|Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, and Ben Affleck as Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman|
This weekend at the San Diego Comic Con, Warner Bros. showed some footage from Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, their upcoming sequel to Man of Steel, and also gave us our first look at Gal Gadot in her Wonder Woman costume. Exciting stuff to say the least! Gadot looks absolutely perfect and what I've managed to see of the footage blew me away.
|Frank Miller's Dark Knight and Ben Affleck's Batman|
If the images of an angry Superman and an armour clad Batman that have leaked are anything to go by then it seems that director Zack Snyder is going to be recreating the climactic battle between Batman and Superman from Frank Miller's classic Dark Knight Returns. I won't be surprised if the similarities between DKR and the Comic Con footage have set off alarm bells for many Superman fans. DKR is a fantastic story but it's Batman's story, and Superman isn't exactly portrayed in the best light. If Snyder has stuck rigidly to DKR then Superman will be portrayed as a government stooge sent to stop the Batman. He'll be a supporting character and an antagonist in his own sequel.
I can't help but think however that there'll be a lot more going on in this film than that. For a start it's got Wonder Woman and Lois Lane in it, two characters who are absent from DKR. It's also got to launch a Justice League franchise, something that's not going to happen if Superman and Batman are mortal enemies. But these are not the factors that lead me to believe that we're in for something far more more interesting than a DKR rehash. There's one character who hasn't been mentioned this weekend, and he's a character who I think will end up being the most important character in the whole film.
Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor.
In Man of Steel Superman's father, Jor-El, says
You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun, Kal. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.This film is subtitled Dawn of Justice, implying that the film will depict the beginning of the Age of Superheroes. I think we'll see humanity take it's first faltering steps into this new age alongside Superman and Wonder Woman. Humanity will be represented by two men who both consider themselves the peak of human achievement, Batman and Lex Luthor.
Both Batman and Luthor will begin the film viewing Superman as a threat. They will have regarded the events of Man of Steel as a sign that humanity is at risk of becoming the helpless playthings of god-like beings and alien invaders and they'll both, seperately or together, resolve to deal with this threat. In fact they'll both regard themselves as the only people who can deal with this threat. As the film progresses I believe that Superman (and possibly Wonder Woman) will begin to inspire and speak to the best in Batman. Batman will come to understand that rather than being a threat or an invader Superman represents the best in all of humanity, the ideal that we must all strive towards and the ideal that Batman's been striving towards his whole life. I won't be surprised if Batman will begin the film beaten and battle-weary, but will end the film filled with hope (which is of course, what Superman's 'S' stands for). Batman will join Superman and Wonder Woman in the sun.
While Batman represents the side of humanity that sees in Superman what they could one day be, Luthor represents the side of us that would rather wallow in out worst qualities than strive for something greater. He's motivated by spite and jealousy and feels that his achievements are completely invalidated as long as super-beings walk the Earth. As far as Luthor is concerned, he's the one who represents all that humanity can strive for, not Superman. Batman will join Superman in the sun, but Luthor will try to drag Superman down into the darkness with him.
I predict then, that Luthor will be the most important character in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. I may be completely wrong but I think that despite what we saw in the Comic Con footage, the real centrepiece of this film will be the battle between Batman and Luthor rather than Batman and Superman. Luthor and Batman will be two sides of mankind's soul battling for dominance.
The winner will either walk alongside Superman or drag him down to his level.
Or it might just be a two hour punch-up. I don't know. Either way, I'm in!
Click here for my review of Man of Steel!
Click here to see why Man of Steel was more than "disaster porn"!