Wednesday, July 24, 2013

One Fan's Reactions to SDCC 2013: Part 1 (Batman vs. Superman)

Maybe Trask is compensating for something...

Another San Diego Comic Con has come and gone. With it have come a couple of pretty huge announcements, and a few underwhelming ones. The much anticipated Avenger's sequel got an official title: The Avengers: Age of Ultron, along with some news about the film. A long-awaited Flash movie has finally been officially announced for 2016. Also, Peter Dinklage has been confirmed to be playing Bolivar Trask, the creator of the Sentinels in X-Men: Days of Future Past (something most fans kind of guessed already), as well as a pretty good view of the new Sentinels.

But the most spectacular bit of news out of SDCC is that DC has all but assured that every human will see the sequel to Man of Steel by announcing that Batman will appear in it. Let’s start with the surface level stuff. They plan on naming the upcoming film some variation of Batman vs. Superman or Superman vs. Batman. This is such a completely uninspired choice. It’s basically just a way to build the synopsis right there into the title. Pretty boring, uninteresting stuff. As we go a little deeper, Zach Snyder had Harry Lennix (who plays General Swanwick in Man of Steel) read a particularly interesting, and badass, line of dialogue from one of the best stories in the DC universe, The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller:  "I want you to remember, Clark…in all the years to come…in 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 aforementioned badass line.
 Snyder later confirmed that the BvS movie won't be a direct adaptation of the graphic novel, but it will draw inspiration from it. Here's where I have a few questions and I'm sure all comic fans have pretty similar ones. How much inspiration are we talking? If you just mean it's going to feature a battle between Batman and Superman, then that barely even qualifies. But so much of The Dark Knight Returns depends upon Bruce being an older gent (about 55) after he retires from crimefighting and hangs up the ol' cape n' cowl. A relationship between Clark and Bruce has been established long ago and Supes is basically a government stooge. That certainly doesn't seem to fit into the Man of Steel universe which involves a much younger version of Clark and presumably a younger version of Bruce. Also, the involvement of Oliver Queen, as an old, one-armed Green Arrow, in the comic is of the most wonderful bits, which I doubt would be part of the "inspiration" Snyder is thinking about.

As far as casting the new Batman, I'm really sick of hearing people pretty much throw out the biggest names in movies right now. I never need to hear Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling or Jon Hamm's names in connection with anyone in the DC universe ever again. It would be so hard for me to see these people as such an iconic character because they are so established already and people have such strong associations with them (the one exception to this in my mind is Michael Fassbender. He is already an established star but I'll see him in absolutely anything, including Shame where he wasn't as much the star as much as his penis was).
That jawline screams Bruce Wayne to me.
 I think the best way to go is to cast a familiar face but not quite established star, much as they did in casting Henry Cavill for Supes. I think Karl Urban would be a good choice here, although even he may be too familiar to anyone with real nerd-cred. I think this could work particularly well in a Frank Miller-esque Batman character (who seems to be pretty gruff and serious, with a grim sense of humor).

      That's it for the Man of Steel sequel news/opinions. Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think. Tune in tomorrow for my Avengers: Age of Ultron thoughts. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

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