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This past weekend, a rumor spread across the internet saying that the villain known as Doomsday would accompany Lex Luthor as one of the antagonists in Zack Snyder’s upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While Luthor represents the film’s cerebral threat (though it’s possible he may be getting his hands dirty), Doomsday is said to be the film’s muscle, and while we don’t exactly how he gets involved, it’s a good bet that if he’s in the movie he’ll be facing off against Superman. Of course, comic books fans know that Doomsday’s claim to fame is actually killing Superman in the comics. As is the nature of superhero stories, Clark Kent was eventually revived, but it does bring up a good question: will art imitate… well, another piece of art and have Superman meet his demise in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice?
In the film, Superman not only has Lex Luthor to contend with, but also Gotham City’s Dark Knight during their brief rough patch, so if Doomsday really is part of the story, a showdown with him likely wouldn’t occur until the climax. When these two first battled each other in the comics, the intense brawl broke out through Metropolis and ended with Doomsday beating Superman to death - though the rocky monstrosity didn’t fare much better following its conclusion. While their cinematic battle may hit some of the same beats as it did in the original story, since this is a movie, that doesn’t mean it will have the same deadly outcome. After all, this is at least half of Superman’s movie, and since the DC Cinematic Universe isn’t remotely close to reaching their Empire Strikes Back period, the odds are more in favor of Superman triumphing. But that doesn’t mean it won’t come without cost.
More important to answering this particular question is looking at Henry Cavill’s future in the growing DCCU. When Cavill originally was chosen to play Superman, he signed a three-picture deal. Two of those original projects have been filled by Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and it was reported last year that he would also appear in Justice League Part One. While Warner Bros’ plans could have changed since then, having a Justice League film without Superman would be an odd choice, since he is typically one of the founding members. So for the sake of argument, let’s assume that the 2017 team-up film will be Cavill’s third round as the Kryptonian. That means he's going to have a starring role, and it wouldn’t make much sense to kill of one of this universe’s lead protagonists when he’s just going to be appearing a year later. Heck, even if they decided to keep him out of Justice League Part One, Part Two follows only two years later, so he could reappear during the team’s second adventure.
Realistically, the chances of Superman dying in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are reasonably slim, whether it be at Doomsday’s hands or even Lex Luthor’s. Superman is a pop culture icon, and with the DCCU just getting started, it would be an odd move to kill him in only the second story in the new continuity. His series of films may not earn as much as Batman’s, but he still draws in the big bucks. If death is in the cards, it’s extremely unlikely that it would be permanent. If anything, it would be one of those situations where he’s only dead temporarily, and he’ll either be revived at the end of the film or, in a peculiar twist, during Justice League Part One. Plus, with more solo Superman movies on the way, it’s really way too soon to adapt a true "Death of Superman"-type story. The DCCU is already catching flak some comic book aficionados introducing these heroes too quickly, so killing Superman after only his second adventure in this world (whether it’s temporary or permanent) would probably drive some of these fans mad with rage.
Assuming Doomsday really is in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we should definitely expect a pulse-pounding fight between him and Superman. Who knows: maybe even Batman and Wonder Woman will join the fray. As for the Man of Steel, barring a moment where his heart briefly stops (like what happened to Tony Stark in The Avengers), don’t get too concerned about him moving on to the great beyond. The DCCU is still in its infancy, and there is plenty more for Superman to do early in his superhero career. Killing him now would frankly be a waste.