A Very Different Batman V Superman Almost Happened, Here's What We Know

While Superman got a decade-long head start on Batman in the movies, the two characters have now been featured in countless films. It seems that Warner Brothers really only has two states of being: when they’re making Batman or Superman movies; or when they’re trying to make Batman or Superman movies. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that there have been attempts to put the two characters on screen together before. It very nearly happened over a decade ago, but it would have been a very different movie.

Today Yahoo has a great summary of the last movie project that had the title Batman Vs Superman. In the early 2000’s, when both superhero franchises were stalled and WB was trying to figure out what to do with them, Se7en writer Andrew Kevin Walker came to them with an idea. It would essentially be a reboot for both franchises that would start with a single film. While these would be new versions of the characters for the screen, the characters themselves would both be older versions of themselves. They’d been doing the hero thing for many years, Bruce Wayne is actually retired from being Batman. The two characters are already good friends but have something of a falling out when Bruce’s new wife dies at the hands of a terrorist that Superman let get away. There was a fair amount of interest from the studio and Wolfgang Petersen, of Air Force One and The Perfect Storm, was brought on as director and the film was given a 2004 release date.

In the end, Batman Vs Superman would not move forward. There was a competing Superman script, penned by J.J. Abrams, which the head of Warner Brothers wanted to do instead of the Andrew Kevin Walker story. Eventually, both scripts were given to 10 different WB executives, and they voted to go with Abrams solo Superman idea. Ironically, it would never be made either. That idea was eventually redeveloped into the movie that would become Superman Returns.

If you’ve been following movie news for decades like we have, this information is probably bringing back memories that you’d completely forgotten about. The J.J. Abrams Superman script was a drastic reimagining of Superman’s origin (Spoiler: Krypton doesn’t explode) that is one of the earliest examples of internet fan rage I can recall.

While it’s taken an additional decade, we finally have Batman and Superman on the screen together. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is now in theaters. Would you have preferred to have seen the Andrew Kevin Walker version 10 years ago, or the J.J. Abrams Superman script? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.