Batman vs Superman (2016)

Batman vs. Superman PosterRelease Date: May 6, 2016

Director: Zack Snyder

Writer: Zack Snyder, David S. Goyer

Starring: Amy Adams, Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg

Synopsis:

The Man of Steel faces off against the Dark Knight.

Wonder Woman

We may not have entered the golden age of superheroines just yet — is this the Bronze Age? Iron? Cubic Zirconia? — but things are certainly looking much brighter than they ever have before. Earlier this week, Marvel announced its standalone Captain Marvel film (hurray, Carol Danvers!) and now word is eking out about what we can expect to see from DC’s own head superheroine, Wonder Woman. We already know more about Wonder Woman (Diana Prince if you’re into concealing identities) and her role in the DC universe than we know about Captain Marvel and the respective MCU, including who will play her (Gal Gadot) and when she’ll first appear (she’s the third lead in Batman v Superman: The Justice is Coming), but that still leaves a lot to learn, including what we can expect from her planned solo film, arriving after Batman and Superman presumably bash each other’s heads in while WW sighs dismissively and then does something cool over on the side. And yet! Over at Bleeding Cool, the outlet reports a bevy of information about not just the first Wonder Woman feature, but subsequent follow-ups. It’s a franchise! It’s into time-jumping! It’s history-y! It’s, well, it’s kind of brilliant.

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king kong vs godzilla 1962

Some things should be left to the message boards. Or at least to the comic books. The question of “Who would win in a fight between…” probably goes back millennia. Prehistoric man would look at two different beloved cave drawings and ponder a battle between a bear on one wall and a lion from another. Maybe an early storyteller came up with the tale of this match, concluding the narrative with the animals teaming up and going after a common enemy: humans. Or, because they were man’s villains, the story probably went the other way, with the bear and the lion being manipulated by their prey to fight each other, the result being a draw where they both lose. The latter is basically updated in the movie Freddy vs. Jason. The former story is more apt for one in which two heroes are pit against each other. The upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is assumed to be that sort. The title characters are expected to fight — unless there’s a bait-and-switch a la Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever — and then of course wind up joining forces to at least form the Justice League. One of the most anticipated parts of Avengers: Age of Ultron, meanwhile, is the promise of an Iron Man vs. Hulk scene, which will have to be a brief obstacle for these characters before they reunited as Avengers and go after Ultron.

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Batmobile in Batman vs Superman

The very first thing you notice when you look at the new Batmobile from Batman vs Superman is that it looks fantastically aggressive. It’s a beast. Local police forces looking to oppress their citizens are drooling on unfiled paperwork right now. The second thing you notice about this progressively armored urban assault vehicle is the twin guns where the hood ornament should be. But if Batman doesn’t kill people, what’s the point of it? Flashbangs? Rubber bullets? Will the older, gruffer Batfleck replace Intimidation Mode with live rounds? Obviously, Zack Snyder hasn’t shied away from having Superman snap necks, so maybe the dark knight has finally relented on his one rule after a half century of fighting the same dumb battles. Then again, maybe Batman simply doesn’t understand what death is. R.I.P Doctor Fishy.

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batman-v-superman-logo

Warner Bros. took the stage this morning at Comic-Con in San Diego to show off some of its upcoming film slate, including a quick look at Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (yes, they are still serious about that title). According to reports from various media attending the event, Zack Snyder took the stage, fresh off a plane that came directly from the film’s set, to show off a short teaser trailer. He also welcomed the trinity of headlining cast — Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot — to the stage before also showing off some images of the cast in their costumes. After the break, we’ve got descriptions of the footage and a first (slightly blurry) look at Gal Gadot in her Wonder Woman armor, complete with a sword.

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batman-v-superman-logo

Here’s something that is true: filmmaker Kevin Smith is a consummate comic book fan, one who almost got to see his own vision of Superman hit the big screen a couple of decades ago (the film that would have been titled Superman Lives, a failed feature that was so tweaked, rewritten, and run into the ground that it was eventually in the nineties), one who has also penned some special series about another favorite comic book superhero (that would be Batman) and someone who is clearly excited about what Zack Snyder‘s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice holds for DC Comics’ most beloved superheroes and the DC universe at large. Here’s something else that is true: Kevin Smith is not involved with Batman v Superman, and the proliferation of rumors that link the busy filmmaker to a film that he’s not even remotely attached to have become so bizarre and bloated that it’s incredible that anyone could discuss them with a straight face, no matter how desperate everyone seems to be for information on the much-hyped film. The latest Smith-centric rumor that recently hit the web held that Smith penned an entire fake script for the production, which was then purposely leaked it to the press to throw them off the trail of the film’s actual direction. This is, of course, not true. Smith himself took to the Internet today to straighten out a rumor that gained significant traction, well, on the Internet. Cinema Blend clued their readers in to a Smith announcement (Smith-nnouncement? Smod-ment?) earlier today that vowed to clear up the […]

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Batman v Superman

Comic-Con has begun to rear its ugly head. And with it, the fans patiently waiting for Comic-Con have quietly gone insane, and are now treating every baseless internet rumor like pure liquid truth dribbled from the mouth of a loving God. But fear not, you crazed rabble. Warner Bros and Zack Snyder have provided something real: the first photo of the Man of Steel (thanks to USA Today) in this Man of Steel sequel with a completely different title. Take it in below. (And please adjust your screen brightness accordingly. You’ve been warned.)

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batman-v-superman-logo

Bad titles aren’t a big deal. You can have a bad title and still be a great movie. Just look at Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Or The Shawshank Redemption, which appears on as many lists of the worst titles of all time as lists of the greatest movies of all time. Typically, though, a bad title is assigned to a bad movie. It’s not really a coincidence, either, as a bad title is a good sign of a bad production overall. It’s a first impression of a total failure on all creative levels. So, when we see a title like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, there’s good reason to think there’s trouble brewing with that movie. It’s not just worthy of snark and parody (although I am proud of my “Dawn of Buford T. Justice” gag). Titles of franchise installments have been getting out of hand for years, and it’s always fun to ridicule something that’s basically a double colon title (Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life) or a name that doesn’t really make a lot of sense (Quantum of Solace and Star Trek Into Darkness). But this latest offender isn’t just bad. It’s a representation of all that’s wrong with comic book movies right now.

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Ben Affleck Batman

After all the consternation and fear, here is an absolutely stunning first look at Ben Affleck as Batman in Zack Snyder’s Batman vs Superman.  I shot this with my @Leica_Camera M Monochrom. #Batman #Batmobile #Gotham http://t.co/WPHKLxgBLM pic.twitter.com/p5DEf6fLzJ — ZackSnyder (@ZackSnyder) May 13, 2014 That’s a hell of a plug for Leica, yeah?

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Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

For those keeping score at home, Batman vs Superman has Batman, it has Superman, it has Wonder Woman, and now it has Cyborg. According to Variety, Ray Fisher — known for playing Muhammad Ali on Broadway — will play the S.T.A.R. Labs-born superhero with genius intelligence and state-of-the-art armor. The idea of Muhammad Ali teaming up with Batman is awesome (Hollywood couldn’t make that happen in the 1970s?), but Fisher’s casting also makes it clear how much the 2016 superhero team-up from Warners plans to build toward the 2017 superhero team-up. Essentially, they now have 4 members of the Justice League in their non-Justice League movie. Obviously it’s unclear how much of Victor Stone/Cyborg we’ll see in the movie, just as it’s unclear how much we’ll see of Wonder Woman, but if they’re present on the scene it means that 1) we might be able to skip over their origin stories and 2) that Samuel L. Jackson might roll up in a post-credits sequence saying he’s been authorized to go ahead with the “Justice League Initiative.”

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Sucker Punch Movie

After years of development hell, news broke in December that Gal Gadot would become cinema’s first Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman. The story is under wraps, and only time will tell what sort of role Diana will play in the superhero battle. Will she kick ass? Will her appearance Sucker Punch us with badness like David E. Kelley’s quickly killed series and Snyder’s shitty femme film? Could she end up on the editing room floor like Shailene Woodley in Spider-Man 2? These questions feel all the more pressing since Marvel head Kevin Feige recently expressed pride in how the company has chosen to show its female characters. Black Widow has been relegated to supporting player, and Captain Marvel is still floating around the rumor mill like so much lip service, rather than becoming an official part of one of Marvel’s carefully planned release phases. If Marvel isn’t going to step up to the plate and commit, that means everything rests on DC’s Wonder Woman, the superhero who’s “tricky” … except that she’s not. Recent film history gives DC all it needs to know to make Wonder Woman a powerful warrior and not a Babydoll or Sweet Pea. If only they’ll look, and stop obsessing over how “difficult” Diana is.

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Gal Gadot

Fast & Furious actress Gal Gadot is already nailing down the boldness she’ll be expected to impart in her role as Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel, as she’s straight up dropping big info on her role as the iconic Amazonian; at least so far as cash and contracts are concerned. Via Batman-News, in a story reported on Good Evening With Gai Pines, a show in Gadot’s native Israel, we learn that Warner Bros will be ponying up $300,000 for her first appearance alongside Henry Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s Batman. What’s more, we get a solid starting date for filming, with Gadot saying the Man of Steel sequel gets rolling in May of this year. As noted previously by Variety, the film’s release date has been pushed to May 6, 2016.

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It seems sentient computer programs aren’t the only ones capable of falling in love with Joaquin Phoenix. Warner Bros seems to have done the same, and the studio is trying to woo the Her actor in the same manner most eleven year-old boys do: by letting him play with its newest Batman action figure. Yes, WB wants Phoenix for a role in Batman vs. Superman. But like everything else related to WB’s first attempt at mishmashing its DC Comics properties into a single film, much of the deal is unclear and/or shrouded in several layers of secrecy. First off, Phoenix hasn’t actually been offered the role. According to Variety, WB simply “wants” the actor for a part in their superhero epic, meaning that no deals have been made, or even attempted. Variety notes some hesitation on both sides, regarding Phoenix’s desire for a big-budget role. He’s not exactly a Hollywood blockbuster guy, after all, and he’s been on a strict diet of independent films ever since 2005’s Walk the Line. With that in mind, would he even want a part in a billion-dollar superhero mashup?

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Superman Batman and Wonder Woman

There’s a wacky political theory (hear me out and stop yawning) that commercials for presidential candidates don’t actually do anything. The thinking is pretty simple: since commercials only increase name recognition, and the people running for the highest office already have a metric ton of name recognition, candidates spend hundreds of millions to move the needle not at all. Strangely, no campaign has ever had the brass buttons to give us a real-world test of the theory. The movie studio corollary is fairly simple to spot — particularly in an age where the name of your franchise is theoretically far more important for your movie’s potential popularity than the name of the actor playing the part. We’re in a post-star era, but the extent of actors’ diminished effect on bringing in fans isn’t really clear, leading to an important franchise question. Would it really matter who played Superman? Batman? Wonder Woman? Katniss? That Sparkly Vampire Guy? Actors have already caught on to the phenomenon and capitalized on it by extending their profiles into the independent world, going as far as ensuring financing for small films that otherwise wouldn’t be made without them. Best of all, they do this without risking their “personal brand” as “big time movie stars” at all. In that sense, the shift has been freeing, and it can be freeing for studios, too, as they become more comfortable choosing from outside the same 10-name list for higher profile roles. In the best case scenario, it’ll give directors […]

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Gal Gadot

Yesterday’s news that Fast & Furious actress Gal Gadot has been picked to play Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman inevitably stirred up plenty of ire in fans of the character, superhero junkies, and people who straight-up think it’s okay to take to the World Wide Web to bitch about the abilities and appearance of a person they’ve never met. It was a sadly standard response to big time casting news, but no matter how unsurprising it was, that doesn’t mean it’s in any way acceptable. When Gadot’s casting was announced, the Internet exploded with all sorts of chatter about her appropriateness for the role, nearly all of it rooted in how the Israeli actress looks, very little of it had to do with her acting chops or that she has starred in a limited number of roles (making her talent a bit harder to examine). Most of it was disheartening at best, ugly at worst, as various people felt the need to take to the web to air out their thoughts on Gadot’s body – my Twitter feed alone was clogged with repeated phrases like “too skinny,” “small,” and “little.” And, yes, most of the people I follow on Twitter are involved in the entertainment world in a professional capacity, this was not just irate fans mouthing off. It was an upsetting afternoon.

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To those who’ve been clamoring for a Wonder Woman film, your prayers have been answered… more or less. Today comes the announcement that the oft-rumored “female lead” of Batman vs. Superman will, in fact, be Wonder Woman, and that DC‘s biggest superhero will be played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot, of the Fast & Furious franchise. It’s a momentous moment for Wonder Woman fans, superhero fans, and anyone who’s ever written a blog post entitled “Where’s My Wonder Woman Movie Already?” Here’s what Batman vs. Superman director Zack Snyder had to say on the matter: “Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role. We look forward to audiences discovering Gal in the first feature film incarnation of this beloved character.” That’s about par for the course. But like any big piece of superhero news, an answer (in this case, to the question “Where’s My Wonder Woman Movie Already?”) often brings with it a bajillion new questions. What follows are some of the more pertinent ones.

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Look, I know we all love Batman. His cool gadgets. His imposing figure. The way he dresses like a diminutive winged mammal and punches people in the head. And with the latest non-LEGO incarnation of the caped crusader still a few years away, things can be a little tough sometimes. We all need our coping mechanisms- maybe revisit earlier Batman films, pick up a comic book or swallow fistfuls of gravel in an attempt to sound more like Christian Bale.

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Wonder Woman by Jeff Chapman

The Wonder Woman movie must be setting some kind of record for most chatter about a movie that hasn’t even been announced yet. I’m as guilty of contributing to that as anyone else, considering my earlier piece for FSR that laid out some of the challenges facing that film. This week’s fuel for blogger speculation comes from some statements made by Thor: The Dark World actress Jaimie Alexander. Her role as badass warrior Sif and her raven hair already made her a frontrunner on many fanboy casting wishlists for Wonder Woman. All it took were a few cryptic statements from her about knowing the basic story of Batman vs. Superman and rumor-mongering sites started spinning stories about how she was a front-runner for the role. As ridiculous as it is that these rumor crumbs blow up into full-blown scoops, it speaks to how much anticipation there is for a Wonder Woman movie. At this point, such demand is taken so much as a given that I was surprised that I’ve seen little consideration of why people are convinced Wonder Woman merits a feature film. Is it because of the character – or because of what she represents?

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news ben affleck is batman

Per The Wrap, Ben Affleck will play Batman in the upcoming sequel to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Go ahead. Bitch, moan, complain, and vent about how terrible this casting is because of Gigli or Daredevil or his association with Kevin Smith. We’ll wait.

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Batman vs. Superman

The image above has been circulating around the web all day, passing itself off as the official logo for the upcoming Batman/Superman team-up movie. The still-untitled, Zack Snyder directed project is in the writing stages and as far as we can tell, Warner Bros. has not officially produced any artwork. So it could be the creation of an excited, intrepid fan. Either way, it’s close to the logo that appeared on screen at Comic-Con over the weekend. All that aside, the world is already trying to dig into what this movie is all about. We don’t know what it’s called for sure — many are calling it World’s Finest, after the popular comic series — but writer David S. Goyer has started talking about his script and its potential titles.

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nicholas-cage-superman-lives

Few franchises have crashed and burned as spectacularly as the Superman films, which reached their nadir with 1987’s fourth installment, The Quest for Peace, which grossed barely a tenth the box office of Richard Donner’s classic origin story a decade earlier. SUPERMAN’S DIMINISHING RETURNS Superman (1978) $134M Superman II (1980) $108M Superman III (1983) $60M Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) $15M With Tim Burton’s dark, gritty Batman demolishing box office records in 1989, Warner Bros. had no reason to think audiences would respond to the brighter, more colorful Man of Steel mythos – at least, not until 1992, when DC Comics’ bestselling “The Death and Return of Superman” cycle put The Daily Planet’s most famous reporter back on the front page. In the comics (later turned into a 2007 animated film, Superman: Doomsday), Superman is killed by a creature called Doomsday, before being resurrected after a three-month publishing hiatus which became a publicity magnet. Deciding that the death-and-rebirth story merited a movie, Warner placed a full-page ad in the trade press announcing a working-titled Superman: The New Movie, with Batman producer Jon Peters at the wheel, and screenwriter Jonathan Lemkin (Lethal Weapon 4, Devil’s Advocate, Demolition Man), at the typewriter.

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published: 12.23.2014
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