(Note: Potential Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice SPOILERS below)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice may still be almost a year away, but that doesn't mean we aren't getting an increasingly clear picture of just what to expect from 2016's leading source of Justice League-founding superheroes. After all, in a week where we've already (finally) found out what Lex Luthor's going to look like, we might also just have seen one of our core assumptions about the movie be completely debunked.
Remember how we all kind of figured that Batman would be going after Superman - on account of that whole 'Metropolis' getting destroyed deal, thus sparking the entire 'Batman v Superman' element of the movie's plot?
Well, as it turns out:
Batman Isn't the One Who Starts the Fight
Or, at least, that's what the latest rumors coming out of BadAssDigest are suggesting, with Devin Faraci reporting that it'll actually be Superman who sparks the conflict - though it's just why he does so that could be the most intriguing element of the whole thing. In his words:
"In Batman v Superman, Superman is no lackey of the government; if anything many of the world's governments distrust the guy. But it is Superman who goes to Gotham and starts the confrontation... at the behest of Lex Luthor. Superman comes out swinging, pulverizing the Batmobile with one punch."
Which is in stark contrast to Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns (on which the film's story is reportedly loosely based) in which Superman is sent by the President to bring in Batman - at which point it's Batman who starts the seemingly lethal portion of the conflict.
Wait, LEX LUTHOR Sends Superman to Fight Batman?
Yup, that's right. That Lex Luthor.
Now, sure, Lex Luthor's received something of a...smoothing over in recent DC comics, but he's also Superman's greatest villain - so surely he's still set to be the main villain of the piece, as opposed to Superman's Charlie's Angels-like handler?
Well, presumably, a villain is exactly what he is - just one smart enough to manipulate Superman into attacking a man he doesn't even know for Lex's personal gain.
Could that, though, suggest a whole lot about the direction in which the movie is heading, in terms of the world's relationship with Superman?
Could We See Superman Be the Un-Trusted Outsider?
And, by contrast, Batman be the relatively-trusted superhero tasked with stopping him? After all, Batman is unlikely to have ever been partly responsible for the destruction of a major metropolitan area - unlike the Zod-battling Superman, and his apparent failure to properly protect Metropolis...
Y'know, that one.
If that were the case, though, then Superman could easily fall under the sway of an independently minded and powerful individual like Lex Luthor - especially considering Zach Snyder's recent comments about the nature of the movie's Lex:
"He’s not any of the Lexes that you’ve seen, that’s for sure, other than him being a captain of industry and one person to the world and another person to himself. And bald, of course...Our Lex is disarming and he’s not fake. He says what he believes and he says what’s on his mind. If you can unravel the string and decipher what he means, it’s all there."
A straight-talking, determined and obscenely wealthy Luthor? That's a recipe for Superman-manipulation if ever I heard one.
Could he even, though, genuinely believe that what he's doing is for the best? After all, several comic-book versions of the villain have shown him to be torn between his lust for power and his genuine desire to protect the world from meta-humans like Superman (and vigilantes like Batman) - perhaps he's set to retain those same divided goals in Batman v Superman...
Y'know, that, or it's a dastardly scheme to take over the world. Either or...
What do you think, though?