After years of false starts (George Miller's Justice League), Warner Bros. is finally taking advantage of their library of DC Comics characters and are in the early stages of putting together a shared cinematic universe for the Justice League. This plan will go into effect next year, when audiences will be treated to the superhero crossover Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and villain/anti-hero team-up Suicide Squad, with both projects looking to expand the world in which these films are set.
The foundation for all this was laid down a couple of years ago when Zack Snyder's Man of Steel hit theaters and reintroduced Superman for a new generation. Though that reboot certainly has its fair share of supporters, there are an equal amount of moviegoers who criticized it. The movie's screenplay was one of the bigger points of contention, with some believing that it defied logic (Pa Kent and the tornado) and wasn't "true" to the Kal-El character. It doesn't sound like that will be an issue for its follow-up, if Jeremy Irons is to be believed.
Irons, who will play the new version of Alfred Pennyworth, was asked about Batman v Superman while attending the Lucca Film Festival (hat tip La Nazione). According to him, those fearing Snyder will deliver another problematic story have nothing to fear, as Argo writer Chris Terrio's script is apparently one of its strongest elements.
Read his quote (English translation via CBM):
"The next 'Batman' has an amazing screenplay. It's a blockbuster written from the heart."
At this stage in the game, it shouldn't come as any surprise that Irons has nothing but positive things to say about the upcoming film. While principal players in these works are known to retroactively admit they weren't so great, the pre-release period is typically full of hopeful optimism in order to sell audiences on the movie and ramp up the anticipation even further. It wouldn't do WB and Snyder much good if Irons was trashing the screenplay.
However, it would be unwise for people to consider Iron's statement as nothing more than fluff. The thespian is just the latest in a long line of WB/DC talent who have praised the studio's vision in making their shared universe a reality. His quote recalls similar thoughts expressed by the likes of Ben Affleck and Jason Momoa, both of whom feel WB is working on something very special that will enthrall moviegoers when they get a chance to see it.
And it certainly looks like they're doing something right. In-demand awards-worthy talent on both sides of the camera have signed on to take part in the franchise (Affleck, Jared Leto, David Ayer, Michelle MacLaren), and it's hard to envision a scenario in which they would come on board if they didn't feel the new films were up to snuff. Affleck in particular has a lot at stake with Batman v Superman, as he's risking the goodwill generated by The Town, Argo, and Gone Girl by portraying Bruce Wayne. If he thought Snyder's work was the second coming of Daredevil, Affleck probably would have avoided it like the plague.
We have almost exactly a year before Batman v Superman comes to theaters, and we're still waiting for the film's first teaser trailer, so it's difficult for viewers to make any judgments on the potential quality of the film at this point. However, everything we've heard so far is certainly promising, and given the pedigree of those involved, the DC movie universe seems to be in good hands. Fingers crossed they can deliver high quality productions that combine style with heartfelt substance.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters March 25, 2016.
Header image by ErikVonLehmann @ DeviantArt