How And Why The Superman/Batman Team-up Movie Will Work

How The Film Will Work

the dark knight returns Early news on the story, given how brand spankingly new the film is as a whole, is obviously sparse but we did receive the hint that it will be based on Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. In that story an older Bruce Wayne returns to being Batman in his fifties and is met with, obviously, a large amount of opposition in the form of not just the Gotham police, but also the United States Government (which Superman has become an agent of). Saying that a film adaption will be based on a famous work still leaves it open to a lot of changes, Marvel's upcoming Days of Future Past movie is certainly proving that, so how will the story go? It's seems we'll be getting not just Superman and Batman, but Superman versus Batman, but how? Why will they fight each other? Well, how about this for size? In order to have an effective and, most importantly different superhero movie (even with characters that are instantly recognisable in the form of Superman and Batman), DC need to make a film that takes the factor of human relatability (which, as I said before, Marvel almost always delivers with their superheroes) and assign it to a negative character. We can€™t be Superman or Batman, but anyone can be Lex Luthor. Or at least understand where Lex is coming from with his anti-Superman mentality. His hatred of Superman is based on the fact that Superman, no matter where he grew up, is ultimately not human and yet he sets himself up as an unobtainably €˜perfect€™ being that humans should strive towards. Lex sees this as a dangerous position for any being to hold and as long as Superman is around, we€™ll want to be him and seeing as we can€™t get there, what do human strive towards? This is the conflict that the film should be based on. We obviously like Superman and Batman but we find ourselves relatable and understanding to the bad guy. Perhaps this builds on the cataclysmic ending to Man of Steel. I personally really enjoyed seeing Metropolis decimated because it was the first time in a superhero movie I got a real sense of superhuman damage. Many superhero movies have a climactic battle scene, but Man of Steel went into full on 9/11 parallels. The jury is still on out whether this amount of collateral damage should€™ve be incurred in a Superman film, but now that it€™s happened, the next film needs to look at how regular people would respond to it. The only rational response is fear and a film that introduces Lex Luthor as someone who sees the destruction in Metropolis as an outright red flag that Superman attracts and causes more trouble than he prevents, will have set up a villain that we know is evil but we can pretty easily understand. 2 Lex Luthor cropped So where does Batman come into this? Any time a comic book fan has played €˜superhero death match€™ the conversation will undoubtedly turn to the fact that Batman would defeat anyone. Batman has just the right mix of genius and paranoia that he€™s always prepared to take down superheroes just in case the turn evil so how would Batman respond to the damage seen in Man of Steel? Batman protected Gotham a hell of lot better than Superman did for Metropolis so when Batman sees the almost immeasurable damage incurred by someone claiming to be on the side of good, he€™s going to reason that perhaps the guy trying to protect the city isn€™t really up to the task. All of sudden we€™ve got Batman and Lex Luthor on the same side. They both see Superman as an unbelievably powerful but damaging figure (Lex sees this philosophically and Batman sees it physically) and they want to get rid of him for different reasons. We have a trifecta of characters that we all like and relate to on different levels. We all like Superman, but can€™t really relate to him. We like Batman too, can relate to him a bit more, but Batman doesn€™t like Superman. Finally we€™ve got Lex Luthor who we don€™t like, but we relate to him most of all. We spend the first act of the film setting up Lex Luthor in a political onslaught against Superman, trying to sway the public against a superhero. This will only gain more weight when Lex reveals that another superhero, Batman, is actually on his side. In act two Batman will actually succeed in taking down Superman because he is, after all, the world€™s greatest detective. Batman is the only person who is able to deduce that Superman is masquerading as Clark Kent but also has the scientific knowledge to unearth perhaps the only thing humans have to fight Superman with. Kryptonite (which, quite neatly with these plans, was not even mentioned in Man of Steel). All the while Lex is building an AI superhero to prove that humans can defend themselves and once Batman gets Superman out of the way, Lex€™s real plans are revealed. His AI superhero will be able to do exactly what humans want to do whenever a national disaster happens, react with brute force. Terrorist activity? Trouble in the middle-east? Instantly taken care of. The whole of act three is Batman realising that perhaps a superhuman nuclear deterrent (Superman) is better than the human response to extraterrestrial threat (Lex Luthor) and he and Superman team up. Batman goes to take out Luthor at LexCorp while Superman deals with Lex€™s AI superhero (integrated with Kryptonite to even the fight opposed to Superman just flying in a decimating it). In the end, Batman and Superman are still the good guys and we love them. Lex Luthor is still the bad guy and he loses. But didn€™t we just reach the same tried and tested conclusion through a very different means? We pit Batman against Superman, we understand where Lex is coming from (though he obviously ends up going about the wrong way of doing things, so he is still the villain) and all the while we€™ve explored the idea of where above-human superbeings have a place in a realistic world. And is Marvel doing any of this in any of their films? These are just my thoughts on the whole thing, what do you guys think? How do you think the Superman/Batman film should go down? Was my suggested film good or bad? Be sure to post all positive or negative comments in the box below.
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A Cinema and Photography graduate whose media exposure has amounted to little more than an amateur comics society podcast and a one minute radio discussion about cantaloupe melons. Reader of Vertigo, watcher of Doctor Who, lover of everything film. Tweet in his direction @Story24