There was one large announcement at SDCC 2013 that was very similar to a fire work. We had no indication it was happening then POW! It blew up, shining large and bright and then it fizzled out under the information overload that was every other superhero movie there. You would think WB and DC announcing the sequel to Man of Steel includes the legendary Bruce Wayne/Batman would be something to top every fanboy’s dreams. But how could such a large announcement disappear so quickly?
Judging from articles stating the top 10 or 20 announcements at SDCC this year, Batman/Superman was definitely in most of the top 5s. In fact it has led to some interesting discussion myself and I’m rather well known for not being a DC guy. So the announcement is known, that’s a fact, but the other favorite announcements all revolved around Marvel based films, including X-men which is being done by Fox. I believe the popularity for these other films come from the fact that Fox and Marvel actually brought things to the table and WB/DC did not.
Batman/Superman had a logo, very similar to that of the Miller saga “The Dark Knight Returns” but that was it. There was a guesstimate release date, somewhat of a director, and possibly the return of Henry Cavill as Superman. What we didn’t get was a storyline, who will be playing Batman, and any sort of teaser for the film. At this point we can only speculate on how the logo looks and how a world post-Man of Steel can cope with both of these heroes. Recently, internet detectives have discovered that batmanvssupermanmovie.com has been registered to DC/WB, but supermanvsbatmanmovie.com has not. We may have further proof of a story or title in that, but take it all as hearsay.
In contrast, Marvel stunned everyone with footage of Guardians of the Galaxy footage despite it only being in production for 2 weeks. On top of that, almost the entire cast was on display, including the heavy hitters. I hear the footage was fun and the props on display were quite a sight to behold. And you thought Marvel would in the panel there with a movie 1+ year out? No, not at all. They brought Joss Whedon himself on stage to not only announce Avengers 2: Age of Ultron with a title card, but also display some cg teaser footage as well. As far as I know the script hasn’t been completed all the way, filming doesn’t start until next March (confirmed), but its release date May 1, 2015 is not very far at all from the tentative Batman/Superman premiere.
So where was WB/DC on their news? They were pulling a Heisenberg, very uncertain and unable to provide any firm details. They’ve always played it safe, not announcing anything or plans ahead of time. I fear they’re very trigger shy. They like to think they can do something, but they lack the gumption to follow through with it. Sure, we got a great Batman trilogy and a above average Superman movie in recent years, but what about Green Lantern? Will we ever see Wonder Woman on TV or in film form? There were mumblings of a Flash film as well, but is he essential in leading the way to a Justice League film, something people are clamoring for daily. DC needs to go ahead and start making movies, taking risks, and putting their money where their mouth is. They’re the not the movies we deserve, but the films we need.
I think Batman vs. Superman will be DC’s best chance at an Avengers style cross over. The Dark Knight Rises’ ending definitely leaves room for the possibility of a Dark Knight Returns set up. Dark Knight Returns also sets the Dark Knight (not Batman, not the movie), against three villains: the Joker, the Mutants, and Superman. Since the Joker is still too soon to be recast (in my opinion), and the Mutants so closely mirrored Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, I think The Dark Knight Returns leaves us with some pretty solid source material for a standalone Batman vs Superman conflict. I would love to see the next Man of Steel build towards this.