We’re now just over nine months away from the release of Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the first official live-action production that will feature both Batman and Superman on the same screen at the same time. Right now in Las Vegas, the Licensing Expo is happening at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, where Warner Bros. is making the case to potential licensees that the upcoming film is a brand that they should get behind for new consumer products. With that, Warner Bros. has officially released the first plot synopsis for the anticipated film, and it reads below.
Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.
The synopsis seems to hint that Batman was watching the events of Man of Steel unfold with keen awareness, as the battle between Superman and General Zod in that film’s climax certainly left quite a lot of destruction in its wake. Throughout the last thirty years of DC Comics continuity, most depictions of the first meeting of Batman and Superman have had an undertone of hostility, largely due to Batman’s caution at the idea of having a being as powerful as Superman run freely across the planet while being left unchecked.
In their first meeting depicted after the events of the universe-altering Crisis on Infinite Earths in The Man of Steel issue #3 written and drawn by John Byrne, Superman actively attempts to capture Batman recognizing him as a lawless vigilante. To protect himself, Batman threatens the life of an innocent, to which Superman feels justified in his antagonism towards Batman. It isn’t until after circumstances force the heroes to work together that Batman reveals that the innocent life was himself, since he needed to come off as telling the truth with his threat in order to avoid being captured by the clearly physically superior Man of Steel. It’s only later that the two begin to develop a working relationship, and later a friendship, after reconciling their differences.
Of course, we also know that the film will be taking at least a tonal influence from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, which has arguably the most timeless battle between Batman and Superman. The armor Batman wears in the recent trailer for the film seems ripped straight off of Frank Miller’s pages, and that story also shows a great level of antagonism between the heroes over their differing methods and ideologies. Snyder has since talked about how Superman’s characterization from that book will not inspire his portrayal in the new film, though, as the Superman of DKR had become little more than a government puppet. The Superman in 2013’s Man of Steel proved, at the end of that film, that he is anything but that.
So, what’s this “new threat” that the synopsis makes mention of? It could be a number of things. The obvious answer to that question might be Lex Luthor, played by Jesse Eisenberg in the film. Still, there might be something else at play, since Dawn of Justice will feed no less than 10 other films based on the characters of DC Comics, including Suicide Squad, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and the 2-part Justice League. Could Dawn of Justice be laying the ground work for a threat beyond the Earth, or will we see the dawn of a new evil as personified by Superman’s greatest destined enemy?
Time will tell, and we’ll find out when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters on March 25th, 2016.
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