Page 4 of 9
# 4 Who is the bad guy?
Zack Snyder and David Goyer have already called this movie Superman vs. Batman (or Batman vs. Superman). Snyder even introduced the film with a quote from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, using dialogue from a scene in which Batman and Superman are knocking the crap out of each other. The expectation has already been laid out that this is a movie where DC's two most popular characters will come to blows, but who is the audience supposed to cheer for? The initial press release called this movie a Man of Steel sequel, which means Superman will be the main character and focus. So do we root for Superman over Batman? As I said previously, people don't want to root against Batman.
There have been a handful of “VS” movies put out in theaters before, with varying degrees of success. Freddy vs. Jason, Alien vs. Predator, King Kong vs. Godzilla. There was usually a clear winner in films of this nature by the end, but more often than not the filmmakers wanted the audience to root for the human bystanders (even though they all know that we had our favorites picked out). The best thing that Snyder and Goyer can take away from these films (beyond “don't be awful”) is to have a clear winner. Sure fans of Superman will be mad if Batman wins and vice versa, but the cop out “Lets join together and we can win!” trope from these other movies will feel cheap, especially if they end up calling the movie Superman vs. Batman.
I'm going to side with many others that have already expressed this opinion and say WB should go the route of “World's Finest.” Don't promise anything to the audience in the title that you're not going to deliver on, especially since Bruce Wayne can't go to blows with Clark like Zod did. Furthermore, you can have these two characters meet and butt heads while still targeting the same antagonist of the film. Lex Luthor, The Joker, Brainiac, there's an entire fleet of characters that these two can go up against. Don't settle for expanding the universe just with Batman.
Continued on page 5!