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Trivia / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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  • Ability over Appearance: Mercy Graves was originally going to be white, and the studio wasn't looking at Asian actresses for the role. After Zack Snyder saw Tao Okamoto's performance in The Wolverine, he was impressed enough that he cast her as Mercy despite her lack of resemblance to the character.
  • Acting in the Dark: Robin Atkin Downes had no idea that he was voicing Doomsday until the trailers was released 1-2 months before the movie came out.
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  • Author's Saving Throw: In direct response to the critical reception the film had received, Zack Snyder assured fans that the Extended Director's Cut on home video would better flesh out the plot, as it would be around half an hour longer.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: When talking about the movie people bring up the name "Martha" as though it was Arc Words in and of itself a la Rosebud from Citizen Kane, or even something of a Skyward Scream with Batman breaking down just from hearing that name. In reality only one person says "Martha" by itself and that was Thomas Wayne's Last Words in the famous alley shooting (although Lex does say "Martha, Martha, Martha" in a sing-song voice mocking Superman). In the (in)famous "Martha" scene Superman never says "Martha" singular, he is instead trying to give Batman information and instructions: "You're letting them kill Martha." "Save Martha." etc. The use of the name Martha in that context causes confusion and anger from Batman, until he learns Martha is also the name of Superman's mom. Batman also never says "Martha" singular, but he does say "Martha! Why did you say that name?!" when trying to figure out what Superman's talking about and later says "I promise you, Martha will not die tonight." So while the name Martha is an important revelation, it's never said with extreme reverence, and certainly never screamed a la Captain Kirk yelling "Khaaaaaaan!" by anyone.
  • California Doubling:
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    • The African scenes were shot in New Mexico once the Ebola outbreak made the filmmakers fearful of going to Morocco.
    • Gotham, Metropolis, and what appears to be Washington, D.C. were all filmed in Detroit.
    • The Indian Ocean scene with the Kryptonite being retrieved in the wreck of the World Engine was filmed in Bora-Bora, French Polynesia, in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • Jeffrey Dean Morgan was considered for Batman before being cast as Thomas Wayne.
    • Jesse Eisenberg was originally considered for Jimmy Olsen before being cast as Lex Luthor.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Affleck said that he was proud of the final product, but later conceded that some criticisms towards the film's tonal issues were fair.
    • Jeremy Irons bluntly said that he could see why it received the poor reviews that it got, as he felt it was overstuffed and confusing.
    • While promoting Justice League, Gal Gadot said that in hindsight, she didn't feel Diana would ever turn her back on mankind. She went on to say that the solo Wonder Woman movie "correct[ed]" that point by showing how loving and compassionate Diana truly is.
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    • In a very candid interview with The Rake, Henry Cavill conceded that while he felt the film had a unique and interesting way of telling a superhero story, that approach didn't necessarily work. However, he did seem to indicate that he views it as something of a noble failure, saying "I feel now the right mistakes have been made."
    • In a subsequent interview with Square Mile, Cavill lamented the way the shared universe aspect of the film kept him from being able to play a more idealistic and inspirational Superman, which he had been looking forward to after Man of Steel. He also claimed that had a Superman-centric Man of Steel sequel been made instead, he probably would've gotten to play that more traditional version of the character.
    • Writer Chris Terrio detailed that the movie was going to be darker if not for rewrites of his, and he came in after the basic story was already formed so there was not much he could change and he spent most of the time just trying to get it as coherent as possible (Batman HAD to try and kill Superman, so he wrote it as a Rage-Breaking Point), and still had his own problems with the script. He was also highly critical of the theatrical cut as the removal of 30 minutes from the story, after being told a three-hour movie is fine, led to it being muddled and disjointed which was reflected in many reviews. He's since said that he was unfairly blamed for the movie's reception, arguing that things would have gone differently had those cuts not been made. Also not helping things is the way the movie impacted his career and personal life, with some of his friends distancing themselves from him after the movie underperformed. He also never liked the title, having voiced displeasure at the studio-mandated Batman v Superman portion of it, feeling that it felt like a "tone-deaf" marketing ploy.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • In the film, Bruce laments that he's "older than [his] father was," and in one of Bruce's nightmares, Thomas's tombstone reads "1942-1981", meaning Thomas was around 39 when he was killed. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is six years older than Ben Affleck and was around 48 during filming.
    • A bit retroactively for Jason Momoa as Aquaman, as he was 35 during the filming of the movie, Aquaman's solo movie revealed that his parents met in 1985.
  • Dear Negative Reader: In a 2019 Q&A, Snyder was questioned about the backlash towards his decision to have Batman kill. Snyder responded by saying that fans who were still under the misconception that Batman and Superman don't kill are "living in a dreamland" and need to "wake the fuck up."
  • Deleted Role: Jena Malone's character was removed from the theatrical cut, but is included in the extended version.
  • Deleted Scene: Probably to hype the Director's Cut, possibly knowing that fans would be confused by certain elements in the theatrical ending, Warner Brothers surprisingly released a deleted scene online the same weekend the movie premiered titled "Communion." In the theatrical version, Lex rants in his prison cell about how "he" is coming to Earth and talks about how "the bell has been rung." In the deleted scene it shows a SWAT team entering the scout ship to recover and arrest Lex, and he is found in the genesis chamber along with a holographic image of a demonic creature note  that looks like one of the New Gods holding Mother Boxes (which is also seen in Cyborg's cameo). When Lex finally acknowledges the SWAT team he is notably shaken by what he's seen. It's theorized the apparent pool of blood was one of the things that edged it into R-Rated territory.
  • Dueling Works: With Captain America: Civil War. Both films have two of their franchise's most iconic heroes getting into a conflict, with the billionaire playboy philanthropist deciding the true blue hero can't be allowed to continue to be unaccountable, and ancillary superheroes appearing in secondary roles.
  • DVD Commentary: Zack Snyder made one for the Ultimate Edition in March 2020 during the COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown, in the form of a watch-along. It can be watched here.
  • Dyeing for Your Art:
  • Enforced Method Acting: According to Tao Okamoto, Jesse Eisenberg changed several of his lines causing some of the actors' reactions to be genuine.
  • Executive Meddling: The film was the unfortunate victim of this, with the original 3 hour film being cut down to 2 1/2 hours, due to the studio apprehension about the commercial success and the potential R Rating. This ironically led to several significant scenes to be cut out of the film, partially contributing to its mixed to bad reception from critics. Even the film’s title suffered from this, as Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio wanted the film to be simply titled Dawn of Justice, while WB wanted it to start with Batman v Superman in order to make it more marketable.
  • 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. The conflict is rooted in their different stances on collateral damage and civil rights infringement and a non-superpowered villain creates an elaborate plan to exacerbate it.
    • Even funnier, the movie shares major flaws of Age of Ultron and Civil War as pointed out by fans: too much time wasted on awkwardly setting up other movies from the franchise (Age of Ultron) and the villain's needlessly complicated plan hinging on contrived coincidences (Civil War).
  • I Knew It!:
    • Many had speculated that Doomsday would be making an appearance from a number of rumors, including a Freeze-Frame Bonus of what appeared to be one of his spikes in the second trailer. They were proven correct with the arrival of the third trailer.
    • Many correctly guessed that Callan Mulvey would be playing Anatoli Knyazev (known as KGBeast in the comics), who was similarly rumored to appear.
    • From the moment the film's logo was revealed, many hardcore Batman fans predicted that the batsuit and the portrayal of Batman would be influenced by Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (the Bat-Signal in the logo and film resembles the distinct design from that comic series). Most of these fans also predicted that Batman would win the fight against Superman.
    • Dan Amboyer was believed by many to be the DCEU's Green Lantern. While the movie doesn't explicitly call his character "Hal Jordan", he is referred to as "Highball", the character's callsign, suggesting that, while he's not a part of the Green Lantern Corps just yet, he soon will be.
    • Either the appearance of Wonder Woman or the "Dawn of Justice" subtitle, or even both at once, led many viewers to predict that the conflict would ultimately result in the formation of the Justice League.
    • Many fans speculated that Wonder Woman's leitmotif in this movie (the guitar and drums driven piece, best heard when she tanks Doomsday's heat vision) would wind up becoming the theme for her own movie, which it did a year later.
    • Many fans speculated that the costume of the dead Robin we see belonged to Jason Todd, considering that one major Batman plot line was Todd's death. Although Zack Snyder had other plans (detailed under What Could Have Been), Warner Bros has confirmed that the costume is Jason Todd's, and by extension, confirming that this Batman had at least 2 Robinsnote .
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan as Thomas and Martha Wayne. In The Walking Dead, the former's character killed the husband of the latter character. Here, they are husband and wife. Further, Morgan's character there used a bat as the murder weapon.
  • Life Imitates Art: Public opinions on Superman are very polarized... just like Real Life opinions are polarized about this movie.
  • Meaningful Release Date: If we take Rule of Symbolism into account, the movie being released in the last Friday of March is hugely important. The day, of course, is Good Friday, which commemorates the death of Jesus Christ. Christ would be resurrected days later on Easter Sunday. Superman dies at the end of the movie and is revealed to be well on his way to an eventual resurrection, continuing the Superman/Jesus symbolism present throughout his portrayal in the DCEU.
  • Old Shame: According to Zack Snyder, Warner Bros. had hatred toward the film as the studio was pressuring him to "divorce" Justice League from this movie.
  • The Other Darrin: Naoya Uchida replaces Masane Tsukayama as Jonathan Kent in the Japanese dub.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Ben Affleck was a name thrown around for Batman Begins before it went to Christian Bale, and he did Daredevil mostly because he didn't think he would ever get to play Batman. According to Kevin Smith, Affleck even built a hidden "Batcave entrance" leading to a safe room in one of his homes, and was fond of blasting R. Kelly's "Gotham City" on-set during their late-90s films together. Apparently the Batman fandom runs in the family, because Affleck's son is also a big fan and thinks his dad really is Batman.
    • Gal Gadot related her whole casting experience and having an out-of-body experience seeing the concept art of Wonder Woman with her face on it and putting on the costume for the first time.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Jeremy Irons, who made his career playing the Evil Brit, is cast as Batman's loyal butler Alfred.
    • Invoked by Snyder in regards to Jesse Eisenberg's casting as Lex Luthor. Eisenberg was originally offered the role of Jimmy Olsen but Snyder's wife and co-producer Deborah convinced him to cast him as Lex Luthor.
  • Pop Culture Urban Legends: The dearth of details and long stretches of time in between snippets of official news made this film a magnet for rumors uncritically accepted by both supporters and detractors as fuel for the flame wars prior to the promotional campaign.
  • Recycled Script:
    • Though it's bound to happen when David S. Goyer wrote both movies, a common criticism is that too much of the film (especially the Batman side of things) is similar to The Dark Knight Rises — as both films take influence from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, this complaint likely would've happened regardless of who wrote it.
      • Both show Batman as a troubled, broken man who is struggling to get over a loss that happened at the hands of The Joker.
      • Both have Bruce Wayne make a highly publicized event at a function, encounter a cunning female who steals his car (and unrelated to the scene, another personal belonging).
      • Both have a villain with a Dark and Troubled Past whose biggest motivation is getting rid of heroes and cause anarchy.
      • Both films have a scene with a terrorist attack on a public space (Dawn of Justice has the Capitol; The Dark Knight Rises has the stock market).
      • Both villains have a Femme Fatale mole.
      • Both films have the aforementioned female joining the hero(es) for one last fight.
      • Both films have a bit where a heroic figure divert an explosive device away from the metropolitan area (Superman sends a nuke into space while Batman diverts Doomsday to an abandoned area of Gotham in one; Batman flies the Batwing with the explosive device to sea in the other). For that matter, the final fight in both culminate in a Heroic Sacrifice.
      • Both movies have monuments unveiled of the heroes, and both sacrificed heroes are Not Quite Dead.
    • The overall situation in Batman's nightmare sequence calls to mind Injustice: Gods Among Us.
      • Much like in the game, Superman's descent into evil is precipitated by the death of Lois Lane.
      • Supes' Gas Mask Mooks are heavily reminiscent of the Regime troopers who served him in the same capacity, but with an S-shield on their uniforms instead of the One Earth Regime insignia.
      • Batman is leading La Résistance against Superman's rule, but like in Injustice he's fighting a Hopeless War and most of his friends get killed off by Supes or his allies.
      • One of his close allies betrays him to Superman, mirroring Regime Nightwing and Catwoman.
      • Superman tortures a captive Batman, similar to the penultimate scene in Year One of the prequel comic where Supes breaks Batman's back.
      • It's all taking place in a dream, calling to mind how Injustice is generally set in an Alternate Universe.
  • Role Reprise: Arturo Castañeda and Máté Szabó, the respective Mexican and Hungarian voices of The Flash in this movie, is also currently voicing the character in the (second) live-action TV series.
  • Spoiled by the Merchandise: Averted in the case of Lex Luthor. Several action figures from the film's toy line featured Lex in his suit of green Powered Armor from the comics, causing speculation from bloggers and geek news outlets that he would suit up to fight Superman and Batman in the film's final act. Nothing of the sort happens in the film, meaning the toymakers at Mattel likely just wanted to make an action figure of Lex Luthor that would be appealing to kids.
  • Star-Making Role: For Gal Gadot. While The Fast and the Furious franchise did gave her screen debut for playing a supporting character, Batman V Superman boosted her career and got her into the spotlight. Wonder Woman then cemented her into stardom.
  • Teasing Creator:
    • Jason Momoa was pretty quiet about whether or not he was playing Aquaman once rumors (and subsequent evidence) appeared suggesting that he had the part, and some of his responses to questions come across as him being outright irritated about being asked about it all the time. Warner Bros. eventually confirmed his role when they revealed their film plans through 2020 (as he was most likely tied-up with an NDA).
    • While Jena Malone made no secret of the fact that she's in the movie, she went out of her way to be as vague about her role as possible. The only tip as to who she played was that her character has red hair, which could be taken as her being cast as Barbara Gordon or Carrie Kelly, the female Robin from The Dark Knight Returns. Heck, she could've feasibly been a more obscure character, or another case of Adaptation Dye-Job similar to Lois Lane (although Amy Adams was simply retaining her natural colour, whereas Malone is Dyeing for Your Art). Furthermore, Malone's role was cut from the theatrical release, meaning fans wouldn't be able to find out her character's identity until the extended edition came out — on DVD. (Although a leak seemingly established that she was playing Barbara Gordon after all, it was fake, as the Ultimate Edition reveals that she plays a Lab Technician that isn't directly named on screen, but is identified in the credits as an obscure DC character named Janet Klyburn.)
    • Dan Amboyer had a lot of fun with this trope once fans heard a leak that said his "Drone Pilot" character was actually the DCEU's version of Hal Jordan. While the leak itself was fake, this didn't stop speculation from continuing as Amboyer got a lot of media focus, particularly after he showed an unsubtly green-tinted image of himself advertising the movie.
  • Throw It In:
    • Batman's "Oh shi-" moment when he sees Doomsday charging his lasers was improvised by Ben Affleck. He decided to throw in the line because it was funny and unexpected, especially coming from a character like Batman, as well as being an accidental Call-Back to Man of Steel.
    • Wonder Woman's Grin of Audacity during the battle against Doomsday was ad-libbed by Gal Gadot as she felt it was something that Wonder Woman would do when faced with a strong opponent.
  • Voice-Only Cameo: Patrick Wilson is heard during Superman and Doomsday's battle as the President giving orders.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Matthias Schoenaerts was the runner-up for the role of Bruce Wayne before Ben Affleck was cast.
      Adkins: Look, Ben Affleck was always going to have the part, all right? He's got Oscars.
    • Adam Driver, Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, Jean Dujardin, Bradley Cooper and Joaquin Phoenix were considered for Lex Luthor before the casting of Jesse Eisenberg. Phoenix would eventually go on to portray Arthur Fleck in Joker.
    • Timothy Dalton was considered for the role of Alfred Pennyworth before Jeremy Irons was cast. Dalton would later go on to play the Chief in Doom Patrol.
    • There were some executives at Warner Bros. who wanted the movie to be a continuation of The Dark Knight Trilogy, and discussed the idea of bringing back Christian Bale to play Batman. Snyder wanted to hire Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Batman, and Bale to play a different DC character just to hammer home that the new movie was not connected to the earlier Christopher Nolan films.
    • A planned appearance from Jared Leto as The Joker was cut, as was a similar appearance from The Riddler. Snyder ultimately decided against it because he thought it would take too much focus away from the main characters.
    • Before settling on Superman Returns and Batman Begins, Warner Bros. considered making a Batman vs. Superman movie. A script was written by Akiva Goldsman (who also wrote I Am Legend, hence the film existing in that film's world), and Wolfgang Petersen was attached as director. They wanted Josh Hartnett for Superman and Christian Bale for Batman. Interestingly, said movie would have been significantly Darker and Edgier than the one that takes place in the DC Extended Universe. It would have started off with Bruce Wayne's fifth year of retirement following the deaths of Robin (Dick Grayson), Alfred Pennyworth, and Commissioner Gordon, and Clark Kent recovering from a devastating divorce with Lois Lane, reuniting with old flame Lana Lang. Bruce marries his fiance (with Clark serving as the best man), but she is mercilessly murdered by the Joker. Bruce becomes Batman once more to defeat both Joker and Superman, blaming him for his inability to save his fiance's life. It's eventually revealed, after a long battle between Batman and Superman, that Lex Luthor masterminded the entire plot. The two team up and take down Joker and Luthor.
    • The movie was originally going to be a true sequel to Man of Steel that just happened to guest-star Batman in a major role. The inclusion of Batman convinced Snyder to begin fleshing out The 'Verse a bit more by including Wonder Woman, which then led to other members of the League showing up as well. After this, it was decided that the most "logical" course of action would be to use Dawn of Justice as a lead-in for a Justice League movie.
    • Metallo was considered to be the villain, before Batman and Wonder Woman were brought in. The character of Wallace Keefe is most likely an artifact of that concept.
    • Had Zack Snyder not stepped down from the DCEU after his daughter committed suicide, it would've eventually been revealed that the dead Robin we see in the movie was Dick Grayson, not Jason Todd, in arguably the biggest diversion from the comicsnote . His plan would've had Robin stay dead until the debut of Carrie Kelly, the fourth Robin (and the first female one). Whether or not this means that Carrie Kelly would've been the only other Robin that would appear, or if the other 3 Robins (Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Damian Waynenote ) would appear but not as Robin is unknown.
    • Jesse Eisenberg was originally going to cameo as Jimmy Olsen before he was cast as Luthor.
    • The concept art for Doomsday before his final design would have looked much more closer to his comic incarnation except for the possible lack of hair.
    • The films title wasn't supposed to be a vs. title at first. Warner Bros. had registered many different, yet similar titles. In order: Man of Steel: Battle the Knight, Man of Steel: Beyond Darkness, Man of Steel: Black of Knight, Man of Steel: Darkness Falls, Man of Steel: Knight Falls, Man of Steel: Shadow of the Knight, Man of Steel: The Blackest Hour and last but not least, Man of Steel: The Darkness Within. All of them weren't liked by fans for trying to hard to be darker and edgier sounding, which probably lead to the massive title change. Neither Snyder or Chris Terrio liked the Vs. Title mandate because they didn't view the movie in that way, and had to fight hard to get the Dawn of Justice subtitle.
    • Carla Gugino was looked at to play Catwoman, who would've been Batman's ex-wife.
  • You Look Familiar: Richard Cetrone first appeared in Man of Steel as Tor-An, the Mook Lieutenant tasked with arresting Jor-El and later pinpointing the signal coming from the Kryptonian scout ship. Here, he appears as a spectator in the fight club scene.

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