The expectation is that the upcoming 2014 San Diego Comic-Con will bring with it some big news about the Warner Bros./DC film universe, not least of all concerning the next confirmed movie, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. In the meantime, the first image has been released from director Zack Snyder’s project, showing Superman (Henry Cavill) standing in the rain – with what appears to be Gotham City (“played” by Detroit) in the background.
A newly-published USA Today article, which includes the Superman pic, says that Batman V Superman takes Cavill’s Kal-El to “new environments” such as the urban jungle that is Gotham. It’s been well-documented that Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” comic book story is a guiding force for Snyder’s new film, so it stands to reason that Miller’s vision of Gotham – a more distinctly modern cesspool of crime unlike the “timeless” version featured in the upcoming Gotham TV series - will likewise be reflected in Snyder’s cinematic portrayal of Batman’s home turf.
Snyder told USA Today that he “was in no rush to put Batman in the movie,” so soon after the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s revered Dark Knight film trilogy. However, as Snyder has said before, he felt that pitting the Caped Crusader against Superman would be a natural progression of the story that he began in Man of Steel, while also giving Snyder the opportunity to adapt “Dark Knight Returns” (featuring an older Batman who comes out of retirement) as he’d long intended to do one day. As the filmmaker put it, “It’s cooler to see a crusty old Batman beating the snot out of guys.”
Get a sneak peek at Cavill as Superman in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, below
Just for comparison, here’s a mashup of the Batman V Superman and Man of Steel costumes
What do you think of Henry Cavill's 'Batman V Superman' Costume?
That’s not to say that Affleck’s Batman is strictly the enemy to Cavill’s Superman’s in Dawn of Justice either, as Snyder told USA Today that the reason it’s “V” and not “Vs.” in the film’s title is “to keep it from being a straight ‘versus’ movie, even in the most subtle way.” It makes sense enough, seeing how Batman and Superman are both crime-fighters, yet are generally polar opposites in their ideals and worldview. That’s allowed for previous Batman/Superman stories (in comic book and/or animated form) to really examine and deconstruct their dual philosophies – something that Dawn of Justice is likewise aiming to do.
Of course, it’s no secret at this point that Dawn of Justice will introduce other Justice League members – who, similar to Batman, will challenge Superman’s outlook and (according to USA Today) “Snyer feels his [Superman's] convictions will be drawn into question as well.” Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is technically the only additional superhero confirmed thus far, though at this point it’s all but official that Ray Fisher will make his debut as Victor Stone/Cyborg - while Jason Momoa also looks to be all ready to portray Aquaman in the film.
Still, while many have joked that Batman V Superman ought to just be called Justice League, it sound as though this film is still a Batman/Superman movie above all else – as Snyder has admitted to having not even shot any scenes with Gadot in costume as Wonder Woman yet (Gadot has filmed scenes as Diana in “civilian” mode, though). Hopefully, the inclusion of other superheroes will only enhance the self-contained narrative in Dawn of Justice, rather than come off as extraneous shared universe building.
That shall ultimately depend on how well the Dawn of Justice screenplay manages to juggle all these characters, while exploring a story that also includes Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). On that front, however, there’s good reason to remain confident about the final product, as the original script draft by David S. Goyer – drawn from a story he co-created with Snyder – has since been revised by Oscar-winner Chris Terrio (Argo). If nothing else, this will certainly be one superhero movie to remember.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters on May 6th, 2016.
Source: USA Today