Batman vs. Superman is the title to a cancelled American film based on the DC Comics' superheroes Batman and Superman. The film was greenlighted by Warner Bros. in 2002 with Wolfgang Petersen directing from a script by Andrew Kevin Walker and Akiva Goldsman. The film was expected to film in 2003 with a release in 2004. The project collapsed when Petersen left the project to direct the historial epic Troy. As of 2005, Batman Begins producer Chuck Roven believes the two men in tights will meet one day. "It all depends on the success of Batman Begins and Superman Returns. The current script is superb."
The story was to have taken place five years after the death of Bruce Wayne's trusted partner Robin. Wayne has finally retired from the mantle of Batman and has found happiness with his new fiancée Elizabeth. At their wedding, however, Bruce's old demons resurface when a resurrected Joker crashes the ceremony and murders Elizabeth. With newfound rage, Bruce Wayne once again dons the cape and cowl to hunt for the Joker. Once on his manhunt, Batman encounters Superman, who fears that Wayne will cross the line and become a murderer. This sets the two heroes on a violent collision against each other. Unbeknownst to the heroes, their actions are falling in line with a villainous plot by Lex Luthor, who is responsible for the resurrection of the Joker.
After the collapse of the troubled Superman Lives project, Batman vs. Superman was officially announced by Warner Bros. in July 2002. The studio had been developing this project for years along with the McG and J.J. Abrams Superman film and the Darren Aronofsky and Frank Miller Batman: Year One project. The film was developed as a platform to revive both Batman and Superman franchises. The film was to begin filming in 2003 with a release in the summer of 2004. The project began to collapse when Petersen left the project to direct Troy in August 2002. The project was then left in limbo when Warner Bros. executive vice president (and project supporter) Lorenzo di Bonaventura resigned in September 2002 over his disagreements with WB president Alan Horn, who wanted to develop the J.J. Abrams Superman film. Batman vs. Superman was cancelled by the studio and returned its focus to creating separate Batman and Superman films.
Batman vs. Superman left a gap in the planned 2004 slate of Warner Bros. The studio rushed to produce a superhero film to fill that gap. The result was the critically panned Catwoman. The McG/J.J. Abrams Superman project was cancelled when Abrams' lackluster script drafts reached the Internet to a very hostile fan reaction and the direction of the film could not be decided. The Aronofsky/Miller Batman project was also cancelled for a lack of progress. With failure on both fronts, Warner Bros. sought new talent for their franchises. In 2003, director Christopher Nolan was hired to develop a Batman film which came in the form of the successful Batman Begins. The following year, the studio hired director Bryan Singer to develop a Superman project which resulted in Superman Returns.
From the moment it was announced, many fans rushed to discover the actors who would play the title roles. Here is a few of those rumors that made the rounds on the Internet.
Christian Bale (who went on to portray Batman in Batman Begins)
Brandon Routh - Superman Returns actor