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Warner Bros. kicked Saturday at Comic-Con with a big announcement: Batman and Superman will pair up in a new movie as the follow up to “Man of Steel.”
Zack Snyder, who helmed “Man of Steel,” is co-writing the story with David S. Goyer, who will then pen the screenplay. Production is expected to begin in 2014, with an anticipated release date in summer 2015.
To make the announcement, the director brought out “Man of Steel”-castmember Harry Lennix to read from Frank Miller’s 1986 book, “The Dark Knight Returns,” in which Batman battles Superman: “I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come. In all your most private moments. I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.”
During the brief presentation, Snyder revealed the film’s logo.
The new Batman has yet to be cast. Christian Bale has, however, said he would not return to the role.
The final title has yet to be determined, with Goyer saying, “we’re not actually not sure whether the title is ‘Superman vs. Batman’ or ‘Batman vs. Superman.’”
Studio and the director made the announcement of the the Superman and Batman match-up to 6,000 people inside Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center, at the end of its panel where it also promoted “Gravity,” The Lego Movie,” “Edge of Tomorrow,” “300: Rise of an Empire,” “Godzilla,” and “Seventh Son.”
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The studio and DC Entertainment has been considering several options for its superhero films, including a “Man of Steel” sequel for 2015, a Flash movie in 2016 and the Justice League film for 2017.
Warner Bros. has indicated that it planned to bring back Superman for a 2015 film if “Man of Steel” performed up to expectations. The film’s worldwide box office has hit $622 million since its June 14 launch. ”The Dark Knight Rises,” starring Bale, topped $1 billion in global box office last year.
The Batman-Superman movie could match the box office prowess of “Marvel’s The Avengers.” That 2012 Disney release, featuring Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk and Thor, amassed $1.5 billion worldwide.
It would also move the Burbank studio closer to its long-planned all-star superhero pic “Justice League” — finally fully exploiting its DC Comics library beyond Batman and Superman.
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“Justice League” would bring to the screen such characters as Aquaman, the Flash, Wonder Woman and another Green Lantern, whose costly 2011 predecessor flopped.
“Superman and Batman together on the big screen is a dream come true for DC fans everywhere,” said Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment. “All of us at DC Entertainment could not be more excited for Zack’s continuing vision for the DC Universe.”
Snyder said, “I’m so excited to begin working again with Henry Cavill in the world we created, and I can’t wait to expand the DC Universe in this next chapter. Let’s face it, it’s beyond mythological to have Superman and our new Batman facing off, since they are the greatest superheroes in the world.”
The new film brings back Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder as producers. This time, Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are serving as executive producers, along with Benjamin Melniker and Michael E. Uslan.