DC's Cinematic Universe may have officially kicked off with Man of Steel, but let's face it - Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is when they turn the heat up! With less than a week to go, here are my predictions...
1. Who will win?
On the one hand, you have the Son of Krypton, one of DC's most powerful superheroes. On the other, you have the dark and brooding Bat of Gotham, DC's strongest franchise. A first reaction is that this is seriously mismatched - how could a mere Kryptonian icon ever stand against the Batman?
But the reality is, the trailers have made it pretty clear the title fight will be called off when Lex Luthor unleashes Doomsday. Doomsday's attack will unite the warring heroes (along with Wonder Woman), and we'll see the first step towards the formation of the Justice League.
2. Will anybody die?
This film is all about DC launching the Justice League franchise, so it's more about setting the pieces in place than it is killing characters off. I'm not expecting there to be any major death-scenes (although I'm not willing to bet on Doomsday's chances of survival); but that doesn't mean there won't be some weight to the film all the same.
I'm expecting this to be personal for Bruce Wayne; I think he lost somebody he cared about in Superman's battle with Zod, and that he's not just acting out of paranoid fear. There also look to have been other deaths in the past...
(More on that later...)
3. Why is Wonder Woman involved?
With the trailers having given away the "spine" of the film, the inclusion of Wonder Woman is the real curve-ball. Let's face it; she's not just a cameo, she's a secondary character in her own right. So she has to have an important arc herself...
The best theory I've heard of is that Wonder Woman is in Metropolis investigating Lex Luthor. While Luthor is focused on causing conflict between Superman and Batman, she discovers his plots and intervenes at the key moment. I'm seeing Wonder Woman as the one who causes the other two to set aside their animosity and work together!
4. Will we see a Robin?
We've all seen the footage that indicates a Robin has died - victim to the Joker. I can't help wondering if the R-rated 'Ultimate' version of the film will show a flashback to the Joker's attack on Robin.
This looks to be strongly based on the "Death in the Family" arc, where - incredibly - comic book readers were given the opportunity to vote on whether Jason Todd's unpopular Robin should live or die. The result was an iconic storyline in which Batman lost a Robin, and was left scarred for years.
More recently, Jason Todd returned - revealed to have been alive all this time - as the Red Hood, a would-be crime boss / vigilante with a serious grudge against Batman. If the trailer is anything to go by, I'm betting Ben Affleck's solo Batman film will feature the Red Hood as the villain, and be heavily based on the "Under the Red Hood" arc.
My suspicion is that we won't see a new Robin for some time in the movies, certainly not in Batman V Superman; when Robin makes an entrance, I'm expecting it to be Carrie Kelley's Robin, from the popular Dark Knight Returns comics penned by Frank Miller.
5. Who will have the best cameo?
Let's face it, we all know that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is going to have a lot of cameos. But how would those figure in the plot of the film?
Nine months ago, Heroic Hollywood aired a rumour (now taken down from their website) that read like this:
"Batman (Ben Affleck) will infiltrate Lexcorp at some point in the movie, and will analyze surveillance footage on monitors. He will see The Flash as "a blur that stops a robbery." As for Momoa’s Aquaman, Batman will see the hero "held prisoner in a containment chamber, where we see his hand slap against the glass.""
Naturally, this remains only a rumour, but I think it's possible. If this is the case, I'm most excited for the Aquaman scene, which could be seriously creepy if done well.
So there we have it - some of my predictions for Batman V Superman! In under a week, we'll find out where I'm right, and where I'm wrong!