in Iron Man) would be a great (and accessible) shared universe moment – one that could build huge excitement for an eventual team-up. But the opposite, a Batman reference that also “somehow” informs Man of Steel viewers that a new non-Bale Batman has entered the picture, is likely to be a distracting (if not outright confusing) addition. Tossing-in references to a rebooted Batman that could a) be very disappointing to die-hard fans of the Christian Bale Dark Knight and b) perplex casual moviegoers who didn’t know that a different Batman was even a possibility – doesn’t sound like the approach Warner Bros. would take with their highly-anticipated franchise starter. A Batman reboot could be a good thing down the line but is Man of Steel the right time and place for that announcement?

A passing reference to Bruce Wayne and/or Batman might be fun, but a poorly handled (or overly-complicated) Batman reboot reference in Man of Steel would be a point of fixation that could undermine audience members’ overall enjoyment of this film. If there’s any chance that viewers will leave the theater disappointed by a non-Bale Batman mention, instead of elated at the eye-popping Superman movie they just viewed, it’s hard to imagine that the filmmakers would choose to include such a controversial reference.

Is it a risk that you think Warner Bros. is willing to take with the “granddaddy of all superheroes”?

Let us know what you think by voting in the poll below and continuing the discussion in the comments.

[poll id="590"]

Man of Steel will hit theaters on June 14, 2013.

Source: Comic Book Therapy [via Digital Spy] & Empire [via CBM]

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more on Man of Steel as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

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TAGS: batman, superman man of steel

303 Comments

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  1. This is possibly the easiest question to answer in all of time and possibly one of the stupidest – the answer is simply yes. DC’s using nolan for the continuation, he will helm the JL movie, I’d stake £1 on it.

  2. I know it’s professionally wrong and disrespectful to the dark knight franchise but I want Bale!

  3. YOU GUYS ARE OVERCOMPLICTING THINGS AND GETTING WAYYY TOO CARRIED AWAY FROM THE SUBJECT

    SHOULD BATMAN HAVE A CAMEO. YES. IS IT FEASIBLE. NO
    IF HE IS MENTIONED IT SHOULD BE AS A COUNTERBALANCE TO WHAT SUPES IS KNOWN TO REPRESENT

    IF WAYNE ENT. IS MENTIONED (ITS A GLOBAL COMPANY DUMMIES OF course IT COULD HAVE OFFICES IN METROPOLIS -_-)IT SHOULD BE IN CONJUNCTION WITH LUTHER ATTEMPTING A TAKEOVER WITH NEWS OF WAYNES POSSIBLE DEATH. (WHICH CAN BE RECTIFIED BY THE TIME WAYNE HAS FINISHED TRAVELLING THE WORLD RETRAINING HIMSELF TO BE A BETTER HERO, MAKING HIS RETURN &TAKING BACK THE MANTLE OF THE BAT &TAKING BACK HIS COMPANY and LEXCORP (AS HE DID IN THE COMICS)

    AS FOR THE LOGISTICS OF HIM BEING IN A JL MOVIE. LET ME MAKE IT COMPLETELY CLEAR
    you cannot have a justice league movie without bruce wayne!!!

    ITS REALLY THAT SIMPLE SO DO IT HOWEVER ITS GOTTA BE DONE BUT THAT PART STAYS SOLID

    I HONESTLY DONT THINK ALOT OF YOU WATCHED THE MOVIE WAYNE isnt BROKE &THOUGH SUSPECTED DEAD HES OFFICIALLY AMONG THE MISSING SO COULD EASILY MAKE A RETURN. ALRED ONLYY HELD A FUNERAL BECAUSE HE KNOWS HES BATMAN ^THINKS HE DIED IN THE EXPLOSION

    NOW AS MUCH AS NOLAN SHOT HIMSELF &BATMAN IN THE FOOT WITH RISES BY TRYING HIS BEST TO MAKE SURE no one could ever directly follow HIS BATMAN LEGACY THOSE SAME EFFORTS NOT ONLY MADE FOR HALF OF A PISS POOR ENDING TO A WONDERFUL TRILOGY BUT ACTUALLY did MAKE IT REALLY DIFFICULT TO SEGUE INTO A JL MOVIE ASWELL

    THATS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN DIRECTORS EGOS GET THE BETTER OF THEM.

    BUT ANYWAYS FIRST THINGS FIRST: GET BALE SIGNED UP WHICH ASLONG AS NOLANS INVOLVED IN THE PRODUCTION SHOULDNT BE TOO HARD.
    (FAILING THAT GET ANOTHER ACTOR OF EQUAL QUALITY I RECOMEND FASSBENDER)

    PERSONALLY THERE DONT NEED TO BE ANY NEW BATMAN FILMS FOR NOW. LIMIT HIS APPEARANCES TO THE JL MOVIES &MAKE HIM (&fLASH) THE LINCHPIN CHARACTER WHOS CONSTANTLY UNDERESTIMATED DUE TO HIS LACK OF SUPERPOWERS BUT SOMEHOW MANAGES TO PRODUCE THE TACTIC THAT SAVES THE DAY… NOT UNLIKE THE ANIMATED JL SERIES

    • The only line where you didn’t use caps… you used 3 exclamation points, instead. I’m sure you bring up some very good points, but i didn’t read most of them because I DON’T LIKE BEING YELLED AT.

      The one thing i will address – having wayne enterprises mentioned… a cameo by allusion, is a perfectly acceptable way of tying the universes together. Marvel was prepared to do just that with the NYC skyline scene in avengers – having the oscorp building make an appearance near stark tower… but IP issues (marvel films doesn’t own spidey for movies) made that agreement come too late in the game – already post production.

      • mybad i accidentally had caps on the part where i didnt use capes was meanta be IN caps lol

        incidentally they AEW using the Wayne Enterprises inclusion (post edited CGI of a Wayne satellite being destroyed)

    • i like your opinions very much
      it matches mine \ really there’s people who look like they didn’t even watch the movie

  4. I have no idea how a mention of batman might suggest if it is Bale or not.

    If they did do a Bale/Caville team up for Justice League you could guarantee a billion dollars in the bank even if the film was not great.

  5. This is probably a dumb situation but what this is what I would do (just as a fan). You know how a lot of people were saying “how did Bruce got to Gotham when he was across the world with no money?” Well, I would have Bruce be walking down the road and Superman meets him and asks him if he can be of any assistant in his Bane problem and knowing Bruce he tells him no etc. Probably a stupid idea but I would enjoy it :D

    • If it was a marvel world yeah, but seeing Nolan’s vision of the story, I can’t see that happening. Im not talking about GROUNDED IN REALITY, im jsut talking about it from a sense of Nolan, he wouldn’t do somethin like that, it’s an ok idea. Superman does know batman never wants him to mess with his business, but I just can’t see that idea working.

  6. I think Batman will not show up in the movie. It’s to blatant of a reference. It’s far more likely for them to introduce some subtle hints through the Daily Planet of a masked man dressed up as a bat in Gotham. Maybe a picture of the Batman logo on the papers. With that done, we could see the Nolan Batman symbol, or something different which would suggest a different Batman. They could further differentiate either universe by having Lucius Fox in a cut scene. If it’s Morgan Freeman, it’s some continuation of Nolan’s Batman. Seeing as Morgan Freeman is 75, it’s probably a better bet to just have a reboot of the Batman Franchise. With a reboot, they should just approach the franchise like James Bond. Drop the origin story and just have a good plot.

  7. These comments always make me laugh. Some of you are way to serious about fictional characters.

    IMO leave Batman out of this movie. Leave Nolan’s trilogy alone. Seeing Wayne Enterprise in the background would be cool though.

  8. I say this: A post-credit scene:

    We see Superman maybe days after his battle with the General, Metropolis is in peace. Superman gets a phone call from the booth, we don’t know who and what it was about, but superman says “Okay” and zooms out of the booth.

    We see him fly through the sky, and we see him fly over Gotham city, then over the ocean. (We now run into TDKR last scene) We see the Bat flying over the ocean, with 5 seconds left on the bomb. We see Bruce Wayne/Batman eject himself from the Bat and Superman saves him. End scene.

    We now know how Wayne/Batman survives the explosion in TDKR, it was because of Clark Kent/Superman. This is first step to Justice League.

    • That was my exact thought after I saw TDKR! But after thinking about it, Why didn’t Superman do something sooner, like maybe show up and just take the bomb into space? And if you were referring that Batman called Superman to come get him, how did Bruce get that number?

      • Lol, What if that phone call went a little something like this,

        Batman:Yo, uh Superman….so, Im pretty drunk right now, I thought I could get this nuclear bomb away from the city, but I forgot I could die….so, yeah, could u do me a solid bro!?

        Superman: Why did you think you could survive that?

        Batman: Because Im Batman!

        • That probably how HISHE (How I Should Have Ended) would do it. HaHa!

      • I had that idea. Thought about what you’re thinking, too. Then I realized – even Superman couldn’t save everyone in Gotham if he was spotted and the nuke was detonated.

    • would never work.

      • I know it wouldn’t that why I’ve gone past that scenario and have written down others that might work connecting the Justice League heroes.

      • That scene could happen in a flashback during the post credits. When Clark finally realizes a normal man is saving a city & pushes him towards becoming Superman.

  9. What needs to happen is a short post-credits spot showing the back of someone’s chair in a dark room watching a news report of the events in the film. Some elderly guy lays down a tray with coffee and says in an old Irish/British voice “Interesting television sir”.

    It then cuts to the illusive man’s mouth as he responds “It is -grin-”. The old man resembles Michael Caine and the mouth could only be Christain Bale.

    The only issue I have is that it will contradict the ending to TDKR (alas Thor’s return in Aveners). Or why would Wayne be interested in obtaining Kent? Wayne would need some benefit.

    Clarke Kent would have to put the JL together to fight of Zod’s army in future films

  10. I can only hope that if this was to happen, it would be the first step in an epic “Justice League Journey” of sort….. much like http://rmcmillen.hubpages.com/hub/Bringing-Cinematic-Justice-To-The-Justice-LeagueAnd-The-DC-Universe-As-a-Whole-Part-1 is the first installment in the 4 parter that I consider the ULTIMATE JL ride…… Go ahead and take a lookie-loo.

  11. So far no one as spilled the beans if Batman is actually mentioned in MoS. So it really is a toss-up, to mention Batman or not mention Batman in MoS. A few reasons that hinge all on WB, will the studio be rebooting Batman? If that answer is yes, then there will be no need for Batman to be mentioned at all in MoS. However should WB not be rebooting Batman (hoping they do not as well). Then MoS should give a nice meaningful mention to Batman, that being said.

    The best ideal way to do the mention to Batman in MoS would be to put a news clip scene during the time Superman struggles with his identity. The news clip could show from the Dark Knight Rises of Gotham News Now (GNN) at the moment Bane is in the stadium kicking off Gotham’s reckoning. Live feed streaming below the news clip, “where is, Batman?”. Twitter tweet shows, “is there no one that can save Gotham?”.

    This satisfies several staples for a Justice League film. The most important staple, solidifies grounding Superman with reality even further. Even with Superman’s super speed and flight. Superman cannot be every place at once to deal with every Global threat. This is a grounding rule that Zack Snyder probably knows very well. By showcasing the clip of Bane from the Dark Knight Rises further solidifies the existence of superheroes along with a need for a league to deal with super global threats such as that of Bane holding a whole city hostage. Third it solidifies the world of DC with action without Batman being showed or distracting from MoS film. This is of course if WB decides not to reboot Batman.

  12. (minor) SPOILER!!!!!!!

    There’s only a very brief mention of the Batman series. In a moment where a satellite is viewed, if you pay close enough attention to it, you can see the words “Wayne Enterprises” on it.

    That having been said, that’s the only reference. Chris Nolan has said he’s done with the Batman franchise and that if a JL movie was ever done, it would not be his version of Batman being used. Christian Bale also said that he’s done with Batman if Chris Nolan has nothing to do with it.

    I think a Justice League movie would be incredibly redundant at this point. To reboot a Batman franchise which has made cinematic history would be entirely disrespectful of that legacy and the work put into it. Not to mention, with Marvel’s Avengers 2 already in the works, it seriously makes DC look desperate to show up half armed for a battle that ended years ago. I think it’d be enough to POSSIBLY do a Batman/Superman cross-over, but that’d be the most of it, in my opinion.

    • And to let the Batman franchise sit for eternity just because Nolan’s take was good would be incredible disrespectful to 70 years of Batman comics history and its fans. Though I guess you don’t give a damn about that, only Nolan’s particular version.

      Some would say the Nolanverse should never have happened as a tribute to Tim Burton’s Batman. Thank goodness that wasn’t the case.

      Bring on more Batman. As a fan of the Batman COMICS(you know, where everything started) I want to see many, many more of his stories adapted to the screen. Including his involvement with the Justice League.

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