Amid the whirlwind of discussion, outrage and petitions unleashed in the two months since Warner Bros. announced its Batman vs. Superman Man of Steel sequel -- and in the month since the controversial casting of Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight -- fans and industry watchers may have failed to consider something: just how far into development Zack Snyder & Co. actually are.
"One of the things that's been fun for us," screenwriter David S. Goyer says in a brief interview with The Associated Press, "is we're a bit further along than I think people realize."
That's not to say all the Change.org efforts in the world would have much of an effect on the film, or its casting, even if development was in the embryonic stage.
"From a fan point of view ... we're conscious of the fan point of view when we're working on these things, but you can't let yourself be paralyzed by that," he says. "At the end of the day you still have to create something, and if you try to think about what the fans like, or what the audience would like, then you stop being creative. It's sort of like, where does it end? You have to write the story you want to write and hope that people want to see it."
Goyer, who made waves again earlier this week in his defense of the Man of Steel's controversial ending, is also sure to ruffle a few feathers with his response to the question of who might win in a fight: Superman or Batman?
"Most comic-book purists would say Batman, because he's the ultimate strategist, even though it makes no sense whatsoever," he says. "If Superman just flicked his finger, Batman would be done for. I don't know, you'll have to watch the film in a year and a half or whatnot when it comes out to see what happens.
The Man of Steel sequel, which presumably will be called Batman Vs. Superman or Superman Vs. Batman, arrives July 17, 2015.