'Batman vs. Superman' Producer Spills Storyline Details

Batman vs Superman

From the moment Warner Bros. decided to announce its upcoming Batman/Superman crossover movie by having an actor quote lines from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, fans have been waiting to hear that the storyline would offer a direct adaptation of the graphic novel -- which peers far into a possible future for the titular heroes and finds Superman working as a government stooge while a bitter Batman comes out of retirement to give Krypton's favorite son a refresher course in truth, justice, and the American way.

Given the reports that emerged over the weekend, it looks like that isn't exactly what we'll be seeing...but it still sounds close. Uber-fan Kevin Smith raised the subject during a Q&A with director Zack Snyder, and echoed the sentiments of many fans when he said, "I don't want to see in this movie, and I don't think Zack is trying to do, Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns -- that will deserve its own movie. God willing, he is going to do it."

"Absolutely," nodded Snyder. "If you were going to do that you would need a different Superman. We are bringing Batman into the universe that now this Superman lives in."

That being said, it's clear that the Man of Steel sequel will take at least some of its narrative cues from Returns. Producer Daniel Alter offered a window into the storyline in a recent tweet, telling followers, "Can't wait for #BatmanvsSuperman.. #batfleck semi-retired/not speaking to Robin anymore.. Controlling drones from the batcave."

The use of the "semi" qualifier in "retired" is probably key -- freshly minted Batman Ben Affleck is only 41, after all, and just two years older from outgoing role-holder Christian Bale, so trying to pass him off as the broken old hero in Dark Knight Returns would be a stretch. But imagining that the guy who sailed off into the sunset at the end of The Dark Knight Rises might be back in town and a little ticked off about an invincible alien policing the planet? That's easier to do. (That "not speaking to Robin" part is fairly horrifying, however.)

So what's the big takeaway here? Mainly that, while Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer are committed to making Batman and Superman adversaries (or, at the very least, frenemies), they remain just as willing to tinker with DC canon as they were with Man of Steel. So while we can pretty much bank on seeing our heroes whale on each other at some point, the story around the main event is still shrouded in secrecy...and drones.

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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