Aug 30, 2007

Upcoming Movie: Batman vs. Superman

Release Date: Unknown; it will probably be a summer tentpole release of whatever year it's eventually slotted for.

Release Date Note: (8/13/02) Recently announced as a summer, 2004 release, it has now been put on hold while director Wolfgang Petersen concentrates on "Troy" for Warner Bros. first (preview page coming soon). The earliest we're likely to see this film now is summer, 2005.

Title Note: (7/17/02) For the last year or so (or longer, if you believe a report at Corona) that this project has been looming on the development horizon, it's often been known/listed as "World's Finest", though that was admittedly never official, but based on the fact that the idea of "Batman vs. Superman", to most comics fans smacks instantly of the premise of the long-running "World's Finest" comic book, in which the two heroes often/usually paired up (and were occasionally thrown against each other by villains, etc.).

MPAA Rating Note: (7/17/02) Nothing's official until the MPAA sees the final cut, but WB is definitely aiming for a PG-13, and they're likely to make sure they get one.

Distributor: Warner Bros.

Production Company: Radiant Productions (Air Force One, The Perfect Storm) (Wolfgang Petersen's production company)

Cast: None announced yet.

Cast Notes: (7/17/02) Obviously, everyone's big question is who will play the lead roles of Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent in this franchise-reviving epic. In the "Variety" article last week that confirmed him as director (he had merely been "in talks" for the last year), Wolfgang Petersen mentioned Matt Damon as "an interesting action man and a hell of an actor", as an example of the kind of people he's looking at. He also mentioned that he plans to be able to announce his two stars within two to four weeks (ie, by early August, 2002), and that there are also three main female roles (Lois Lane and whom else?). The first site to post a cast rumor was SuperHeroHype.com, running with a story from an unconfirmed source that Christian Bale (American Psycho, Reign of Fire) is a frontrunner for the role of Bruce Wayne.

(7/25/02) This week's issue of "Entertainment Weekly" included a story about this project, with a short list of casting possiblities of Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, James Franco, Jude Law and Paul Walker. Then, yesterday, movie fan Harry Jay Knowles ran a story from an unverified source that it was actually Farrell who was cast as Bruce Wayne, and Jude Law as Kal-El, but this story was quickly debunked by the reliable lads at Corona's Coming Attractions. For what it's worth, if Jude Law was actually signed to play the Big Blue Boy Scout, I'd be sort of elated, because I think he would be a brilliant, against-the-grain choice. With the solar rays of a yellow sun fueling him, why would the Last Son of Krypton need to be a bulked-up dude? Jude Law also has a certain exotic look in his eye that makes him seem otherworldly and... well, alien. That's something the Reeves (George and Christopher), and the other various Supermans missed... the "you're not from around here, are ya' boy?" quality of Kal-El.

(8/12/02) The rumor mill continues to churn, with a post at Superman Home Page on 8/6/02 claiming that Josh Hartnett has joined Jude Law (and others) as a contender for the role of Superman, with Colin Farrell signed to play Bruce Wayne. As with all of these casting rumors, time will ultimately tell who's for real, and which stories were just some clever fan boys engaged in wishful thinking. For what it's worth, this pairing is also what AICN is reporting as well.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen (Air Force One, In the Line of Fire, The Perfect Storm, Das Boot, Outbreak; his next project before this will be Troy, due in 2004; one of the many other projects he has in development is Endurance)

Screenwriter: Andrew Kevin Walker (Seven, Sleepy Hollow, 8MM, Brainscan; cowriter of Hideway ; he's also got the movie version of "The Silver Surfer" in development; preview page coming soon)

Based Upon: This project is, of course, based upon DC Comics' two most popular characters, which they've been publishing for over 60 years (Superman since 1938, Batman since 1939). There have been several movies made over the years featuring either of them, but this will be the first feature film to feature both. It's also not a "sequel" to any pre-existing movie (not, for example, Batman & Robin, starring George Clooney or Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

Similar Projects: Both of the title characters have their own movies in development at Warner Bros., in the form of Batman: Year One and an untitled Superman project. It's possible one of those might be made in time for 2005 or 2006.

Kryptonite Note: (7/17/02) The natural reaction a person might have to the idea of Batman taking on Superman in a fight is that Batman would get creamed, but... the comic books have long given the Dark Knight an advantage. Down in the Batcave, Batman keeps a kryptonite ring, "just in case". This movie may not use exactly that approach, but I thought it was worth pointing out that the fight is not necessarily all one-sided.

Premise: Not much is known yet (7/17/02) about the exact details of this film's premise, except that it involves a situation where the differing philosophical approaches of the caped guardians of Gotham City and Metropolis, long-time allies Batman and Superman, pit them against each other (and that this film does not follow the continuity of either of the previous Batman or Superman movies). There are rumors that the main villains are the Joker and Lex Luthor, but that's not confirmed. Also, I notice that Wolfgang Petersen keeps mentioning September 11th a lot... and how something horrible happens that sends Batman over the edge. Is it possible that something horrible, a sort of "cataclysm" (hint, hint, comics fans) happens to Gotham City? (9/18/02) This New York Times article, reprinted at SuperHeroHype, describes the premise as being about the death of Batman's girlfriend, which he blames on Superman, leading to a conflict between the two heroes, which culminates with Superman somehow "[saving] Batman's soul."

Filming: Production is tentatively scheduled to start in February, 2003 (or possibly March at the latest), to make a summer, 2004 release. Filming is expected to last five or six months, followed by nearly a year of intensive special effects and CGI postproduction.

Genre: Action, Eye Candy, Science Fiction, Sequel, Superhero

Unconfirmed Treatment Review: AICN (reportedly, this is a review of a 40-page treatment by Andrew Kevin Walker, but it seems to lack the qualities that Wolfgang Petersen has been hawking, mainly, the whole *versus* element... the idea that Batman and Superman are fighting each other ideologically as well as teaming up to fight crime; but... until we know for sure that this is bogus, I thought it was worth a link for curiousity's sake)

Script Review: Superman-V.com (positive)

Unofficial Preview Sites: Comics2Film.com, Batman-OnFilm.com, SuperHeroHype.com

Official Character Sites: Batman.com, Superman.com

Status: In Development

Message Board: Share your thoughts on our "Batman vs. Superman" Message Board

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