When Warner Bros. sent out their official press release confirming what Zack Snyder had announced at Comic-Con-- that Superman and Batman would be facing off in a 2015 movie-- they were still referring to the film as a Man of Steel sequel. Since it's directed by Snyder and stars Henry Cavill and is written by David S. Goyer, it's certainly got enough of the Man of Steel creative team behind it to qualify… but come on. Everybody is going to go into this movie talking about it as Superman vs. Batman… or Batman vs. Superman… or both? Warner Bros. knows that, but they seem to be as confused about the order as we are.
At a different Comic-Con panel on Saturday, celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Superman (via ComicBook.com), Goyer acknowledged that the next film would be uniting Superman and Batman, and that they're already gotten the pre-production gears rolling. Agreeing on a title, though, has been a bit trickier:
The next film we’re making, we’re already in pre-production, comes out in summer of 2015 and it’s–we’re actually not sure whether the title is Superman vs. Batman or Batman vs. Superman but yes, it’s–that rematch, that combination, the two guys onscreen and that’s happening.”
ComicBook.com did a little bit of digging around Internet domain registrations and found what you might expect-- Warner Bros. has snagged both BatmanvsSuperman.com and SupermanvsBatman.com, although the former redirects to the Warner Bros. landing page, while the latter sends you to the DC Comics homepage for Superman. It gets really weird when you add "movie" to the end of either URL. Go to BatmanvsSupermanMovie.com and you wind up back at the WB homepage. Try the reverse, and you get to the Facebook page of Mexican stand-up comic Fran Hevia. ComicBook.com says that one is registered to WB, but they might have to send a lot of threatening e-mails to Fran Hevia first.
Does it matter which name come first in the lineup? Of course it doesn't. And as Pajiba points out, titles with "vs." in them tend to ring up memories of crappy direct-to-DVD efforts or Asylum films that air on SyFy. Do you really want the expensive new DC Comics film to remind you of Mega Python vs. Gatoroid? I know DC doesn't.
The most relevant thing in all this title confusion for fans might be the complete avoidance of The World's Finest, the comics arc that featured both Batman and Superman and ran for a solid 40 years. The minute the Bat-Supes logo showed up onstage fans were immediately thinking of The World's Finest, but so far the only comic inspiration that Snyder and Goyer have copped to is Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, which finds Batman as a middle-aged retiree who still takes the time to beat up Superman. They're not adapting that, or World's Finest for that matter, apparently preferring just to slap the names of their two biggest characters into the title and call it a day. If it reminds you of a cheap SyFy horror movie, well, their $200 million opening weekend will probably help them get over it.