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Is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on a Heading for Franchise Disaster?

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It was announced yesterday that the second installment of the man of Steel franchise officially had a name – “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

But wait a second – Batman v Superman? This is the second Man Of Steel movie, and not only is Man Of Steel not in the title, but the person that the title references (ie Superman) does not even get top billing? What gives here? This is the second installment of the Superman franchise and he is getting second billing in his own movie!

When the announcement was made that there was going to be a Batman vs Superman movie, I was just as excited as everyone else. However I was under the impression that this would be a Super hero team up Movie. OK the addition of Batman is exciting – isn’t it? The More I thought about it, the more problematic it became. We have just met Superman in this new universe and there is no mention of Batman, let alone any other heroes. So how is this going to work?

Then came the announcement that they will be drawing heavily from Frank Millers Batman vs Superman and the fan-boy in me went into spastic fits of joy. I LOVE FRANK MILLER’S BATMAN VS SUPERMAN STORY! My euphoria was however short lived. We’re back to how is this going to work?

vlcsnap-2014-05-22-12h49m46s75In Miller’s story were are dealing with a post Justice League world. The heroes have come together, forged relationships and have disbanded. Supes and the Bat have a shared history, which brings some fantastic gravitas to the story that makes it so wonderful. In the movie universe, we’ve only just met Kal El and don’t know of any other heroes. Also, as the title suggests this is going to lead into the Justice League forming – So how does an older, tired and seasoned Batman fit into this world?

As if these issues were not enough, we’ve heard confirmed news that Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor would be in the movie. Now in addition to Supes you have three more main characters to develop. Then there are rumors of The Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter showing up – How the hell do you introduce all of these characters and develop them in such away that the audience will give a crap about any of them? (Source – DC Cinematic Universe Wiki)

Having the characters show up in the movie to be seen simply isn’t enough. They rebooted the Superman franchise and met with significant success because we went on a journey with The Last Son of Krypton. However, in their haste to catch up to what is being done in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) they are pushing too many characters into the mix too soon in order to segue into a Justice League team up movie. There will be little to no time for character development for three new characters, let alone the possibilities of adding others.

If all this isn’t enough to make you grimace, lets take a look at this from a different point of view: What the hell is wrong with Warner Brothers???? Super hero franchises are big money right now – and I credit Christopher Nolan with paving the way, starting with Batman Begins. Let’s take a look at something the major movie studious are supposed to understand:

Cold Hard Cash:

Yr Released Title World Wide Gross
2005 Batman Begins $374,218,673
2008 Iron Man $585,174,222
2008 The Incredible Hulk $263,427,551
2008 The Dark Knight $1,004,558,444
2009 X-men Origins: Wolverine $373,062,864
2010 Iron Man 2 $623,933,331
2011 Thor $449,326,618
2011 X-Men: Fist Class $353,624,124
2011 Captain America: First Avenger $370,569,774
2012 The Avengers $1,518,594,910
2012 The Amazing Spider-Man $752,216,557
2012 The Dark Knight Rises $1,084,439,099
2013 Iron Man 3 $1,215,439,994
2013 Man Of Steel $668,045,518
2013 The Wolverine $414,828,246
2013 Thor: The Dark World $644,783,140
2014 Captain America: Winter Soldier $704,051,967*
2014 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 $636,048,230*

(Sources – Wikipedia & Box Office Mojo)
*- Still in Theaters

This makes for a WHOPPING total of – $12,036,343,262. (That’s twelve BILLION for the numerically challenged.)

That represents an Average / Film of  $668,685,736.78 (Greater than half a billion dollars per film.)

More importantly, this represents an Average / Year  of  $1,337,371,473.56 (That’s $1.3 billion, folks.)

So the formula is laid out for you, audiences are chomping at the bit, you have the momentum of the trail that Nolan’s Batman franchise, the MCU and The Man of Steel have blazed for you – WHY WOULD YOU RUSH THE JUSTICE LEAGUE FILM???

There are a slew of major characters that can be developed into standalone franchises, which the last decade has shown can be profitable when treated properly.

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  • shaun says:

    lol this is stupid

    1. alphabetical order, neither character needs to be above the other, its obviously no longer a superman movie, its a justice league beginnings movie, why does the title matter whatsoever seeing as that is the case? you want it to be man of steel 2 yet contain 4 or 5 other justice league members and basically be “superman & the justice league” lol cause thats just worse, its not mos2 accept it

    2. the script was written with the intent of bale joining the cast, so they worked in the original story, why do you think the new batman is older and more withered? alot of superheros retire and go back to it, because he retired in bales movies dosnt mean thats where it ends, so we HAVE heard of and seen batman, just because he isnt mentioned in man of steel, he is seen in terms of the wayne logo and the call batman sign in the background, the wayne logo also is the exact one from bales movies, they would have revamped it if they didnt intend on using bales universe, so likelyhood is batman will come up at first as a legend, a myth, something only some people believe in, when an aliens ie superman lands on the planet, bruce is the first person to worry and start planning, same as he does in the comics and cartoons, he plans ahead, he tries to find weakness’s incase this all powerful being from another planet decides to basically enslave the human race because… he could if he wanted to, batman isnt trusting right away or even 100% ever, but you need to know your knowledge and background on these characters and the DC universe if you are going to judge it correctly

    3. also loved that frank millers story so im with you on that, but i already expected as much from the beginning because its the only realistic fight between the two that dosnt feel silly and wasted like “why didnt superman just do this and kill him” kind of thing, not that he would kill him but you get my point. but now you have to consider something, as ive said about the bale universe, batman is older, more withered, but smarter, the fight between to two works still in terms of millers stories, batman dosnt need to be a major part of the justice league movies, for a few reasons, firstly batman spent alot of time at the watchtower, he is like the leading tactical expert they have, his justice league stories where always best when he did very little yet had the most impact, for instance mid fight he would just disapear, you would wonder wtf but then usually find he was off doing something that was much more important tactically and something that usually saved everyone, like when doomsday is going to destroy earth prime and batman just slips away to stop it, or when he arms all the bombs and tells doomsday to let them all leave with kara or he wont tell him the disarm code, doomsday cant kill him, has to let them go, over, thats the batman we will see, older but smarter, less fighting (because lets face it, seeing a human fight a human amongst supermhumans having a huge battle just feels insignificant, they may restart batman but im not so sure yet, as they then would have to distance themselves from bales movies and theyve already not dont that

    4. wonder woman will just be her civilian self not wonder woman, lex will likely just be that, lex luther, not supermans arch rival, not yet, just a businessman, green lantern i reckon is a big no no, renolds movie was so bad, but theyre already considering a sequel, but i duno if it will be with him, maybe john stewart? as he fits in better i think with the justice league personally, plus we already know cyborg is gona be in the film, so i think were more likely to see his origins otherwise he wouldnt be cast as cyborg yet, just his footballing human self, keeping the surprise for longer

    5. nolan hardly paved the way with the batman movies, i know everyone raves about them and i did like them, but they wernt groundbreaking or anything, it was basically die hard with a batman lol, and they would never have fitted into the universe they are building now unless it was like “a long time ago in a gotham far far away” thats another reason i think batman being old makes sense, its the only way to tie a more realistic movie franchise into a superpowered superhuman metahuman world they are moving into now

    i think you need to relax, we comic fans can think of a million stories that would be amazing to follow and worry when they dont follow them, yet most marvel movies have done the same and veered off at times and still done amazingly well, have faith, dont get your hopes up, just wait for it and when it comes judge it then, DC need to not rush to catch up to marvel, and yes it could be their downfall, but i think theyre smarter than that after films like superman returns and green lantern, just look at the animated movies, almost all of them the past few years have been amazing, faultless.

    • Slider Slider says:

      Shaun,

      This is my opinion so I am not going to argue whether or not it is right or wrong, however I will say that immediately dismissing someone’s opinion as stupid because you disagree is a sign of narrow mindedness.

      That being said it seems to me that you have either entirely missed the point of what I was saying or did not read all the way through. As such I will answer your comments point for point.

      “1. alphabetical order, neither character needs to be above the other, its obviously no longer a superman movie, its a justice league beginnings movie, why does the title matter whatsoever seeing as that is the case? you want it to be man of steel 2 yet contain 4 or 5 other justice league members and basically be “superman & the justice league” lol cause thats just worse, its not mos2 accept it”

      1- In theater and film, and most entertainment media in fact – the order in which names appear is VERY important. It signifies the importance of the people or characters being named. (Please see Backstage.com for more info.) As for it not being a Superman movie, this is not how it was originally announced at San Diego Comic Con. It was announced as a Super hero team up movie between Superman and Batman. While it may be true that they are shifting course, I was given the expectation of a second installment in the franchise – which would have been MoS 2 and include Batman. This is what I was looking forward to. As for your statement:

      “you want it to be man of steel 2 yet contain 4 or 5 other justice league members and basically be ‘superman & the justice league’”

      You could not be more incorrect. I explicitly stated “How the hell do you introduce all of these characters and develop them in such away that the audience will give a crap about any of them?” and that “they are pushing too many characters into the mix too soon in order to segue into a Justice League team up movie.” Since it seems you did not quite get what I was saying, let me translate for you – THERE ARE TOO MANY CHARACTERS IN THIS MOVIE. So no, I do not want “superman & the justice league” I wanted a movie in which our newly introduced Superman encounters batman and they have to deal with each other. I don’t see the need for them to fight at this point. It’s too new and will have heavy implications on the JLA later that would be a mistake to ignore. So their shift in the focus of the franchise only backs up my opinion that – what was it I said? Oh yeah, that THEY’VE LOST FOCUS.

      “2. the script was written with the intent of bale joining the cast, so they worked in the original story, why do you think the new batman is older and more withered?”

      2- Can you cite a source on this? Because it has been fairly well publicized that both Nolan AND Bale have said that the Nolan Batman universe has reached an end. See here, here, and here if you need further clarification on that fact. (You’ll note some of these were written almost a year before the announcement at San Diego Comic Con). Given these statements I think it would have been pretty foolish on the part of the writing staff to put together a script counting on Bale reprising the role. As for not having heard of Batman – The Wayne Industries logo is not enough to equal an active Batman. Wayne Industries was around long before Bruce donned the cape and cowl. However, I concede this point to you. I had forgotten about the “Keep calm and call Batman” Easter-egg in the Man of Steel. Also I never insinuated that Batman would need to trust or even like Superman. In ANY universe where Batman and Superman are together I would expect Bruce to be suspect, and plan for a potential future confrontation. I would even be ok with Wayne having known about Kal-El/Clark Kent before he decided to step into the light, because he is after all – the greatest detective ever. But in DKR Batman is 55 years old and has been out of the superhero business for 10 years (per the DC Wiki). In Nolan’s Batman universe, Bruce comes home from college (presumably 18-22 yrs old) to take revenge on Joe Chill. After this fails he disappears for 7 years before returning to Gotham to take on the Bat persona (making him between 25 and 29 years old). Giving a few years for the events of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight (TDK) he would be at most 32 when he give up the Bat. In The Dark Knight Rises Wayne has been out of it for eight years after the events of TDK, which would make him about 40. This is plenty of weathering and seasoning for this character, and would work well going into this movie if they indeed decide to pull from Nolan’s universe.

      “3. also loved that frank millers story so im with you on that, but i already expected as much from the beginning because its the only realistic fight between the two that dosnt feel silly and wasted like “why didnt superman just do this and kill him”

      3- I’ll reiterate what I said in my first point – I don’t see the need for them to fight at this point. Part of the genius of Millers The Dark Knight Returns is that the fight between the two characters is the culmination of years of tense relations between the two. They KNOW each other. They respect each other, yet Bruce still does not see eye to eye with Clark. In their initial confrontation I’d rather see Bruce use his with against Clark than an all out brawl. This speaks to your description of him as a tactician – let him be tactical, let him use his brain, and plant the seed in the audiences mind that Bruce is preparing for a day when he would have to take batman on. Batman often works unilaterally, even when he is with the League and that is fine – but they should let the two develop a relationship before pitting them against each other in battle. I think that would set an expectation of Batman being primarily a physical character rather than an intellectual one in future installments of the franchise. That’s just my opinion.

      4. wonder woman will just be her civilian self not wonder woman, lex will likely just be that, lex luther, not supermans arch rival, not yet, just a businessman, green lantern i reckon is a big no no, renolds movie was so bad, but theyre already considering a sequel, but i duno if it will be with him, maybe john stewart? as he fits in better i think with the justice league personally, plus we already know cyborg is gona be in the film, so i think were more likely to see his origins otherwise he wouldnt be cast as cyborg yet, just his footballing human self, keeping the surprise for longer

      4- Your point about Wonder Woman simply being Diana in this film – Why? What purpose does it serve? This is one aspect of Comic Book hero stories I have never liked, why does everyone have to be so closely related? I think it is silly and detracts from the reality of the world they are building (Spider-Man is really bad about this, I mean Really? Black Cat is Osborne’s assistant?). I’ve also heard rumor of WW being Superman’s love interest, drawing from the New 52 continuity and I am just not interested in seeing that when they just introduced him to Lois Lane and the Daily Planet. I am ok with Lex not being a main villain, hearing what Jessie Eisenberg has to say about playing the character also gives me concerns. I had no problem with Ryan Reynolds performance as Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern, although it was not a good movie. I personally would prefer John Stewart, but again – not in this movie. It’s ok if they plant a couple of seeds for different characters but I still think the focus should be on Superman and Batman, with any other introductions coming after the main plot of the story is resolved.

      “5. nolan hardly paved the way with the batman movies, i know everyone raves about them and i did like them, but they wernt groundbreaking or anything, it was basically die hard with a batman lol, and they would never have fitted into the universe they are building now unless it was like “a long time ago in a gotham far far away” thats another reason i think batman being old makes sense, its the only way to tie a more realistic movie franchise into a superpowered superhuman metahuman world they are moving into now”

      5- On this point I could not disagree with you more. I get into why I feel that way here, but the short version is Nolan showed that a super hero story could be told in a modern, non campy format and be a financial success. Before his franchise we only had Christopher Reeve’s Superman The Movie and the first two Installments of Tim Burton’s Batman series which were far from perfect (and the rest were pure shit). Nolan’s Batman gave movie studios the courage (to be read the balls) to seriously back a super hero franchise, which has ushered in the last decade of super hero based movies, many which have been FANTASTIC and have brought scores of new fans to these properties. That is the trail Nolan blazed.
      As for you feeling I need to relax and not get my hopes up – I don’t know what age bracket you are in, but I grew up with these characters and seeing real films in which they are portrayed well is extremely important to me. So yes, I get worked up over this. A failure here could really jeopardize future DC franchises that I would love to see come to life. It is OK to veer a bit, but changing the continuity of the characters is a major deviation, and a cause for concern.

      One thing you and I completely agree on is the recent animated movies have been amazing. Gail Simone’s Wonder Woman, the adaptation of Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Superman: Red Son – all have been great. I just really want to see that greatness come to the big screen.

      Thank you for your comments.

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