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2016 has six superhero movies sprinkled throughout, but the two biggest ones are without a doubt DC’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War. The former opened last month and laid a lot of groundwork for the rest of the DC Extended Universe, while the latter comes out next month and will see the MCU heroes dealing with legislation regulating enhanced beings. There’s a lot of back and forth online about which movie is going to “beat” the other, but in a welcome moment away from the rivalry, it turns out that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice helped Marvel realize that making Captain America: Civil War was the right decision.
While going over how audience viewing tastes, especially towards superhero movie have changed, Captain America: Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo told The Hollywood Reporter that after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was announced, it pushed the studio to realizing the third Captain America installment’s story needed to become a reality. They said:
Our pitch to them was: People will tell you they love chocolate ice cream — until you give it to them five days a week. It’s time to give them some rainbow sherbert. [Kevin Feige] said he thought we might be right. And after they announced Batman v. Superman, he said, ‘you guys are absolutely right.’ We needed to do something challenging with the material or we were going to start to lose the audience.
The then-unnamed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was first announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2013, but it wasn’t until May of 2014 that the movie was officially titled. By that point, the Russos has already signed on to direct the third Captain America movie, but it sounds like they were already eager to make sure that this movie stood out from the rest of the pack. From what we’ve seen in previews and TV spots, it’s clear that the events of the movie are going to throw the superhero status quo in the MCU on its side.
As for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it not only paired two of the most iconic superheroes of all time together for the first time in live action, it paved the way for every other DCEU movie coming in the near future. Also keep in mind that had Marvel not had success with their cinematic universe, DC might have been more hesitant with kicking their own off. So it’s a nice tradeoff between the two rivals.
Whether you’re more of a Marvel or DC fan, it’s cool to hear that one company inadvertently helped the other make a better product. After all, we live in a great age of superhero movies. The fact that they’re getting made means that anyone who loves the comics or just enjoys good, popcorn-chomping blockbuster fun wins.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is still showing in theaters, while Captain America: Civil War will finally arrive on May 6.