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The idea of a Batman/Superman movie has been around so long that it was even made into an Easter Egg gag in the Will Smith action movie I Am Legend - the film jokingly dated for release only after the Earth had been devastated by an apocalyptic plague. Fortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll have to wait for the end of the world to finally see the movie, as Zack Snyder will be delivering Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016.
The project was first announced all the way back in summer 2013 at San Diego Comic Con, and in the time since then we’ve seen a seemingly endless stream of news, rumors, and even some footage pop up online. The good news is that we’ve been closely following all of it, and have collected all of the need-to-know info in this handy guide. How will Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice be affected by its predecessor, Man of Steel? When is the movie coming out in theaters? Who is directing? Who will star? Find all of the answers to those questions and more below, but first let's watch the latest trailer!
So what's really going on in the film? Read on to find out everything there is to know about Batman v Superman.
The StoryWarner Bros. released an official plot synopsis for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and watching the footage we’ve seen so far, one can at least kind of pick up on what this movie is putting down. It seems that the world of the growing DC Cinematic Universe has labeled Superman (Henry Cavill) a controversial figure after the events seen in Man of Steel, and while there are many in the world who see him as a superhero, there are many others who view him as an extreme threat. Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman (Ben Affleck) falls into the latter category, having been at ground zero during Supes’ big climactic battle with General Zod and lost people during the catastrophe. As a result, he uses his incredible resources to do what he can to try and stop the perceived alien menace.
Zack Snyder & David GoyerGiven that Man of Steel made more than $660 million worldwide, there was very little chance that director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David Goyer wouldn’t return for the sequel, and that assumption was proven true when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was announced at Comic-Con 2013 with Snyder directing and working with Goyer to develop the story. While Goyer wrote the original drafts of the screenplay, eventually Academy Award winning Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio picked up the pen. Production wrapped up in 2014, and the finished product is scheduled hit theaters on March 26, 2016. (Much earlier than we originally thought.) What's more, Snyder is also now officially attached to direct the upcoming Justice League movie, into which it’s expected Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will directly lead.
SupermanFollowing in the footsteps of Marvel Studios and starting to build a larger cinematic universe, Warner Bros. is making Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice both to introduce a new take on the Caped Crusader and to build on what has already been established with the Man of Tomorrow. As mentioned, Henry Cavill will be returning to play Clark Kent/Superman, and is expected that his arc will find him continuing to learn how to live up to his destiny, while also trying to find his place on Earth. The hero will definitely have to deal with the fact that Man of Steel had him not only killing his enemy, General Zod, but also leveling half of Metropolis in the battle beforehand. Going by the footage we’ve seen, it doesn’t look like he’s extremely uncomfortable with either his deification or the incredible amount of hate for him swelling in society – though it does seem like he has some kind of grudge against the "bat vigilante."
BatmanIt only took about a month after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was announced for Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. to find the actor they wanted to play the Dark Knight - and the name they officially landed on was Ben Affleck. As had been assumed beforehand, the casting confirmed that the new version of the Caped Crusader would be a veteran hero, and he has been described as "tired and weary and seasoned." The look of the new Batsuit looks like it was ripped right off the pages of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns (a strong influence on all of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), and it would seem that the character’s attitude matches the aesthetic. It’s been rumored that this version of Batman has actually already gotten rid of crime in Gotham City and has basically taken the place over, but there is no evidence to currently support that claim. What we do know is that he was deeply affected by Superman’s actions in Metropolis, and has a desire for revenge.
The BatmobileDirectors Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher brought us Batmobiles full of flash and style, and Christopher Nolan made one that was essentially a tank, but for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, director Zack Snyder has found a design that basically splits the difference between those two styles. Pictured above is the brand new model, which was released after months of teasing. Some have objected to the presence of a giant gun turret on the front, given Batman’s rules against killing and general unwillingness to handle firearms, but we don’t currently know if it carries a lethal payload. Regardless, we can’t wait to see this thing tearing through the streets of Gotham and, perhaps, Metropolis. We've recently learned some of the specs of the new Batmobile, and it is an impressive ride to be sure. It’s fully armored, equipped with anti-ballistics devices, is stealth capable, and weighs a whopping 7000 pounds. Oh yeah, it also has a top speed of 205 mph.
Wonder WomanDespite what the title of the movie may suggest, Batman and Superman won’t be the only legendary DC Comics superheroes that wind up being in this Man of Steel sequel. Gadot, who screen-tested for the part "in November 2013, has been cast as Princess Diana of Themyscira. The actress reportedly beat out both Olga Kurylenko, Elodie Yung for the part. It’s currently unclear how she will fit into the film. Word is that Gadot is contracted to appear in three movies for Warner Bros. The first is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the second is a Justice League movie, and the third is a Wonder Woman solo film.
Producer Charles Roven has confirmed that Wonder Woman is a demi-god, that she's a "goddess," and her father is Zeus. So that clears up some of the speculation regarding where she comes from in Snyder's film. In addition to being the daughter of Zeus, we’ve also learned that she will be hundreds of years old by the time the action of Batman v Superman begins.
RobinFans haven't necessarily been clamoring to see The Boy Wonder on screen - but ever since director Christopher Nolan sidestepped Batman's sidekick in his Bat-trilogy, we've been curious as to whether Robin ever would show up on screen again. There have been rumors suggesting that that Sucker Punch alum Jena Malone, who visited Snyder's Michigan set, now sports the red hairdo of one Carrie Kelley, the version of Robin from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns - but that has not yet been confirmed. What we do know is that this version of Batman has at least had a Robin before. Featured in the San Diego Comic-Con 2015 trailer is the costume of the famous sidekick, which is spray-painted with what appears to be an ominous message from Jared Leto’s Joker.
AquamanMuch like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Flash, Aquaman was a founding member of the Justice League when the team was first introduced in 1960, and DC and Warner Bros. seem to be continuing that legacy by having the aquatic hero be a part of the first live-action feature version of the group. We first started hearing whispers about a big screen version of Aquaman during summer 2014 when it was reported that Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa had landed the role and would be making a cameo appearance in Batman v Superman. The actor spent months deflecting questions about it, but the role was finally confirmed in October 2014. It’s unclear what his part in Zack Snyder’s next film will be, but he will appear in the badass costume that you see above. Not only do we know that the King of Atlantis will be getting his own movie, in addition to this one and the Justice League films, Furious 7 director James Wan has landed the job directing his impending solo adventure.
CyborgSet to be played by stage actor Ray Fisher, Victor Stone a.k.a. Cyborg is yet another DC Comics hero who will be making his live-action debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While we can’t be certain about his exact role in the movie, or even within the larger cinematic universe being built, one can predict that the character will be adapted from the recent New 52 line of comics that saw the character transform from being a star high school football player into a half-machine superhero following an explosion at his father’s lab. Cyborg’s role is expected to be rather small in the Man of Steel sequel, but he will likely be a big part of Justice League and has his own solo movie coming in 2020.
The FlashWhen Warner Bros. announced their DC Cinematic Universe slate through 2020 back in fall 2014, it came with the reveal that the studio had hired Ezra Miller to play the big screen version of Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash – with the character getting his own solo movie in 2018. However, what role The Flash may play in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice remains a mystery. It has been 100 percent confirmed that Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg will be in the Zack Snyder movie, but it has not yet been said if we can expect to see any of the Scarlet Speedster in action. At the latest the character will be making his big screen live-action debut in his own 2018 solo movie- which it appears will be directed by Seth Grahame-Smith.
Lex LuthorBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice obviously has tremendous deal of hero power working in its favor, but you didn’t really think it would be leaving out the supervillains, did you? Enter Lex Luthor. Warner Bros. has confirmed that the bald-headed master criminal will be in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and what’s more he will be played by none other than Social Network star Jesse Eisenberg. This is the first time on the big screen that we have seen Superman and Lex portrayed as the same age, so this should definitely make for an interesting match-up. We don’t quite know what to expect in terms of how this adaptation will be similar or different from the many different incarnations of the character we've seen over the years (Eisenberg apparently isn’t reading the comics to prepare for his role), but some set photos have suggested that he will be a rich, sociopathic maniac who plays with people’s minds just for fun. In the footage we’ve seen he certainly comes across as a serious manipulator, as there’s some suggestion that he has both a senator and Superman wrapped around his finger. It should be a fascinating performance.
Lois LaneYou didn’t really think that the follow-up to Man of Steel would only be bringing back Superman, did you? In the studio press release that was sent around first announcing the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at San Diego Comic-Con 2013, it was confirmed that the 2016 title will also feature the return of Amy Adams as Lois Lane, the smart, witty reporter who both met and fell in love with Clark Kent/Superman in the last movie. The new film will further explore the relationship between Clark and Lois, and the footage has shown us that she is standing by the Kryptonian even as the public debates whether or not he should be allowed to exist.
Alfred PennyworthWith the end of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movies comes the need to recast all of the important side characters in the Bat-centric sphere of the DC Universe, and while we’re still waiting to hear if the DC Cinematic Universe will have a new version of Commissioner Gordon, at the very least we know who will be playing Batman’s ever-loyal butler and guardian, Alfred Pennyworth. Announced the same day as Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons boarded Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to pall around with Ben Affleck in the Batcave. We can’t say at this point how this new incarnation will differ from the previous big screen versions played by Michael Gough and Michael Caine, but the trailers have suggested that he’s not big on the idea of Batman confronting Superman.
DoomsdayDawn of Justice is already a movie that is full of familiar DC heroes and villains, but the rumor is that one more evil doer may be at this particular party: Doomsday. While Lex Luthor will reportedly serves as the brains, rumors making the rounds state that Doomsday, who you may remember killed Superman in the comics back in the 1990s, will apparently serve as the muscle. The creation of an alien scientist, designed as the perfect weapon, Doomsday is certainly a physical force to be reckoned with, and with the official synopsis mentioning a new threat that puts all of humanity in the crosshairs, he certainly fits that bill. It’s also possible that this fresh danger could lead to Batman and Superman setting aside their differences in order to serve the greater good. As vicious as their clash will be, it seems unlikely that either will ultimately be killed off, and this is one workaround. We don't know for sure that he's involved, but it is looking more and more likely.
The BatwingBruce Wayne has nearly unlimited access to money and consequently has all of those badass crime fighting toys we’ve always been jealous of. So of course the Batmobile isn’t going to be his only means of transportation. We caught a quick glimpse of the Batwing in the first Dawn of Justice trailer, and some concept art showed off an even better picture. Given that Superman can fly, it stands to reason that Bats is going to need a vehicle that will allow him to follow the Kryptonian should he decide to take to the skies. We’ve seen the armaments in action, thanks to previewed footage, but you have to assume this will also be a fast, well-armored, maneuverable craft in order to contend with Kal-El’s abilities. And just to be on the safe side, should Superman get his hands on the Batwing, Bruce has probably installed some powerful defenses, or at least a couple of backdoor escape hatches.