Film: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
aka: Batman VS Superman
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
(2016) is the sequel to the 2013 film Man of Steel
directed by Zack Snyder
and based on the DC Comics
characters, and the second film in the DC Cinematic Universe
. It is being written by Chris Terrio
based on a story by David S. Goyer and Zack Snyder. Christopher Nolan
is no longer involved with the film (although, interestingly, he was
involved with Ben Affleck
's casting as Batman, so make of that what you will).
Its cast includes:
In addition, Scoot McNairy, Holly Hunter, Callan Mulvey, and Jena Malone
have been cast in unspecified roles.
Very little is known about the plot so far. What is known for sure is that the film takes place two years after the end of Man of Steel
and that, while Superman has made the now-repaired Metropolis and the rest of the world safer to live in, he is still treated as an outsider by many due to the destruction that he was partially responsible for (though he is Misblamed
for most of it). Also, as the title suggests, Superman will cross paths with Batman, and the two will eventually team up to fight Lex Luthor. It's not yet clear if the other new superheroes are already active like Batman (aside from a mention of a Retcon
revealing that Aquaman saved Superman after an action sequence early on in Man of Steel
), but it is known that they will be present in the film.
The film will be released March 25, 2016. It will be followed up with a Justice League
expected to be released in 2017, which will also be directed by Zack Snyder and will be written by Chris Terrio. Warner Bros. has also officially announced their schedule of nine DC movies
from 2016 to 2020 which are to follow this film (one of which will be Justice League
, as mentioned above).note
The first teaser is also rumored to be attached to Jupiter Ascending
Due to the film being a high-profile, highly anticipated and scrutinized work in progress, various plot-related "scoops" and rumors abound online. In the absence of official confirmation, please take these items with a grain of salt.
Batman v. Superman contains examples of the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Wonder Woman makes her cinematic debutnote . If the rumors are true, the female Robin (Carrie Kelly) would also count.
- Age Lift:
- With Batman. Typically, Superman and Batman have been portrayed as being roughly the same age, give or take a couple of years. In this version, though, Batman is the hardened veteran who is roughly a decade older than Superman (Clark will be 35 in this film; Bruce is described as being in his mid-40's). Doubly so, given Batman: The Dark Knight Returns was cited as an influence, as this Batman is in his 40s, not 50s.
- Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Though Luthor is a middle-aged businessman in the comics and in every other adaptation that isn't a prequel, Eisenberg is just thirty years old, and he's primarily known for playing college-aged characters.
- Ambiguously Brown: Probably a deliberate choice by having Gal Gadot (Israeli) as Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa (mixed race/Polynesian) as Aquaman, both of whom stem from fictional cultures in Greek Mythology. Both have also been previously portrayed as more fair skinned.
- Ascetic Aesthetic: The interior of LexCorp is said to be very informal and comparable to a Facebook office.note
- 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: Possibly averted with Lex Luthor, surprisingly; early shootings for his scenes have described Luthor sporting a full head of hair. However, more leaks have shown Jesse Eisenberg covering his head, indicating that he may lose his hair partway through the story (as it was in the comics). There are also pictures circulating around the internet showing Eisenberg with red hair, although it could be for the filming of Louder Than Bombs, which Eisenberg was also acting for.
- Barbarian Hero: Early descriptions of Aquaman have placed the character into this territory, noting that he has tattoos and is extremely fit.
- 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: Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Aquaman have all been confirmed to serve small roles in the film that will lead into larger roles in future installments, and the Flash may or may not be joining their ranks. It's not quite clear if they're appearing in their superhero guises, their secret identities, or both. Wonder Woman seems to have the largest role out of any of these characters. A female Robin is also rumored to be in the movie.
- 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, this film will have a more fleshed-out and less hammy version of the character.
- Clark Kenting: In addition to the glasses, Clark wears loose clothing to hide his muscular build to conceal the fact that he's Superman.
- Continuity Reboot: For Batman, after The Dark Knight Saga, but interestingly enough, it's done as a crossover rather than a standalone film. Batman is slated to get a standalone title sometime before 2020.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Lex Luthor, in contrast to Bruce Wayne.
- Cool Car: The Batmobile, a mix of the tank design of The Dark Knight Saga and the art deco hot rod from Batman and Batman Returns. It also resembles the version from Beware the Batman.
- 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.
- Demigod: Wonder Woman is the daughter of Zeus in this film like in the New 52 line, instead of being built from clay like in the original comics.
- The Dragon: Lex Luthor is rumored to have a particularly infamous Superman supervillain at his beck and call by the end of the movie: Doomsday.
- 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.
- 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 The 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 Comic-Con teaser, both Batman (thanks to his armor) and Superman (via heat vision) have these.
- Green Rocks: Kryptonite is rumored to make its DCCU debut in this film. However, instead of being shards from Krypton, the crystals will be synthesized by LexCorp from samples of Kryptonian technology. Batman's armored suit apparently weaponizes the substance in order to level the playing field with Superman.
- The Hero: Superman is supposed to fully shed his Classical Anti-Hero roots in this continuity in order to become an Ideal Hero through the Character Development he had in the previous movie. Notably, this means he will place a greater emphasis on saving lives than before.
- Hidden Depths: Apparently, 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. It's said that Lex Luthor will be critical of his charity and thinks with a more objectivist perspective.
- Intrepid Reporter: Superman uses his Clark Kent persona to a much greater extent in the movies, looking into a story while in Gotham City. Lois Lane also carries this trait over from the previous movie.
- The Jeeves: Alfred Pennyworth, who apparently also takes a much more active role in assisting Batman in crimefighting.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Superman and Batman both have these, as usual.
- 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: The producer and director have stated that they are drawing inspiration from The Dark Knight Returns, possibly indicating that Batman and Superman will have at least some kind of fight before sorting things out. Indeed, the Comic-Con trailer hypes this up.
- Lighter and Softer: This movie, when compared with the 2002 script that was originally planned (see the Trivia page for more details). It is speculated that the movie will still retain Man of Steel's serious tone, but will be on the more hopeful side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism. Superman's costume is also slightly lighter in terms of color, possibly to reflect this.
- Mega Corp.: LexCorp, par for the course. Unlike other versions of the company, however, the public image that LexCorp is said to give off is one that's seemingly laid-back instead of ominous and imposing.
- 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 photos 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.
- My Greatest Failure:
- Superman is said to be still upset about the tragedy that took place at Metropolis, and uses that as motivation to never let a tragedy of that scale happen again on his watch.
- According to details on the Batcave set, Batman is clearly upset about something he couldn't stop: the death of Robin (most likely Jason Todd), whose tattered clothes are preserved.
- The latest reports suggest that it might be the death of Commissioner Gordon, since there will apparently be a memorial plaque for the character in the film.
- Mythology Gag:
- Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: A minor example: the "V." part of the title has attracted a bit of confusion from some audiences, as opposed to the more commonly used "VS." Zack Snyder has said this decision was made in order to subtly make the movie feel more distinct from a typical crossover movie and more like the beginning of a shared universe.
- Older and Wiser: Batman is portrayed as being older than he is in most other film adaptations, being seasoned to his job.
- 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 seems to sport this.
- Powered Armor: Batman sports this in the Comic Con footage, with glowing white eyes and everything.
- 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 promotional image of Wonder Woman's costume◊ appears to feature a dully-colored copper outfit at a first glance. However, a closer look reveals that her costume does have the iconic colors in it, though they are not as bright and pronounced as they are in the comics. The costume's darkened appearance may be due to the lighting of the image or potentially a photo-editing filter (Zack Snyder is known for loving Color Wash). There have been attempts to brighten the image to see just how bright the red and blue really are, but without the original, possibly-unfiltered image, most involve some amount of guesswork.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: While Batman is said to believe that Superman could be very dangerous due to the collateral damage he caused when fighting Zod in the first movie, he is also fully aware that Superman saved billions of lives in spite of that, and sees him as a possible ally (or even a potential Big Good).
- Retcon: 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, serves as this, though he makes up for it by also serving as a philanthropist.
- Self-Made Man: Scoops say Lex Luthor made his billions at the age of 18. A few years later, and he's even more rich and influential.
- Sequel Hook: A rumor states that there will be a big one to lead right into the Justice League movie: Brainiac has set his sights on Earth after hearing the Kryptonian beacon that alerted Zod in Man of Steel.
- Smug Snake: Lex Luthor, par the course. Bruce Wayne doesn't get along with him very well because of this.
- Street Smart: Lex Luthor, surprisingly enough. Before he reinvented himself as a billionaire CEO, he survived on the streets, according to scoops.
- Super Hero Origin: Downplayed. Batman's origins will be discussed (and shown to some extent), but will not take up a huge focus on the film. Justified in that Batman's origin story had already been told not too long ago, making an elaborate retelling unnecessary. It's more likely that the film will place a bit more of an emphasis on Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Aquaman's origins, in part to familiarize audiences with the characters and to set up Justice League.
- Superman Stays out of Gotham: Averted. Clark Kent is slated to end up in Gotham at one point. Likewise, Bruce Wayne will be seen in Metropolis.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: Bruce Wayne, with an emphasis on tall; at 6'4", Ben Affleck is the tallest actor to play the character.
- Tattooed Crook: Lex Luthor apparently sports a sleeve tattoo of the Metropolis skyline on his right arm.
- 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. Superman may have had a hand in fixing it.
- Thou Shall Not Kill: After the trauma he experienced when General Zod forced his hand, Superman vowed to find another way.
- Truer To The Text: The Batsuit looks closer to one from the comics than the armored suit from The Dark Knight Saga or the molded plastic suit from the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher films. Kevin Smith says the new costume looks exactly like its comic counterpart when shown in full color.
- 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.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Lex Luthor is said to claim 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 a corrupt businessman who wants to maintain power over the world.
- Whole Costume Reference: Batman's suit is practically lifted from the pages of The Dark Knight Returns, albeit with a less-bulky (but still stocky) Batman. And then, the first Comic-Con teaser reveals that at some point, Batman is going to wear a suit of armor that is basically the same one as the one worn by Bruce in the final chapter of the aforementioned comic.
- 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.