When it was announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 that Batman and Superman would finally appear together in a live-action film, nearly all of collective geekdom went insane with glee. Two years later and less than a year from release, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has become more than just a shared adventure between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, as it’s also kicking off the grander DCCU by introducing other heroes like Wonder Woman and Aquaman. What you may not know is that this whole game-changing DC Comics project started as a simple joke from the director.
Originally just meant to be an Easter Egg for Man of Steel, Zack Snyder told EW about the first time he pitched the idea to fellow franchise "co-captains" Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. According to Snyder:
I said, ‘What about at the end of the movie we do a scene where there’s a crate full of kryptonite delivered to Wayne Manor.’ Everyone was like…‘Okaay.’ Once you say it out loud, it’s a problem, because you can’t unsay it."
Well, Mr. Snyder, you learned your lesson the hard way: don’t tease Batman and Superman eventually appearing together unless you really plan on implementing it. It’s worth noting that Man of Steel did have a small reference to Bruce Wayne during Kal-El and Zod’s climactic battle. When the Kryptonians take their fight to space, they crash into a satellite, and if you don’t blink, you can spot the Wayne Enterprises logo. Needless to say, dropping a crate full of Kryptonite in front of Wayne Manor would have trumped the satellite Easter Egg, but I think many of us can say we’re happy things led to them finally being seen together on the big screen.
This particular version of a live-action Batman/Superman may have started in jest, but it isn’t the first time Warner Bros has tried to pair Batman and Superman on the big screen. In 2002, A Beautiful Mind scribe Akiva Goldsman was brought in to rewrite the Batman Vs. Superman script originally pitched by Andrew Kevin Walker. Unlike Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, this film had the two heroes’ relationship already established, and their fight stemmed from Clark Kent trying to stop Bruce from seeking vengeance for his slain wife. Obviously this film never made it to our theaters, but there’s a subtle reference to it in I Am Legend, another movie Goldsman wrote, through a billboard featuring Superman shield within the Batman symbol, like the image above.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will hit theaters on March 25, 2016.