Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice - Five Things We Want to See

With production having finally begun on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the first still [...]


With production having finally begun on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the first still photograph released from the film, it was driving most of the comics-to-film conversation the last couple of weeks before X-Men: Days of Future Past started to generate heat at the box office and Marvel started hemorrhaging directors. It's still one of the most interesting projects on the upcoming slate; the first time Batman and Superman ever share the big screen, they'll do so with Wonder Woman, too, who will be making her first appearance in a theatrical feature altogether. Combine that with a subtitle and production schedule that clearly lays out the film as a prequel to Justice League and you've got a lot of very interesting prospects for stories. And while most of these movies don't adapt the comics faithfully -- even films like X-Men: Days of Future Past and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which bear the names of specific comic book storylines -- there are certain key beats that are important to characters, important to stories or just plain cool. That's the kind of thing that seems fair game to hope for and expect in this World's Finest team-up film. So, what did we come up with?

Batman Vs. Superman

A quick resolution to the "versus" thing Look, Zack Snyder and company -- we all get it. You like Frank Miller. That's not a good enough reason to putz around making Superman and Batman hate each other for a whole movie. The "versus" thing is going to be both preplexing and enticing to casual fans, and so it's easy to see why it would be something that gets played up. But it's not the meat of the relationship, and we really hope it doesn't end up being a huge chunk of the movie. A great blueprint might be the Dark Knight Over Metropolis story, where Batman "tests" Superman by telling him that somewhere in the city, there's an innocent civilian with a bomb strapped to him, who will die if Superman doesn't help him apprehend the bad guys. Superman, believing Batman to be a menace, reluctantly helps, only to discover that the innocent Batman was endangering was himself, as he'd already sussed out that Superman wouldn't trust him right away but could be made to do so over time. It was clever, showcased the differences in approaches between the two heroes, but wouldn't take ninety-plus minutes to unfold. And, no, we're not saying "DO EXACTLY THAT THING!" Few things are more obnoxious than armchair quarterbacks who think they can write these movies better than the professionals. What we're saying is, that story -- which was the first of the post-Crisis, "Man of Steel" era of comics to team the two heroes, is one that worked well and the filmmakers would do well to follow an example of keeping the conflict tense, but brief, and having the resolution not be some forced game-changing moment but an understanding between two reasonable people. A hint of history Batman has apparently been at this for a while, and the world-weary Dark Knight has a huge, hard-to-miss car. That means that selling him as an "urban legend" will probably not fly in the "realistic" world fashioned by David Goyer, Zack Snyder et. al. So what to do? Well, just embrace the fact that Batfleck has history, maybe wink and nod at it a little bit so that fans have a sense for the kind of Batman he is and has been without too much expository dialogue or getting into the insanity...and leave it at that. Less is more, but it's also a lot better than none -- and not even indicating what kind of Batman he's been as he's pushing 45 or 50?  Not allowed.


All three together The fact that Wonder Woman will appear in the film, but that Batman supposedly has just a supporting role in what's still technically being billed as a Man of Steel sequel could suggest that DC's famed "trinity" won't all appear onscreen at the same time. Let's reject that notion right now. Make it happen. Some kind of backstory for Wonder Woman Oh, and speaking of Wonder Woman? Her backstory has always been a bit of a nightmare. Let's get at least a simple version of it out of the way in this film so that when it comes time to do her solo feature, all they have to do is fill in the blanks and move on, allowing her more screen time to actually be Wonder Woman. You don't want to steal her thunder, or derail from Dawn of Justice's central plot, by getting too hung up on Diana's mythology...but what you should want to do is set the next installments up for success by giving the character a basic backstory that everyone can understand and accept, and that can be built on for the future.


The Kryptonite ring Look, for those of us who grew up in the '80s and '90s, there's no single scene that's more iconic of the relationship between Batman and Superman -- and the trust and respect they have for one another -- than the moment when Superman gives Lex Luthor's Kryptonite ring to Batman and says, "You're the one I trust, if I ever lose it." In a film that sets up a conflict between the two rather than having them work together from the start, this scene is a must-have.