Contentiously split between critics and moviegoers, Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will likely go down as one of the most memorable films of 2016, regardless of what side of the critic/fan divide a particular viewer happens to come down on. That said, there was a time long ago when instead of Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill portraying Batman and Superman, the two icons were brought to life via the performances of Michael Keaton and Christopher Reeve. Some refer to this bygone era as the 1980s.
Reeve of course debuted in the Superman role back in 1978, under the direction of Richard Donner. Reeve was only the second man to play the character in a theatrical feature, after the similarly named George Reeves tackled the role in 1951's Superman and the Mole Men. Keaton was also the second man to play Batman in a feature, after Adam West in 1966's Batman: The Movie. Keaton debuted under the cape and cowl in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film. Both Reeve and Keaton returned for sequels to their respective debut outings.
Decades before today's current period of comic-book based films dominating the box office, both Reeve as Superman and Keaton as Batman helped establish superheroes as a financially viable risk for Hollywood studios to take, and proved that the masses were willing to turn out in droves to see an epic battle between an over-the-top superhero and his equally over-the-top supervillain adversary. So, one wonders what a big-screen confrontation between Reeve's Superman and Keaton's Batman might have looked like, should WB and DC have been open to greenlighting such an epic affair back then. Well, thanks to a new fan trailer, that question can at least be partially answered.
Created by YouTube user Stryder HD, the above trailer combines audio clips from Snyder's Batman V Superman with video clips from the Reeve and Keaton era of DC films in a bid to offer fans a glimpse at how an 80s or 90s take on Batman battling it out with Superman might have turned out. Clearly, the special effects capabilities -- especially the lack of CGI -- back then would certainly have made it a lot harder to convey destruction on the massive scale seen in the DCEU movies of today. Still, it's hard to argue that the idea of Reeve's Clark Kent and Keaton's Bruce Wayne encountering one another in their respective primes wouldn't have been appealing.
For those wondering, Wonder Woman does indeed make a cameo during the above trailer, although her footage is taken from the low-budget 1970s Lynda Carter TV series, and thus obviously doesn't blend in that well with the high-quality film footage used for Bats and Supes' scenes. Still, it's a nice touch, and is worth keeping an eye out for. If nothing else the lack of useable movie footage for Diana just drives home how overdue next year's big-screen take on Wonder Woman really is.
Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters. Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017, followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash, The Batman solo movie, Dark Universe and Man of Steel 2 are currently without a release dates.
Source: Stryder HD