In the run up to [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870), fan speculation is running rampant with theories on everything from surprise cameos to major villains to the Batmobile. Many of these theories have stemmed from plot points in the alternate universe comic The Dark Knight rises, which director Zack Snyder announced he was drawing inspiration from. But just how closely will Batman vs Superman stick to this comic? And how much credence should we give the theories that draw from it?
After using a quote from the book to announce Batman vs Superman at Comic Con 2013, Snyder revealed that the backstory to the film is heavily influenced by The Dark Knight Returns.
"[The] comic book will influence the history of Batman Vs. Superman, on which the writer David S. Goyer and myself will work."
So far the similarities have been racking up. The comic book features an older, more jaded Batman, the themes include government mistrust of superheroes, and the action culminates in a showdown between Batman and Superman. All of these aspects are included in Batman vs Superman, and Snyder has even gone so far as to mirror the comic's cover in the trailer...
But the speculation may have been getting a little too out of for Snyder, as he recently clarified the parallels between the The Dark Knight Returns comic and Batman vs Superman, debunking many fan theories in the process.
"Only in that because it’s a different Batman than the Batman that was in the Chris Nolan movies, so we have a little bit more explaining to do -- and you just had a whole Superman movie. But I think only in that way, because you need to understand where Batman is with everything. And that’s more toward the beginning, but it evens back out as it goes on"
So it seems like Zack Snyder was using The Dark Knight Returns as an inspiration for the character of Bruce Wayne, as the Batman of the AU comic is much further on in his career than Nolan's version. Snyder clearly wants to establish his own version of the Caped Crusader, and is using his portrayal in The Dark Knight Returns in which to do so.
Snyder has also clamped down on the relationship between Batman and Superman, revealing that there might not be as much bad blood between them as we think...
Two Sides Of The Same Coin
While it's easy to assume that Bats and Supes hate each other in Dawn of Justice, we have to remember that despite their battle this movie serves to set up the upcoming Justice League film. This means that by the end of Batman vs Superman, the eponymous heroes have to not only come to terms, but respect each other enough to want to establish a team together.
Zack Snyder offered some insight into their relationship, and helped explain why the conflict starts and how they will end up as allies.
"They’re actually opposite sides of the same coin. It’s interesting because Batman’s a man and Superman’s a god, if you think about it in those terms. So their relationship is very contentious. What Superman sees as Batman’s limits, Batman sees as Superman trying to control him, acting like an absolute dictator."
So it seems that while Bruce harbours resentment towards Clark for causing so much destruction, Clark sees Bruce as a low key crimefighter, keeping criminals off the streets rather than saving the world. But as Snyder reveals, the two may understand each other better than they think...
"We tried to say, ‘What would Batman have to do to unravel Superman, and what would Superman have to do to unravel Batman?’ Their conflict is based on each others’ understanding of the other’s weakness."
In the end, this understanding of each other's shortcomings just makes for a better team dynamic, allowing them to support each other in further battles.
(Who's willing to bet that Supes swoops in and saves him?)
While it's going to be great to finally find out who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman (or Wonder Woman), Dawn Of Justice is ultimately about two heroes coming together to save the world... and we can't wait!