Batman and Superman are teaming up in 2015, according to The Hollywood Reporterand The Los Angeles Times. The movie will mark the first on-screen pairing for the duo, who have both opposed and worked together in comic books. The Superman/Batman Movie should put to rest rumors of a near-term Justice League of America movie, the timeline of which seemed aggressive by any estimate.
The movie will be seen as a follow-up to Man of Steel with Henry Cavill expected to return as Superman and Zack Snyder as director. David S. Goyer is also expected to return for writing duties, and it’s possible Christopher Nolan will remain as producer.
Christian Bale, who has previously stated he has hung up the cape, is not expected to return.
So is a Superman/Batman movie a good idea?
Probably. Here are five reasons:
5. Erases the Bad Taste of Man of Steel
While the movie had its shares of flaws, I thoroughly enjoyed Man of Steel (read my Man of Steel movie review here) and honestly do not understand the hate some viewers have unleashed upon the reboot. Disappointment? Sure. Hate? I don’t get it.
But that doesn’t matter now. By bringing together DC Comics’ two most popular superheroes, Warner Bros. has reignited any lost excitement among comic book fans – who have been clamoring for a Superman/Batman movie for years – and will give non-fan moviegoers a new reason to see a Man of Steel “sequel” even if they weren’t crazy about the first one.
4. Expand the Superman Fan Base
Superman has always been a troublesome character for the big screen, at least ever since Christopher Reeves’ Superman II. There are plenty of articles that discuss how the character’s invincibility and perfection make it difficult for audiences to relate to him compared to the likes of a brooding, realistic Batman, an alcoholic and eccentric Iron Man, an every-kid Spider-Man, etc. I actually thought Man of Steel did a good job of making him more accessible, but still, there was a segment of the moviegoing public that just was never going to pay to go see Superman.
But those people may have gotten on board the Batman train during The Dark Knight trilogy, and most will likely turn out for a Superman/Batman movie. Warner Bros. is, through Batman, going to introduce Superman to those holdouts.
3. Reboot Batman without the Back Story
Ever since The Dark Knight Rises came to a close, it’s been pretty obvious that Warner Bros. has wanted to reboot Batman in a world where the Justice League of America could exist. The main problem with a reboot: no one really wants or needs to see another origin story. Even the Taliban know that Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered and that the millionaire grows up to become the caped crusader, and since everyone and their mother has seen Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, do we really need to go back to square one?
A Superman/Batman movie can essentially introduce Batman into this new world without having to build the character from scratch; people will just accept that Batman was around before Superman showed up on the screen. While I am still hoping for independent Batman movies that maintain the same dark, gritty and “realistic” look and feel that Christopher Nolan established, this movie will serve as a good compromise.
2. Soft Launch for Justice League
Disney/Marvel has already established an outline for how to successfully introduce multiple franchises and then bring them together; Warner Bros. wants to do the same thing, but on a more aggressive timetable. The rumors that a Justice League movie was to be released in just a few years were concerning, however. Thankfully, with a Superman/Batman movie, the studio is able to get things rolling without jumping the gun.
Warner Bros. still wants to make a Justice League movie, and the latest reports indicate that movie will be released in 2017 (with The Flash coming in 2016). The Superman/Batman movie gives that big movie more time to stew, and also devotes an entire story arc to establishing how Batman and Superman can exist in the same world, and interact.
1. Justice League Dollars, Without the Justice League
One has to imagine that for years Warner Bros. executives, even with The Dark Knighttrilogy raking in money and now with Man of Steel doing reasonably well ($600+ million worldwide), have watched with envy as Marvel has built a film empire. With The Avengers(which will also be released in 2015) making so much money, Warner Bros. wants its own shot at crossover dollars.
The problem: they have yet to launch successful franchises for The Flash, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, among others.
But by combining DC Comics’ two most lucrative and recognizable properties, they can obtain the same box office returns as The Avengers – in advance of a full Justice Leaguemovie. Presumably, profits could be even greater as Warner Bros. will have to pay less and to a smaller cast.
So, what do you think?