Film: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

That's how it starts. The fever, the rage. The feeling of... powerlessness that turns good men... cruel.
— Alfred Pennyworth

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is the 2016 sequel to Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder and the second film in the DC Extended Universe. It is being written by Chris Terrio based on a story by David S. Goyer and Zack Snyder.

Two years after Man of Steel, Clark Kent / Superman has taken his place as an icon and hero that makes our planet a safer place to live. But many still distrust the "Man of Tomorrow", after the damage his battle with General Zod wreaked on Metropolis and its sister city of Gotham. Fearing the destruction a god-like, and now unrivaled, superhuman could cause if he ever turned against those he protects, billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne comes out of self imposed retirement and re-assumes his mantle as the masked vigilante Batman. His goal: destroy Superman and his apparent hidden schemes, whatever the cost.

But not all is as it seems, as corporate mogul and prominent Metropolis citizen Lex Luthor plans to benefit from the war Metropolis' Man of Steel and Gotham's Dark Knight are now engaged in.

The film's cast includes:

In addition, Scoot McNairy, Holly Hunter, Callan Mulvey, and Jena Malone will appear. Ezra Miller has been cast as Barry Allen/The Flash although sources conflict on whether he will debut in this film.

The film will be released March 25, 2016.

Previews: Teaser, Comic-Con 2015 Trailer

Batman v. Superman contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Wonder Woman makes her cinematic debutnote .
  • Adaptational Dye Job: The traditionally blonde Aquaman now sports dark hair (his actor, Jason Momoa, has brown hair). He does, however, appear to have blonde streaks.
  • Adaptational Modesty: The costume designers manages to walk a tight line between evoking the classic Wonder Woman costume with a strapless bustier and swimmers cut, and making it seem more practical. Specifically: the bustier doesn't give her an Impossibly-Low Neckline, she has a micro-skirt that still shows off a lot of leg but looks a bit more like actual armored wear and her footwear extends all the way to her knees.
  • Age Lift:
    • Bruce is being depicted as having retired as Batman after a long career before Superman shows up, and will be in his mid-40s (like Affleck), instead of the usual 30 to 35 from the comics and about the same age as Superman. Contrasting this, Jeremy Irons would be about the right age for an Alfred early in Batman's career, but next to Affleck he could almost pass for an older brother (in fact Michael Caine, who previously played Alfred, started the role a little older than Irons).
    • Lex Luthor's Jesse Eisenberg is just 30 years old, and primarily known for playing college-aged characters. While his age varies in the comics, he's been portrayed somewhere in his 40s or even 50s in other media.
  • Ambiguously Brown: The Greek / Mediterranean based characters.
    • Wonder Woman is played by Gal Gadot (Israeli).
    • Aquaman is played by Jason Momoa (Native Hawaiian/German/Irish/Native American).
  • The Antichrist: Invoked against Superman, with some labeling him a "False God" and so forth.
    Luthor: But we know better now, don't we? Devils don't come from hell beneath us. No, they come from the sky.
  • Anti-Hero: The movie plays up Batman's nightmarish appearance and sometimes destructive battles; while he's still obviously a hero, it really emphasizes him as Good Is Not Nice in comparison to Superman.
  • Atlas Pose: Superman is shown holding a large rocket over his head, very close to this pose.
  • Badass Boast: Batman to Superman: "Do you bleed? You will."
  • Badass Normal: Batman, a normal human with no superpowers who presumably can still go toe-to-toe with a Flying Brick like Superman with the right weaponry and combat skills.
  • Bald of Evil: Subverted at first. Lex Luthor has a head full of long hair in the trailer, though an earlier promo picture shows he will have his traditional look at some point in the film, and/or it might just be a wig like in the original film series.
  • Barbarian Hero: Aquaman, a hero with wild dreads, a beard, a bare chest, and extensive tattoos.
  • Battle in the Rain: Batman and Superman have a face off in a rainstorm.
  • Beware the Superman: Invoked by the anti-Superman factions in the film.
  • Big Bad: Corrupt billionaire Lex Luthor serves as the film's main antagonist, and mutual enemy to both Superman and Batman.
  • California Doubling: Gotham, Metropolis, and what appears to be Washington, D.C. are all being filmed in Detroit, Michigan.
  • The Cameo:
    • General Zod's corpse is shown and strongly implied to be in Luthor's possession.
    • Cyborg and Aquaman have small roles in the film. It's not yet clear if Cyborg will appear as a cyborg, or simply as Victor Stone before he becomes one. The Flash may also have an appearance.
    • Real-life figures also have some. The trailer features the voices of talk show host Charlie Rose and scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson as presumably themselves, so they might appear in person in the film. Long-time Batman fan Senator Patrick Leahy will also have the latest of several cameos through the years, the first of which was in Batman: The Animated Series episode "Showdown".
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Averted with this version of Lex Luthor; while previous Superman films have portrayed Luthor as a larger-than-life businessman only working toward making a profit, Word of God says this film will have a more fleshed-out and less hammy version of the character.
  • The Dreaded: Batman is naturally this, but he's apparently something of an Urban Legend in Gotham, keeping out of the public eye while still putting pressure on criminals. Clark actually describes him as "a one man reign of terror."
  • Establishing Character Moment: As buildings are being destroyed during Superman's fight in Metropolis, bystanders are running away from the destruction. Bruce Wayne is running directly towards it.
  • Foil:
    • The differences between the two title characters are especially emphasized, which makes sense since most of the conflict will likely be centered around them. Superman is a superpowered alien who stands for light and hope, while Batman is a human with no powers who stands for darkness and terror. Lex picks up on this.
    Lex Luthor: Black and blue. God versus man. Day versus night!
    • In a meta level, the two 2016 DC' movies Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad can be seen as foils to each other: Dawn of Justice is a heroes-centric movie that featured heroes doing bad and set up the superheroes team up of the franchise while Suicide Squad is a movie about a team of villains forced to do good and set up the villains for future stand-alone films.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Batman and Superman will put their differences aside and team up, laying the foundations of the Justice League (as the title implies).
  • Follow the Leader:
    • The team-up element of the movie was conceived in response to the success of The Avengers and the looming threat of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the latter of which was set to be a Dueling Movie with Dawn of Justice before Dawn was pushed back a year.
    • Funnily enough, Marvel was subsequently accused of pulling this on DC with the announcement of Captain America: Civil War, which predominantly features a conflict between a genius high-tech billionaire and an American-raised individual with actual superpowers alongside an ensemble of lesser-known superheroes.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: In the Battle in the Rain Batman has glowing white eyes thanks to his his armor, and Superman has glowing red ones thanks to his heat vision.
  • Green Rocks: Kryptonite makes its DCEU debut in this film.
  • Guttural Growler: Batman's Powered Armor suit has an added electronic filter making his voice sound deeper.
  • Irony: Perry White tells Clark to stop his crusade against the vigilante in Gotham, because "No one cares about Clark Kent taking on The Batman." This is in a movie called Batman v Superman. Also a bit of Leaning on the Fourth Wall, since the two are one of the most famous Friendly Rivalry in comics.
  • The Jeeves: Alfred Pennyworth, who apparently also takes a much more active role in assisting Batman in crimefighting.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Superman kneels before a smirking Lex Luthor, which makes it the second time in two films that Superman's knelt before the main bad guy.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The Trope Namer finally shows up after it was absent in Man of Steel.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Superman and Batman both have these, as usual.
  • Large and In Charge: This version of Batman is taller and burlier than past portrayals.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The first line in the film's trailer could refer to the audience's divided reactions towards Man of Steel as well as the world's reaction to Superman's appearance.
    Is it really surprising that the most powerful man in the world should be a figure of controversy?
  • Leitmotif: While the characters are expected to have them, Batman is an interesting case in that Hans Zimmer, who composed The Dark Knight Saga, wants to avoid using any of his material from those movies for this film.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Loosely inspired by Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman and Superman will have some kind of confrontation before sorting things out.
  • Mega Corp.: LexCorp, par for the course.
  • Meta Casting: While still out of left field, the casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor also had it's own internal logic. Eisenberg's most famous role is Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, a self-made 20-something billionaire with an arrogant God complex over his own genius. Many of his other roles follow a similar path, just not as diabolical as Luthor is known to the public.
  • Monumental Damage: Set and promotional photos like the Wonder Woman reveal indicate that the cities where battles take place in will be subject to damage, though it doesn't look nearly as extensive as the damage that occurred in Man of Steel.
  • Motif Merger: Just look at the page image, then look at the trope image. It's is the logo for DC's Superman/Batman series, albeit with more of an influence from the Superman logo from The Golden Age of Comic Books and the Batman logo from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black:
    • While the first look at Aquaman's costume is shot partially in black and white, the color scheme for it appears to be one that utilizes a yellow and black color scheme instead of an orange and green one (although if one looks closely it appears his pants have some teal or sea green on them), as it is in the comics. It's justified to some extent in that his costume is partial-body armor rather than a suit.
    • Wonder Woman's outfit is still red and blue, if only much darker and muted.
    • Subverted with Superman, whose costume is more colorful than it was in Man of Steel.
  • My Greatest Failure:
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Batman's costume and Powered Armor are both inspired by similar suits from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
    • Set reports claim a small restaurant is named "Ralli's Diner," which was actually featured in a 1987 Superman comic, in which Lex Luthor performed a Kick the Dog moment toward a waitress.
    • Superman is surrounded by a crowd who reach out their hands to touch him in a recreation of a page from Superman: Peace On Earth.
    • Batman has a grappling rifle in one scene, referencing him using similar equipment in issue 1 of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
    • The masked troops surrounding Superman does bring up Regime Superman from Injustice: Gods Among Us'. Even donning an Superman emblem on their shoulders.
    • Mercy Graves is race lifted to Asian, just like she was in The Batman.
    • A photo shows Bruce Wayne and Diana dancing together, which could be a subtle nod to the animated Justice League series.
    • Batman appears briefly in a trenchcoat, mimicking Damian Wayne's future batsuit.
    • The teaser shows some of Superman's fans wearing skull-makeup that makes them look like the supervillain Silver Banshee.
    • A brief moment in the Comic Con trailer seems to reference Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, as seen here.
  • Nerves of Steel: At one point, Superman rips the hood of the Batmobile off. Batman's response is calmly stand up from his seat and stare Superman down, eye-to-eye.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: A major theme of the film is the dangers and general reaction to Superman's god-like power.
  • Not Himself: Superman appears to be under Lex Luthor's control by the time he faces Batman.
  • Not Quite Flight: By Gal Gadot's own admission, Wonder Woman can "practically fly", and is also able to leap great distances, similarly to Superman early on in Man Of Steel.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The film is the direct sequel to Man of Steel, yet Batman gets top billing. Similarly, the title uses "V." instead of "VS.", as director Zack Snyder felt it made the title more distinct.
  • Older and Wiser: Batman is portrayed as being older than he is in most other film adaptations, being seasoned to his job.
  • Once More with Clarity: Scenes from the Superman/Zod battle in Man of Steel are shown from the perspective of Bruce Wayne, where one of his buildings were destroyed. Specifically, it shows Zod's first use of heat vision from the viewpoint of everyone on the street.
  • Only Sane Man: Alfred struggles to convince Bruce that Superman isn't who he should be fighting.
  • Our Founder: After being rebuilt, Metropolis has erected a statue of Superman following his victory against Zod during the events of Man of Steel. Some people in Metropolis, however, aren't particularly happy about this.
  • Perma Stubble: Batman and Bruce Wayne have this.
  • Powered Armor: Batman sports high tech armor with glowing white eyes in his Battle in the Rain with Superman.
  • Race Lift:
    • Half-Hawaiian Jason Momoa as Aquaman, who is usually portrayed as having White racial characteristics in spite of being an Atlantean.
    • Mercy Graves will be played by Japanese actress Tao Okamoto. As a bit of RetCanon, DC reintroduced Mercy as an Asian-American woman in the New 52 Justice League title to reflect this.
  • Rage Breaking Point: This version of Batman apparently has pent-up anger issues to deal with, but he doesn't get violent; just frustrated.
  • Real Is Brown: The film reuses the desaturated filter of Man of Steel and features multiple night scenes, to give the film a "real world" feel.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Set photos of presumably a flashback to the Wayne shootings show a nod to John Boorman's King Arthur epic Excalibur, since the movie theater playing The Mark of Zorro has Excalibur "coming soon". Snyder has said Excalibur is one of his favorite films and it helped inspire him to become a filmmaker.note  Assuming real-time dates apply here too, it also helps date the Wayne murders to 1981, when Excalibur was released.
    • Luthor alludes to Paul Revere, who is supposed to have said "The Redcoats are coming!" to warn fellow American patriots.note  Luthor instead says "The red capes are coming!"
  • Sigil Spam: Much is made of the promotional material showing just the "S" shield and the Bat symbol note .
  • Smug Snake: Lex Luthor, par the course. Bruce Wayne probably won't get along with him very well because of this.
  • Super Hero Origin: Batman's parents Death by Origin Story will be covered to some extent, but subverted in that the movie is not about the origin of Batman himself. He is actually coming out of retirement to face Superman.
  • Superman Stays out of Gotham: Averted, for more than just the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny reasons. In this continuity Gotham is an actual sister city to Metropolis, separated by a bay. It was compared to San Francisco and Oakland. That means in all practical sense they are operating in the same metropolitan area from the start. In previous continuities Metropolis and Gotham were either within a few hours drive or even a few hours by plane.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Bruce Wayne, with an emphasis on tall; at 6'4", Ben Affleck is the tallest actor to play the character.
  • The Tokyo Fireball: Metropolis was able to be rebuilt in two years, which is surprisingly quick, considering the catastrophic damage that was inflicted upon it. Odds are that Superman probably helped. Reconstruction probably happens a lot quicker when you have a Physical God doing all the heavy lifting.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Word of God says after the trauma he experienced when General Zod forced his hand, Superman vowed to find another way from that point on.
  • Truer to the Text:
    • The regular and Powered Armor Batsuits look almost identical to the comics. The regular suit in particular is textured fabric instead of the molded PVC / rubber suits from Tim Burton's, Joel Schumacher's and Chris Nolan's Batfilms.
    • Previous Batman movies didn't really focus on how expansive Batman's Rogues Gallery could be, with him fighting at most a couple per movie and just moving on (with most dying in the end). This film picks up with him already having a long career as a crimefighter, having dealt with a lot of enemies over the years and put them behind bars. Suicide Squad is made up primarily of former Batman foes.
  • Time Skip: Two years have passed since Man of Steel, with Superman serving as a hero to people around the world, although his presence isn't completely welcome in spite of his altruistic deeds.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Batman and Superman, two of the most iconic superheroes in the history of forever, finally meeting on the silver screen.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Aquaman has a bit of armor on and a strap around his chest, but most of his upper body is exposed.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Lex Luthor claims to have a genuine concern to want the world to be rid of Superman after the destruction of much of Metropolis. However, he's still Lex Luthor.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The entire premise of the movie looks like America attempting to bring some sort of justice to Superman for the destruction wrought on Metropolis. Batman appears to be fighting him to do the same.
  • Whole Costume Reference:
  • Wretched Hive: Gotham is shown to have the aesthetic of America in the early days of the Industrial Revolution, and its reputation for being a center for crime is felt even on a good day. It's also right across the bay from Metropolis, and apparently has traditionally been downtrodden in comparison to its sister city, sort of like Jersey City to New York, or Oakland to San Francisco.
  • Zorro Mark: A criminal is captured and chained up, a scarred imprint on his shoulder is shown resembling a bat.

Alternative Title(s):

Batman VS Superman