Is it possible that the upcoming Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice film is setting up a future stand-alone Dark Knight Returns movie??
There are several reasons why this is a (welcome) possibility. (Possible Spoilers)
1. Jason Todd may turn out to already be dead.
It was rumored that an important character involved in the history of Batman's character will turn out to already have died by the start of the film. I'm guessing this will turn out to be Jason Todd, Batman's second Robin (Gordon will not be dead). This would allow for Jared Leto's Joker to be locked up in the [Suicide Squad](movie:2283363) movie. In The Dark Knight Returns, Batman is constantly dealing with the loss of his sidekick at the hands of his arch nemesis. (Unrelated: Fingers crossed for Nightwing movie)
2. The movie is heavily influenced by Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.
We all know this already, from the Jena Malone as Robin rumors, to the reading of the material directly at comic-con. Zack Snyder can be noted as saying he's not adapting the material directly, but it will be the basis for Batman vs Superman. It will be the "history" for the film. This is probably because the superman that Cavill portrays is nowhere near the government stooge that exists within Frank Miller's graphic novel.
Here is where I delve into speculation (hopeful speculation)
3. Hopefully, Ben Affleck will direct the future stand alone Dark Knight Returns movie with Zack Snyder as executive producer.
Having Zack Snyder around will help with the material aspect of the project. Nobody is a bigger Frank Miller nerd than the man who directed 300. He knows the history of the character, but frankly, Ben is a better director overall. With Ben at the helm, we could get another masterful look at the world in which Batman occupies (Even Nolan needed Goyer). This of course does not mean the same actors will be playing the main characters.
Now I have to discuss something I haven't seen while researching this possibility.
A NEW SUPERMAN AND MAYBE EVEN BATMAN:
Henry Cavill's portayal of the [Man of Steel](movie:15593) would have to really cave when it comes to government influence in the upcoming DC movies. The reason why I think they would have to cast a different actor is because Zack Snyder has said, that to create a direct adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns he would need, "a different Superman."
Zack introduced the world to a superman who has the world's ideals at heart. One who will not purely base his beliefs off of the views that the U.S. government holds dear. I love Man of Steel (though it like any film has its problems) mainly because it presented a superman who exists for the benefit of humanity. I know that it has become popular to bash the devastation that occurs in MoS. The amount of destruction was insurmountable, sure Superman could have moved the battle, but Zod would have just kept on killing. He clearly cared about people, and that's what defines Superman (Bus Scene, Oil Rig, defending Waitress, Kicking Zod's ass when he threatens Mama Kent). Zack Snyder's superman is not a government pawn, nor will he ever be. Also, to be honest, as a superman fan, Frank Miller's version of Superman presents a weak/brainwashed loser compared to the Superman I know and love. I want to be rooting for two badass "gods" fighting on the big screen, not just one deep dark character.
I would love to see a film adaptation of this seminal work, I just want it to exist outside of the current DCCU continuity. I love the Affleck/Snyder duo as much as anyone, I just don't want to see Cavill's Superman character de-humanized and torn to shreds. I want to see Cavill's Superman live out his cinematic career as a hero to the world and a symbol for hope (it's the "S" for god's sake). Affleck's Batman on the other hand, I want a dark brooding brawler Batman, and would love to see him play the character for years. It wouldn't be the end of the world if they placed the stand-alone Batman movie in a different universe with simply a different Superman, and Affleck owning his role. And of course, after this movie takes place, and after the DC slate kicks the shit out of the Marvel slate...
Come on, we all want this to happen.
Ben Affleck plays old Bruce Wayne and trains a young Terry Mcginnis to become the new caped crusader.
Let me know what you think of my replacement actor speculation. And let me know if you have any better ideas!!