In an attempt to
show up Marvel continue to expand DC's Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros. announced at Comic-Con 2013 that their follow-up to Superman reboot Man of Steel would be a Batman/Superman pair-up - and not the direct sequel to that film many were expecting - and not the headlong rush into a Justice League film many were kind of dreading.
Now, scant days after that announcement, a new rumor is burning through the interwebs: according to DC's screen story guru David S. Goyer (Christopher Nolan's collaborator on his Bat-films, and co-writer of Man of Steel), the next film will actually be called Batman Vs. Superman or Superman Vs. Batman rather than Man of Steel 2 or Batman and Superman.
Goyer spoke during a Superman 75th Anniversary panel at Comic-Con - running at the same time as 20th Century Fox's panel, which apparently blew so many minds that this news was overshadowed for awhile. Here are Goyer's words:
“So over in Hall H at the Warner Bros.–I guess most people know now–at the end of the Warner Bros. panel, Zack came out and he brought Harry Lennix, who plays General Swanwick in Man of Steel and we–actually, Harry read a bit from [The Dark Knight Returns] and so the next film we’re making, we’re already in pre-production, comes out in summer of 2015 and it’s–we’re actually not sure whether the title is Superman vs. Batman or Batman vs. Superman but yes, it’s–that rematch, that combination, the two guys onscreen and that’s happening.”
Goyer is referring to Lennix's reading of the following passage from the seminal Frank Miller comic book The Dark Knight Returns, which focused on an older, bitter Batman who is forced to go up against Superman, now a pawn of the American government:
“I want you to remember Clark, in all the years to come. In all your private moments. In all the years to come, my hand at your throat. I want you to remember, the one man who beat you.”
It turns out that Warner Bros. has registered a few domain names which back up Goyer's information: the studio owns BatmanVsSuperman.com and SupermanVsBatman.com - which ComicBook.com pointed out may have been purchased for possible future comic book tie-in titles - as well as BatmanVsSupermanMovie.com.
They have not registered SupermanVsBatmanMovie.com, which may end up being the best tangible evidence that Batman Vs. Superman may end up being at the very least the working title of the film (it has the best ring to it, anyway).
So this is happening. It's something our new Superman, Henry Cavill has said he'd like to see, we have that now-famous Easter Egg in Man of Steel - the satellite with a "Wayne Enterprises" logo on it - 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.”
What story might they tell? Well, we here at ScreenRant have offered our choices, Zack Snyder's reference to The Dark Knight Returns hints at the antagonistic nature of the duo's initial big-screen team-up. This fits in with some of Snyder's claims that future Superman adventures will have to address some critics' biggest problem with Man of Steel: the heavy collateral damage left in the wake of the third act chaos.
And frankly, if Warner Bros. wants to establish a cinematic universe with a common enough tone for all its characters to fit into (by 2015?), it will have to convincingly pull off Batman Vs. Superman first. Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale are done with the character, and their trilogy is apparently a separate entity from future DC movie entries (much to the likely confusion of audiences and probable annoyance of studio executives).
Fans will have a rough time adjusting at first, but this might be a blessing, overall. We were going to see a new Batman eventually, and even if they ignored some good ideas for a reboot (like a Batman Beyond movie), re-establishing Batman within this Man of Steel universe will offer a good opportunity to reset the tone for the multiple characters who will need to be introduce, all of whom are quite different from each other.
Batman Vs. Superman (or Superman Vs. Batman) is expected sometime in 2015.