This is part of a collaborative project between me, Jacob Craig, Aayush Gupta, Steve Johnson, and Matt Cordisco, so be sure to keep an eye out for their articles as well! Our intention was to have a collaboration/friendly contest to see who could write the best article about Dawn of Justice and the future of the DC expanded universe. For Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, we agreed to include what cameos we'd like to see, a basic rundown of the plot based on the information we have so far, what characters we hoped would appear (whether in DoJ or the DCEU as a whole), and what mid and post-credits scenes might be included to further set up the expanded universe. And now, fasten your seatbelts! It's gonna be a wild ride!
There is so much potential for cameos in this film that it's not even funny. Personally, I'd love to see some of the actors who have played these characters in the past make cameos in the new film. For example, why not include a scene that shows Lynda Carter and Adam West sitting down to dinner together at a fancy restaurant, only to have Henry Cavill's Superman crash through the ceiling after being thrown by Ben Affleck's Batman? What would make such a scene even better is if Ben Affleck then appeared in his full robot armor, punched Superman out through the wall, and then, just as he was about to leave, was asked by Adam West for an autograph. Affleck would of course just grunt and leave his admirer standing there as he crashed through the wall after Superman, but it would still be a clever throwaway gag.
I also think it would be epic if they were to include Grant Gustin in some way, like maybe have a mid-credits scene where Barry rips a hole in the space/time continuum and collides with Grant's Flash and says, something like, "You look familiar. Have I seen you on tv?" Just something to show that DC really does feel bad about not actually casting Grant as the Flash for the film.
Another doubtful but clever cameo would be to have Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor attending a board meeting at LexCorp and have Gene Hackman and Clancy Brown as board members asking about allegations regarding LexCorp buying black market kryptonite. Lex would naturally deny the rumors, and then promptly go to his R and D lab to study the presumably-black-market kryptonite further.
Following Bruce's big showdown with Superman, it might be cool if Christian Bale walked up to him on the street after seeing him reading a magazine article about Superman's trial and say, "He's not the hero the Earth deserves. But maybe he's the one it needs right now," and then simply turn and walk away.
From what I've read, I have a general knowledge of how the plot is gonna go, but I want to put some flesh on the bones we've been given. Based on the information that has been officially confirmed, we know several important things.
- The villain is (obviously) Lex Luthor
- Lex has Zod's body and possibly armor though his intentions for its use remain unclear
- Wonder Woman will be posing as a Wayne Enterprises investor to retrieve "an item that belongs to her people"
- Lex will be manipulating events from the shadows and not have much face time with Superman
- Robin was killed by Joker
- Rumor suggests that Robin betrayed Batman at some point which led to a falling out between them
- Lois Lane is doing investigative reporting on Lex
- Lex Luthor will purchase the Daily Planet to be used for LexCorp PR.
- At the end of the film, Superman is in exile (likely in the Fortress of Solitude) and the Justice League are a government-approved superhero team
- Clark and Lois are officially dating
- Clark is not getting any high-profile stories for the Daily Planet
- Lois gets into a dangerous situation in the Middle East and is bailed out by Superman, leading to an international incident
- All other countries are wary of Superman and China refuses to allow him access to their airspace
- Superman snapping people's necks will be directly addressed, possibly involving humor
- Superman is proven to be able to lose his temper
- General Swanwick returns and is an ally of Superman
- Superman is trusted by a surprising majority of America, with the glaring exceptions of Lex and Batman
- Batman is preparing counter-measures specifically targeted at Superman
- Doomsday is rumored to appear and Swanwick is rumored to comment that Superman is being heroic by moving the fight away from the city
Characters I'd love to see (if not in this film, then in the DCCU/DCEU)
There are a lot of characters I'd love to see appear in the expanded universe that DC is setting up. While I think it would be great to include one or two of the characters listed below in Dawn of Justice, most of them are ones I'd be more excited about seeing in their own dedicated films.
Personally, I'd weep tears of joy for the rumors that were in circulation back when DoJ was first announced to prove correct and get an appearance by Metallo. I love him as a character. The guy's basically a kryptonite-powered version of the Terminator: virtually indestructible, dangerously potent, often covered in synthetic skin to help him blend in with humans, and remarkably susceptible to being defeated by what Lex Luthor once referred to as "a clown in a Batsuit".
I would also love to see the return of Russell Crowe's Jor-El in Dawn of Justice. I think that Superman could certainly use his father's advice in how to navigate a world that no longer treats him as a hero or respects what he stands for. This could also give us a chance to get a look inside Superman's Fortress of Solitude, which, though admittedly unlikely, would still be "super" awesome. It could also give us an opportunity to further develop the background of Krypton that Superman is given by his father in Man of Steel.
Pretty much every major Green Lantern
I am definitely anticipating exciting things from the Green Lantern movie. Some of the Green Lanterns are over-the-top, but I really want to see Guy Gardner, Hal Jordan, and John Stewart all in the same movie! Two other Green Lanterns I hope get some screen time are Tomar-Re and Kilowog. Kilowog especially is a personal favorite and could bring some serious awesomeness to the movie. And of course, no Green Lantern movie would be complete without Sinestro! He's basically what Hal Jordan would be if he was evil and from outer space. The one character I hope does NOT appear in the film is this guy...
Black Mask is another villain that I have always wanted to see done in live action. My first introduction to him came from watching The Batman, specifically the episode What Goes Up, where Black Mask teamed up with Shadow Thief to face off against Hawkman and Batman. Sure Black Mask didn't have all the great one-liners like Shadow Thief, but he did have his plan figured out literally down to the minute and provided for every eventuality. Because of this ability for exactitude in his planning, Black Mask is a character I'd love to see brought to the big screen, possibly for Batman's upcoming solo outing.
One of the more obvious characters that I hope makes an appearance in the DCCU/DCEU is Brainiac. An evil android whose hobby is shrinking cities to add to his collection would be an awesome threat for the fledgling Justice League to face. Plus, like Black Mask, Brainiac has a contingency plan for everything. But even the mighty android is not infallible. In past incarnations, whenever things started going awry for his carefully-conceived plan, he has a habit of making statements such as, "This was unforeseen", indicating that even his "superior" brain cannot compute every possible outcome.
Black Manta and his arch nemesis Aquaman have often been relegated to a back burner and dubbed "gimmicky" or "useless". I, however, think that if Jason Momoa can make Aquaman cool again, (as he is clearly going to do in the upcoming films), it will open the door for the same to happen to his rival when Aquaman's standalone film finally arrives. Black Manta's got some seriously awesome tech, plus he's essentially a super soldier. I think that DC not bringing him to the big screen would be to waste a potentially incredible villain who might become iconic if done correctly.
While we're on the subject of arch nemeses, no Wonder Woman film would be complete without a fight between the Amazon and her feline foe, Cheetah. Cheetah is a villainess that could not only bring some major sassiness to the screen, but could also prove that there really can be a strong female character in a superhero film, even if she's evil.
I couldn't round out this list without including one of my all-time favorite Batman villains: Firefly. The guy has a jetpack, flamethrowers, and an awesome paint job on his suit, but he really needs to work on his name. True, the guy has puns down to an exact science, but that only helps so much when you're facing off against Gotham's Dark Knight. A good way to introduce him into the Batman standalone would be to have him hired by the main villain to sabotage WayneTech, (Wayne Enterprises' technological subsidiary) and have his secret identity be working for Wayne Enterprises' competitor, GothCorp. Firefly also has tech that could even make the Caped Crusader be hard pressed to match it.
End Credits Scenes
I honestly have no idea if DC intends to follow Marvel's example of including scenes during or after the credits, but I assume they will given that this formula has been so successful for their rival. Anyway, what am I hoping to see from these mid and/or post credits scenes? Personally, I'm hoping for a mid-credits scene AND a post-credits scene. The mid-credits scene could be used to set up the Green Lantern standalone film by having the newly-formed Justice League meet with their military liaison, Colonel Steve Trevor. Wonder Woman will be dreamily staring at him as Colonel Trevor says that the government wants to set up a meeting between the Justice League and the UN Security Council to discuss how the Justice League plans to respond if the Earth is again invaded by aliens. Batman smiles and says, "I think I know some people who can help with that," as a green light shines in through the window.
The post-credits scene then would of course set up the Justice League film. We would see Doomsday's fist pop up from a pile of rubble and then see him going into a dark alley where he is enveloped in a green light and vanishes, reappearing inside a spaceship. As Doomsday looks around, he sees that Metallo and Brainiac are also present. Then a shadowy figure with glowing red eyes appears and says, "Welcome, gentlemen... to the Darkseid."