As the shared DC Entertainment movie universe begins to take shape ahead of a high profile Justice League team-up, Batman V Superman is looking less like Man of Steel 2 and more like a World's Finest prologue. With at least four Justice League characters confirmed for the Man of Steel followup (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg), not to mention a massive supporting roster of characters (Lex Luthor and Alfred Pennyworth, among others) Zack Snyder will definitely need to walk a fine line between telling a compelling Batman/Superman story and establishing a multi-movie hero team arc.
After all, certain sequels that attempt to lay the foundation for an entire shared universe have been bloated and unfocused (Iron Man 2 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as examples) - losing sight of a core character story that made the initial installment worthy of expansion in the first place. The filmmaker has promised that, even with so many new characters to setup, Dawn of Justice will serve as an evolution of Clark Kent's story - taking the characters in all new (uniting with the Justice League) as well as familiar (facing Lex Luthor) big screen directions.
Kent's life outside of Smallville was teased at the end of Man of Steel, as the hero began his new Daily Planet job in Metropolis, and now thanks to The Royal Marine Charitable Trust Fund, we have our first look at Cavill in Clark Kent wardrobe (sans glasses) on the set of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Check out the image below:
— RMCTF (@RMCTF) June 30, 2014
First off, a little context. After high profile reveals for the Ben Affleck casting, new Batmobile and Batsuit, as well as the Dawn of Justice subtitle, it might seem odd for Warner Bros. to let Cavill reveal his Clark Kent through a non-profit organization. However, Cavill is no stranger to The Royal Marines Trust Fund, which supports marines (both active duty and retired) as well as their families, serving as an ambassador for the program as well as a spokesman for their new Royal Marines 1664 Challenge.
In the photo, Cavill is holding one of the autographed t-shirts that will be given away as a prize for supporters of the 1664 Challenge - which seeks to "encapsulate the Commando spirit and Corps values in a significant physical and mental challenge" as Royal Marines "ski, sail, cycle, canoe and run 4000 miles" (6656 km). What better way to raise awareness for a good cause that Cavill cares about than to tie the campaign to a Batman V Superman costume tease?
Admittedly, without his spectacles, the actor is not wearing the full Kent disguise - which will undoubtedly be featured in later promo images. Still, the photo is a fun opportunity for fans to get a sneak peek at Cavill in Superman's iconic alter ego attire. In keeping with the modern style established in the Man of Steel epilogue - Kent appears to be a sharp dresser. In this version of the story, Lois Lane knows Kent is Superman and it is possible that Cavill won't have to act quite as bumbling as prior big screen iterations of the character.
That said, just because Lois won't have reason to be suspicious doesn't mean that other reporters in the building won't start wondering if there's a connection between the paper's chiseled new hire and the (in)famous alien hero that saved/leveled Metropolis. A major focus of Batman V Superman is expected to follow backlash and outright anger after the devastation of Metropolis - where thousands of innocents lost their lives. As a result, Cavill will have his work cut out for him - attempting to make his human disguise believable in the context of such dire circumstances, likely with a more subtle and timid hand than outright clumsiness, given that his Clark Kent can't resort to cartoonish caricature in this "grounded" Man of Steel world.
With San Diego Comic-Con just over three weeks away (from the time of this writing), we should know more, hopefully very soon, about how Snyder intends to portray Kent in the coming film - not to mention future DC superhero films. After all, it was Comic-Con 2013 that officially unveiled the director's plan for a Batman V Superman team-up movie.
In the meantime, readers who are interested in learning more about The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund or the 1664 Challenge can head over the organization's official program page - HERE.
Batman V Superman is scheduled to hit theaters on May 6, 2016 with Justice League set to follow some time in the future.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for any future updates on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.Death on the Nile Casts Black Panther Star Letitia Wright
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