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 godlike 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, Sneak Peek, Trailer 2, TV Spot 1.

Batman v. Superman contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Like in the Batman-centric movies since 1989, Batman wears black makeup around his eyes - which disappears immediately after he's unmasked by Superman. This is because the mask's eye-holes would be quite small if they were to replicate the comic look exactly, affecting both comfort and expressiveness. Instead, costume designers go for bigger eye-holes and the actor's skin is covered up with makeup to simulate the look - and nobody wants to see him with "raccoon eyes" once he's unmasked. A similar "disappearing makeup" scene also happened in Batman Returns.
  • 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 highlights.
  • Adaptational Modesty: The costume designers manage 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 alot 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 in The Dark Knight Trilogy, started the role a little older than Irons).
  • 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.
  • Audience Surrogate: Oddly enough, Lex Luthor. Much of his dialogue is highlighting just how much people want Superman and Batman to fight it out, coming close to Breaking the Fourth Wall in doing so.
  • 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.
    • Jesse Eisenberg has confirmed that Luthor's hair is real, and that he loses it later in the film.
  • 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.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Wonder Woman saves Batman when Doomsday attacks.
  • 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".
  • Car Fu: Batman tries ramming the Batmobile against Superman at full speed. It comically bounces off of Superman.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: In addition to the glasses, Clark wears loose clothing to hide his muscular build to conceal the fact that he's Superman. When Luthor raps him on the chest, it makes a very distinctive thud.
  • Clark Kenting: As established at the end of Man of Steel, Clark uses the glasses, wears tweed jackets and has messy hair to contrast Superman's perfectly coiffed hair and the tight suit emphasizing his musculature. In addition Superman has a much more rigid posture, as Clark Kent looks more relaxed.
  • Composite Character:
    • Lex Luthor is actually named Alexander Luthor, Jr., a separate character from the comics. He also starts off with a full head of hair like Alexander before losing it and more closely resembling the villainous Lex.
    • General Zod is revived or cloned into Doomsday. Doomsday's origin in this film - being created by Lex Luthor from a Kryptonian - also brings to mind Bizarro's origin in at least two continuities.
  • Continuity Reboot: Interestingly as part of a crossover rather than a standalone film. The film discards the history from The Dark Knight Trilogy for Batman.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The movie follows the modern idea of Lex Luthor being one, in contrast to the "good corporate executive" Bruce Wayne and to the land-grab-scheming outlaw portrayals of past movies.
  • Cool Car: The Batmobile, naturally. It seems to be a mix of the Tumbler from The Dark Knight Trilogy and the art deco hot rod from Batman and Batman Returns. It also has more than a passing resemblance to the versions from Beware the Batman and Batman: Arkham Knight.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: It's Batman versus Superman! What else would you expect?
  • Crossover: Between Batman and Superman. However, this is not an Intercontinuity Crossover, as this movie is trying to set up a shared cinematic universe for DC characters.
  • Crushing Handshake: Luthor is surprised by Clark's grip, jokingly (?) telling Bruce not to pick a fight with him.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Batman, courtesy of Superman, in the Knightmare sequence.
  • The Dragon: Lex Luthor has a particularly infamous Superman supervillain at his beck and call by the end of the movie: Doomsday, apparently formed from the corpse of General Dru-Zod.
  • 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."
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: Superman shouts "Stay down! if I wanted it, you'd be dead already!" to basically beg Batman to stop fighting him.
  • 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.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor has proven to be quite the ham, as demonstrated in the scene where he meets with Bruce and Clark.
  • 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! Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham.
  • 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.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Batman and Superman will put their differences aside and team up, laying the foundations of the Justice League (as the title implies).
  • Foreshadowing: The Knightmare sequence alludes to the presence of a much, much larger threat that will become prominent later on. The Parademons that attack Batman, combined with the presence of a gigantic Omega symbol in front of a destroyed city, signify that Darkseid will come into prominence in the years to come.
  • 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: This version of Batman has an added electronic filter making his voice sound deeper.
  • Hidden Depths: Set descriptions claim rich philanthropist Bruce Wayne is a fan of underground MMA fights. Of course, given his double identity, it's hardly a surprise for the audience.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Bruce Wayne, a highly philanthropic businessman like always.
  • Ideal Hero: In contrast to the Classical Anti-Hero take on Superman in Man Of Steel, he has almost completely become this during the Time Skip (although he suffers from some self-doubt and uncertainty), at which point he's saved hundreds of people from around the world. Bruce Wayne even jokes that he probably helps kittens that are stuck in trees in his spare time.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Superman yells at Batman "“If I wanted it, you'd be dead already".
  • Intrepid Reporter: Superman uses his Clark Kent persona to look into the story of the Batman while in Gotham City, and the film seems to favor the "aggressive Clark" interpretation following the comic version of Man of Steel. Amy Adams has noted that Lois Lane will carry this trait over from the previous movie, implying she'll bring it Up to Eleven to effectively be the Justice League's intelligence gatherer.
  • 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, composer of The Dark Knight Trilogy, 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.
  • Mad Scientist: Luthor gets his hands on General Zod's corpse. This cannot possibly end well. He decides to play Doctor Frankenstein and ends up creating Doomsday.
  • 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, than 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.
    • Batman himself is actually a subversion, it's the first time the dominant color of a cinematic batsuit (not including the 60's Batman: The Movie) is gray rather than matte black. It IS slightly darker than the traditional black-and-gray costume, but both it and the Powered Armor are nearly identical to his costumes in The Dark Knight Returns.
  • 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 there 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 there 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.
    • The Comic Con trailer features a shot of people standing on a roof with the "S" shield painted on it to signal Superman for help. The same method was used in Superman:The Man of Steel #18 [1]
  • 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. Even more ballsy for Batman is that he does this immediately after a car accident.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Batman has one (dubbed the "Knightmare" by merchandise) that is set in the Middle East. They're in a world in which he's a fugitive and Superman is a dictator with his own army, reflecting his fears of what Superman could become.
  • 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 in some capacity 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 has this.
  • Powered Armor: Batman sports high tech armor with glowing white eyes in his Battle in the Rain with Superman.
  • Product Placement: Turkish Airlines got a special trailer of its own showing its appearance in the film - Diana rides one of their planes. (A possible Mythology Gag regarding the Amazons of actual Greek myth, who were said to live in a region which includes modern-day Turkey.)
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Luthor is as immature as he is evil.
  • 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.
  • Ramming Always Works: Batman tries running Superman over with the Batmobile. It doesn't work.
  • 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.
  • Reality Ensues: Hooray, Superman saved the planet! He also damaged quite a bit of property in the process and was unable to prevent thousands of deaths in spite of his best efforts - and that he is also blamed for much of said death and destruction by those who simply haven't had any experience with a superhero before. This understandably causes divisions on Earth of people who believe he's a protector, and others who believe he's a disaster waiting to happen. It's been noted that exploring this trope was Zack Snyder's intention from the start, but he saved it for the sequel in order to keep Man of Steel's focus on the Super Hero Origin.
    • Batman tries to hit a super strong and invulnerable man with the Batmobile, and is thrown like a toy as he bounces off harmlessly. His threats also fall flat when he gets out since Supes just flies away.
  • Revision: You remember how Clark Kent was saved by whales in Man of Steel after saving people from a collapsing oil derrick? Apparently, Aquaman sent them.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Bruce Wayne, per usual, is this, though he makes up for it by also serving as a philanthropist.
  • 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, or New York City and Jersey City. 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.
  • 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.
  • Throat Light: Doomsday while charging his heat vision; the way it fires makes it look like it's coming out of his mouth as well.
  • 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 alot 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.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The second trailer reveals that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman will come together against Doomsday. It also appears to reveal that Doomsday is created somehow by Lex Luthor in an attempt to kill Superman when Batman won't do it, using Dru-Zod's corpse in order to create the monstrosity. In spite of this, Zack Snyder has stated that even with these reveals advertised, there's ultimately a lot that hasn't been shown.
  • 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.
  • Unexpected Character: In the Knightmare
  • The Unmasked World: Suicide Squad reveals that individuals with unusual powers have existed previously, but that Superman made it okay to be more open about it. This film addresses the topic directly as part of the plot. Superman is called in for senate hearings about the destruction in Metropolis, with everyone taking sides on if they should hold him responsible and HOW do they hold him responsible. In a scene laced with irony, Clark and Bruce debate the merits of Superman and Batman, with Bruce remarking that condemning "the bat vigilante" for fighting crime while praising a godlike alien for the doing the same thing is hypocritical.
  • 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.
  • Wretched Hive: Gotham is shown to have the aesthetic of America in the early days of the Industrial Revolution, and it's 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 it's sister city, sort of like Jersey City to New York, or Oakland to San Francisco.
  • You're Insane!: Lois confronts Lex Luthor at one point, calling him "psychotic".
    Lois: You're psychotic!
  • 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