Few movies have been as scrutinized and speculated about as has the forthcoming, as-yet-untitled Man of Steel sequel commonly being called Batman vs. Superman.
Directed by Man of Steel's Zack Snyder from a script by David S. Goyer (with rewrites by Argo's Chris Terrio), the film brings back Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane from the first film, teaming them with Ben Affleck as Batman, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. It was originally slated for a July 2015 release date but has now moved to May 2016. The Dark Knight filmmaker Christopher Nolan, who stayed on for Man of Steel in order to ease the transition and help give Warner Bros. faith in Zack Snyder, will not return as a producer.
Some of the earliest scenes, featuring big crowd shots and none of the fim's principal stars, have already been filmed, including a scene at a football game between the Metropolis and Gotham City college teams. Ben Affleck is rumored to have filmed a scene at the same stadium earlier in the day, but those reports are unconfirmed.
Construction recently began at the site of the Kent Farmhouse, which had been torn down after Man of Steel. The house will be rebuilt and used in the new film, then torn down again. Much of the film will be shot in Detroit, which has led some to believe that it will be set largely in Gotham City.
And that, really, is just about everything we know officially.
That's far from everything that's been reported, though, and in the interest of keeping track of the various rumors and their relative credibility, we thought we'd do our best to compile a list (knowing full well that many of the rumors we haven't reported on or even seen--so if you notice one that we don't know about, feel free to comment below or e-mail email@example.com.
Batman vs. Superman/Superman vs. Batman - At San Diego Comic Con International this summer, Warner Bros. announced that Batman and Superman would share the screen. Shortly thereafter, screenwriter David Goyer told the Superman 75th Anniversary Panel that he wasn't sure whether it would be Batman vs. Superman or Superman vs. Batman but that the plan was to name it one of those.
It wasn't long after that, comicbook.com found some domain registrations for Batman vs. Superman. We and a number of other sites have been assuming ever since that would be our starting point.
Other options - Zack Snyder said they were considering options like World's Finest and Public Enemies.
Based on new domain registrations, other possible titles include Man of Steel Battle the Knight, Man of Steel Beyond Darkness, Man of Steel Black of Knight, Man of Steel Darkness Falls, Man of Steel Knight Falls, Man of Steel Shadow of the Night, Man of Steel The Blackest Hour, and Man of Steel The Darkness Within. More recently, Man of Steel: Fight or Flight came into play.
Well, this one's resolved now, but just for the sake of completeness (as much as one person can keep track of all of this mess), we're going to take a quick look at the people who were rumored to be in the running for Batman in the film.
Ben Affleck - Turned out there was something to this one. Weirdly, though, most people didn't take it particularly seriously, allowing Warner the shock reveal even though his name had popped up on a couple of different short lists.
Max Martini, Joe Manganiello, Matthew Goode, Richard Armitage, Ryan Gosling - Not a ton to say about these guys. All of their names appeared (along with the next name on this list) around the same time on a supposedly-leaked short list for the film. Whether there was any credibility to the list is still up in the air, but...
Josh Brolin - He's confirmed having had talks for the part. The most Affleck-like of all the names on the list, it could be that he was just an obvious choice, and so the rumor mongers picked one (after all, he's a consistent WB favorite, even if not all of his movies succeed--like DC Comics adaptation Jonah Hex).
Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Briefly rumored, considered credible mostly because of his relationship with Zack Snyder, who directed him in Watchmen.
Scott Adkins, Orlando Bloom, Ethan Hawke and Christian Bale were all briefly rumored but then evaporated quickly.
Everybody knows chicks dig the car--but an older Batman operating later in life and with a ton of crimefighting experience might not be into that as much as he is functionality. So what's the plan?
Well, a persistent rumor is that General Motors--who helped design the Transformers: Age of Extinction cars--will be involved this time around, and that it will be loosely based on some Cadillac concept designs.
Word is, they've been shooting Batmobile material already, and/or plan to do so before principal photography gets underway, presumably so that they can do open-road footage without taking Snyder away from a live set full of actors. That's been mostly discredited, though, with more credible reports saying Batmobile stuff will be shot in the summer.
There is a lot of chatter about the Batman costume--most of it very vague and only some of it founded in any kind of reality.
Reports came out that the suit would be "unlike anything" seen on screen before, and some have wondered whether there might be more than one suit, and/or an armored element to it, since some of the plot teases seem to nod in the direction of Mark Waid and Alex Ross's Kingdom Come.
A lot of rumors, though, have pointed to a costume inspired by Lee Bermejo's Batman: Noel design (seen above).
Other rumors have suggested it will be more informed by Jim Lee's New 52 redesign of the character.
Before we even knew for sure that Lex Luthor would appear in the film, everyone and their brother had an opinion as to who he should be, and how he should be presented. We listed a number of possibilities as to his personality, and as to who might play him, in a pair of previous lists.
The people who have come up have had little to do with those we named on our wish list, and nobody saw the right answer coming, but it was an interesting batch...
Bradley Cooper - Listing him first because he was actually tipped to play Lex during production on Man of Steel. He actually fits the description that the filmmakers have given of a Richard Branson/Brad Pitt type a little bit, but not only did he not turn out to appear in Man of Steel, but he's now playing Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Bryan Cranston - Shortly before the end of his critically-acclaimed series Breaking Bad, Cranston was tipped to already have the job. One site claimed that he would announce after the series ended--that AMC didn't want an announcement to steal thunder from Breaking Bad's curtain call--while another claimed that the actor was actually signed to a ten-picture deal.
Nobody believed that second report, and it may have undermined the credibility of the first, which a lot of people had some belief in. When he didn't have anything to say in the weeks and now months following the Breaking Bad finale, though, it seemed as though this was all nonsense. Recently, though, an AMC executive claimed on a podcast that he understood Warners was moving forward with Cranston in the role and now the rumor is back on the radar screen.
Mark Strong - Around the same time as Cranston's rumors took hold, Mark Strong seemed to hint that he was actually being considered for the role. Also the headliner of an AMC show at the time, Strong would have been an odd choice if only because he was Sinestro in the much-maligned Green Lantern adaptation--a movie that some still want to see incorporated into the DC Cinematic Universe, even if it's just to avoid another origin story when the new GL shows up.
Terry O'Quinn - This one was short-lived and while a lot of people liked the idea, he does seem pretty old to be taking the role--especially if, as has been the case in DC's comics for the last ten years or so, they plan on reverting to the old "Lex suits up in armor and takes the fight to Superman" version of the character.
...And of course, then you had Jesse Eisenberg. Nobody saw this one coming, until the moment it was officially announced.
Wonder Woman Casting
Gal Gadot, who will play Wonder Woman, was almost immediately tipped for the role. Meanwhile, a casting call went out for a female lead that many believed to be not Wonder Woman, but a love interest for Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne.
Early on, there were reportedly four candidates, although none of them were named. Then, it was three: Gal Gadot, Elodie Yung and Olga Kurylenko, with Kurlyenko reportedly first in line (apparently she got skipped over).
Jaimie Alexander excited everyone for a brief moment, telling fans at a convention that she had talked to Warner Bros. about Wonder Woman, but she was quick to say that she was locked in at Marvel Studios and had only consulted with DC about powerful warrior women in superhero films.
Denzel Washington, Joaquin Phoenix - Lumping these two together, because they both showed up in the headlines around the same time. They're both about Affleck's age, give or take, and are actors with a ton of gravitas. They were both tipped as playing "a villain," with many sources assuming it would be Lex...but even with Lex now cast, there's an outside chance that these two are pitted against each other for a secondary villain role.
Note: Washington has also been mentioned in conjunction with John Stewart/Green Lantern, but nobody we know is taking those rumors seriously.
Jason Momoa - Word on the street is Momoa--who missed out on Guardians of the Galaxy after talks broke down for him to play Drax--might be taking a part in the film. Aquaman has been floated out there as a possibility, as have Doomsday and Martian Manhunter, but Momoa has denied everything completely, saying that it's just rumors and he's not in talks for any part.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - Nobody knows quite what he's doing...but it's something, or at least he's supposed to be doing something. It may not even be for this film, but unless something new gets announced soon, we expect that it is. He told fans during a recent Twitter Q&A that he was talking to Warner/DC Entertainment about something that would shoot in 2014.
Adam Driver of the TV series Girls was rumored to be in line to play Dick Grayson/Nightwing. Everyone involved has denied it, and no further Nightwing rumors have surfaced (except the logo that Warners/DC trademarked, different from the one currently being used in the comics), so whether that's indicative that Driver has the part and they're not ready to announce, or that the whole thing was bunk, we'll only know once he does or does not shot up for filming.
Jackie Earle Haley reportedly tested for an as-yet-unknown role, but did not get it. This would make him the third Watchmen actor (after Matthew Goode and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who both were attached to Batman at different points) rumored for the film.
Josh Holloway is reportedly being considered for an undisclosed role.
At San Diego Comic Con International, Snyder revealed that the film would be heavily influenced by--but not based on--the Frank Miller comic book miniseries The Dark Knight Returns. Miller will reportedly advise on the film, as well.
Shooting in Morocco will reportedly take place, with one source claiming that shooting will be at a meteor crash site, giving the idea that Kryptonite will be involved.
Producers on Twitter have hinted (joked?) about Batman's use of armed robots and drones, a la Kingdom Come. That might sound farfetched, but that same producer claimed that we would see Nightwing, Wonder Woman...and Doomsday?!
Luthor and Clark Kent will apparently have been childhood friends, as in Smallville.
The Flash has been a persistent source of rumors; the day the movie was announced at Comic Con, there were rumors that there would also be a movie announced based on the character. Later, sources claimed he was "a lock" to appear in Batman vs. Superman.
Vic Stone, the Cyborg from the Justice League, was also rumored--something that Henry Cavill said he hopes to see.
Arrow and The Flash, currently airing on The CW, will likely not cross over with the cinematic universe, although nobody credible has ruled it out completely. Rumors have gone both ways. Dialogue in Arrow has indicated it's not likely. NBC's Gotham, which is not set in the same world as Arrow and The Flash, will definitely not connect to Batman vs. Superman.
Gadot's contract reportedly includes at least three films, including Justice League and a Wonder Woman solo film, but producers won't talk specifics as they want to focus on this film first.
Wonder Woman's costume will stray from the comics and may be more armored and combat-friendly.0comments
While some people believe that Batman vs. Superman is actually a stealth attempt at a Justice League film, more credible rumors suggest that Warner Bros. is gearing up to film the two back-to-back.