2016 seeks to answer the one unanswered question of our lives – who will win in a fight, Batman or Superman?Just kidding, it’s so much more than that. Speculations, constructed dream-plotlines, scavenging near the movie site for over an year, and we just may have a possible plot of the actual movie. Constantly promised by Warner Bros. for over a decade, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is probably the most awaited superhero movie of all time, even receiving a nod in the post-apocalyptic thriller I am Legend. I will not be posting every tiny detail or leak received about this movie, but now there are certainly a few things to talk about. Badass Digest recently came out with a story regarding Chris Terrio’s original script draft as it was prior to production. It has revealed a few interesting confirmations and rejections of speculated ideas, as well as addresses a major concern the fans had with Man of Steel.
- Superman – After the eventful Man of Steel and the Kryptonian invasion, Kal-El has now become a more global phenomenon, as the movie takes place two years after Zod. He has never forgotten his murder of Zod and is constantly striving to become a beacon of light, a sign of hope for the people of Earth, as his insignia did for Krypton. Superman’s constant presence is felt all around, and the other nations are starting to react. There is quite obviously a huge portion of the people who are against the idea of a possibly immortal supergod flying around their cities, unchecked and inflicting fear. Readers of Frank Miller’s magnum opus The Dark Knight Returns will see the semblance in the media and worldwide debate over the question of Superman in this film to the heated debate across news channels over the question of the Caped Crusader. This is where those leaked set images of angry masses burning an effigy of Superman and holding up signs come in, also symbolically representing the angry fans after Man of Steel.
Haters of the mass destruction and thoughtless murder in Man of Steel can rest now, as it is clear now that DC had a plan to highlight and explore exactly those faults of Superman. BvS is set to hold the Man of Steel on trial in front of the world, and his righteous prosecutor will be Batman. Ironically, this also plays into the running joke that the title of the movie suggests that it is about a court trial between Batman and Superman. Metaphors abound.
As seen at the end of Man of Steel, Kal-El has accepted the allegiance of the U.S. Government and is now working in co-operation with them. This obviously poses a threat and induces fear in all other nations, and it is the powerful who voice their objections. China, for one, prominently stands in opposition to the Man of Steel, who they perceive as a weapon of the United States. These were also themes touched upon in The Dark Knight Returns. It seems in this iteration, focus shall be on the international ripples caused by the Superman phenomenon, and the lengths people go to react.
Clark Kent still works at the Daily Planet, having moved in with Lois, who seem to be putting her award-winning journalism to use as recon and data for the Man of Steel.
- Batman – Speaking of people reacting, the Caped Crusader has always been known to take precautionary measures and develop plans of action in case any threat pops up. This was made quite clear to us in the graphic novel Tower of Babel and the animated movie Justice League: Doom. If you haven’t read or seen either, here is a video where Batman meticulously explains what PoA he has prepared for his allies, and even himself.
Quite similarly, the Dark Knight of the new cinematic universe has been observing and tracking Kal-El for quite some time, following his activities. He was even present at Metropolis amidst the ruins of the battle with Zod, which is where the shot of Bruce Wayne standing in the ruins of city comes in. (This was recounted by sources on the set)
He has been developing anti-Superman weapons and traps, just as the armoured suit and Kryptonite arrow used by the aging Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight Returns. It is at the moment rumored that Batman will don a Kryptonite-laced armour, an image of which we have already seen in the teaser trailer at Comic Con, as seen below.
It seems no movie with Batman in it can be devoid of the quintessential origin tale of that fateful night in Crime Alley. I am not opposed to this in any way, especially considering the true-to-the-comics origin involving the screening of Zorro at the Gotham theatre. BvS too, in fact begins with the origin of Batman, and then goes on to show the destruction of Metropolis.I guess we could say that this movie is more about perceptions, and mainly observing Kal through the eyes of Bruce.
These tidbits rightly reveal that this does not steal the show away from Superman, and deny his story a sequel, but rather it is him that all eyes are pointed at. The Dark Knight acts as the observer, serving as eyes for the audience, to have a good look at the Kryptonian.
- Wonder Woman – We are yet to receive too much information on the Amazonian warrior princess, to be played by Gal Gadot in the upcoming movie. But the reason I include this is just a single line, which reads, “a woman who walks the streets today but who is seen in pictures from the 1800s. A wonder woman, you might say.” It seems Lex has been monitoring meta-humans or unnatural beings on planet Earth for quite a while now, and one of his prime targets is Diana, the Wonder Woman. What is interesting to me here is the fact that she has been in the picture since the 1800s.
I know many had their qualms with the new Wonder Woman look as revealed by Snyder, being skimpy (even if not as much as the star spangled underpants version) and holding a sword, slightly uncharacteristic of her. Now what if the image on the left that was revealed to us of Diana in full combat armour was from her time in the 19th century, possibly taking part in some war? Now that could be most interesting and an incredible bait-and-switch for the fans, and who knows, we may even get to see the Diana on the right in action.
There are possible connections between the Amazonian and the Atlantean too, since both Wonder Woman and Aquaman share mythological origins, with the former being the daughter of Zeus, and the latter being the King of Atlantis, possibly a son of Poseidon?
- The Villains – We already know that one of the major villains in BvS is Lex Luthor, as played by Jesse Eisenberg, who I think is quite appropriate for this shade of Lex as a self-made millionaire, probably making money on the internet landscape, and puppeteering the battle while maintaining a meek and soft exterior. While he may not be the imposing threat at hand in BvS, I think it will be the realization of his masterplan that brings all of the Justice League – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Cyborg – together for the final defense in Justice League: Part 1 come 2017.
While it is expected that Lex will not be involved in the action, but scheming and pulling the strings for his master-plan to unfold, it is Doomsday who will act as the physical opponent that the World’s Finest will need to take on. It is quite probable that this monster is created by LexCorp utilizing certain Kryptonian DNA or artifacts retrieved from the World Machines or Kryptonian spacecraft. The battle with Doomsday will be the major battle in the film and will also show to the world a Superman changed since his tryst with Zod (and Batman) faced with such a massive threat. There will be certain tongue-in-the-cheek lines to haters of the first movie, along the lines of ‘I will not kill you, but I will take you in!’ But the script also reveals that he has not mastered his temper as yet, threatening at a point to break the villain’s back.
It is also known now that a lesser known Batman villain, KGBeast (In the comics, an ex-agent of the KGB who went rogue, and at one point chopped off his own arm to escape Batman’s trap), will also be present in the movie as a mercenary of Luthor, though we’re not sure to what extent he will be the murderous brawn as he in the comics.
- Others – The DC Universe is not just a superhero-supervillain camp, but finds strength in other supporting characters as well. As already mentioned, Lois is still working as an ace reporter for the Daily Planet and helping Kal-El with her sources and data.
It has been rumored that Commissioner Jim Gordon will already be dead in the timeline of this movie. While this remains unconfirmed, it could very well be that instead of having Joker’s murder of Jason Todd, Snyder decided to go with the loss of his trusted ally as Batman’s grief and brooding.
Alfred Pennyworth will be seen to take a more hardened persona, sources going so far as to say he could handle setting off bombs and is also a loyal husband. In fact, Jeremy Irons does exude a certain toughness and darker pasts than Michale Caine’s in The Dark Knight trilogy.
General Swanwick, played by Harry Lennix, has after the events of Man of Steel come to trust and accept Superman as a savior of the people, and requests the angry masses to trust him, for he can do what we can’t do for ourselves.
It seems this Batman v Superman will be more about the Man of Steel than we thought. Details regarding Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman, Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, and possibly Ezra Miller’s Flash remain unknown, although I hope that they show both the Flash and Cyborg prior to their super-identities, and their individual movies framing their origins. Another thing I would like to see, or rather not see, in BvS is the minimal usage of Aquaman. He should be referred to and maybe seen briefly, but not involved in the actual plot since come on; you’ve got enough flesh for this movie already. Keep something aside for Justice League: Part 1. More leaks and reveals are bound to surface, and I, for one, am waiting with baited breath for the first trailer that will probably be out tomorrow, with the screening of Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.