"Man of Steel" Sequel Moved to 2016

Ben Affleck's Batman debut will be delayed by nearly a year: Warner Bros.' untitled "Man of Steel" sequel has moved release dates to May 6, 2016, Variety reports, from its original spot at July 17, 2015.

According to Warner's press release, the shift is due to "allowing the filmmakers time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story." Additionally, the start of shooting has moved to the second quarter of this year. The Joe Wright-directed Peter Pan film, also untitled, will take its place in the schedule.

A release date of May 6, 2016 means the decades-long Marvel vs. DC rivalry will extend to theaters, as Marvel Studios announced last year that they were reserving that date for an as-yet unrevealed production. Additionally, X-Men: Apocalypse" has been scheduled for May 27 of that year, with the third "Amazing Spider-Man" installment soon to follow on June 10, 2016.

The "Man of Steel" sequel has already been a frequent source of discussion and speculation among fans, from the controversy surrounding Affleck's casting as The Dark Knight, persistent rumors of characters and actors potentially joining the production, and talk that this movie may lead directly to a "Justice League" film.

The film, commonly colloquially referred to as some variation of "Superman vs. Batman," will be the first live-action encounter between the two iconic DC Comics superheroes. The film will also include the first big-screen appearance of Wonder Woman, the third character in DC's "trinity," as played by Gal Gadot. Henry Cavill will reprise his role of Superman in the film, helmed by returning director Zack Snyder.

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