Warner Brothers has announced that the new sequel to Man of Steel will be entitled Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. The movie giant hopes that this movie and its successors will be as popular as The Avengers was for Disney. Best estimates have this movie being released sometime in March 2016.
Filming is currently taking place in Detroit’s Corktown Station. Movie personnel were seen at the station’s east side interacting with smoke and helicopters. Film crews have also used other Detroit locations, including the Russell Industrial Complex and a Wayne County building. Bystander photos have also caught a glimpse of the new Batmobile and Jesse Eisenberg, the new Lex Luthor. Filming is taking place primarily at night and includes fake rain, shooting, helicopters and explosions, all trademarks of a superhero action film.
Superman, played by Henry Cavill, is said to be filming in Illinois, where the Kent farm is located. The filming is expected to extend into November. Other cast members include Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman, Amy Adams plays Lois Lane and Diane Lane portrays Martha Kent.
Time Warner is counting that this movie, and the ones to follow, will have the same appeal as Marvel’s The Avengers, whose sequels amassed at least $600 million in tickets globally. After including the countless DVD, download and Blu-ray sales, The Avengers and its sequels have to be one of Disney’s most profitable ventures. With additional characters such as Wonder Woman and, possibly, Aquaman, Time Warner is not just making a movie, it is building a marketing empire.
The real purpose behind Batman vs. Superman is not only to reignite viewer interest in the super heroes, but also to introduce the public to other DC characters. By piquing public interest in other super heroes, the greater the likelihood that more films will find their way into production. Given the lack of success in the last few Batman and Superman films, this might be a wise strategy.
But Time Warner’s vision for the DC characters is vastly different than Marvel’s vision. The Marvel characters are a more fun-loving type of superhero while DC characters are more serious. The studio’s intent is not to make these movies comic book like. Given Disney’s success with its releases, who is to say whether a more lighthearted Batman and Superman will embrace the silver screen.
While this movie is a natural tie in to a future Justice League movie bonanza, it seems likely that the League will make its first appearance on television. Arrow, The CW hit, has been instrumental in introducing several DC characters. With The Flash to be released this fall and, as rumors have it, being joined by Firestorm and The Atom, can a TV version of the Justice League be far behind?
But the box office will not determine whether this movie is successful or not. It is ancillary products that will ensure the movie’s success. There were major concerns about the cost overrun for Man of Steel. Product placement, however, almost recaptured the entire cost of the film. Time Warner will surely implement a similar strategy here.
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice is already drawing interest amongst moviegoers. Time Warner is sure to ramp up the advertising campaigns as the release date edges closer. In the meantime, however, let the public brace itself for DC television shows, games, products and movies.
By Hans Benes
Image courtesy of Martin Gitta – License