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While Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is only the second movie in the build toward a DC cinematic universe, the movie will be introducing many of the key characters that will make up this new world. This puts a lot of pressure on director Zack Snyder. Not only does he have the responsibility to balance all of these new major characters, but he needs to build a world where they can all coexist in the span of a single film.
Speaking with 411Mania, Snyder admits that building that world is a major part of his focus as he puts the new movie together.
We’re working toward Justice League, and I really want to create the — part of the thing I really want to create is the possibility of a world where they could exist together. I think up to this point, it’s been difficult to suggest a world where Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman and others could exist in the same universe. That was one of the things I really wanted to try and get at.
It seems simple enough. The DC superheros have all existed within the same world in comic books for decades but movies have always kept the characters separate. While Superman and Batman have been explored on film numerous times on their own, they’ve never been together, and Wonder Woman has never seen the silver screen before. Each character also has their own strengths and it could be difficult to focus on each in a way that accommodates the others well. Even in a fantastic tale, there can be elements that don’t fit if the story is not structured to include them. If somebody cast a magic spell in the middle of a Star Trek movie, it just wouldn’t work.
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is a perfect example. His Batman was specifically created to be a more realistic character. There is no hint that superpowers or magic exist in the world. Even the aspects of the story, like the existence of Ra’s al Ghul, are explained in realistic terms as opposed to the magic of his comic book origin. This makes Batman a more relatable character to the audience, but it precludes a world where Superman or Wonder Woman could exist.
In many ways Batman, due to his lack of power, is still the more relatable of DC’s heroes, but how do you keep him that way on screen alongside a superpowered space alien and a warrior from Greek mythology? Even Marvel has avoided messing with myth on screen as Thor is more alien than god.
While the Justice League movie is still some time off, Dawn of Justice is a vital test case. If they can’t make these characters believable together, then people may not be bothered when the team gets even larger. One way or another, we’ll see them all come together when Batman v. Superman hits theaters next March.