#11 WOLFGANG PETERSEN’S BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN
That film that’s coming out in two years? We almost saw a version of it ten years ago. While Warner Bros. was busy developing several projects to get their heroes back on the screen, Se7en screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker came in and pitched the idea of a “Batman vs. Superman” film (this of course would become the root of the joke that he wrote the “Aquaman” movie in HBO’s “Entourage”). Legendary director Wolfgang Petersen signed on to direct the film with screenwriter Akiva Goldsman jumping on to give a second pass at the script.
The film was said to involve a world where Batman’s closest friends (Dick Grayson, Commissioner Gordon, and Alfred) are all dead and the Batman just isn’t what he used to be while over in Metropolis, Superman is going through his own crisis following a divorce from Lois Lane. Batman finds solace in a new love interest who is killed by the Joker and for one reason or another blames Superman, thus the pair come to blows. As one can imagine, the climax of the film would have seen the pair realize their fighting was silly and was all staged by the hands of Lex Luthor, whom they team up to take down.
“It is a clash of the titans,” Petersen told Variety in 2002. “They play off of each other so perfectly. (Superman) is clear, bright, all that is noble and good, and Batman represents the dark, obsessive and vengeful side. They are two sides of the same coin and that is material for great drama.”
The film lingered in development with rumors pointing toward Colin Farrell and future Batman Christian Bale as being contenders for the Dark Knight, with Farrell said to be the chosen one. AICN reported that Jude Law was going to take on the Man of Steel for the film but pulled out at the last minute and would be replaced by none other than Josh Hartnett. Production was slated to begin in early 2003 for five to six months with a summer 2004 release date eye, but eventually the studio got cold feet and decided to reboot the franchises with the characters in their own respective movies first.
In 2006, Petersen actually opened up to us here at SuperHeroHype about the film, saying at the time he was still very much interested in the idea.
“I still think that the Superman/Batman clash, putting them together in one film, would be absolutely fantastic,” said Petersen. “I hope it still will happen because they are so different as we know. The dark Batman and the sort of goody goody Superman. It’s so nice to play with both and see how the dynamic between the two also including fighting between the two how that would work.”
Which of these failed superhero movies would you have wanted to see? Which ones are you glad got cut out of existence? Sound off in the comments below!