Snyder announces Superman versus Batman
Zack Snyder has announced that Batman and Superman will be sharing the same screen in the next film following his recently released Man of Steel. While there aren't many details he did get Harry Lennix, who played General Swanwick in the Man of Steel film, to read a line of text taken from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns comic series and graphic novel.
Immediately there was excitement, and why not the story is highly regarded and is an absolute corker, especially for those who want to be educated against the "how could a normal man beat Superman" comment.
Except there's a problem, this can't be The Dark Knight Returns, can it?
The quote that Zack Snyder had Harry Lennix read at the big San Diego Comic-Con is from The Dark Knight Returns, the comic series and graphic novel that Frank Miller wrote which pitched Batman against Superman, here it is through Entertainment Weekly. The quote is when Batman has Superman up against it and the battle looks to have fallen his way.
"I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come. In all your most private moments. I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you."
The story is a superb one and I know that those who haven't read it are screaming "how could a man beat Superman?" and coming out with all these justifications, then saying that the only way would be with Kryptonite - wrong - I say read the story and you'll see, it's one of the best I've ever read.
So is Zack Snyder bringing that to film? No, he can't be. How can I know that when no one else knows any details? Well The Dark Knight Returns is Batman's story, it's all from his point of view and it's well on in both their lives.
He could be turning it around and writing it from Superman's point of view because for him it's a seminal moment in his understanding of the world around him. Batman does call him out on his behaviour regarding the government, doing whatever they want without much question and being used as a political tool. This could make for an interesting core for the story and adding in the idea that he is fallible, that he can be beaten by brains over brawn does bring something more to the story. That said, would all that be enough?
The insinuation from this quote is that the storyline will see them do battle against each other and not go to one of the buddy storylines we've seen. Although saying that there's nothing to say that they might start out one way and end another. Maybe Snyder and his team are taking The Dark Knight Returns and other storylines to build a new one, pulling threads from them all to deliver something much more unique?
Certainly Snyder has proven he can bring the comic book to life, look to 300 (Filmstalker review) and the astonishingly good Watchmen (Filmstalker review) for just how well he can do it, so he could bring The Dark Knight Returns to life from a Superman perspective - remember this is the Man of Steel sequel isn't it?
If they did film The Dark Knight Returns they would have to turn to an older Batman, one that has been away and returned, and it also probably means a one off actor. I wonder if they possibly could entice Christian Bale back for one film, one last gasp in the mask? I doubt it, he's been pretty clear he wouldn't come back, so are we looking at a one Batman film actor?