DC Comics fans have long dreamed of seeing Batman and Superman together on the big screen, envisioning a World’s Finest-style team-up and seizing up those persistent rumors that the Caped Crusader has a cameo in Man of Steel. Never mind that the two iconic heroes appear to exist in different cinematic worlds, their comic-book histories — and, of course, their audience — demand it.
But could it work? Man of Steel star Henry Cavill thinks so.
“I think it would be really interesting with the age-old Batman/Superman conflict,” he tells SFX, “because they are two different sides of the same coin and their methods are entirely different. And I think it would actually make for an interesting story as to why, first of all, they were going head to head and how. I think that would make a great story.”
Asked whether such a team-up might be a natural next step for the superhero franchises — have we forgotten about Justice League so soon? — the actor replies, “Who knows. I’m sure there’s all sorts of ideas being thrown around at Warner Bros. right now.”
A Superman/Batman film certainly has been tossed around Warner Bros.: After the abandoned Superman Lives but before the abandoned Superman: Flyby, Andrew Kevin Walker (8mm, Sleepy Hollow) pitched Batman vs. Superman, which had Wolfgang Petersen (The Neverending Story, Air Force One) attached to direct.
Rewritten by Akiva Goldsman, the screenplay featured a haunted Bruce Wayne five years into his retirement and a divorced and down-on-his luck Clark Kent. When Bruce’s new wife is killed by The Joker, he seeks to become Batman once again, only to be placed at odds with Clark. The two eventually team up to stop Lex Luthor, who’s revealed to be the mastermind of a plot designed to force Batman and Superman to destroy each other.
Filming was scheduled to begin in 2003 for release in 2004, but Warner Bros. decided instead to focus on separate movies featuring the two superheroes.