Batman vs. Superman: Everything We Know
With the additions of Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons as Lex Luthor and Alfred, we look at all the available info on Man of Steel 2!
When Man of Steel arrived, fans were promised the start of a DC cinematic universe to rival Marvel's. At the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, the announcement was made that Man of Steel 2 would be more than just a sequel, and instead plant the seeds of a Justice League movie. Henry Cavill will return as Superman and Ben Affleck will play Batman/Bruce Wayne. Affleck fits the mold of the "older and wiser" Batman who "bears the scars of a seasoned crimefighter" that Warner Bros. was looking for, which neatly sidesteps the need to re-establish Batman's origins on screen once again.
While the first live-action meeting of Batman and Superman is historic enough, Batman vs. Superman goes even further, by introducing Wonder Woman into the mix, played by Gal Gadot. There's no word yet on just how large her role in the film will be, but this will mark the first appearance of Wonder Woman on the big screen, and her first live-action appearance (not counting an unaired NBC television pilot from a few years back) since Lynda Carter hung up her bracelets in 1979.
While they aren't calling this a Justice League movie (at least, not yet) there's still a chance that other superheroes may make an appearance in the film. Unconfirmed rumors indicate that the word is out for Dick Grayson, in his secret identity as Nightwing, to make an appearance, with Adam Driver's name having surfaced as a contender for the role. However, Driver has denied any involvement with the project so far.
Zack Snyder is co-writing the story with David Goyer (who will then pen the screenplay), which is said to draw some inspiration from The Dark Knight Returns, the classic story by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley which climaxed with an impressive street fight between Batman and Superman. While there are likely going to be some similarities, Goyer has stated that the film won't be an adaptation of that work. It seems possible that some of their conflict may stem from the controversial ending to Man of Steel, as Mr. Goyer promised, "we will be dealing with this in coming films...He isn't fully-formed as Superman in [Man of Steel], and he will have to deal with the repercussions of that in the next one."
At least one villain has finally been cast, though. Jesse Eisenberg is taking on the role of Superman's arch-foe, Lex Luthor. David Goyer has stated that "Lex [Luthor] in this world is more a Bill Gates or Rupert Murdoch like character. He's probably a multi, multi billionaire. He's not a crook." While this quote comes from an interview that was conducted well before the Batman vs. Superman announcement, Goyer's vision for Lex would certainly put him in the same social circles as someone like Bruce Wayne. Zack Snyder describes Luthor as "a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman."
Jeremy Irons will play Batman's right-hand man, Alfred Pennyworth. While we don't know how much from previous incarnations of the character Irons will draw on, Alfred is described by Zack Snyder as "Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman."
Recently, the film has added three supporting castmembers in unidentified (but not comic book based) roles. Holly Hunter, Callan Mulvey, and Tao Okamoto have joined the cast in roles created specifically for the film.
Jason Momoa's name has come up in connection with the film, but it's unclear who he would be playing, with speculation ranging from Doomsday to Hawkman, although Momoa has dismissed all of this talk as rumor and nothing more. Even Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has seen his name come up, and he's made no secret of the fact that he's meeting with Warner Bros. for an unspecified DC-related project. If either actor is playing another superpowered villain (or hero), it does broaden the scope a little further and seem to indicate that this may be a stealth Justice League movie after all.
The film is currently in aggressive pre-production, with primary filming scheduled to begin in the early second quarter of 2014. However, some second-unit filming has already commenced, including at a football game between rival college teams from Metropolis and Gotham, as well as locations in Illinois which have doubled as the Kent farm. There have certainly been, at the very least, costume tests shot as Kevin Smith has seen a photo of Ben Affleck in a Batman costume, which he describes as something "you have not seen...in a movie before." Here's hoping that means it has some blue and grey...and maybe a yellow oval.
Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, and Diane Lane will also reprise their Man of Steel roles. Batman vs. Superman is produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder. It seems likely that Hans Zimmer will return as composer, given his history with both characters, although he did express that he "might not feel right" returning to score Batman again, so this one may be a "wait and see" situation. However, Zack Snyder recently said that they'd want Mr. Zimmer back "as long as he'll have us" but seemed to confirm that Zimmer wouldn't reuse any previous Batman themes, in order to distinguish this version of the character from Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight films, which Zimmer also scored.
It also appears that Batman vs. Superman is just a working title, and that something less on-the-nose will replace it in the next few months.
Originally scheduled for a July 2015 release, the film was recently delayed, and will now open on May 6th, 2016. This can't help but make those rumors that this is, in fact, a Justice League movie considerably stronger. We'll let you know as we hear more.