Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

From director Zack Snyder (“Man of Steel”) comes “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” starring Oscar winner Ben Affleck (“Argo”) as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Henry Cavill (“Man of Steel,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”) as Superman/Clark Kent in the characters’ first big-screen pairing.

Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.

Directed by Zack Snyder, the film also stars Oscar nominees Amy Adams (“American Hustle,” “Man of Steel”) as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) as Lex Luthor, Diane Lane (“Unfaithful,” “Man of Steel”) as Martha Kent, and Laurence Fishburne (“What’s Love Got to Do with It,” “Man of Steel”) as Perry White; Oscar winners Jeremy Irons (“Reversal of Fortune”) as Alfred, and Holly Hunter (“The Piano”) as Senator Finch; and Gal Gadot (the “Fast and Furious” films) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.

Snyder directed from a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, based on characters from DC Comics, including Batman, created by Bob Kane, and Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film is produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder, with Wesley Coller, Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer serving as executive producers.

Snyder’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Larry Fong (“300,” “Watchmen”) and production designer Patrick Tatopoulos (“300: Rise of an Empire”), and from his “Man of Steel” team, editor David Brenner, costume designer Michael Wilkinson and visual effects supervisor John “DJ” DesJardin. The music is by Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King,” “Man of Steel”) and Junkie XL (“Mad Max: Fury Road”).

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, a Zack Snyder film, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. The film opens nationwide in RealD 3D, and in 2D, and in select IMAX 3D theaters on March 25, 2016.

This film has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality.

Cast

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent / Superman:
A Kryptonian whose parents sent him to Earth as an infant to escape the destruction of his homeworld Krypton. He now serves as the protector of Metropolis and works at the Daily Planet under the alias Clark Kent, after the events of Man of Steel.

Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman:
A billionaire turned crime fighter for Gotham City. This is Affleck's second outing as a comic book superhero, the first being Daredevil in the 2003 namesake film. Josh Brolin had been in discussions for the role prior to Affleck's casting. Director Zack Snyder remarked on the casting, "Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne." Affleck was initially reluctant to accept the part, saying, "I felt I didn't fit the traditional mold. But once Zack showed me the concept, and that it would be both different from the great movies that Chris[topher Nolan] and Christian [Bale] made, but still in keeping with tradition, I was excited."

Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman:
Gadot has stated that she has been participating in various training regimens to achieve a body that stays closer to the source material. Snyder commented on Gadot's casting: "Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role."

Amy Adams as Lois Lane:
Reporter for the Daily Planet newspaper and love interest of Clark.

Laurence Fishburne as Perry White:
The editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet and the boss to both Clark and Lois.

Diane Lane as Martha Kent:
Clark’s adoptive mother.

Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor:
Snyder called Luthor a "complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman" and "having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions".

Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth:
Bruce Wayne's butler, best friend and mentor.

Tao Okamoto was cast as Lex Luthor's assistant Mercy Graves. Ray Fisher and Jason Momoa were cast as Victor Stone/Cyborg and Arthur Curry/Aquaman respectively, in minor roles. Christina Wren will reprise her role as Major Carrie Farris. Scoot McNairy, Callan Mulvey, Jena Malone, and Holly Hunter have been cast in unspecified roles.

Teaser Posters

Teaser Trailer

Development

In June 2013, it was announced that director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer would both be returning for a Man of Steel sequel, which was being fast tracked by Warner Bros. with the studio considering a 2014 release for the film. The following month, Snyder confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con International that the sequel to Man of Steel, now set for release in 2015, would feature Superman and Batman meeting for the first time in a cinematic format. Goyer and Snyder would co-write the story, with Goyer writing the script, and Christopher Nolan involved in an advisory role as executive producer. Snyder stated that Batman v Superman would take inspiration from the comic The Dark Knight Returns. In November 2013, however, Snyder clarified that the film would not be based on the graphic novel. "If you were going to do that, you would need a different Superman. We’re bringing Batman into the universe that now this Superman lives in." Batman v Superman marks the first appearance of Wonder Woman in a live-action, theatrical film, which Warner Bros. had been developing as far back as 1996. In December 2013, Chris Terrio was hired to rewrite the script, due to Goyer's commitments in other projects. Terrio had previously collaborated with Affleck on Argo. The film's official title Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was revealed in May 2014. Snyder stated that having the "v" in the title instead of "vs." was a way "to keep it from being a straight 'versus' movie, even in the most subtle way."

Hans Zimmer will return to compose the film score, emphasizing a challenge to not reuse the themes he established with the Batman character from Christopher Nolan's trilogy. Junkie XL will also collaborate on the score and compose the theme for Batman.

Casting

Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, and Christina Wren reprise their roles from Man of Steel. Joining the cast are Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Tao Okamoto as Lex Luthor's assistant Mercy Graves. Scoot McNairy, Callan Mulvey, Jena Malone, and Holly Hunter have been cast in unspecified roles.

Dawn of Justice is Affleck's second film as a comic book superhero; he earlier played Daredevil in the 2003 film of the same name, and was initially reluctant to accept playing Batman, citing that he "felt didn't fit the traditional mold. But once Zack showed me the concept, and that it would be both different from the great movies that Chris[topher Nolan] and Christian [Bale] made, but still in keeping with tradition, I was excited." Affleck previously stated in 2006 that Daredevil had "inoculated myself from ever playing another superhero". Snyder felt that casting an older Batman would be a layered juxtaposition to a younger Superman, while "bear[ing] the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne." Nolan was involved with the casting of Affleck and he was the first actor Snyder approached for the part. The director has also discussed the part with Josh Brolin.

Snyder commented on casting Eisenberg as Luthor, "Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions". Olga Kurylenko was considered for the role of Wonder Woman before Gadot was cast. Producer Charles Roven revealed that this incarnation of Wonder Woman would use the character's origins in The New 52, wherein the character would be a demigoddess, and the daughter of Zeus. This deviates from the character's original origins, where she was "a clay figure brought to life by the gods". Dawn of Justice is Ray Fisher's feature film debut, and the first live-action film to feature Cyborg, whose role will become more significant in future DC comics films. It is also the live-action theatrical debut of Aquaman.

Affleck's casting caused significant backlash from comic book fans, with several online petitions demanding his removal from the role; unlike previous Batman actors, he was not considered intimidating enough for the role by the protestors. Via social media, many fans criticized Gadot's small frame in contrast to Wonder Woman's warrior-like build in the comics. Responding to this, Gadot has stated that she has been participating in various training regimens to achieve a body that stays closer to the source material. Fans criticized Eisenberg's casting as Luthor, feeling that the then-30-year old was too young for the role, and not physically imposing enough.

Design

Michael Wilkinson is reprising his duties as costume designer. He updated the Superman suit from Man of Steel slightly so that it "feels fresh and right for this installment of Zack Snyder's comic-book universe." The first Batsuit featured in the film is influenced by the one seen in The Dark Knight Returns; unlike the suits seen in previous live-action Batman films, it is made of cloth instead of armor. An image of the Wonder Woman costume was revealed at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con, in which the costume saturates the red, blue, and gold colors that make up the costume of most versions of the character. A second Batsuit was also unveiled at Comic-Con, and unlike the first, it is armored. Aquaman's look in this film, unlike most versions of the character which show him in a bright orange and green wetsuit, shows him "tattooed in Maori-like patterns," and wearing a suit "decked out in shades of gold, black and silver armor".

Filming

In September 2013, Larry Fong joined the crew as cinematographer after previously having worked with Zack Snyder in 300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch. Initial filming commenced on October 19, 2013, at East Los Angeles College to shoot an American football game between Gotham City University and rival Metropolis State University. At the end of the month, construction began on the Kent farm seen in Man of Steel for the film. The principal photography involving the main cast of the film began on May 19, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan, with scenes featuring Gal Gadot as Diana Prince being filmed early on May 16. Additional filming began in Chicago, Illinois in November 2014. Other locations included the Michigan Motion Picture Studios, Yorkville, Illinois, and New Mexico. Sequences of the film, including a scene depicting the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents, were filmed using IMAX cameras. The planned shoot in Morocco were shifted to New Mexico due to incidents related to the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Principal photography wrapped in December 2014.

Release

Dawn of Justice is scheduled to released in the United States and in the United Kingdom on March 25, 2016 in 3D. In January 2014, the film was delayed from its original July 17, 2015 release date, and moved to May 6, 2016, in order to give the filmmakers "time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story". The release date was moved once again in August 2014 from May 6, 2016 to March 25, 2016, with a Warner Bros. insider saying the studio was "not flinching" regarding the film previously opening on the same day as Marvel Studios' Captain America: Civil War, but that March 2016 was a "fantastic corridor" for them.

Future

Dawn of Justice will accelerate a shared film universe featuring DC Comics characters. Warner Bros. had previously planned a Justice League film in 2008 with George Miller as director, but it was canceled and the studio decided to reboot with Man of Steel instead. Shortly after filming for Man of Steel finished in June 2012, Warner Bros. hired Will Beall to script a new Justice League film. Beall was replaced by Goyer following Man of Steel's release and in April 2014 it was announced that Zack Snyder would be following up Dawn of Justice as director for Justice League for release in 2017. Chris Terrio replaced Goyer as screenwriter. Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Ray Fisher are expected to reprise their roles. In October 2014, it was announced that Justice League would be a two-part film, with Snyder directing both parts. The second film is set to be released in 2019.