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With Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice preparing to ask the world whether Superman's actions at the end of Man Of Steel were reckless or justified, the world of DC's superheroes is about to be developed full steam ahead. While Zack Snyder's next entry into the canon is set to be released next March, the creative team is already working hard on the look of future franchises in the DC Comics line. We know this, because word is coming from those involved in the process that Justice League is not only the start of the world's finest hero team, it's also the beginning of the Batman franchise's visual language.
In Empire's Batman v. Superman Dawn Of Justice issue, there's a particularly revealing interview with production designer Patrick Tatopoulos, who revealed:
With The Justice League coming, it influences my designs of the Batcave, the Batmobile, the Batwing. We are creating a world for Batman – every set, every prop, is real. We have to be ready for what’s next.
While this isn't an official confirmation that Patrick Tatopoulos is going to be working on Justice League (or even Ben Affleck's solo Batman film for that matter), it does show how important Zack Snyder's second film in the DC continuum is going to be to the foundation of the rest of the universe. Being a veteran of such classics as Independence Day and Dark City, Tatopoulos is known for having quite the eye when it comes to designing a visually thrilling world for the cinema. And his efforts on Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice are looking to reverberate throughout the Caped Crusader's future appearances in the DC films. Much like the thematic elements that Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice will be laying down, the visual style of the entire DC universe will originate with the decisions made on this film. While this might be par for the course over at Marvel, this is something that is completely new for DC, considering that they're just getting around to the shared universe model of thought. Looking at the designs we've seen come out of next year's would-be blockbuster, it's hard not to approve of Patrick Tatopoulos' style being preserved throughout the world of Batman.
Though all of this about visual continuity does bring up an interesting question that feeds into the other half of Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice's equation. That question being how much influence will Tatopoulos retain from previous production designer Alex McDowell's pre-existing work on Man Of Steel? After all, we haven't seen too much of Clark Kent/Superman's world in the trailers we've been shown, which stands to question whether showing Batman first was planned, so that fans could get used to the new visual stylings the rest of the film would be adapting its look to.
We'll find out soon enough, as Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice will make itself known to the world on March 25th, 2016.