Let’s All Make Wild, Baseless Speculations About Superman/Batman
I’m currently wearing two hats. One is my moody, grey, cynical hat and on top of that my more colourful, cautiously optimistic hat. The truth is I’m fascinated by this Superman Batman crossover announcement. It’s huge. Officially announcing a film this big before even giving it a title has to be a first right?
At the moment all we know is that it is officially a Man of Steel sequel, that it will not follow Nolan’s continuity and it will borrow from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.
There are strong implications that the film will have the duo at odds with each other*, while no doubt coming together at the end to fight a common foe, but what will that story be?
That’s the biggest reservation. Is there a place for Batman in a sequel to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel? At the end of the first film, Metropolis lies in ruins and Kal -El has just destroyed a government drone. He tells General Swanwick that he’s American but he’s not to be spied on. There is a huge amount of fallout to be addressed in the sequel. Does the public hold Superman at least partly accountable for the destruction in Metropolis? How has the fight with Zod affected him? What is the government’s relationship with him? What of Lois knowing his identity? They are questions to be answered, so will the inclusion of the Batman just dilute this?
And what of this new Batman? I would imagine they’ll dispense with the origin and present an already active Caped Crusader but this is a brand new continuity. It doesn’t matter how well we know the character he still needs to be formally introduced. With Nolan’s trilogy finished this is essentially a brand new character. Is there time in this sequel to reestablish him?
And if they are at odds with each other then which one is the “villain”? They haven’t established any friendship or rivalry so where will the conflict come from. They will have no relationship at all so perhaps a third party will manipulate them? Maybe Lex Luthor?
I don’t know, we’ll see. Personally I think a character like Batman deserves his own film to reestablish him in this very different shared universe. Snyder and co. will have to work hard to create a Bruce Wayne that fits into a world with Aliens and ‘World Engines’ and I imagine he will be quite different to the The Dark Knight from The Dark Knight.
My cynical hat would say that there is an element of damage control about this. Warner Bros. have tried and failed to get The Justice League off the ground so they’re throwing us the next best thing. Logically, perhaps the better course would have been to release a Superman film and a Batman film and then give us the team up. They’ve been sat on these characters for years and suddenly they are impatient? For a film that doesn’t have a title yet, the 2015 release date seems awful close.
*Harry Lennix reading the “hands around your throat” speech all but confirms it.