Everyone's waiting on pins and needles to see out if Warner Bro. drops some major announcement at its 2013 Comic-Con panel, with regard to the future of the DC live-action cinematic universe (now that Man of Steel have proven to be a sizable box office success). Could Justice League lie on the horizon? Standalone features for JL team members like Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and/or The Flash? Or, will the studio unite its two prize superheroes - Batman and Superman - together on the big screen for the first time (as flesh-and-blood characters, that is)?
Insiders with knowledge of the situation are reporting ahead of time, claiming that WB intends to announce a Batman/Superman team-up movie at Comic-Con today, as the next installment in a DC shared universe. The general expectation in recent weeks has been that Man of Steel 2 will be the next addition to the DC movie-verse, but this new scoop asserts that the Caped Crusader and Son of Jor-El will work together first, in 2015 [UPDATE: We have confirmation that the Man of Steel sequel will, in fact, include Batman.]
Hero Complex has the exclusive here, but has already been told by WB reps that "We don’t comment on rumors regarding these properties.” Nevertheless, a movie that unifies the Batman and Superman franchises is something that Man of Steel star Henry Cavill has expressed interest about, simply because the characters' complimentary outlooks (cynicism vs. optimism) and personal capabilities (keen intelligence vs. god-like strength) would easily give rise to compelling story, where the two are unified in some shared cause. (That has already given rise to many an engaging comic book narrative over the years, ever since top-notch writers first realized the potential of having Bruce Wayne go head-to-head with Kal-El.)
A Batman/Superman team-up is also a surefire bet for WB/DC, given the enduring bankability of both movie franchises over the past 35 years (since director Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie rocked the box office in 1978). Moreover, the studio is in a position where it must reboot the Batman franchise - given that Dark Knight trilogy star Christian Bale has made it absolutely clear: he's done playing the character - and introducing the new Bruce Wayne in a film that includes the Cavill-as-Clark-Kent would help to ease the transition. There are other ways of accomplishing that task (like basing the Batman reboot on the Batman Beyond storyline), but the team-up option has the advantage of being able to directly build on Man of Steel's momentum.
One of the more playful Easter Eggs in Man of Steel - a quick shot of a satellite with the "Wayne Enterprises" logo - alludes to the existence of Bruce Wayne in that film's universe, but the introduction of the character also makes sense from a thematic perspective. Man of Steel director Zack Snyder has suggested that the sequel will have to address the collateral damage from Superman's battle against General Zod and his minions on Earth; meaning, the next chapter in Cavill-as-Kal-El's story will be smaller in scale - relatively-speaking - and ought to examine the character from a different perspective (e.g. through the eyes of an everyman).
What better way to do that than by introducing Batman - the one regular mortal human member of the Justice League - into Superman's world next, as opposed to one of the other deity-like DC superheroes?
UPDATE: At the WB/Legendary panel, Zack Snyder took the stage to announce the project. He then handed the microphone over to Harry Lennix (General Swanwick from Man of Steel), who recited the following quote from the comic book "The Dark Knight Returns":
"I want you to remember Clark, in all the years to come. In all your private moments. In all the years to come, my hand at your throat. I want you to remember, the one man who beat you."
Thereafter, the Batman/Superman logo was shown and geek pandemonium broke out in Hall H. Here it is:
Finally, here is the official press release from WB:
The current hit, "Man of Steel," has taken in more than $630 million at the worldwide box office to date, and climbing. Along with its star, Henry Cavill, the upcoming film brings back Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane. The new Batman has yet to be cast.
Snyder is co-writing the story with David S. Goyer, who will then pen the screenplay. Production is expected to begin in 2014, with an anticipated release date in Summer 2015.
Silverman stated, "Zack Snyder is an incredibly talented filmmaker, but beyond that, he's a fan first and he utterly gets this genre. We could not think of anyone better suited to the task of bringing these iconic Super Heroes to the screen in his own way." Kroll added, "We are thrilled to be back in business with Zack and his team on this next movie. The success of ‘Man of Steel' is a wonderful testament to the love and support that both fans and new audiences, worldwide, have for these characters. We are very excited to see what Zack has in store for all of us."
Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment, noted, "Superman and Batman together on the big screen is a dream come true for DC fans everywhere. All of us at DC Entertainment could not be more excited for Zack's continuing vision for the DC Universe."
Zack Snyder, who made a surprise appearance at Comic-Con today, breaking the news to audiences there, later said, "I'm so excited to begin working again with Henry Cavill in the world we created, and I can't wait to expand the DC Universe in this next chapter. Let's face it, it's beyond mythological to have Superman and our new Batman facing off, since they are the greatest Super Heroes in the world."
The new film brings back Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder as producers. This time, Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are serving as executive producers, along with Benjamin Melniker and Michael E. Uslan.
Thomas offered, "Whilst our ‘Dark Knight' trilogy is complete, we have every confidence that Zack's fresh interpretation will take the character in a new and exciting direction. His vision for Superman opened the door to a whole new universe and we can't wait to see what Zack does with these characters."
The film is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, and Batman characters created by Bob Kane, published by DC Entertainment.
Batman/Superman is coming sometime in 2015.
Source: LA Times
Superman/Batman logo by Balsavor @ DeviantART