San Diego Comic Con is in full swing and that usually means the big Superhero movie announcements are made. And with Man of Steel being a respectable hit for DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers (283 million dollars domestically according to Box Office Mojo), it’s no surprise that the sequel is expected. But a surprised happened this afternoon where at the Warner Bros. Pictures panel, Man of Steel director Zack Snyder and star Henry Cavill appeared onstage with a surprise announcement that has already sent shockwaves:
“I know there’s been a lot of speculation about what we’re doing,” Snyder said. “It is official that we’re going to make another Superman movie.” He teased that “there’s one particular part of the film I might be able to help you out with.”
Harry Lennox from “Man of Steel” joined the panel to read something. “We’re not adapting this thing,” Snyder said, “but it will help us tell you something.”
“I want you to remember, Clark, in all the years to come, in all your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat,” Lennox read, quoting Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight Returns.” “I want you to remember the one man who beat you.”
And then, on the screen, the symbol for the film appeared; a symbol that many a comic book fan has been wanting to see on film for many a year.
That’s right folks, Batman is going to be co-starring in the Man of Steel sequel.
Now, question is, how the heck is this going to work? Perhaps it will help provide character development for our young Superman, still suffering from the guilt due to his killing of General Zod as he contrasts his moral code with the more flexible one of Batman. I just hope this film doesn’t repeat Batman’s origin; we’ve already seen it in Batman, Batman Forever, Batman Begins, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, and more. This will also set up, along with an announced Flash film, the Justice League film; now pushed back to at least 2017. While one could argue that a Wonder Woman film should be there as well, it is nice to see that the DC movie universe is building upon its bedrock and is trying to keep quality over quantity.
The official press release is as follows:
On the heels of the worldwide success of “Man of Steel,” director Zack Snyder is bringing together the two greatest Super Heroes of all time—Batman and Superman—for the first time on the big screen. The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution,Warner Bros. Pictures.
The current hit, “Man of Steel,” has taken in more than $630 million at the worldwide box office to date, and climbing. Along with its star, Henry Cavill, the upcoming film brings back Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane. The new Batman has yet to be cast.
Snyder is co-writing the story with David S. Goyer, who will then pen the screenplay. Production is expected to begin in 2014, with an anticipated release date in Summer 2015.
Silverman stated, “Zack Snyder is an incredibly talented filmmaker, but beyond that, he’s a fan first and he utterly gets this genre. We could not think of anyone better suited to the task of bringing these iconic Super Heroes to the screen in his own way.” Kroll added, “We are thrilled to be back in business with Zack and his team on this next movie. The success of ‘Man of Steel’ is a wonderful testament to the love and support that both fans and new audiences, worldwide, have for these characters. We are very excited to see what Zack has in store for all of us.”
Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment, noted,“Superman and Batman together on the big screen is a dream come true for DC fans everywhere. All of us at DCEntertainment could not be more excited for Zack’s continuing vision for the DC Universe.”
Zack Snyder, who made a surprise appearance at Comic-Con today, breaking the news to audiences there, later said, “I’m so excited to begin working again with Henry Cavill in the world we created, and I can’t wait to expand the DC Universe in this next chapter. Let’s face it, it’s beyond mythological to have Superman and our new Batman facing off, since they are the greatest Super Heroes in the world.”
The new film brings back Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder as producers. This time, Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are serving as executive producers, along with Benjamin Melniker and Michael E. Uslan.
Thomas offered, “Whilst our ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy is complete, we have every confidence that Zack’s fresh interpretation will take the character in a new and exciting direction. His vision for Superman opened the door to a whole new universe and we can’t wait to see what Zack does with these characters.”
The film is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, and Batman characters created by Bob Kane, published by DC Entertainment.
Now, for people my age and around there has already been, in a way, a Superman/Batman movie. In October of 1997, Superman: The Animated Series finally crossed over with its older sibling Batman: The Animated Series in a three part story called “World’s Finest”. This was later combined into The Superman/Batman Movie. Series regulars Tim Daly as Superman, Dana Delaney as Lois Lane and Clancey Brown as Lex Luthor were joined by Kevin Conroy as Batman, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. as Alfred Pennyworth, Mark Hamill as the Joker, and Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn. The story is that Joker offers his services to Lex to kill the Man of Steel with a kryptonite statue for one billion dollars. This brings Batman into the picture, as Bruce Wayne has a business deal with Luthor. The two heroes cross paths, and needless to say they don’t get along. Things get even more heated when the regular love triangle of Clark, Lois and Superman becomes a pentagon with the additions of Bruce and Batman. This has become a fan favorite and a perfect example of how this could work.
Superman and Batman first joined forces in Superman #76, in June of 1952; an event both referenced and satirized in the now classic Superman/Batman Annual #1 in the spring of 2006. This is a dream team up for any creative team looking to make its stamp on the mythos. Let’s hope Snyder and Co., and whoever dons the cowl, is up for the task. In the meanwhile, fans everywhere await this film, with smiles plastered on their faces.