Sometimes it's worthwhile to make something out of nothing - and this is one of those occasions.
During a special event in NYC honoring Hugh Jackman (who deserves to be honored because who doesn't like Hugh Jackman?) a reporter managed to get a non-response from Dark Knight Trilogy director Christopher Nolan - one which actually merits some discussion. Again, this is non-news - but it's non-news we thought would be prime material for a good ol' geek discussion. Read on if you're game.
Movieline reporter Frank Digiacomo asked Nolan point-blank if the upcoming Superman film Man of Steel (watch the trailer) would feature a Batman cameo in any form - including an appearance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character John Blake who - SPOILER ALERT! - we last saw take on the mantle of Batman during the closing moments of The Dark Knight Rises.
Nolan's actual response to the inquiry was, "I can't talk about that. You know that," but Digiacomo makes subjective note of the director's facial expression, which he describes as an "enormous Cheshire-Cat grin." He also noted Nolan's tone as "cheerily" when he brushed off the question.
Take all that how you will, but it raises a more interesting question: will the filmmakers (or at least the studio, Warner Bros.) try to fit an appearance by Batman into Man of Steel? And, somewhat more importantly, should they?
THERE'S MOTIVE (AND OPPORTUNITY)
Christopher Nolan is a producer (and story writer) on Man of Steel in addition to being the architect of the Dark Knight franchise, and Warner Bros. has a Justice League film to launch in 2015. These reasons alone are compelling enough to warrant using Man of Steel as a Justice League launch-pad. And who better than with Batman, their most iconic and successful movie character?
With the studio pushing to merge the DC characters into one universe, and Nolan's hand in both franchises, there is motive and opportunity to give fans lethal doses of geek-glee from seeing The World's Finest onscreen together in Man of Steel.
IT'S WORKED BEFORE
Marvel successfully used an appearance by Samuel L. Jackson after the credits of the first Iron Man to let fans know, officially, that a shared movie universe was now a reality. Jackson's lines were brief, but when he name-dropped that "Avenger Initiative" we were off on a five-year journey to that big Avengers movie - and Marvel Studios has been reaping the success (and profits) ever since.
That's all to say: DC/Warner Bros. could easily (so easily) give Justice League a major PR boost if they just have Superman and Batman appear in the same frame of film together. So again: why wouldn't they?