Warner Bros. and DC Comics' will be taking their first real steps toward setting up a DC Extended Universe next year with the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Rather than follow Marvel Studios' method of telling origin stories before a team movie, DC will be jumping into an established universe where the heroes and villains have untold backstories. The films will explore those stories as the Justice League unites in 2017.
The Comic-Con trailer for Batman V. Superman gave fans a deluge of information about the film, including new plot details along with hints about Batman's past. Batman (Ben Affleck) has been fighting crime in Gotham City for twenty years, having battled the many super-villains seen in the Suicide Squad trailer. A profound tragedy made him hang up the cape and cowl, but the full extent of that tragedy is unknown. The Batman V Superman trailer adds to the mystery by showing the ruins of Wayne Manor, prompting some viewers to question where Bruce Wayne is currently living.
Empire spoke with Batman V Superman production designer Patrick Tatopoulos, who was happy to answer the question. Bruce Wayne is living in a picturesque, lakeside home known as the Glasshouse. It is glimpsed briefly in the trailer, immediately following the ruins of Wayne Manor. Tatopoulos describes it as follows:
"Its footprint is minimal; It is a part of nature. You are designing a house that would have been designed by van der Rohe, how ballsy is that?
Conversely, Superman (Henry Cavill) is living in the center of Metropolis. Tatopoulos revealed that he and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) are sharing an apartment in the city. There aren't any other story details here, but it can be safely assumed that their relationship has progressed as expected since the end of Man of Steel.
Tatopoulos also dropped a few hints about Wayne's lifestyle, which may come as a bit of a surprise to those who expected Wayne to be living in repentant isolation.
"Bruce is the Bruce Wayne you know. He's a playboy, he's got money. He has this strength, but also an artistic sensibility. He's got a past, a family who got him where he is today."
Director Zack Snyder revealed at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con that Metropolis and Gotham City are 'sister cities' similar to San Francisco and Oakland. It's expected that this will mark an important distinction between Superman and Batman and affect how they understand each other. Tatopoulos expanded on this, promising stylized portrayals of these cities and their differences.
"There are other things happening too. Gotham is a very different city from Metropolis. Metropolis is Toronto on steroids. Gotham is Detroit."
Considering that the destruction caused by the Battle of Metropolis and the Kryptonian world engine at the end of Man of Steel, it's not a stretch to assume that Gotham suffered damage (if not as much Metropolis) in the following months. Metropolis would have the money to recover, but what about the poorer Gotham? While the main focus of the film will be the conflict between Superman and Batman's respective ideologies and tactics, there's room to explore the class divide here further and show how that affects the citizens' views on the heroes.
Regardless of how important Bruce Wayne's living arrangements ultimately are to the overarching story, any details about the highly anticipated film are more than welcome.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern Corps on June 19th, 2020.