Shortly before the release of Man of Steel in 2013, Warner Bros. greenlit a sequel, with director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David Goyer returning. Initially, fans expected another standalone Superman sequel. But at San Diego Comic-Con a month later, the studio announced that Superman would be co-headlining the film with none other than Batman. This, of course, was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
While most are very excited about seeing Batman and Superman in the same live action film for the first time ever, there are some who would have preferred a standalone Man of Steel sequel first. Of course, another Superman movie is expected to release sometime between 2016 and 2020, but what if Batman v Superman didn’t have the Dark Knight?
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly (via HenryCavill.org), Snyder reveals that the original plan was to make a direct sequel to Man of Steel. There were discussions over which villain Superman would fight next – Metallo was being lined up for the main antagonist role in Man of Steel 2, while Brainiac would come later. “I remember we were talking about ‘What’s the next villain?’ We can’t do another alien invasion.’ Brainiac was definitely down the road. Metallo, I think, was going to be the main bad guy of this movie.”
However, when speaking with Goyer and executive producer Christopher Nolan, Snyder suggested an Easter egg that would grow to be so much more. “I said, ‘What about at the end of the movie we do a scene where there’s a crate full of kryptonite delivered to Wayne Manor.’ Everyone was like… ‘Okaay.’ Once you say it out loud it’s a problem because you can’t unsay it.” Thus, the film evolved from a solo Superman installment into an epic clash with Batman.
Superman actor Henry Cavill weighs in on this decision. He said before that Batman v Superman is not exactly a Man of Steel sequel, and here, he rehashes that. “As far as the individual character is concerned, this is not a Superman sequel. It’s more of an introduction to Batman, an opening to Justice League, and an expansion of the world that was created in Man of Steel.”
Speaking of Justice League, we have an update on that epic superhero ensemble. It was reported last year that Chris Terrio – who rewrote Goyer’s script for Batman v Superman – was set to write the movie, which has since been split into two parts. EW’s article mentions that Terrio has now finished writing his Justice League script. Snyder recalls locking himself and Terrio into a room to map out this franchise, saying, “Chris would talk and I would draw and it was basically this weird mural of the movies with no words.”
With the script for Justice League finished, the film can now move forward with the pre-production process. The one hero who has yet to be cast is Green Lantern, who is rumored to be announced at Comic-Con next week. Then, there’s the main villain, who is reportedly Brainiac. Production is apparently set to begin in early 2016. Part One is scheduled for a 2017 release, while Part Two is slated for 2019. Exciting times.
Finally, EW spoke with Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe (looks like that’s the official name for this franchise). The actress is getting ready to begin filming her own Wonder Woman movie with director Patty Jenkins – also set for a 2017 release – and she will go directly into Justice League. Gadot is obviously pleased with a female superhero finally getting her own film this decade, saying, “I think it’s about time for a female heroine to hold her own in a superhero movie. It’s been too long.”
For even more of Entertainment Weekly’s coverage of Batman v Superman, be sure to pick up this week’s issue, on sale today.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is scheduled to hit theaters March 25th, 2016. The second installment in the DC Cinematic Universe stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot. Zack Snyder directs from a script by Chris Terrio and David S Goyer.