Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is currently occupying Chicago for a shoot that has (as is typical for the windy city) revealed many telling pics and videos from the set. Both professional and amateur paparazzo are always out hunting that next scoop - and in the last few weeks we've seen things on or around set that point to iconic Batman moments, as well as a few familiar Superman elements, and even the possibility of additional villains in the film.
Today brings some pretty solid info from a person who was around the set of Dawn of Justice and managed to piece together a nice scoop on how director Zack Snyder will revisit the origin of Batman/Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck).
POTENTIAL MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!!
Instagram user Dan Marcus captured a scene in Chicago that seemingly depicts the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne. See for yourself below:
The "Mark of Zorro" movie marquee is a Easter egg hardcore fans will recognize: The Mark of Zorro has been used as THE movie that catalyzed both the Wayne murders and young Bruce's love of masked vigilantes - most notably in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns storyline, which is comic book source material the filmmakers always stated they would use as a major influence on the film.
Compare the Instagram photos and videos to the Dark Knight Returns comic book panel below:
As you can see, in Miller's comic the Zorro film had just as much psychological significance for Batman as it did historical. After the mental nudge depicted above, we find an aged and retired Bruce Wayne pushed one step closer to re-donning the cape and cowl for a new (and darker) campaign of crime fighting. As Batman V Superman will similarly depict an age and semi-retired Batman, it's a not-so-coincidental parallel to have the iconic TDKR moment in there. Especially when we know the comic's showdown between Bats and Supes will happen as well.
Previous set photos have depicted visits to both Bruce's parents' graves in Gotham City, as well as the graveyard where Jonathan Kent's is buried in Smallville. We've repeatedly stated that one thing that has made modern comic books like the Superman/Batman teamups interesting is how they find new ways to draw meaning from the juxtaposition of these two icons. Whether it's their crime-fighting tactics and attitudes, their origin stories, or simply their characters as men, Batman and Superman are truly a unique case where one invariably helps to define the other by way of reflection.
We also made a point of saying that Jonathan Kent's much-debated death in Man of Steel could prove to be a shrewd move for the filmmakers; in Batman V Superman (and more so in DC's New 52 Continuity) the death of both the Wayne and Kent patriarch give Bruce and Clark something to bond over - and a strong drive to honor the moral compass first set by their fathers.
Currently we have no idea how this or any of the graveyard scenes captured in set photos and vids actually fit into the film. With Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy - and as of more recently Gotham - giving us onscreen adaptations of the Wayne deaths, it doesn't seem like Snyder and Co. will spend too long or invest too heavily in that moment.
My personal curiosity is what actions this memory pushes Batman toward, or if we'll get to see one of my personal favorite things from the comics: a dove-tailing montage of both Batman and Superman's respective origins. Like with The Dark Knight, even a simple scene of the two heroes just talking out the traumas of their past (and perhaps the differing ways the've dealt with them) would be compelling.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25, 2016.
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