Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
File:Batman v Superman poster.jpg
Teaser poster
Directed by Zack Snyder
Produced by
Written by
Based on Characters published 
by DC Comics
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Larry Fong
Edited by David Brenner
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • March 25, 2016 (2016-03-25) (United States)
Running time
151 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $200 million[2]

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is an upcoming American superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is intended to be the follow-up to 2013's Man of Steel and the second installment in the DC Extended Universe. The film is directed by Zack Snyder, with a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer. The film stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, and Gal Gadot. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be the first live-action film to feature both Batman and Superman, as well as the first theatrical film to feature live-action portrayals of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash.

The film was announced at 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, after the release of Man of Steel. Snyder and Goyer were both brought back in June 2013. Snyder stated that the film would take inspiration from the Batman limited series The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, but that it would follow an original premise. Pre-production began at East Los Angeles College in October 2013, with principal photography starting in May 2014 in Detroit, Michigan, with additional filming in Chicago, Illinois. Filming concluded in December 2014. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is scheduled to be released in the United States on March 25, 2016, in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D.

Synopsis

Following the events of Man of Steel, Gotham City-based vigilante Batman travels to Metropolis to preemptively combat Superman, while another threat endangers humankind.[3]

Cast

Tao Okamoto was cast as Luthor's assistant Mercy Graves.[13] Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller were cast as Victor Stone / Cyborg, Arthur Curry / Aquaman and Barry Allen / The Flash respectively, in minor roles.[14][15][16][17][18][19] Harry Lennix, Christina Wren, and Michael Shannon will reprise their roles as General Swanwick, Major Carrie Farris, and General Zod, respectively.[20][21][22] Jeffrey Dean Morgan will portray Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne's deceased father.[23] Scoot McNairy, Callan Mulvey, and Jena Malone have been cast in unspecified roles.[9][24][25][26] Senator Patrick Leahy will also make a cameo.[27] Doomsday will appear in the film.[28]

Production

Development

"... after Man of Steel finished and we started talking about what would be in the next movie, I started subtly mentioning that it would be cool if he faced Batman... You're in a story meeting talking about, like, who should [Superman] fight if he fought this giant alien threat Zod who was basically his equal physically, from his planet, fighting on our turf... You know, who to fight next?... But I'm not gonna say at all that when I took the job to do Man of Steel that I did it in a subversive way to get to Batman. I really believe that only after contemplating who could face [Superman] did Batman come into the picture."

— Snyder, on how Batman came into the film[29]

In June 2013, Warner Bros. announced that director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer would return for a Man of Steel sequel,[30] with the studio considering a 2014 release for the film.[31] The following month, Snyder confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con International that the sequel to Man of Steel, now set for release in 2015, would feature Superman and Batman meeting for the first time in a cinematic format. Goyer and Snyder would co-write the story, with Goyer writing the script, and[5][32] Christopher Nolan involved in an advisory role as executive producer.[33] According to Snyder, the film will take inspiration from the comic The Dark Knight Returns.[34] In November 2013, however, Snyder clarified that the film would not be based on the graphic novel. "If you were going to do that, you would need a different Superman. We’re bringing Batman into the universe that now this Superman lives in."[35] Batman v Superman marks the first appearance of Wonder Woman in a live-action, theatrical film,[11] which Warner Bros. had been developing as far back as 1996.[36] In December 2013, Chris Terrio was hired to rewrite the script, due to Goyer's commitments in other projects. Terrio had previously collaborated with Affleck on Argo.[37]

The film's official title Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was revealed in May 2014.[38] Snyder stated that having the "v" in the title instead of "vs." was a way "to keep it from being a straight 'versus' movie, even in the most subtle way".[39] Henry Cavill later stated, "I wouldn't call this a Superman sequel [...] This is Batman versus Superman. It's a separate entity altogether. It's introducing the Batman character and expanding upon the universe, which was kicked off by Man of Steel."[40] Forbes noted that although the film originated as a sequel to Man of Steel, it was "revamped into a backdoor pilot for Justice League and/or an eventual stand-alone Batman movie."[41]

Hans Zimmer will return to compose the film score,[42] emphasizing a challenge to not reuse the themes he established with the Batman character from Christopher Nolan's trilogy.[43] Junkie XL will also collaborate on the score and compose the theme for Batman.[44]

Casting

Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Harry Lennix, Christina Wren and Michael Shannon reprise their roles from Man of Steel.[20][21][22][45] Joining the cast are Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth,[45] Ray Fisher as Cyborg,[14] Jason Momoa as Aquaman,[15][16] and Tao Okamoto as Lex Luthor's assistant Mercy Graves.[13] Scoot McNairy, Callan Mulvey, and Jena Malone have been cast in unspecified roles.[9][24][25][26]

Dawn of Justice is Affleck's second film as a comic book superhero; he played Daredevil in the 2003 film of the same name,[46] and was initially reluctant to accept playing Batman, citing that he "felt [I] didn't fit the traditional mold. But once Zack showed me the concept, and that it would be both different from the great movies that Chris[topher Nolan] and Christian [Bale] made, but still in keeping with tradition, I was excited."[47] Affleck previously stated in 2006 that Daredevil had "inoculated myself from ever playing another superhero".[48] Snyder felt that casting an older Batman would be a layered juxtaposition to a younger Superman, while "bear[ing] the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne."[4] Nolan was involved with the casting of Affleck and he was the first actor Snyder approached for the part.[33] The director had also discussed the part with Josh Brolin.[49] Bale admitted he wanted to play Batman again after The Dark Knight Rises,[50] though he stated that his Batman does not belong in any other film and he was never approached by Warner Bros. to play the role again.[51][52]

Snyder commented on casting Eisenberg as Luthor, "Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions".[7] Olga Kurylenko was considered for the role of Wonder Woman before Gadot was cast.[53] Producer Charles Roven revealed that this incarnation of Wonder Woman would use the character's origins in The New 52, wherein the character would be a demigoddess, and the daughter of Zeus. This deviates from the character's original origins, where she was "a clay figure brought to life by the gods".[12] Dawn of Justice is Ray Fisher's feature film debut,[54] and the first live-action film to feature Cyborg,[55] whose role will become more significant in future DC Comics films.[56] It is also the live-action theatrical debut of Aquaman.[57]

Affleck's casting caused significant backlash from comic book fans, with multiple online petitions demanding his removal from the role; unlike previous Batman actors, he was not considered intimidating enough for the role by the protestors.[58] Via social media, fans criticized Gadot's small frame in contrast to Wonder Woman's warrior-like build in the comics.[59] Responding to this, Gadot has stated that she has been participating in various training regtimens to achieve a body that stays closer to the source material.[60] Fans criticized Eisenberg's casting as Luthor, feeling that the then 30-year-old was too young for the role, and not physically imposing enough.[61]

In a fictional write-up of the "new" LexCorp on Fortune, stylized as a magazine profile and published October 5, 2015, it was revealed that Eisenberg's Luthor is described as “a 31-year-old wunderkind who transformed an aging petrochemical and heavy machinery dinosaur into a tech darling of the Fortune 500 in what some call a superhuman feat.”[8] In December 2015, it was revealed that Doomsday would appear in the film.[28]

Design

Michael Wilkinson is reprising his duties as costume designer. He updated the Superman suit from Man of Steel slightly so that it "feels fresh and right for this installment of Zack Snyder's comic-book universe".[62] The first Batsuit featured in the film is influenced by the one seen in The Dark Knight Returns;[63] unlike the suits seen in previous live-action Batman films, it is made of cloth instead of armor.[64] An image of the Wonder Woman costume was revealed at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con, in which the costume desaturates the red, blue, and gold colors that make up the costume of most versions of the character.[65] A second Batsuit was also unveiled at Comic-Con, and unlike the first, it is armored.[66] Aquaman's look in this film, unlike most versions of the character which show him in a bright orange and green wetsuit, shows him "tattooed in Maori-like patterns", and wearing a suit "decked out in shades of gold, black and silver armor".[67] According to the Warner Bros. Studios lot, the next generation Batmobile combined inspiration from both the sleek, streamlined design of classic Batmobiles and the high-suspension, military build from the more recent Tumbler from the Dark Knight Trilogy. Designed by production designer Patrick Tatopoulos, the Batmobile is about 20 feet long and 12 feet wide.[68]

Filming

In September 2013, Larry Fong joined the crew as cinematographer after previously having worked with Zack Snyder in 300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch.[69] Initial filming commenced on October 19, 2013, at East Los Angeles College to shoot an American football game between Gotham City University and rival Metropolis State University.[70] At the end of the month, construction began on the Kent farm seen in Man of Steel for the film.[71] The principal photography involving the main cast of the film began on May 19, 2014, in Detroit, Michigan,[72] with scenes featuring Gal Gadot as Diana Prince being filmed early on May 16.[73] Additional filming began in Chicago, Illinois in November 2014.[74] Other locations included the Michigan Motion Picture Studios, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, Yorkville, Illinois, and New Mexico.[75][76][77] Sequences of the film, including a scene depicting the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents, were filmed using IMAX cameras.[78] The planned shoot in Morocco were shifted to New Mexico due to incidents related to the 2014 Ebola outbreak.[79] Principal photography wrapped in December 2014.[80]

Release

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is scheduled to be released in the United States and the United Kingdom on March 25, 2016, in 3D.[81][82] In January 2014, Warner Bros. announced that the film was delayed from its original July 17, 2015 release date, and moved to May 6, 2016, in order to give the filmmakers "time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story."[83] The release date was moved once again in August 2014 from May 6, 2016, to March 25, 2016, with a Warner Bros. insider saying the studio was "not flinching" regarding the film previously opening on the same day as Marvel Studios' Captain America: Civil War, but that March 2016 was a "fantastic corridor" for them.[82] According to sources obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is considering the possibility of having a 70mm release for the film, which was shot in part in 65mm IMAX.[84]

Marketing

At the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International, Snyder introduced the film's first footage intended to be exclusive to the event.[85] A teaser trailer was scheduled to be screened in selected cinemas on April 20, 2015.[86] However, on April 16, the trailer leaked online,[87] and within a few hours Snyder officially released the trailer to Twitter.[88] At the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International, Snyder and the cast attended to present an initial trailer of the film. The trailer was, unlike the teaser which received mixed response, positively received by attendees, who gave the trailer a standing ovation.[89] Mark Hughes of Forbes described the trailers as "both set the stage for a story about the world’s distrust and fear of Superman, Batman’s rage at Superman and intention to duke it out with the Man of Steel, and Wonder Woman’s participation in a big fight featuring the “Trinity”."[90]

At the 2015 Licensing International Expo, Warner Bros. Consumer Products announced that they will partner with Mattel, Lego, Rubies, Thinkway Toys, Junkfood, Bioworld, and Converse (shoe company), to sell merchandise related to the film.[91] In November 2015, Rocksteady Studios released downloadable content for the video game Batman: Arkham Knight that featured the Batmobile and Batsuit from the film.[92] Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Cross Fire, an original companion novel tied to the film, tells a tie-in story set before the events of the movie. A two-book bundle of flip book guide to Henry Cavill's Man of Steel and Ben Affleck's Caped Crusader, contains "everything fans need to know about the stars of the new film." Published by Scholastic Corporation, both books will be released in February 2016.[93]

The second trailer debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on December 3, 2015. It received positive responses,[94][95][96] Favorably, Scott Mendelson of Forbes called the trailer a "Saturday morning cartoon nerd’s wildest dreams.[97] Molly Driscoll of CS Monitor stated that it looks like the film "will continue the trend of adapting comic book stories as timely tales."[98] Graeme McMillan of The Hollywood Reporter noted that based on the trailer's content, the film might be the anti-'Civil War', referring to Marvel's Captain America: Civil War.[99][clarification needed] Rob Tornoe of NewsWorks pointed out that this trailer was made "to appeal to the broadest audience" and that "larger studios are guilty of forgetting the "less is more" credo in a desperate attempt to maximize a film's opening day box office."[100]

Future

Dawn of Justice will accelerate a shared film universe featuring DC Comics characters.[16] Warner Bros. had previously planned a Justice League film in 2008 with George Miller as director, but it was canceled and the studio decided to reboot with Man of Steel instead. Shortly after filming for Man of Steel finished in June 2012, Warner Bros. hired Will Beall to script a new Justice League film.[101] Beall was replaced by Goyer following Man of Steel's release[30] and in April 2014 it was announced that Zack Snyder would be following up Dawn of Justice as director for Justice League for release in 2017.[102] Chris Terrio replaced Goyer as screenwriter.[103] Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, and Ray Fisher are expected to reprise their roles.[104] In October 2014, it was announced that Justice League would be a two-part film, with Snyder directing both parts. The second film is set to be released in 2019.[105]

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