DC is no stranger to having blockbuster films based on their Comic book Superheroes. In 1978 Superman: The Movie was hugely successful and made Christopher Reeves a household name. The followup sequel was equally as successful, making Superman the "Grandfather" of the modern Superhero movies of today. Only fitting, since Superman was the first Superhero EVER, that he should herald the dawn of the Superhero movie genre.
After a couple of lousy Superman sequels (III and IV were just dreadful), the era of Superhero movies seemed to be over. That is, until Tim Burton released Batman in 1989. The dark and Gothic take on everyone's favorite Dark Knight was an instant hit with fans - making Tim Burton effectively the "Father" of the modern Superhero movies.
Batman Returns in 1992 was another great film, but Warner Bros. was getting tired of all the Gothic Gloom associated with Burton's films. They turned to Joel Shumacher in 1995 for Batman Forever, starring Val Kilmer as the Caped Crusader in a neon soaked Gotham City. Of course 1997's Batman & Robin was the franchise breaker that almost ended the Superhero genre altogether.
While Fox Studios was beginning their X-Men franchise just a few years later in 2000, Warner Bros. didn't make another Superhero movie until Nolan's 2005 release of Batman Begins. This made Nolan the "Godfather" of the modern Superhero genre. His dark, gritty, and realistic take on The Dark Knight is something that studios have been emulating ever since. While the trilogy of films he directed were some of DC/Warner's biggest ever, they had failed to do what an upstart Marvel Studios had begun in 2008: Build a Universe.
Warner and DC were set to change that in 2013 with the release of Man of Steel - which is effectively the beginning of DC's Cinematic Shared Universe. The film did very well in the box office and set the stage for the upcoming[Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870), in 2016.
Starring Henry Cavill reprising his role as Superman, and Ben Affleck donning the cowl of Batman in this new take on the Dark Knight/Caped Crusader. This take on Batman will be an older, far more experienced version than in any previous Batman films that portrayed either the beginning of Batman's career or a few years into his career. Now, it will be 17 years into the career of Batman when he meets Superman and just before the formation of the highly anticipated Justice League franchise of films.
Warner/DC is releasing this film just a few months before the equally anticipated [Captain America: Civil War](movie:994409) which will co-star Robert Downey Jr. as Iron-Man/Tony Stark. Will DC's film suffer as a result of this scheduling, or will there be enough love for both franchises to go around? I suppose we will have to wait and see.