"I think it would be really interesting with the age-old Batman/Superman conflict… They are two different sides of the same coin and their methods are entirely different. And I think it would actually make for an interesting story as to why, first of all, they were going head to head and how. I think that would make a great story."
These are the words Henry Cavill spoke to website SFX a little over one month ago while doing press for "Man of Steel." I think our new Superman was trying to prepare comic book fans mentally for what proves to be one of the most monumental announcements ever uttered in regards to a superhero movie: The Dark Knight and the Last Son of Krypton will be bumping heads in the follow-up to Zack Snyder's recent reboot.
All the excitement started when "Man of Steel" Director Zack Snyder walked out on stage at the end of the Warner Bros-Legendary Pictures panel at San Diego Comic-Con.
"It's official that we are going to make another Superman movie. I've pored through the DC universe for a way to tell this thing," he announced to the packed room. The real surprise came when actor Harry Lennix who plays General Swanwick in Man of Steel started reading from Frank Miller's critically acclaimed 1986 graphic novel "The Dark Knight Returns."
"In all the years to come, in all the most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you," he quoted. Any Batman fan worth his weight knows these are the words the Caped Crusader communicates to Superman after their explosive battle in Miller's book.
The crowd went wild as a Superman symbol superimposed over a Batman logo appeared on the screen above the stage where Snyder and the rest of the panel sat. It was an incredible moment that will no doubt be talked about for years to come.
Fans have been teased in the past about such a legendary team-up. An announcement was made as far back as 2004 that Director Wolfgang Peterson was making "Batman vs. Superman." However, the project fell apart and nothing was really mentioned about it again. In 2005's "I Am Legend," a billboard in Times Square featured a version of the Batman/Superman logo.
Snyder stated that the follow-up to "Man of Steel" wouldn't be a straight adaptation of "The Dark Knight Returns" but will use it for inspiration. The new film, rumored to be titled "Batman vs. Superman," will be co-written by David S. Goyer and Snyder. Goyer will then write the screenplay to be directed by Snyder. Christopher Nolan will be acting as an executive producer for the project.
No word has been uttered as to who will pick up the role of Batman, since Christian Bale stated he has no interest in returning to the role. I've heard people suggest everyone from Ryan Gosling to Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Gordon-Levitt appears to take on the cape and cowl at the end of "The Dark Knight Rises." However, this seems highly unlikely.
I suspect casting directors will be looking for someone a bit younger than Bale to take over as the Dark Knight and billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. Whoever ends up taking the role will need to appear young enough to convincingly play the character for the next few years. Warner Bros tentatively plans to release the untitled "Man of Steel" follow-up in 2015 followed by a "Flash" movie in 2016 and a "Justice League" team-up in 2017.
"I'm so excited to begin working again with Henry Cavill in the world we created, and I can't wait to expand the DC Universe in this next chapter. Let's face it, it's beyond mythological to have Superman and our new Batman facing off, since they are the greatest Super Heroes in the world," Snyder commented after the Warner Bros-Legendary Pictures panel concluded.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
Could We See a Batman/Superman Team-Up Movie Soon?
"Superman / Batman: Sorcerer Kings" Graphic Novel Review
Movie Review: "Man of Steel"