2013-07-10-batmanvssuperman2

I think Warner Brothers is crazy. I do. Because despite their best intentions and all of their efforts to do this Batman vs. Superman thing, there is no way it’s going to work. Just no way. That’s not to say it isn’t going to make money. Zack Snyder’s style results in some of the best trailers in the business. So it’s going to look cool. And of course we’re going to get that 150 million dollar marketing campaign that will subliminally convince us that we will die of Bird Flu if we don’t go see it. But the movie is going to be terrible. Why? Because there’s no way to make the Batman Vs. Superman script work. There isn’t a single variable in the make-up of this pairing that lends itself to a good story. Which leads to a much bigger problem for the franchises than just this film. If it’s as ridiculous as I’m assuming it will be, you end up killing the Golden Goose, just like Joel Schumacher did with the last Batman franchise. Both franchises, then, could be catastrophically injured.

I bring this up not from a place of hate. I’d love to see a great Batman vs. Superman movie. I bring it up from a place of knowing what makes a good story. In an imaginary world where Warner Brothers came to me with this idea and asked me to write it, I would say, “It can’t be done. There are too many things working against it.” I want to get to those things, but first, let’s recap how we got here.

Warner Brothers, who has much of the DC Universe under contract, has been watching the way Disney/Marvel’s been methodically parading out solo movies for their characters (Iron Man, Thor, Hulk) and making a lot of money off them. They said, “Hey, why can’t we do that? We have other superheroes besides Batman and Superman.” So they kept developing the Wonder Woman project. They gave us Ryan Reynolds as The Green Lantern. And the results of these experiments were… not good to say the least. It was then that Marvel took over the movie world with its orgasmic super-hero fest, The Avengers.  Warners had had enough. They wanted to do their version of The Avengers, Justice League, but, as we already established, didn’t have the characters. But gosh. That Avengers made so much money. We have to have an answer to it. Batman vs. Superman has been kicking around Hollywood forever, and this seemed like the perfect time to bust it out, so they pulled the trigger. Their argument was, “We got the two best superheroes around. We don’t need anybody else.” And hence we got Batman vs. Superman. With Ben Affleck to play Batman to boot (that casting choice is a whole other discussion).

Here’s the problem though. Famous Character X vs. Famous Character Y movies never work. In fact, they actually work against the franchises because all of them carry a whiff of desperation. As a studio, you bring these out when the characters are stale or dying. Freddy vs. Jason? Oh yeah, that was a good one. Alien vs. Predator. Does anyone even remember what that was about??  Why are we bringing together two franchises that are just fine?  Here are a few more thoughts I’d like to add.

It’s a gimmick, not a movie.

“Versus” movies are always gimmicks. Instead of being able to create a journey for the main character that will end up being our main plot (i.e. Lex Luthor holds America hostage and Superman must stop him), the whole script must be geared towards figuring out a way to get these two to fight. So you’re already starting from an artificial place. You’re trying to push something on the audience that isn’t natural and therefore will never feel natural, no matter how many writing tricks you use. I’m sure Goyer and Snyder will do their best, but I’m willing to bet my right hip that while you’re watching this film, you’re going to notice a ton of really ridiculous exposition that sets up why Superman and Batman will have to fight.

Tone mixing

The tone between the two universes is too different. Batman’s darker, more realistic. Superman has super powers and aliens. Superman’s also set in a more idealistic world, despite Zac Snyder’s best efforts to eliminate that idealism. In Superman, you still get cheesy lines you’d NEVER see in Batman like, “The world’s too big mom.” Or an overly-melodramatic death where someone’s father perishes in a Level 5 tornado. Combining super human heroes with mortal human heroes and keeping the tone universal is going to be a bitch to do right. I guess The Avengers somehow mixed a Norse God into their story, but I’m guessing Batman and Superman are always going to feel like they’re in different movies. The tonal bubble that surrounds each is too different.

Neither character can win –

This is probably the biggest challenge they have in the script. Neither character can defeat the other. Both are too big and too important to the studio to lose at the end of the movie and the fanbase for each is too passionate to take on when said favorite loses. That means we’re going to get the mother of all cop-outs where both characters battle each other with all their hearts, then come to a truce at the end. It will be monumentally unsatisfying. You know that great feeling you get when the hero defeats the bad guy at the end of the movie. Batman vs. Superman can’t have that, which is going to leave you feeling confused. “Wait, a tie? Well then what was the whole point of the movie?”

False Character Motivation

How do you motivate this fight? Like motivate an all-out “to-the-death” battle between Superman and Batman? There’s nothing you can do. Superman won’t want to kill Batman. And Batman doesn’t kill good guys who have made their mark by doing good and saving thousands of lives. Any motivation you give these two to fight each other is going to feel entirely fabricated.

It’s not a fair fight, so anything they do to make it fair will feel like cheating.

As a writer, the actual battle between these two is impossible to write. This comes down to geek obviousness.  There’s no way for a mortal man to defeat a superhuman. True, we have the whole kryptonite thing, but what’s Batman going to do? Lace himself with kryptonite? Would Nolan’s Batman ever do something like that? Of course not. It’s too silly, too bizarre, bringing us back to the tone issue. These two don’t work in the same universe. They operate in completely separate worlds. The writers (I’m assuming someone will come in to help after Goyer) will have to design all these artificial elements to even the fight out, and it’s going to make everything feel fake and manufactured. I could see this working in the broad universe of a cartoon. But live in a dark supposedly “realistic” world? It’s going to feel silly.

This leaves us with one obvious question: What WILL they end up doing? Well, I’m not in their heads, but the best way to approach this is to probably create some nasty villain that Batman and Superman are both going after. They may even have to team up since you want these characters around each other as much as possible. But they don’t see eye to eye and something goes wrong. Batman splits off and decides to do it his own way, and much like The Dark Knight, he goes too far. In fact, Batman’s been going too far in his street-cleaning crusade for awhile now. But local law enforcement can’t stop him, so they have to bring in Superman. There would also have to be some secondary plot where Bruce and Clark are interacting as normal people, possibly in a reporter-interview capacity so you can get a lot of dramatic irony in there via their interactions. But I contend it’s just going to be stupid and cheesy and forced when they fight. Why would these two fight each other than nerds wanting them too???

Whenever you stoop to a “fan-fiction” level with your story, you run the risk of killing it. Because you’re making the movie for the wrong reasons. You’re not trying to tell a good story. You’re trying to answer a geeky question. Who wins if Superman and Batman fight (we already answered this, of course: neither). Which is why these things need to be kept to dorm rooms at 2 a.m. after the final strand of weed has been toked. The idea “Batman Vs. Superman” sounds rad for two seconds, but when you really think about it, how they would actually make it happen, it falls apart immediately. The trailer for this will be great, but mark my words, there’s no way for this script to survive. Which is exactly why, despite them developing the idea for 20 years, no one’s cracked it yet. With that said, I leave it up to you guys to prove me wrong. How would you write Batman vs. Superman?  Is it, indeed, impossible?

  • Jim Dandy

    The answer to this problem is easy. Just put Batman back into his Batsuit with the pointy nipples. Then the audience will *demand* that Superman destroy Batman.

    Or just have them fight over a girl. That usually works :-)

    • ximan

      As long as the girl they’re fighting over is played by Kristen Stewart, that will at least bring in the female demo to this geek fest.

      *puts away sarcasm*

  • Tor Dollhouse

    The easiest way to create a successful franchise:

    1. Man of Steel
    2. Batman/Superman
    3. Trinity
    4. Justice League

    • J. Lawrence Head

      Should we not give Flash, or Martian Manhunter their own movie first? I mean Aquaman would be to remniscant of Entourage. But there’s potential there.

      • drifting in space

        I would really like to see a Flash movie, as long as it’s well done. Very underestimated superhero.

        • J. Lawrence Head

          Imagine how many walls he ran into while trying to figure out his powers… learning how to turn, etc… some good sequences there.. and the beauty of the flash is that he has no super strength/invincibility.. so there’s an underlying vulnerability to the character that could be tapped there… DC/WB please call me to discuss.

          • drifting in space

            Not to mention his problems with the ladies, if you catch my drift.

        • Brainiac138

          Very underestimated, he has actually altered reality.

      • SinclareRose

        Yes. Definitely give the Flash his own movie. But the part can only be played by Jim Parsons, as Sheldon Cooper, as the Flash.

        • J. Lawrence Head

          I was actually being serious LOL

          • SinclareRose

            I know you were. I am too (not about the Sheldon part). I’d love to see a great Flash movie.
            But after seeing him in that costume and acting like that, it’s an image that will forever be in my brain when I think about the Flash.

    • J. Lawrence Head

      We need to get away from Goyer

  • RO

    This movie is a forced product. It’s not something we need, but something lots of people want. It will make a lot of money and will probably spawn a movie introducing more heroes of the DC universe, but like Man of Steel, it’ll be forgotten and lackluster. The main reason is that Man of Steel had a very poor foundation. It feels like a very isolated movie.

    Second, and I’ve said this a few times her on SS. Super heroes can not and must not be forced into a “real world” environment. It has to be the other way around. Why do you think the comics and cartoons still work? They manipulate aspects of the real world that not only allow for better suspension of disbelief but also justification for the need for these types of heroes.

    The Earth in Man of Steel didn’t need a Superman, not until Clark activated the space ship and lured Zod to the planet, and even then at that point Superman wasn’t even truly known to the world.

    The only way to make a very lasting and profitable franchise with these DC characters is to start with Batman. He’s the spine. You have to write a Batman story that will allow for villains like Clayface, Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy to exist. If you can’t make a universe that has a shape shifter, an Ice man with an freeze ray or a lady who can manipulate plants, you can’t have a universe that can support the concept of a Justice League film.

    Once you establish that type of Batman universe then you have done a lot of the ground work needed to bridge between Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern.

    Next you have to figure out what type of narrative you want to do with Wonder Woman. Are the greek gods actual gods or just very superior beings that are tied to earth some how? Remember, Wonder Woman is strong with the greek gods concept, so when writing her in a movie, especially taking place in the present, you have to find a way to address this question: If the Greek Gods are real, does that make all the other religions wrong?

    If you can find a way to side step that question like they did with Thor, (although I wouldn’t suggest a type of alien species hybrid for Wonder Woman), then you’ve got two of the hardest parts of the franchise solved and the rest of the characters can fall into place.

    Next is the broader concept of your universe. Marvel linked it all together using S.H.I.E.L.D. sadly DC doesn’t have that type of element in their archives. At least, not something that is on par with Shield. There’s Checkmate and a few others, but it doesn’t have the same gravity.

    So to avoid this you play around with the recognizable tools of the comic franchise. Have in each film a reference to the Daily Planet. This could work out well. It’s an international news paper that covers and distributes through out the world. Every city can have its own bureau in the city as an easter egg or if story permits it can be a little more prominent. The Daily Planet could cover a news event, be a source for a hero to follow a lead, or have adds on buses, websites on screen, etc. On top of that you add offices by LexCorp, Queen Industries, Wayne Enterprises, Kord Technologies, Kent Farm produce, STAR Labs, these are all little nods that can be used to broaden the universe.

    The sad fact with all previous DC films is that as big as they are, they still feel very small and that’s because there is a mindset that with each film, no other characters exist.

    The first instance of a hint of a bigger universe was mentioned in Batman Forever where Bruce tells Dick that Haley’s circus must be half way to Metropolis. It was subtle, not forced and served the conversation quite well. Had those ideas been incorporated a bit more and had that franchise not been already doomed maybe WB and DC would be still be leading the Superhero film market instead.

    • romer6

      You have a GREAT point here.

    • charliesb

      You’ve made some really good points here. I think the linking factor should be LexCorp. Lex’s distrust and hate of Superman can be expanded upon across all the franchises. He doesn’t need to be the villain of all the movies but his company can definitely be an influence.

      • kenglo

        Man, I’m tired of Supes and Lex Luthor, he’s in EVERY Supes movie! Dull!

        • drifting in space

          I still vote for Doomsday but that’ll never happen. It would definitely be destruction porn, but it would be awesome.

          • Jonathan Soens

            The technology is getting to the point where Doomsday isn’t as impossible as he used to be. It’s hard not to watch a movie like “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” with what they did with the technology with Caesar, and not wonder how close we are to being able to bring a believable version of Doomsday to the big screen.

            And, frankly, the whole storyline is ripe for a multi-film arc that would make a ton of money and establish new heroes anyway (kickstarting a “Superboy” franchise and a “Steel” franchise, thanks to the storyline where they introduce the 4 replacements for Superman during the time he’s gone, would probably appeal to them).

            I’m sure they’ll eventually try it. Just a matter of when.

          • RO

            We all ready got destruction porn in MOS, anymore and it’s just beating a dead horse.

        • charliesb

          Yes he is, and done badly every time. Lex is to Supes as Joker is to Batman. I may prefer Scarecrow* and Brainiac, but I’ve gotta admit that the Joker and Lex are Batman and Supes quintessential villains.

          *I also really love Killer Croc, and the cartoon version of Clayface. God did I love that Clayface.

    • SinclareRose

      Hey RO,
      MoS actually did have some easter eggs, but they were so slight that they were hardly noticeable unless they were pointed out. The only one I can remember is the Wayne Enterprises logo on a satellite that gets destroyed after viewing it for about two seconds. I could barely make out the logo when I saw the movie, and only knew it was there because of an article I read about it.

      • RO

        I know about the wayne satellite, but it was so insignificant it’s literally not worth mentioning.

    • Jonathan Soens

      The way S.H.I.E.L.D. tied the Marvel movies together is why I’d have been willing to pay Bale crazy, crazy money to bring him back. Not just to have him carry his own Batman movie or to put on the Batman suit for a Justice League flick, but because I could use him in regular clothes as the guy who keeps popping up in other heroes’ films.

      I mean, I like Clark Gregg (the dude in the suit, playing Agent Coulson in those Marvel movies). But if Warner Bros. brought back Bale, they could have had him be the guy who pops up in other heroes’ solo movies, assembling a team of heroes in the background. And it would have given the new wave of WB/DC hero movies much more credibility than they’re going to have without the clear Nolan connection.

      Nothing against Clark Gregg, but I think people would have been even more amped up for DC’s cameos if their cameos featured Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne instead of Clark Gregg as a gov’t guy in a suit.

      By having Bale appear in those solo films, and thereby saying that the beloved Nolan trilogy is tying into this story, I think WB would have set up the non-Superman and non-Batman movies up with much better chances of success.

      They’d have had to do a little housekeeping to explain why Bruce Wayne is apparently getting ready to come out of hiding, but that’s no biggie.

      • drifting in space

        Didn’t they offer Bale like $50 million to do the next one? It would be sweet to see him scattered across other solo movies though. Sad it won’t happen.

        • Jonathan Soens

          Supposedly they did. I’d have offered more, though. A lot more. Bale’s presence could make or break a whole wave of these films. Bale’s presence would prop up the weaker solo films of other heroes, and Bale’s presence arguably would have let “Justice League” come close to rivaling what “The Avengers” did, money-wise.

          Without Bale, there’s no doubt in my mind that none of these movies will reach those heights. And, frankly, without Bale, there’s a good chance the whole train comes off the tracks as this wave of DC movies crashes and burns.

          Bale would have guaranteed success, in my opinion. Like, the kind of success that brings in many hundreds of millions of dollars. So, Warner Bros. can sit there and say, “Well, we offered him 50 mil. What else can we do?” But if they laid out another 50 mil, they might have guaranteed themselves billions in returns. Now they’re gonna have to take the risk without Bale and without the overt connection to the popular Nolan trilogy backing their play.

          • drifting in space

            Agree 100%. I think it came down to Bale not wanting to do another one, though who knows? Everyone has a price and WB should have paid it.

          • Jonathan Soens

            I’m sure that’s true that Bale was ready to move on.

            But I also think he’s a pretty serious actor who probably has a lot of passion projects he’d love to do (especially after paying his dues by doing summer popcorn flicks).

            I’d have offered him 50-100 million on a check made out to his name. And I’d have matched that with a check made out to the name of a production company he runs, which he can then use to fund any bloody movie he cares to make. He could make a 100 million dollar movie if he wanted to. He could make five 20 million dollar movies. He could make a whole slew of low-budget stuff if he wanted. Whatever.

            Not too shabby for agreeing to do 3-5 cameos and co-starring in a team-up movie.

            It’s a crazy amount of money to pay for 1 actor, I know.

            But the price tag isn’t for one actor.

            It’s for the ability to tie the universe into Nolan’s Batman universe.

            And it’s for the luxury of not getting bogged down in exposition and backstory of a whole new Batman who has to be established (and who might realistically flop if audiences don’t like him, which might then sink the whole fleet of DC movies gearing up for a big team-up movie).

          • wlubake

            A cut of each movies profits should be on the table to really attract Bale. Or how about a I’d also point out the Sam Jackson is the stronger tie in the Marvel Universe. Not Clark Gregg.

          • wlubake

            Wow, that was a really coherent comment from me. Serves me right for writing it while on a conference call…

          • Marija ZombiGirl

            Why reduce everything to the God $$$ ? I’m not surprised that Bale doesn’t want to keep making Batman movies – there’s already been three of them. Even Nolan himself didn’t want to do RISING. Artists move on which is as it should be. They’re not all in it for the money the same way the studios are and people like Nolan and Bale aren’t exactly begging for change on street corners…

          • John Bradley

            Bale is 100x better than Afflack. I think Bale could have carried these movies a lot better. I also really don’t like the actor who is playing Superman now.

        • charliesb

          I don’t think it was the money. It was the commitment for something like 4 more movies. I think Hugh Jackman is debating the same thing right now, $100 mill for a ton more flicks. Though I’m thinking Jackman will say yes.

          • drifting in space

            I think he already said yes for like 4 more movies and 10 appearances. It was for a TON of cash.

          • charliesb

            Damn, I mean I know he’s gotta live in the gym and all but it would be nice to have that kinda of job security.

          • Christian Zilko

            Jackman said he’ll never sign a multi-picture deal because he needs a specific reason to do each film. And he might be lying but I believe him

      • RO

        While I understand your idea, putting a character like Bruce Wayne in other superhero movies would take away from the main super hero. Batman is too big of a character to reduce to a mere cameo. On top of that, Batman as a character isn’t team forming. He’s actually not a full member of the justice league, just a part-timer so why would he be recruiting anyone?

        On top of that, Nolan’s concept of batman over his 3 films is very insulting to the history and the character and if there is any luck in the next ten years, someone will come along and make a Batman franchise that will reduce what Nolan did to the old 60s adam west days.

        • Jonathan Soens

          Well, if they brought back Bale, I think it would be easy to have Wayne pulling strings in that kind of role. I agree he’s not the type to assemble a team that he would then have to be accountable to, which is why I think he’d be assembling them as Bruce Wayne and not as Batman. Remember, in this version, Joseph Gordon Levitt has taken over as Batman.

          Bruce Wayne has nothing better to do than enjoy his retirement. But after seeing how horribly the Zod incident went in “Man of Steel,” I think Wayne decides to come back and I think he would feel inclined to push some buttons with the world’s heroes to convince them that they need to come up with a contingency plan for the next time the world is threatened. He’d want them ready to team up if the situation ever calls for it. He’d never plan on coming back and being held accountable by that group which he was urging to assemble, though, because he’s not Batman anymore/yet.

          But then you have Batman die (Joseph Gordon Levitt, of course, not Bale). That’d be your red meat for the trailer and posters — visuals of Batman’s funeral, with other heroes acting as pallbearers or whatever. Heck, maybe even really go for it and have Jim Gordon killed, too, if you really want to make people hate the villains.

          Then, the big team-up “Justice League” movie would be set up beautifully. Everybody would hate the villains, and they’d be pumped because they’d know Bale would put on the suit again. They’d be stoked, ready for Superman and Batman and the whole gang to go punch somebody’s face in until it looks like a plate of Italian food. To save the world, of course, but also to avenge the fallen.

  • jlugozjr

    The challenge of a writer is to come up with ideas like why Batman and Superman would fight. And how it would play out. That’s why I love writing, it forces me to use my imagination.

    I could probably come up with a reason, just give me a few days. Or years.

  • ripleyy

    There’s so much truth to the article.

    My biggest problem is, is how long will they make it? 2 hours seems too little. If they want to do this at least right, they’d need to make this 3 hours long.

    Also, for the people who are fucking livid over Affleck being Batman? Think about Val Kilmer and George Clooney and then stop complaining. Personally, I think he’s a great choice but for all those who are waving their arms in the air asking why God had to punish them, I just need to point out he isn’t the worst choice to be picked (also, Ryan Gosling? What the hell?)

    This is going to be underwhelming, just like Man of Steel, but it’ll make money.

    • Awescillot

      Clarce Waynt, the Dark Superknight. Man of Kevlar Super-Apparel.

      Oh yes, fishing for that upvote.

      • ripleyy

        DING DING DING

        The Dark Superknight reminds me of the Knight skit from Monty Python for some reason.

  • AlanWilder

    They’ve teamed up with great results innumerable times in comic book throughout the years (Batman and Superman are DC’s two biggest cash cows) and therefore also fought a lot. By the sound of things Snyder/Goyer will probably re-use the conflict from the “The Dark Knight Returns”-series, where Batman comes out of retirement to wake people out of decadence and apathy in a dystopian (and very 80′s) future where Superman is little more than a government stooge that in the third act gets tasked by Ronald Reagan to take Batman down. In that story the conflict between the two is rather well set up and believable, involving classical pairings such as the rebel v.s the establishment, age v.s youth, idealism v.s “seeing the world as it is” brains v.s brawn, man against outwordliness and of course David v.s Goliath. The problem here is probably that the third act has to involve them truly teaming up rather than fighting, which means you have to move the fight backwards in the story which means it will be inconsequential, forced, immediately resolved and not good. I’m not too concerned about the rest of your beefs though, especially the last one. Think about it, Batman is ruthless (to the point of “no killing”) and has unlimited resources which means we could be talking about laser beam satelites, robot suits, ultra supersonic guns, kidnapped loved ones, fighting in areas where Superman’s most devastating powers would kill bystanders, poisoning Superman’s food beforehand… It’s doable.

  • JakeBarnes12

    Doesn’t matter what else happens in the movie, long as there’s a climatic scene where Batman releases synthesized kryptonite gas around Superman and then proceeds to beat the holy, livin’ shit out of that nancy boy scout while saying “I want you to remember, Clark, in all the years to come, in your most private moments, my hand at your throat. I want you to remember… the one man who beat you.”

    KA-BOOM.

    $1.5 billion at the box office.

    • David Sarnecki

      I have a BIG problem with them name dropping TDKR at the big reveal of this movie. The fact that it’s Batman saying it to a helpless, beaten Superman is the kind of context that grows hair on your nards and deepens your voice, but TDKR is a TERRRRRRRIBLE Superman story. Frank Miller is kind of a creep and weirdo, and his treatment of Superman as a character has never been less than complimentary.

      • JakeBarnes12

        There’s something about Superman that rubs me the wrong way. I think it’s the fact that he’s basically a god. How can we relate to a god?

        It’s like Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost,” with its struggle between God and Lucifer. Despite being a puritan, Milton gives Lucifer all the best lines (“Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven,” ““All is not lost, the unconquerable will, and study of revenge, immortal hate, and the courage never to submit or yield.”) We can relate to Milton’s Lucifer as he struggles against impossible odds and we admire the fact that he will never give up.

        Sure, Bruce Wayne’s a billionaire industrialist, but you put him up against an alien god, we can admire Bruce’s resourcefulness; he has to rely on his brains.

        A movie would have to balance this, as a lot of people there would be Superman fans. Miller can depict Superman as both powerful and a patsy.

        • David Sarnecki

          The entire point of Superman, what has made him interesting as a character over the years and injected him with pathos is when he pushes against the God stuff and goes through relatable human problems. He’s the epitome of “with great power comes great responsiblity.” He chooses to be Superman, to be the boyscout hero that Batman simply is NOT, because of his human heritage. He’s Captain America to Tony Starks Batman.
          It’s the less attractive thing to be in this day and age, a genuine and good hearted moral hero. But Captain America The First Avenger pulled it off. Sadly Man Of Steel didn’t. AT ALL.

          • JakeBarnes12

            Yeah, I think that’s the problem for me — in real life, genuine and good-hearted people are great. In fiction, flawed and conflicted characters are more fascinating because there’s that internal struggle at work when they’re faced with choices. You always know Superman’s going to do the noble thing, so where’s the interest?

            I’d have liked to have seen Captain America from the 40s being this total dinosaur in the present day — racist, homophobic, sexist, etc. A great guy if you’re white, straight and a man, a jerk if you’re not.

            Doubtful Marvel will go that path in the next movie.

        • JakeMLB

          We can relate because his longing for acceptance is a universal struggle that we all experience in our youth. The whole paternal aspect of the Kents plays into this and thus, at least in MOS, we were meant to view Clark almost as a child. He is a man incomplete, struggling to find his identity and struggling with the burden of his physical gifts. That we can relate to. That said, MOS was a POS for many other reasons but I can understand that particular choice. Even among gods we can find qualities common to the human experience. But your point about knowing that Superman was going to take the noble path is a good one. Perhaps a Superman story would benefit from him making the wrong choice once in a while.

          • JakeBarnes12

            I still need to see the latest Superman movie, Jake. I’ll check it out once it hits download.

            I enjoyed Superman and Superman II when I was a kid — Christopher Reeves was great.

            In fact, one of my favorite scenes ever is when in Superman II Clark stumbles and his hand slips into a fire and Lois can’t work out why he isn’t badly burnt and you just SEE the transformation in Christopher Reeves as Clark as he straightens and his whole face changes and his voice deepens as he addresses her to tell her who he really is — that was fucking awesome.

          • JakeMLB

            Hah, I really need to watch the older Superman’s again, particularly II. Everyone keeps comparing it to MOS so it’s probably worth going back to!

    • GeneralChaos

      If Batman can somehow always avoid gunfire, I’m sure Superman can outrun Batman’s Kryptonite farts.

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    The screenplay for the scrapped 2002 Batman Vs. Superman movie:
    http://io9.com/read-the-screenplay-for-the-scrapped-2002-batman-vs-su-1218064972

  • Warren Hately

    I thought the end of MoS was such an awful cheesy moment and if the central conceit that this ridiculous alien god-boy could exist in a gritty universe and be so emo wasn’t ruined constantly throughout the script, then the moment they tried to still sell us on the Clark Kent bit at the end really sealed the deal. Quite apart from the central unbelievability, do you know how frigging hard it is to get a job in journalism these days? And Supes has a degree? You need a degree to even get an internship where you work for free! The balance between disaster porn and removing the red underpants just didn’t make this thing swing.
    The biggest problem for SvsBm is that they have already pilfered so many good bits from the Frank Miller run on Batman that they can’t just do a film of Dark Knight Returns, which is actually where they did set Superman on Batman in exactly the fashion Carson describes. In the Miller comic Batman had an awesome powered suit that made us believe maybe Batty boy had a chance, though in the end … well no spoilers there because it’s as predictably as this article shows.

  • tipofthenose

    Have grendl write the script. Batman and superman could sit in a bar for two hours, talking. (low-blow, SORRY) :-)

    • AJ

      That’s actually not bad. Just have Batman drunkenly mumble something at the end of the 2nd act like, “I’m not saying she’s running around, but how many ‘breaking interviews’ can happen when Lois is supposed to meet you out for drinks?”

      Batman vs. Superman ensues.

  • martin_basrawy

    I thought the movie was called Batman/Superman, not Batman versus Superman…??

  • John Moss

    Right on, brother. Couldn’t agree more. The foundation for Bruce’s potential beefs with Clark is in place.

    This isn’t an impossible movie to write. Challenging? Sure. But what movie isn’t??My guess is that the two will tussle at some point (likely resulting in a statemate), but later come together in an attempt to overcome a much greater threat (Luthor, you would guess). It won’t come down to a twenty minute-long, third act battle between the two heroes where one or none emerges the victor – a “Freddy vs. Jason”/WWE smackdown. ‘Cause you’re right, Carson. That would be stupid and unsatisfying.

    Carson, you really couldn’t imagine Batman existing in Snyder’s ‘Man of Steel’ world?? That he’s wholly incompatible tonally. Doesn’t seem that much of a stretch to me. Pretty sure I can imagine Affleck’s Bruce Wayne doing scenes with Amy Adams and Lawrence Fishburne’s characters. I mean, if Marvel can bring Iron Man and Thor together and audiences buy into that…

    The movie’s biggest hurdle is overcoming movie goers preconceptions of the product (and this IS more product than art, I don’t think any of us are going to kid ourselves otherwise). It’s what all these big franchises have to overcome now, ’cause we inundated with them! Who isn’t going to see this movie with their own ideas of how it might best work?? And now we have Carson telling us that it can’t work at all! As viewers, it’s up to us to be more accepting of whatever it is the studio comes up with, and hopefully derive some pleasure from it (as I did with ‘Man of Steel’), and not exit the theatre grousing about THE perfect movie that exists in our mind’s eye and remains unproduced.

  • http://www.jorgeosvaldo.com/ Jorge Osvaldo

    I feel for Goyer. He’s a gracious guy that is very dedicated to his craft. Writing Man of Steel was a daunting task; he had to include: Krypton, Smallville, Metropolis, and the biggest fights ever captured on screen, and he had to make it fun and keep it under 3 hours. How many screenwriters could have done better?

    Structurally, coming up with scenarios where a human can stand up to a god in a fight is difficult. I wrote a screenplay that tackled this problem, and my best options were always to place the human character in a situation where he was not the direct target of the godlike being; otherwise, the human would have died during their first encounter. You only have one chance to have these two characters fight–there cannot be a rematch–so the confrontation has to be saved for the third act, and the human has to win, of course (otherwise, what’s the point?).

    But Superman can’t lose a fight in the third act to Batman. So Goyer now has the daunting task of including: Smallville, Metropolis, Gotham, Superman, Batman, Lex Luthor, Kryptonite, AND a disposable villain that can be defeated in the third act by our two protagonists; plus he has to make it fun and keep it under 3 hours. I don’t envy the guy.

    • charliesb

      I don’t think he’s (Goyer) up to the challenge. In Man of Steel the fights between Supes and his fellow Kryptonians were wrought with inconsistencies. Was this a straight up fight? Who was stronger? Why was Superman able to pretty much hold his own with trained Kryptonian soldiers?

      On the surface this may seem like the rantings of disgruntled comic nerd. But I think these problems stood out because Goyer didn’t spend time properly making Superman “one of us.” Why was he fighting for us? Why did he care so much about that family at the end that he would kill* to save them, when through the rest of the movie he barely held any interest in saving others.

      Batman is the hero that we need but are afraid of. He uses fear to control and dominate. But Supes is the hero we are supposed to love. He’s the one that makes us put on a cape and run around our backyard jumping off things. And that love has to be matched. Supes loves us just as much, he is rules by both his desire to be one of us and his desire to protect us. Goyer didn’t show that, not even a bit. He maybe dedicated to his craft but I just don’t think he’s the right one to write this script.

      *Not to mention why didn’t he just incapacity Zod – but that’s a discussion for another article.

      • http://www.jorgeosvaldo.com/ Jorge Osvaldo

        You’re right, it’s an impossible job. But I bet there isn’t a screenwriter in the world who wouldn’t want a crack at it; everyone here included.

        • Linkthis83

          I don’t even get into these movies and I’d sign up for a shot.

          • http://www.jorgeosvaldo.com/ Jorge Osvaldo

            Solving a complicated puzzle is incredibly satisfying. Breaking a story as complicated as this one is the biggest puzzle in screenwriting.

        • charliesb

          Agreed. I know I’m available.

  • romer6

    Well, I agree with Carson here. Besides all the points he already made, I would add some of my own. Where was Batman when a group of superpowered aliens was trying to destroy Earth during “Man of Steel”? Was he afraid or something? Why didn´t he do ANYTHING? I mean, he has some resources, he could at least try. Was he on vacation? I can´t buy it. If Batman didn´t show up when he was most needed why bother showing up later? Just stay in your cave, old bat. And also: wouldn´t Batman/Bruce Wayne feel enticed to investigate an alien ship showing up somewhere? Wouldn´t he feel at least curious about the “rumors” about a super guy who saves people all around? It called Lois attention, didn´t it? I don´t know, it seems like they will be forcing this Batman in a world where he doesn´t belong in the first place. In “Avengers” we already knew all those characters so we didn´t have to ask ourselves where did they come from. They were around and when a great threat presents itself it seems “natural” that they show up together to face it. That´s not the case here. I just don´t see it working. But this is one of those times when I really want to be proven wrong.

    • Brainiac138

      They may address that like how they do in the comics, where the alien invasion somehow triggered effects in Gotham and he had enough stuff to deal with in his home turf.

  • RafaelSilvaeSouza

    Yep. Agree. It’s not only possible to make this one work, but it would be real fun to write it.
    It’s basically the same idea as The Avengers: the heroes fight, only to realize who the real enemy is. In this case, Lex Luthor. The man who used both Batman and Superman for his own ends.

  • David Sarnecki

    I think you just lack vision on this one Carson. You make a lot of good points, but some things you’re ignoring…
    1) The Avengers. Kicked ass. For many of the reasons you describe. These characters are from completely seperate universes, they DON’T BELONG together! Which is arugably the strength of The Avengers. These team mates have no right being in the same world together, they would never get along, they couldn’t be more different. GREAT CONFLICT RESULTS.
    2) These two can’t fight! It’s absurd! Yeah, it is. But if you read The Dark Knight Returns or any Worlds Finest story in which it does come down to a fight, it’s about exploiting one of the best angles ever, the under dog thing. Supes NEVER wants to fight Batman, they’re best friends. Often Batman is just trying his best to slow Supes down with his tech, ie. an Elysium style exo skeletal suit, a parade of cool toys etc. When you think about Superman and Batman fighting just off the cuff in your mind, it’s obvious that Superman flattens Batman. Duh. No brainer. That’s why it’s so much FUN to see Batman work his way around your expectations and keep himself in the game. He’s the worlds greatest detective, and like Jason Bourne before him, the thrill of a brilliant mind is seeing him out think his oppenent and stay ahead of his audience. It’s a cool angle ripe with tons of interesting conflict, and if it’s anything like The Avengers, they’ll fight one time in the middle, and then the third act will be about them coming together to work as a team. These characters are at their best when they are friends, the two best heroes EVER combing their strengths to take on ridiculously overwhelming threats and win.
    3)I’m a firm believer that ANY idea, no matter how absurd, no matter how silly, has some execution floating out there in the universe that is effective and righteous and quality. Saying a Worlds Finest movie just can’t be done is just kind of silly. There’s been YEARS of really strong and interesting Worlds Finest stories for the writers to mine from. They have all kinds of fantastic material to rely on that pre exists. I’m not saying it’s easy to write this story, and I’m not saying I have any faith in Synder or Goyer as storytellers, but in this case the lack of talent behind the storytellers should be cause for concern, not the inability to tell a great story.

    • jbird669

      A-effin’-men.

    • vfxfan

      Not to mention that there will most likely be a common enemy for them to fight. Sure they’ll have a go – but ultimately they will have to team up to face a challenge larger than themselves which will require both of their strengths

    • Ken

      The Avengers are all from the same Marvel comic Universe, David: they are team members in the comics. I think the problem with Superman Vs Batman is that it isn’t a sincere attempt to adapt a comic series to the screen (as with The Avengers): the idea is simply opportunistic.

      • David Sarnecki

        *Sigh*

        Ken, have you heard of The Justice League? As far as I know it predates the Avengers. It’s DC’s version of the super hero team up, and the two all star leaders of the group? Superman and Batman. Not to mention there’s about a bazillion stories starring the two called Worlds Finest. Sure, the idea is opportunistic, but Superman/Batman crossover stories are almost as old as comic books. You really should do your research a bit, there’s an insane amount of great content.

        • Ken

          Yes – there’s an insane amount of great content… but we get Superman Vs Batman anyway. “Sigh” If only DC could get its act together like Marvel.

  • ChadStuart

    We’re entering the waning days of the Superhero movie. “The Avengers” was the nadir and everything else will be steadily going downhill. “Man of Steel” didn’t really light the box office on fire and has largely been forgotten already. Regardless of quality, this movie will do about the same business, and then similarly be forgotten.

    • J. Lawrence Head

      Iron man 3 did great at box office. It’s not the genre. It’s the product.

    • Jerry Salvaderi

      I hope you’re right, I really do.

  • David Sarnecki

    I don’t think it has an official title yet. I’m sure the final title will be something like “Superman vs Batman: The Worlds Finest”

    • Awescillot

      Maybe something like: How to Rape a Franchise and Alienate Fanboys.

      • Alex Palmer

        Batman, Superman and the kingdom of the crystal skull.

      • David Sarnecki

        I’m not saying I have faith, but this could be great. I’m sure you’ve eaten crow before.

        • Awescillot

          Yeah true, it could as well turn out to be something great. But then again, expectations are high, and it could turn into something.. Not that great.

  • ElectricDreamer

    Come on, Carson. The plot’s simple.
    Just add ANOTHER Warner franchise to the fire… THUNDERDOME!

    Superman and Batman fight to the death for the last hot booty on the planet.

    Tina friggin’ Turner! It’s all about Auntie Entity!
    What white guy wouldn’t go to the mat to land her?

    And one more thing…
    I think this image would be a more appropriate one for today’s article…

    http://www.strangekidsclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/superman-batman-cover.png

  • Cuesta

    I’d make the kryptonyte a gas, like antrax, this way it wouldn’t attack not only Supes but the humanity at the same time. A weakened Superman trying to sacrifice himself vs Batman, the one who can make the impossible choice.
    The best I could do.

  • charliesb

    I think the smartest way to start to integrate these separate franchises is to start with the idea from JLA: Tower of Babel. Batman has been collecting and keeping secret the strengths and weaknesses all all the super powered heroes. With the massive destruction in Man of Steel, you can be sure that Batman would want to know what’s up with Supes and how to bring him down. I’d even go so far as to have Bruce Wayne working with Lex on some sort of “contingency plan” while also keeping tabs on him and his company. Or EVEN BETTER Lex steals this information and begins using it to try to take out the members of the JLA (insert cameo character here – I’m looking at you Green Lantern*) and then Batman and Supes have to team up to take him down.

    Writing a story that connects two superhero’s who are polar opposites is challenging but not impossible. Look at Xmen the best thing about that movie was the conflict between Magneto and Xavier and Singer said he modelled that on the differences between MLK and Malcolm X.

    My real worry (besides Affleck being able to pull off Wayne – so many people don’t understand how important and nuanced Wayne needs to be) is that Goyer can’t do this. I find him a terrible and uneven writer.

    *Ya I know they wouldn’t kill Green Lantern. But man I hate that guy.

  • Abdul Fataki

    I’m sorry to hurt you people, but the people that are the most negative about this just lack vision. They can’t imagine a story unless they watch a trailer/read a synopsis/or even see a poster.

    • charliesb

      Come on now, I think that’s a little flippant. I think a lot of people are genuinely worried because of a love for the characters. Yes this type of discussion can unfortunately descend into a “this sucks, cause you suck” kind of argument, but you’ve gotta admit that Carson is right about how this is going to be a very difficult film to get right, and that’s aside from being well liked or accepted.

    • Ken

      Yeah – the people with real vision come up with a movie title like Superman Versus Batman.

  • JW

    Let’s just make it a comedy! Lois Lane (played by Kristen Wiig) is tired of the whole, “I can fly everywhere and kick your a$$ routine.” She wants a down to Earth dude who has flaws and real vulnerability. So, one night she goes drinking and runs into Bruce Wayne (played by Jason Sudeikis). Not realizing he’s Batman, she accepts his invitation for a nightcap. When Superman (played by… drum roll… Michael Keaton!) finds out Batman shagged Lois Lane, he vows to take his arch enemy out once and for all. The only problem is that Lex Luthor (played by Zach Galifinakis) is all over the situation and sees an opportunity for two superheroes to take each other out, so he doesn’t have to, and can go back to creating an empire under the guise of Dry Bar. So, he kidnaps Lane and puts her in the North Pole, while simultaneously setting a bomb to blow up Antarctica and flood the world in just 24 hours (after which time he will take a spaceship into orbit to live his remaining days with his assistant Guber (played by Jonah Hill). Who will go North and who will go South? And, will they be able to agree before the world becomes a giant swimming pool? The twist? Years earlier Lois Lane had a lesbian encounter with Wonder Woman and now she wants in on the action too… what is a superhero to do with such a love triangle? Only time will tell…

    • drifting in space

      Nailed it.

  • Linkthis83

    I don’t have a dog in this fight. Superhero movies ask me to suspend too much belief and beg me not to ask too many questions. They worked for me when I was a kid. They were the embodiment of the unlimited potential of a kid’s imagination. Because I’m unfamiliar with the comic book versions of these heroes, my frame of reference lies in the movies and cartoons of my youth. I can’t appreciate the characters to the degree that the superfans do. I don’t want to see my heroes battle each other. I don’t want to see the Scooby Doo gang battle it out versus the Speed Buggy crew for crime solving supremacy. Even if they can justify it.

    I know there are people better informed than I to make plot suggestions, but I think the key in pulling this story off is going to be making Superman weaker. Maybe the sun is dying. And if it isn’t dying maybe it’s entering a phase/cycle that we have yet to experience in our supremely limited existence in this universe. Although, this begs for the overused solution now of throwing nukes at the sun. But the irony there would be that the one person you’d go to for this type of mission is now the man too weak to pull it off. I know you wouldn’t want to kill off Superman, but maybe the final solution is for him to fly into the sun. I didn’t take the time to work in a Batman angle, but I’m sure it’s there. Maybe their conflict could be rooted in their beliefs of what is best for the people. There are so many avenues and angles to explore. But unless they ask me to help, I’m not going to be invested in whichever angle they take. But I wholeheartedly love the challenge of making this story great.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FywMOuMqNuI

    sidenote: If I was in charge of NASA, I would endlessly be begging Superman to help us explore the planets and the universe. “Oh Superman, would you do us this solid and take this camera and fly that way for like a really long time. And on your way back could stop at these places and pick up rocks, do some air quality tests, take some ground level photos….and well, just pretty much everything that’s on this checklist here. That would be great. If you could get this too us by Friday that would be super! Oh, look what I did there. Haha.?

  • Brainiac138

    First of all, the title is not officially Batman vs Superman, that is just what it is being called because it has the two featured characters and sounds like a comic book. As others have mentioned I am sure they will shove in World’s Finest somewhere in the title. There will almost for sure be a fight scene, but it will be used to show the futility of them going up against each other, think of the fun fight scene between the heroes in the Avengers.

    Honestly, this is just a springboard film to show the connected universes and lead to Justice League (and I am sure it is going to share a lot of the techniques the Iron Man and Thor franchise used to intertwine the Marvel universe), not a two-three hour fight scene. They are going to team-up against one common foe.

  • Howie428

    I agree that Batman vs Superman has all kinds of potential problems. But, I think I have an idea on how to do it. Here’s my pitch of a possible way to go…

    As others have said a big problem with this is that the worlds of Superman and Batman are too distinct from each other. In many ways they are parallel universes. So perhaps the answer is to go with that.

    In the modern Batman universe it could be said that “magic” or “superpowers” don’t exist. In the Superman-verse they do. So let’s link those two worlds and use the obvious conflicts that exist between them.

    We might open in the Bat-verse. A bad guy, perhaps The Penguin, is attempting to lure Batman into a trap. Batman turns the tables and ruins Penguin’s plan, but Penguin gets away and is now convinced that he needs to seek out magical powers to overcome Batman. Penguin opens a portal to a parallel universe in which magical powers exist and goes through the portal. Batman, fearing what Penguin will bring back, decides to follow him.

    Meanwhile Superman is fighting and defeating a magically powered bad-guy, perhaps Superman is finding it a bit dull, since even he figures that there’s no way he’s losing this fight. He dusts himself off and goes back to work as Clark Kent. Lois and Clark are sent out to investigate a mundane anomaly, like unexplained power shortfalls from a power station. It turns out that the power station is close to the portal and so power is being sucked away.

    As an aside, what we’re setting up here is a story line in which both of our famous heroes are forced to face a world outside their comfort zone. Batman represents science, technology, and the laws of physics, so for him Superman is the ultimate aberration. Superman has a spiritual belief in an idealized world where good and justice can prevail. For him Batman’s gritty, outside the law approach, along with Gotham being an urban pit, represent a failure of spirit.

    Anyway, at the power plant, Batman and Penguin start fighting, causing a disaster. They both witness Superman in action dealing with the disaster, which is a huge shock for them, since where they come from no-one can fly. Penguin wants that kind of power in Gotham; Batman is appalled by how easy Superman has things. Superman assumes Batman is a bad-guy picking on Penguin and attacks him. They have a very one-sided fight at the end of which Batman manages to get away only because Superman has to go save some people.

    Batman has lost track of Penguin and realizes that he’s pretty conspicuous as Batman, so he stashes his gear, pretends to be one of the victims, and pretends to have forgotten who he is. This involves his meeting Lois Lane, who finds him charming, and later Clark Kent. The journalists give him a ride into Metropolis.

    Bruce Wayne sets out to learn about this world. The fun aspect of this is that here he has no identity or money, so there’s a chance to explore the fun question of what Bruce Wayne would do if he was a poor person. Also, it gives us the chance to see Bruce Wayne rebuild himself from nothing in a new world. After a struggle, he becomes rich again, and he also begins to grasp the technology and physics of this magic infused world. That enables him to upgrade the bat-suit so that he’s competitive.

    Unfortunately for him, because of what happened at the power plant, and because of frame ups by the Penguin, Batman is now considered to be a fully-fledged bad-guy in this world. Superman is committed to bringing this new villain to justice and Clark Kent is suspicious of Lois’s new pal Bruce. This makes Batman unable to stop Penguin acquiring a superpower and a group of superpower villain friends, who he regales with stories of a world in which they would be the only super-powered beings and would live as kings.

    So Penguin gathers his forces and readies to reopen the portal. That brings Batman out to stop them, Lois Lane comes to get the story, and Superman comes to catch Batman. Again Batman and Superman fight, which enables Penguin and the villains to go through the portal, followed by Lois Lane, who never saw a doorway she didn’t want to go through!

    This time Batman defeats Superman, but he’s not going to kill him because he realizes he now needs Superman’s help to save Gotham. He persuades Superman that he’s a good guy, drags him through the portal, and releases him.

    On arrival in Gotham, it’s now Superman’s turn to get a culture shock. He also gets another big shock, because he discovers that superpower usage is not natural in the Bat-verse, and his powers are unstable. He discovers that when trying to save a prison bus that he accidentally destroys. So now Superman is in Gotham and is determined not to use his dangerous superpowers. Of course that makes him largely useless to Batman who gets irritated and sets off to battle the bad-guys. Fighting supervillains by himself doesn’t go well.

    Meanwhile Superman uses his Clark Kent investigative skills to seek out Lois. Of course this gives us plenty of space for culture shock jokes as the polite boy Clark tries to get used to life in the seedy side of Gotham.

    Batman and Superman realize they’ll need each other and form a plan that includes Batman having to teach Superman how to use some of his devices. The plan involves tricking/forcing the bad-guys back through the portal, where Superman will be able to kick ass.

    A problem with the plan is that Lois has got herself captured and Superman doesn’t want to leave her behind in Gotham. Of course Batman fancies her so he thinks that would be just fine.

    So during the final confrontation Superman must use technology to preserve Gotham, which he has learned to love. Batman must embrace a magical side that he has picked up somewhere along the way. This might include his literally turning into an oversized bat. Lois Lane must make it clear she loves them both, but won’t choose between them (a metaphor for the movie!). And villains must be returned to their proper places and have their asses thoroughly kicked. All this before the portal is closed as Batman and Superman say their newly fond farewells.

    But!! After the credits role we see that the portal opening machine has been replicated and is in the hands of a magical villain who is determined to get to Gotham and fight Batman in the next bat installment, in batty-imaxy-plexes everywhere, next year!

    I just spewed that out this morning and I’m sure it has all kinds of holes in it and would attract wrath from many quarters for all kinds of mythology violations. But with a whole lot of work I think I could see something like this working out.

  • drifting in space

    This could be supes easy to write. Don’t give us too much back story. We’ve had millions of movies/shows about these guys, we know what’s going on. Batman is a dark and broody “hero”. Superman is a god but tries to act “human”, which is his flaw. Got it.

    Now, like we’re supposed to do when we write: Drop in late, get out early. Drop us into the world of this movie immediately. Shit is already in chaos. Bruce has business with Lex. Lex is manipulative and smart as fuck. Superman is like, aw hell no. Bruce charms Lois. Superman is like aw hell no. Somehow they get pitted against each other. Snap, fight. Put that fight early on. Then have them start to work together against Lex. Drop the Joker back in Gotham and Batman is like, shit yo, I gotta get back and Supes is like, shit yo, I’ll come help in a bit. Then the Joker has the upper hand on Batman and Supes doesn’t show up. Batman resents him (same vein as when Bruce’s parents were killed kind of emotion) and there is tension but the world is falling apart around them.

    I call it: Batman and Superman – The Odd Couple.

    At the end of the movie they realize this is bigger than the two of them and BAM: Justice League movie. They don’t have to like each other, but they need to work together. The Flash gets a movie between this and the JL movie, and someone re-does The Green Lantern and makes it actually watchable.

    This of course leads up to a JL vs. Avengers movie where they discover an ancient civilization of robots that take the form of vehicles. They have a way battling of Autobots and Decepticons. Their battle threaten our planet so they step in to help. At first they are deceived by Megatron but eventually learn that the Autobots are the good guys.

    Meanwhile, they are all unaware that they are battling each other on a giant robot planet that devours other planets, heading straight towards Earth. Their only option to stave off certain destruction? Magneto and Professor X. This whole series culminates with a movie I’ll write called:

    Superheroes – Just Give Us Your Money. It’ll gross $24 trillion and solve all of Earth’s problems.

    Sorry, I’m very hungover and battling a minor case of food poisoning. Excuse the rambling.

    • Linkthis83

      Odd Couple, huh? Does that mean Superman goes out and makes a mess of the city and civilians while being a ‘hero’ and Batman is like, “Shit, dude. What the fuck?!?! I just cleaned this place up?!?”

      Is there any room for the Death Star in this ultra-collaborative story integration?

      • drifting in space

        Yeah, Superman is careless. Batman hates the clutter and how much Supes doesn’t do much around the city in terms of cleaning up. Talk about tension!

        The Death Star comes into play when Professor X receives a mental communication from Luke Skywalker warning there is a SECOND devouring “planet” headed for Earth.

        After all the destruction, Earth is left in ruins and splits into 13 districts. Our civilization has become blood thirsty for violence but ALL of the superheroes are dead so we resort into picking 2 members from each district and pitting them against each other.

        Eventually a young, “tribute” we’ll call them, discovers he has super powers and overthrows the leaders thus spawning off a repeat of history. A tribute without powers wants to stop him and they fight until they realize this is bigger than them.

        • Linkthis83

          Full circle in just two posts!! You have a gift my friend.

          • drifting in space

            And we’ll just keep churning them out for huge $$$. I’ll see you all from my mansion on the moon.

  • MWire

    Actually, I think a good script is possible but highly unlikely.

  • rocksuddhi

    Did they confirm that Batman and Superman would be fighting against each other? I was under the impression they would team up for this film. Then again, I don’t really keep up with this news, so what do I know?

  • klmn

    You should have another contest where we all can submit Superman vs Batman scripts. Probably best to make it for shorts so we won’t spend too much time on our scripts.

  • J. Lawrence Head

    Ya. We don’t need Kryptonite laced batterangs.

  • DrMatt

    First act:
    Batman, Lex Luthor set up, everyone reeling from the events of Man of Steel

    Act Two part 1:
    Batman and Superman fight

    Act Two part 2:
    Lex Luthor is revealed to be the TRUE villain

    Act Three:
    The team up

    But it will suck though, I agree there.

    • jbird669

      Dr,Matt, I voted down only because of your last comment. I think this is indeed what may happen.

      • DrMatt

        Haha I just like to keep my expectations as low as possible ever since Dark Knight Rises fell short of the astronomical hopes I had for it.

        • jbird669

          While it didn’t reach the heights of the Dark Knight, it was still a good movie. Guess you expected more than I did.

  • Scriptshadowfan

    Batman and Superman against any big bad would be a great way to go. They’re good friends, besties, and that relationship is so much fun.

    For movie example, animated, Batman and Superman against everyone: Public Enemies (producer Bruce Timm, the reason DC does well in animated features). More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman/Batman:_Public_Enemies

  • Citizen M

    Luthor kidnaps lois lane and delivers her to batman
    using lois batman lures superman to bat cave
    trap! cave is lined with kryptonite
    batman imprisons superman
    superman: why why why?
    batman: i need your x-ray vision
    plan: superman will use x-ray vision on combination lock, batman will open it
    batman then hands money over to Luthor
    money is payment for all the buildings superman destroyed in fighting zod. they were insured by Luthor. now he’s bankrupt
    superman: what’s in it for you?
    batman: I love lois
    superman: Nooooooooo!!
    (I’ve run out of ideas)

    • jaehkim

      you have taken care of man of steel 2 and batman vs superman in one stroke.

  • Jonathan Soens

    I don’t think it’s impossible to pull it off. It would have been so, so much easier with Bale onboard (should’ve backed up a bigger Brinks truck, Warner Bros.) and Nolan’s Batman universe intact and tied into this universe. But it’s still not impossible to pull off.

    First of all, I disagree with the premise that the movie has to even be about them fighting each other physically. “The Dark Knight” wasn’t really a movie built around Batman and the Joker trading punches and kicks. When they tell Superman vs. Lex Luthor stories, they generally aren’t about Lex Luthor and Supes punching each other.

    People are right, that the best jumping-off point is to have Bruce Wayne swooping in to help fund the reconstruction of Metropolis. By not glossing over the destruction done to the city in the first movie, this lends the story a more real and gritty nature (which is what you need for Batman to not seem out-of-place). If the movie takes place in a shiny, rebuilt Metropolis, of course Batman would seem like he doesn’t fit. Keep the city looking trashed, and have Wayne swooping in from Gotham with his moneybags to help. Make it so Luthor is already deeply involved in that whole thing, but Wayne knows the town shouldn’t want to be in Luthor’s pocket.

    Of course, as Wayne comes to town with his money, Batman comes to town with his knowledge and experience to try and school Superman on how he can be less of a rookie and cause less damage.

    The town then sort of rallies behind the combination of Superman and Luthor, because they don’t like outsiders like Wayne and Batman infringing on Luthor or Superman, who are Metropolis’ own heroes. And, to be honest, Gotham is kind of a hell hole anyway compared to what Metropolis was like, so why should they be taking notes from Gotham’s heroes? Metropolis feels like they already have their own heroes, so why import other cities’ heroes?

    I’d have Superman go through an arc where he starts out naive and full of himself. After all that talk in the first movie about how humanity will follow his example and follow him into the light, how could he not full of himself? Maybe he starts out eager to believe all humans and heroes are coming together to sing Kumbaya as they rebuild the city, whether they’re using Metropolis money and labor (Luthor’s) or Gotham’s (Wayne’s). By the end, he realizes how badly the destruction he caused in the first movie broke the city, and he realizes Metropolis might lose itself if they allow the Gothams and Bruce Waynes of the world to swoop in and buy up their city. So he ends up throwing his weight behind Luthor in an effort to keep the rebuilding project–and the city itself–in the hands of Metropolis. It’s not until the very end of the film when he realizes he made a horrible mistake giving Luthor so much power.

    I’d have Batman go through an arc where he starts out energized by the potential of someone like Superman. Maybe he was in retirement, and this is what it took to get him to come back out and play again. He’s annoyed that Superman wrecked Metropolis like a bull in a china shop, sure, but he also feels like powerful beings like Superman could be the silver bullet when it comes to fighting crime and lifting up fallen cities. So he just wants to coach up Superman so that Superman can start to fulfill that potential. By the end, after seeing Superman side with Luthor, instead of being excited by the presence and potential of people like Superman, now he’s decided they’re maybe too dangerous to exist without proper checks and balances.

    So this segues nicely into what the story for the “Justice League” movie would be about. That movie would detail how Batman had formulated a Break Glass In Case Of Emergency plan for all of the world’s new superheroes, detailing plans to defeat them all just in case they need to be taken down. And, of course, some bad guy gets his hands on Batman’s plans to defeat the heroes and starts knocking them off one-by-one, and that’s the story for the “Justice League” film.

    That’s not too much of a mess. It lets Superman and Batman co-exist in a film, and it sets up the bigger-picture story for a “Justice League” film.

    • drifting in space

      This is brilliant. I’d watch the shit out of this movie.

  • J. Lawrence Head

    If I recall correctly (as i tend to do), a few incarnations of the Superman franchsie had instances where large amounts of sunspot/solar flare activity made Supes powers go all crazy, become unpredictable, hard to control, and oftentimes put into inadvertant overdrive.
    Perfect story. Supers powers are experiencing this now, and not wanting to cause mega damage needs the caped crusader to step in and help out. Supes takes some krypto to Ritalin himself so he and bats can fight together side by side. Climax scene, all is almost lost, and the only way to come out alive is for supes to let loose, but supes is afraid to, because of all the hurt he’s caused. Bats convinces Supes in a teachable moment, sometimes you have to make the ultimate risk when theres no other choice, and until then. Supes saves the day thanks to his Bostonion-Gothamite mentor, Batman.

  • John Bradley

    I totally disagree about the idea of CAN it be done well. In all honesty, I think the movie will turn out just like you described. But, it doesn’t have to. I think if the Producers were brave, it could turn out to be an excellent movie.

    Look at what Nolan did with Batman, turning the city against him at the end of The Dark Knight. What if Superman where hunting an outlaw Batman? Or what if the US decided that Superman was just too dangerous to have on Earth and Batman was contracted to hunt him down. There are plenty of organic reasons you could put these two against each other.
    Also, is Batman really that different from Lex Luther in his capabilities? Not really. They are both intelligent/eccentric billionaires. Batman CAN get Kryptonite, and that would make it a fair fight. You could even have Lex Luther HELP Batman, or bring in the other characters. Maybe they fight each other the whole movie until they unite to stop a worse bad guy.
    The ending is tricky, I’ll grant you that. But we could always end on a “false defeat” for one of the characters, that is then resolved in the sequel. There are plenty of ways to make this story work, but in all honesty, I see the Studio making the exact film you described in your article.

    • John Bradley

      I’m assuming they are going for a Trilogy, so here is how I would end each movie.
      1. I’d end the first one as an underdog story, where Batman’s back is against the wall, but somehow comes back and appears to kill Superman. Maybe Lex Luther gives Batman Kryptonite.
      2. I’d start the second with Superman rising from the ashes and going back after Batman. I’d end this one with one of Batman’s enemies gives Superman (Clark Kent) Batman’s real identity and Clark Kent publishes proof in his newspaper. That way, not only is Batman on the run, but so is Bruce Wayne. I would end the 2nd movie with Batman losing his identity, his money, and most of his cool gadgets.
      3. The third movie, I’d bring to a head where they both fight nearly to the death, before realizing that they have a common enemy who is much more grave and team together. I would have one of them die being the hero, save humanity and earn each other’s respect.
      That’s just how I would write the 3 movies out. One of my dreams is to one day get a crack at writing an X-Men movie. What? I can dream can’t I?

      • drifting in space

        I would LOVE to write “The Death of Superman”. Dream job.

        • John Bradley

          Haha I have always been a Batman fan myself, so that would be a dream job for me. I never really liked Superman. I think the script will be greatly influenced by which hero is liked more by the writers. I would make the Superman character a bit darker to jell with Batman, rather than make Batman lighter (although Ben Afflack doesn’t really help do that).

  • J. Lawrence Head

    We can also factor in some other superheros and villains from other WB franchises:

  • kenglo

    Your rant is well appreciated. and a great rant it was! I was trying to find info on the Superman Batman battle and didn’t even know it was in the Dark Knight Rises until I read it on Wiki. (Stopped reading Frank Miller after the Wolverine series, I was about 20 then). Missed a lot being an ‘adult’…..wait, am I an adult? It can work Carson, have faith.

  • Poe_Serling

    Per Carson:

    “..this Batman vs. Superman thing, there is no way it’s going to work. Just no way.”

    The Hollywood landscape is littered with literary properties that were once deemed as very risky film ventures…

    The Life of Pi, Dune, Cloud Atlas, Naked Lunch, Atlas Shrugged, Slaughterhouse Five, Lolita, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Watchmen, and so on.

    Whether these films were successful or not, I guess that’s up to the individual viewer to decide.

  • R.Sharp

    What about incorporating Evil Superman? It might be a slight cheat, but technically it could allow Batman a reason to fight Superman…

  • J. Lawrence Head

    SFX: Crickets chirping

    The characters look at the camera dubiously in a classic fourth wall break.

  • John Bradley

    Reading everybody’s posts, it sounds like we are much more optimistic than Carson. But the studio will probably make the safe choices Carson described and bury franchise.

  • wlubake

    To me the easiest way to get them to fight is to have them both fighting a common enemy, but with different goals. So say for instance a supervillian threatens Gotham and Metropolis. Both Superman and Batman battle to save their cities, but Batman’s efforts are undermining Superman, and Superman’s efforts are undermining Batman. So they clash. Ultimately they devise a way to save both cities (using Batman’s intellect and Superman’s abilities).
    The problem I had with the Avengers is that the conflict between the participants felt manufactured. Especially anything involving Thor. At least here you have two heroes that are clearly at odds with each other in method and motivation.
    I also read Snyder say that they were casting Affleck because he can play a grizzled, hardened Batman against Cavill’s young, bright-eyed Superman. So if the universes were to cross, I’d guess that Batman is established as the sole superhero first, and Superman and company come into the game later. Lots of room for conflict as the shiny new superheroes diminish the workman-like Batman in the eyes of the public.
    Can they get a movie that works? Yes. Can they get one that satisfies the fanboys? Probably not.

  • Linkthis83

    I think the best responses for me are:

    1) I can appreciate Batman Begins.

    2) One line of dialogue from X-Men ruined the whole thing for me. One line. I was borderline entertained anyway. I just don’t get into these types of movies very easily. Although I absolutely love V for Vendetta (not a superhero, but is Batman really?).

    • BSBurton

      What was the line?? And V is a great movie. Love the use of the overture of 1812 I believe…

      • Linkthis83

        It was Halle Berry’s line as Storm = “Do you know what happens to a toad when it gets struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else!”

        • BSBurton

          Leave it to Halle to ruin it !!!! I can’t blame you there, it was an awful line. But I really enjoyed the film overall. It was pretty well done and holds up well. Hugh is great of I like James, Patrick, and Ian’s performances.

          • Linkthis83

            There’s no doubt that they are successful films and people want more of them. They are just worlds that I don’t get into.

          • BSBurton

            How about the Bourne Films? You see Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy? I love some spy action lol.

        • lonestarr357

          I would say ‘if you let one line of dialogue ruin a movie for you, how can you be happy with anything?’, but then I remember my hateboner for KNOCKED UP’s ‘Look out. He wants to rear your child!’. Glass houses and all…

          • Linkthis83

            It ruined THAT movie for me. But I’m not a huge comic book movie fan anyway. I was seeing it with some friends. It was the build up and immediate let down in the same moment

          • drifting in space

            That’s because Halle Berry as Storm was a horrible miscast. They just wanted butts in the seats.

          • Linkthis83

            That may be true, but could anyone have made that dialogue work? Was there really no other statement that could be made there? Lol. just shaking my head at the thought of her saying it again. But it’s Halle Berry, so the thought’s not too bad I guess….

          • drifting in space

            Yeah, the line was just awful.

          • BSBurton

            No one could make that dialogue work. It was supposed to be a big game changer in the script but didn’t work. EDIT: She zaps toad’s tongue with lightning. Storm: “How’s that taste?” That’s short, simple and may get a laugh. Long periods before a punchline are never really good.

  • C.K.

    No way this works unless it’s Lex Luthor who pits them against one another — perhaps unbeknownst to each of them. Either way, Cavill still got the short end of the stick in terms of being able to develop his character in a standalone MOS2. But back to the “vs.” — if Clark is an investigative reporter on par with Lois he should be able to deduce Bruce’s secret on that level alone. Or else Bats better have a lead-lined cowl to prevent Kal from taking a peek. Yeah, I’m surprised they’re keeping the same title as Andrew Kevin Walker’s script. And I do agree, this is a potentially multiple-franchise killing endeavor. (sigh) — Not to mention how it undercuts a decade of work done by Nolan’s team. (I guess there’s no time for anything to become a “classic” anymore.) I’ll admit I want to see this flick, but I wish they would’ve called it something akin to “World’s Finest” and made it the 3rd movie in the MOS storyline — an Act 3 that would have REQUIRED Kal to team up with other heroes to defeat, perhaps, Darkseid, and then used that 3rd MOS film as a bridge to JUSTICE LEAGUE. The ONLY WAY both Supes and Bats both win is if BOTH get killed and resurrected somehow aka INFINITE CRISIS meets DEATH OF SUPERMAN.

  • Dan

    I have been thinking about Carson’s question all day. “How would you write Batman vs. Superman?”

    This is what I came up with. (It’s kinda long.)

    The exposition

    Superman – The quintessential blue boy scout he is nearly unbeatable and certainly incorruptible.

    Batman – What you need to know about batman is that he has developed contingency plans to take out all of the most powerful superheroes. In the Batcave he has the plans and the items necessary to kill the Green Lantern, the Flash, Martian Manhunter , even Superman himself. Batman thinks this is necessary in case a powerful superhero ever switches sides.

    Billy Batson/Captain Marvel/Shazam – Billy Batson was an ordinary orphan kid until one day the powerful wizard, Shazam, endowed Billy with super powers. When Billy says the magic word “Shazam” he is transformed into Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel is arguably just as powerful as superman. In some cases Captain Marvel has beaten Supes one on one. Although, “Shazam” technically refers to the wizard, Captain Marvel himself is often referred to as just “Shazam”.

    Black Adam – Is a previous incantation of Captain Marvel. Before Billy Batson was given the power, Black Adam had the power of Shazam. Black Adam is however, very evil.
    But pretty much has all the same powers as Captain Marvel.

    Doomsday – The mythology says that there was an evil scientist who lived on Krypton before it was destroyed. He set up a lab on the very worst, most dangerous area of krypton. This area was populated with horrible creatures that were the ultimate killing machines. They would have even given superman a challenge. The scientist created a laboratory made living killing machine and would set it loose in the area. The killing machine would be
    destroyed almost completely by the native wildlife. The scientist would then locate any living tissue that the killing machine left behind. He would re-engineer the killing machine and release it again. He would do this process every day until his killing machine became Doomsday, a rabid maniac of a monster and arguably the toughest creature to ever exist. It was Doomsday who famously killed superman in the comics.
    The love interest – This is I guess Wonder Woman aka Diana. She is currently romantically involved with Superman in the comics. And I believe she is a close friend of Batman. I would see her more as someone they both care about in this film rather than someone they fight over.

    So here is the plot outline:

    Black Adam is bent on destroying Shazam. Black Adam commissions the scientist to create Doomsday. (This is not faithful to the comics, but since neither Black Adam nor Doomsday have appeared in the movies, I thought I could take some liberties.) Black Adam transports a freshly minted Doomsday to earth to lure out Shazam and weaken him. Black Adam knows that the general mayhem caused by Doomsday will get Shazam’s attention, and Doomsday will beat the crap out of Shazam. Black Adam’s plan is working but Supes and Bataman also get involved.

    Working together Supes, Batman and Shazam manage to subdue Black Adam and Doomsday. Shazam wants to kill them both, but Superman won’ allow it. Batman is on the fence. Well, Shazam is the one person in the universe who doesn’t have to listen to Superman, so he kills Black Adam anyway. He then goes over to Doomsday to land the killing blow on him. He appears to kill Doomsday before Superman can stop him. But now the shit is on between Superman and Shazam.

    Superman and Shazam go back and forth in an all-out battle. Batman does what he can to help Superman and avoid collateral damage, but this isn’t a fight Batman can handle by himself. When it appears that Superman cannot win, Batman reluctantly goes into his batcave stash and readies the plan to kill Shazam. Ultimately Batman kills Shazam in order to save Superman’s life.

    In the aftermath of the battle the amount of collateral damage is huge. Many innocent people were hurt or killed, including a severly wounded Diana. Batman blames Superman for a lot of the damage. If he were just reasonable and let Shazam kill Doomsday and Black Adam in the first place Diana would be fine. Superman has tremendous trouble with what Batman did. Superman considers Batman a murderer now.

    As Diana’s health hangs in the balance Batman focuses hisanger towards Superman. He becomes increasingly sure that it is only a matter of time before a being as powerful as superman becomes corrupted. He believes it is better to kill superman now, than wait until the inevitable happens.

    Superman focuses his anger on Batman, the murder. When Superman finds out that Batman has a secret plan to kill all superheroes including Superman himself, Superman is convinced that Batman must be dealt with.

    Supes goes to bring Batman to justice. But of course Batmanknows he is coming. Batman has readied the materials necessary to defeat Superman. So Supes and Bats have an epic battle. Superman, knows that Batman has kryptonite, so superman is extra cautious. Perhaps Supes gets less than a full dose of kryptonite, basically making them equal.

    I thought perhaps Batman could utilize Bane’s mask system with the same chemicals Bane uses, but with Kryptonite added as well, making Superman unable to hurt Batman.

    So during this battle we reveal that Shazam never did kill Doomsday and in fact Doomsday has fully recovered. Doomsday shows up to kill Supes and Bats and pretty much everyone else in the world. And conveniently around this time, Diana has recovered and joined the fight.

    Supes and Bats have to work together to beat Doomsday. After subduing Doomsday, Superman agrees to let Batman kill Doomsday realizing that there is no other way to ensure the safety of the world. Batman agrees that even though a corrupt superman would be unacceptable, it is possible that superman never will become corrupt, and his power is absolutely needed to fight the evil that does exist. Superman requires that batman not be the lone keeper of the death plans of the other heroes. They are transferred to the Justice
    League headquarters where it would require the authorization of at least 3 members to access the contents. (But of course, batman has retained some sort of backdoor access for himself.)

    • wlubake

      Not to minimize what was clearly a lot of effort on your part, but there’s no way they introduce that many characters in one film that is supposed to focus on Batman and Superman. The only super heroes/villains at play will be (1) Batman, (2) Superman, and (3) some super villain. You didn’t see Marvel confuse things with a bunch of villains in the Avengers.
      Any new heroes will need their own movie for introduction.

      • Dan

        I absolutely agree, but it would be awesome if they did. I also thought the likelihood of giving Shazam his own movie was fairly low. So they could use him now. He is a good tool to develop the dispute between Superman and Batman. He is as powerful as Superman, but not necessarily always good. Like if Batman’s sense of justice was combined with Superman’s physical abilities, it exposes the weaknesses in both.

    • Poe_Serling

      Just on effort alone – you get an up-vote from me.

      • Dan

        Thank you Poe!

  • andyjaxfl

    I actually enjoyed Man of Steel so I’m more disappointed that we aren’t getting a straight sequel to that movie. I think the end of MOS set up the next chapter quite well and it doesn’t require Batman. Batman’s involvement is the result of the Warners brass panicking over the fact that Man of Steel didn’t make a billion dollars like everyone thought it would leading up to the very split reviews.

    DC characters can star in successful franchises, even the lesser known characters. A great script and the perfect blend of leading man/character catapulted Iron Man/Tony Stark to levels nobody ever expected that character to reach. Warners is settling on 2nd and 3rd rate scripts for these potential franchises.

    I think they can make a strong Batman/Superman movie. Anyone who has read the comics knows the dynamic between these two characters is something special, but it will take the right creative people to mine the best-of the material, and I don’t think Goyer is the one to do it. He knows a lot about comics and so do I, but that doesn’t mean I can translate that knowledge into a workable story. And I don’t think he can either.

    Paul Dini & Bruce Timm know Batman/Superman and how to make their interactions work better than anyone on this planet. They are the ones who should be making this movie.

  • peisley

    No saying the Batman is going to be the real Batman. If they have a villain, then it could be some kind of nefarious double or a brainwashed original. The real one could be trying to prove his innocence or show up later.

  • Andrew V.

    A lot of comments to read so someone might’ve already said it but this movie’s definitely possible. I imagine the best conflict here would be similar to Dr. Manhattan’s in Watchmen. A cynical God decides to do nothing while a powerless but hopeful man tries to coerce him to save the world. Superman doesn’t have to die but if the two are going to fight, Batman has to be the “hero” or the more sympathetic of the two.

    But I will agree with Carson… this movie probably won’t work. The writing on DC’s non-Nolan movies are terrifyingly bad. Also, I might be one of the few people who thinks The Avengers was bad for all the reasons you listed: forced conflict, weak protagonists (because there were too many) and lack of believability (an Army of demigods/superhuman creatures stopped by a couple mutants, a smart guy in a suit and 1 demigod).

  • SMH

    Impossible to pull off or not, you would SO totally try if Warner Bros. approached you to write it, Carson. As would we all. Great pay check, great challenge. Even Kevin Smith TRIED to write Superman even though the producer forced a giant spider on him. Let’s be honest.

  • Midnight Luck

    ok Disqus is going mental. is it looking like 2 sides of one sandwich to anyone else? wth

    • drifting in space

      Having the same issue.

  • Christian Zilko

    It is not a literal fight, per se, but a battle of batman’s ego not being happy with superman falling from the sky and saving the world, while batman has been fighting crime for years. They try to outdo each other, before realizing they have to team up to fight Luthor.

  • grendl

    I would have some super villain find a way of turning Superman evil.

    Kind of like Toy Story 3′s dynamic with the two principles being enemies. It would have to do with some kind of Kryptonite implanted in his brain,

    Start it off with the unthinkable, Superman called to the scene of some spectacular crime, maybe a train jacking where millions of dollars in gold are being transported, the track blows up and train dangles over some river, he seems like he’s about to save the day but then does something totally out of character, maybe letting the train fall.

    Letting Lex Luthor get all the gold, and Batman is the world only hope because the Avengers are busy and under contract to Disney. That way you have a mortal playing detective, trying to figure out the terminator of superheroes, Superman.

    It would be tricky to see how much damage the evil Superman inflicts without ruining his street cred. But it would set up his redemptive moment once the Kryptonite implant was removed from his brain.

    Something like that.

    • jaehkim

      there was an episode of batman beyond (the cartoon) that dealt with evil superman. it was episode 50 and 51, ‘the call’ part 1 and 2 where batman is invited to join the justice league to find a mole who turns out to be superman himself.

      part 1 ended with superman being revealed as evil, but we didn’t know why. the mystery and the revelation made the call part 1 one of the best batman beyond episodes. but part 2 was sub par as the inevitable kryptonite and mind control element made it very predictable.

      I think your idea and carson’s idea can somehow be combined. superman and batman team up after a villain but superman splits off after some disagreements and he appears to be joining forces with the villain. batman does some investigating and find out the villain is somehow controlling superman.

  • Gregory Mandarano

    Superman vs Batman? Piece of cake!

    Two words : Majin Buu

  • cjob3

    Totally agree. That’s why they abandoned this idea before. You run this risk of killing two golden geese in one fowl (get it?) swoop. I don’t get why you’d wanna team-up two loner characters anyway. It’s silly. Marvel is pissing me off with their cartoons – putting Spider-Man in a ‘team,’ putting the Hulk, the HULK! in a team! It’s nonsense.

  • Linkthis83

    You know, it wouldn’t surprise me if the writers faced with this challenge had some people secretly scouring up all these ideas on here. You know, just in case.

    • Guest

      Sure… keep convincing yourself of that… they have nothing better to do other than to come over to SS to see what’s being discussed. This is not as tough or desperate an assignment as CR makes it out to be. The movie will suck; but it’s not that tough. Wonder Woman is a much more worthy and interesting challenge.

  • Kieran ODea

    Carson makes some great points. And I have a response… “Man of Tomorrow” by Jeremy Slater. A must read for comic book fans

  • cjob3

    True, both the Avengers was DESIGNED as a bickering team. That’s been going since the 60s. Carson’s right, this feels more like a marketing ploy. They just slapped two popular movie characters to cause a buzz, not because it was a good idea. It’s like teaming up James Bond and Rocky.

    Plus, the Avengers have characters who can laugh at the ridiculousness of their situation. Both Batman and Superman seem to take themselves pretty seriously.

    Two grown-ass, brooding men standing side-by-side in silly costumes.

  • GeneralChaos

    I think you’re reading too much into the title ”Batman Vs Superman”, Carson.

    Besides, they have come at odds numerous times in comic-book and animated form.

    Can be done. Has been done.

  • Matt Clayton

    It’s been said already, but the basic concept has been done numerous times in comic-book arcs and several animated movies. Most are successful, to varying degrees. For example, the three part “World’s Finest” episode in Superman: The Animated Series is almost deceptively simple in plot structure, but it works. And it’s quite fun.

    The concept itself can be done, it’s all in the approach and interpretation. I don’t know where you’re getting this ‘it can’t be done, it’s only a gimmick’ stuff from — as The Avengers did just that. I’m sure Zack Snyder and David Goyer will take inspiration from not only “The Dark Knight Returns”, but also said “World’s Finest” arc, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, and so forth.

    I’d be more worried about David Goyer writing the script… his dialogue is pretty terrible.

  • agolden33

    I think it can work. Because I don’t think they are going to have them fight at all. Show us one thing, get some shots in the trailer that makes us think they fight. But they never do. Not yet. Not in the first movie that they both show up in.

    I really think they leave Batman as a supporting character. Maybe be on screen 1/3 of the movie. Like others have said in this post, I agree with a lot.

    The base of the movie has to be Superman is the first “hero” to be shown in public, all other heros have been staying hidden. Batman works in the shadows. Flash is an urban myth. And Superman coming out and saving the world gives the other heros the ability to do the same.

    Quick things I would like in the movie:

    Superman knows he’s the man. Lex is running for Mayor of Metropolis to clean the city up. “Hey he seems good now, but he isn’t human, you can’t trust him. You can trust me. I will rebuild metropolis.”

    But he’s not. He’s using he money and resources to gather info on superman. Lots of wreckage of his ships. DNA in that one ship that Zod crashed. He gets that and ships it off to…wait for it…Gotham. No one will mind it there.

    Batman, been doing the vigilante thing for awhile. Figures out what he is doing. Tracks the shipments. See’s that Lex isn’t the man he thinks he is. Maybe have a run in with some goons in Gotham that Superman helps him out with.

    Hilarity ensues with witty banter and each other telling what they do and don’t like of each other. But in the end they both realize the strengths and weaknesses of the other. Batman also tells Supes not to trust Lex, who he is giving the benefit of the doubt to.

    This shipment is a dead end, but we find out Lex has alien tech. Brainiac maybe? Or other monsters on that ship? Or the DNA to create those monsters/villians?

    All in all you have Batman figure out Superman is Clark. Superman figure out Batman is Bruce. Big fight at the end with maybe some kryptonians still left on earth that didn’t get sucked through to the phantom zone and Batman comes to save the day in metropolis.

    Sounds kind of like a kid movie when i write it out…but at the center of the story it must be. Superman doesn’t belong but wants to. Lex does not make that easy for him. Batman wants to trust Superman but see’s the government behind the scenes pulling strings.

    We set the story for multiple villains in upcoming movies with what lex is doing with the tech he acquires from the ship wreckage. Bruce secretly starts figuring out Supermans weaknesses and for Christs sake. HAVE SUPERMAN SAVE SOME PEOPLE!!!

    I hope they put more thought then I just did but just having them fight movie 1. I hope they don’t do that. Gotta save that for when Affleck is a little older!

  • Guess Who

    After seeing Man of Steel, my confidence in that team pulling it off is shaken. (And I was a big Snyder fan!) Man of Steel was just so dam joyless…and really no that charming. I would much rather have seen the Batman (from the Tim Burton universe) versus the Superman from the Richard Donner universe…..written by Larry Kasdan and whatever superstar writers are out there.

    I disagree with the idea that the concept can’t be pulled off…in fact, I think the concept is brilliant. The “versus” is misleading. It’s not going to be 2 hours of the two fist-fighting. It will probably be like that Dirty Harry movie where Dirty Harry has to catch this vigilante killing bad guys…in his heart, he is after the same thing, but as a law man philosophically he had to stop her. Superman and Batman go about things in completely different ways philosophically, so they’re bound to clash. Batman bent on vengeance or on a warpath might skirt the law or at least ride the fence….and Superman just can’t have that. Superman will be forced to stop Batman, even if reluctantly so. They’re most likely going to have another set of main villains that both are going after….but while going about it, they will clash. Batman will be like Eddie Murphy to Superman’s Nick Nolte. Superman might even warn Batman not to go over the line because he will be forced to stop him, even if he doesn’t want to. It’s a shame that D.C. is so behind. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are way cooler than the Avengers. I would much rather have seen a Justice League movie than the Avengers, but these D.C. guys just can’t get it together.

    And I hope they get that Wonder Woman s***t together. I’ve been wanting to ogle Wonder Woman for 10 years…. That Linda Carter really made a lot of guys’ day when that show was on.

  • Kay Bryen

    I totally disagree that it would seem convoluted to make Supes and Batso fight each other. If I were a villain in a city with two superheroes, I’d have the most natural motivation in the world for turning them against each other.

    E.g. make Batso blame Supes for his bride’s death, while Supes blames Batso for his divorce from Lois Lane.

  • Linkthis83

    “What do we want to say with this film, and how will the conflict between these two be able to express it?”

    I think that first question is the most important question here. I sure hope they start there and not with “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if…”

    I feel you on the superhero movies too. But they do have the built in fan base. I think the thing about that fan base too is that they want great superhero movies so bad, they will go and see them just to say if they were good or not.

    And sometimes if feels like they have to choose safe so they don’t alienate their core demographic.

  • cjob3

    It’s a great point that neither person can really ‘win.’ It’s literally a no win situation for the screenwriters. And the whole movie is about that fight. It’s not so much Batman vs. Superman its; Watch How Batman levels the playing field against Superman.

  • jbird669

    THIS is exactly what should happen in the film. Not only is there no reason why it can’t work, but this will make a ton of cash.
    If there is one thing they can steal from Marvel and be cool, it’s a post-credits scene. In this one, Batman is creating a Superhero database and entering Superman’s weakness, just in case he gets out of hand (could be basis of Justice League movie, like the one comic story).

  • jbird669
  • blueiis0112

    I remember what the baseline for “Alien vs Predator” was. Although there were some oddities in #1 that were either left on the floor or not filmed. Carson is correct about the conflict. The other problem is the dialogue of one-liners, both can have them and it worked. MASH did that all the time. Or just having one character such as “Lethal Weapon”. But, where would the depth be?

  • Todd Walker

    There is another thing I don’t understand about these Superheroes: Batman lives in Gotham City (Chicago?) but Superman lives in Metropolis (NYC), in what way would these two ever cross paths? As Carson said, “they operate in two separate worlds”, one would have to go well out of their way to find the other…unless of course they both went after the same rescue after seeing something on the news.

    • pitchblack70

      Todd – Chicago? Interesting theory…! :) Actually – from what I understand – both Gotham and Metropolis are NYC. Metropolis is mid and upper Manhattan. Gotham is the lower end. (Says the writer from the Bronx.)

      As others have mentioned, there actually is plenty of motivation for these two characters to fight…and its been pulled off successfully in several comics already. Superman is the all-powerful Boy Scout that can never hurt anyone. Batman’s – well, he’s Batman. Gritty and violent, with no problem playing outside the rules. IE: they’re idealistic opposites. And – Superman basically wins everything by brute force and power. Batman is a strategist who outthinks his enemies, or at least out gadgets them. One thing that Carson mentioned (and disparaged) would be an obvious trick for Batman to pull in a fight. Armor or bullets made of Kryptonite, or perhaps something more subtle and clever.

      Done properly, the story could be great – and organic to the characters. Whether the studio will hire the right writer(s) to pull it off…? That’s the main issue, really.

  • Ken

    The Marvel movies work because the characters in the Marvel Comics universe were pretty much all created by the same people (Lee, Kirby, Ditko) over the space of a few years, whilst the DC characters were created by different creators at different times. The Marvel characters just ‘work’ together better. It also helps that the Marvel characters are based in real places, rather than made-up cities like Metropolis.

  • DJ_A-See

    it might be interesting if Lex Luthor helped create the justice League as a way to defend earth against the next BIG attack (like zod) but really do it to have a team to go after Superman or some REALLY nefarious reason…since we’re just spitballin ideas

  • guest

    This is a buddy flick waiting to happen … sort of like Lethal Weapon… who says they’re going to be fighting?

  • Zapotage

    I couldn’t agree more with your article and have been stating many of your points with friends on why this movie idea is ridiculous. The Avengers worked, because Marvel took the time to arduously set up each character in their own films. They were all pretty much hits at the box office so when they brought them together in Avengers the fans already knew the characters pretty well. Bringing in a brand new Batman and putting him against a somewhat new Superman just seems silly. If they ever wanted to do a Justice League movie right I think they would have to start from the tedious ground up. Establish a universal tone that could work with each hero and give them at least a few films each before bringing them together for Justice League. Batman and Superman would require at least two films, maybe three, before their characters are truly established. Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman (haha) wouldn’t require as much. Wonder Woman, would require just as much as Superman and Batman in my opinion. They could all battle their own rogue gallery in their own films and then team up to battle an unbelievable threat that requires all of their skills. Of course, this would be a giant and incredibly expensive gamble for any studio, but it’s the only way to make good films that are also box office gold. Christopher Nolan is already missed…

  • K.B. Houston

    Totally agree. I was thinking the exact same thing while reading this article. While I think Carson is onto something, the idea that this absolutely can’t work just isn’t correct. It can work as long as the writer is creative enough. Look at what you and I were thinking while reading this article! That didn’t take too much brain power now, did it?

  • Spitgag

    I don’t know much about superhero films or these two mythologies but the problem of one ultimately “winning” against the other seems problematic. As far as dividing them and making them fight, that seems easy.

    They fight over A GIRL.

    Perhaps a cool. new female villain character (Charlize) who manipulates them both.

    Who we root for, how it ends etc, I have no clue….

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