With the highly-anticipated release of Man of Steel just weeks away, the publicity machine is in overdrive and the rumor mill is in full force. We have featurettes, a new Zod-centric trailer, and an interesting, in-depth interview with director Zack Snyder, producer Christopher Nolan and star Henry Cavill on the deeper themes of their Superman reboot. Plus, there's already speculation on what else could be in store for a proposed DC cinematic universe.
The bulk of all this attention is turning specifically to a possible Justice League movie. There are broad hints that Man of Steel will somehow launch DC's movie continuum, and while there are certain problems with notion of a DC superhero team-up, Henry Cavill recently addressed a topic which, for some reason, has not been widely discussed (outside of geek circles like ours, of course): a movie pairing just Superman and Batman.
When asked by SFX about his thoughts on a potential film featuring the World's Finest, Cavill stated that he found the age-old conflict between the two interesting because:
"...they are two different sides of the same coin and their methods are entirely different. And I think it would actually make for an interesting story as to why, first of all, they were going head to head and how. I think that would make a great story.”
It's clear that Cavill is just stating his personal opinion, since he is in no position to deliver concrete reports on the studio's development plans, soon-to-be-major-star or not. He goes on to say: “I’m sure there’s all sorts of ideas being thrown around at Warner Bros right now.”
This isn't the first time we've heard rumors of a Batman/Superman movie. Beyond the speculation from a year ago, Wolfgang Petersen was set to make Batman vs. Superman prior to Christopher Nolan's 2005 Batman Begins, and of course there's the famous screenshot from I Am Legend, which was set in the near-future:
All the Justice League conversations appear to boil down to one major issue with launching this shared DC universe: there are too many characters to introduce in one movie alone. Marvel wisely took their time with solo-superhero movies, patiently (or not-so-patiently) teasing the eventual, inevitable, team-up in The Avengers. The idea of using Superman and Batman to set up DC's world might just be the way to go... and Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov has already teased the possibility of this kind of thing: "What Zack and Chris have done with this film is allow you to really introduce other characters into the same world."
Audiences are already loudly wondering when we'll see a new incarnation of Batman, and with Man of Steel likely to include some Easter eggs pertaining to DC's universe, why not let these two go to eyeball to eyeball? Batman and Superman have always mirrored each other, and pairing them for one film might just be an ideal way to apply a common tone to future DC movies, bridging the lived-in realism of Nolan's entries with the intergalactic sweep of much of the rest of the comic book universe.
While this is all just speculation, Warner Bros. might be more inclined to re-visit the concept if their star brings it up. They're sure to have their own development track, but this feels like a good time to at least consider the idea.
Man of Steel opens on June 14, 2013.