BySean Erickson, writer at Creators.co
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

With "The Dark Knight Returns" being arguably the best known Batman vs Superman showdown in comic book history, how much influence does Frank Miller's book have on the [Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870) movie? Even the crew on the film were given DKR inspired shirts. Director Zack Snyder has said that the landmark book was an inspiration - up to a point. So what appears to have made it into the movie and what hasn't?

Cool DKR inspired shirts the BvS crew were given.
Cool DKR inspired shirts the BvS crew were given.

Even though there has yet to be even the smallest of teaser trailers for the movie, there has been a good amount of puzzle pieces that have been dropped along the way these past few months to put some things together.

A Female Robin Rises?

For starters, there are more than a few clues leading us to believe that Jena Malone will be showing up as some version of Carrie Kelley - the female Robin that was introduced in The Dark Knight Returns. In the comic she gains Batman's trust by coming to his aid at just the right moment. It may not mean that "Robin" will appear in Batman vs Superman as the plan might be to set Carrie Kelley up for the next solo Batman movie.

Jenna Malone peekaboos the tease of a new Robin.
Jenna Malone peekaboos the tease of a new Robin.

A Familiar Bat-Suit

There have also been some sightings of Batman donning the Superman armor that is utilized in Frank Miller's book. Despite the crummy quality of the sneaked Comic Con photos, the design of the armor is clearly very close to the source material.

Armored Batsuit comes with sweet headlights feature
Armored Batsuit comes with sweet headlights feature

More than Kryptonite enhanced, it's rumored that the suit will also have some superhero defeating features like shooting missiles and the like. These rumors come from Ben Affleck's person trainer, so take them as you will - but those glowing eyes in the SDCC footage do imply that the suit will have some tech behind it.

The real mystery of this super-powered showdown is why these two are fighting to begin with. While rumors abound of a zombie Zod reemerging as Doomsday and Lex Luthor being up to all kinds of unsavory anti-Superman shenanigans, little is known as to why Batman and Superman would be going mano a mano.

A Foreign Threat?

The Dark Knight Rises sets this clash in motion by having Superman divert a Russian warhead which ends up causing an electrical blackout through most of the country. In an effort to get the US back up and running, Superman becomes a government tool while Batman is able to turn Gotham into the safest city in the country (irony!). Superman is ordered to deal with this Batman situation by whatever means necessary and the two end up going at it.

Someone's got a grudge...
Someone's got a grudge...

Again, little is known about how the movie will get our two characters into fisticuffs but there have been some leaks regarding Chris Terrio’s script that could see the movie updating the The Dark Knight Returns’ Russian antagonists to the Middle East. Lois Lane is supposed to be on Daily Planet duty covering the Middle East crises and ends up, as she often does, requiring a bit of Superman assistance.

Will we see the US in a state of blackout? The official Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman images from the movie don’t exactly dispel this idea. The cityscapes behind them are looking awfully dark. And then there’s also that other bit of info that Affleck’s trainer let slip about (a shirtless) Bruce Wayne overlooking a destroyed city. The best guess about this moment though is that it is probably taken from the beginning of the film when Bruce Wayne is surveying the damage from Man of Steel.

Let's make up and form the Justice League!
Let's make up and form the Justice League!

But, when all the speculation is done, we do have Harry Lennix, who will return as General Swinwick, who recently said:

“Anybody who’s a fan of the ’86 graphic novel ‘The Dark Knight Returns.’ I think will be well pleased by it. “

As someone who falls squarely in this category, I take solace in this statement. But if I had to guess, I'd say Batman vs Superman will probably be no more than 25% Dark Knight Returns. What do you think?

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