Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is an upcoming American superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. It is intended to be the sequel to 2013's Man of Steel and the second installment of the DC Comics' shared universe films. The film is written by Chris Terrio, from a story by Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer, and directed by Snyder. The cast includes Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons.
The sequel was announced at 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, after the release of Man of Steel. Snyder and Goyer were both brought back in June 2013. Pre-production began at East Los Angeles College in October 2013, with principal photography starting in May 2014 in Detroit, Michigan and concluding in December 2014.
The film is scheduled to be released in the United States on March 25, 2016 in IMAX 3D.
- Henry Cavill as Clark Kent / Superman, a Kryptonian sent by his parents to Earth as an infant to escape the destruction of his home planet, who now serves as a reporter for the Daily Planet and the indestructible protector of Metropolis.
- Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman, a multi-billionaire industrialist from Gotham City who is secretly a costumed crime-fighting vigilante.
- Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman, an Amazon princess and demigoddess daughter of Zeus.
- Amy Adams as Lois Lane, a reporter for the Daily Planet and love interest of Clark Kent.
- Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Clark’s adoptive mother.
- Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet and the boss of both Clark and Lois.
- Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, a complicated and sophisticated businessman whose intellect, wealth, and prominence positions him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman.
- Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's butler, best friend, and mentor.
Tao Okamoto was cast as Lex Luthor's assistant Mercy Graves. Ray Fisher and Jason Momoa were cast as Victor Stone / Cyborg and Arthur Curry / Aquaman respectively, in minor roles. Christina Wren will reprise her role as Major Carrie Farris. Scoot McNairy, Callan Mulvey, Jena Malone, and Holly Hunter have been cast in unspecified roles. Senator Patrick Leahy will also make an appearance.
"... after Man of Steel finished and we started talking about what would be in the next movie, I started subtly mentioning that it would be cool if he faced Batman... You're in a story meeting talking about, like, who should [Superman] fight if he fought this giant alien threat Zod who was basically his equal physically, from his planet, fighting on our turf... You know, who to fight next?... But I'm not gonna say at all that when I took the job to do Man of Steel that I did it in a subversive way to get to Batman. I really believe that only after contemplating who could face [Superman] did Batman come into the picture."
— Snyder, on how Batman came into the film
In June 2013, it was announced that director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer would both be returning for a Man of Steel sequel, which was being fast tracked by Warner Bros. with the studio considering a 2014 release for the film. The following month, Snyder confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con International that the sequel to Man of Steel, now set for release in 2015, would feature Superman and Batman meeting for the first time in a cinematic format. Goyer and Snyder would co-write the story, with Goyer writing the script, and Christopher Nolan involved in an advisory role as executive producer. Snyder stated that Batman v Superman would take inspiration from the comic The Dark Knight Returns. In November 2013, however, Snyder clarified that the film would not be based on the graphic novel. "If you were going to do that, you would need a different Superman. We’re bringing Batman into the universe that now this Superman lives in." Batman v Superman marks the first appearance of Wonder Woman in a live-action, theatrical film, which Warner Bros. had been developing as far back as 1996. In December 2013, Chris Terrio was hired to rewrite the script, due to Goyer's commitments in other projects. Terrio had previously collaborated with Affleck on Argo. The film's official title Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was revealed in May 2014. Snyder stated that having the "v" in the title instead of "vs." was a way "to keep it from being a straight 'versus' movie, even in the most subtle way."
Hans Zimmer will return to compose the film score, emphasizing a challenge to not reuse the themes he established with the Batman character from Christopher Nolan's trilogy. Junkie XL will also collaborate on the score and compose the theme for Batman.
Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, and Christina Wren reprise their roles from Man of Steel. Joining the cast are Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Tao Okamoto as Lex Luthor's assistant Mercy Graves. Scoot McNairy, Callan Mulvey, Jena Malone, and Holly Hunter have been cast in unspecified roles.
Dawn of Justice is Affleck's second film as a comic book superhero; he earlier played Daredevil in the 2003 film of the same name, and was initially reluctant to accept playing Batman, citing that he "felt [I] didn't fit the traditional mold. But once Zack showed me the concept, and that it would be both different from the great movies that Chris[topher Nolan] and Christian [Bale] made, but still in keeping with tradition, I was excited." Affleck previously stated in 2006 that Daredevil had "inoculated myself from ever playing another superhero". Snyder felt that casting an older Batman would be a layered juxtaposition to a younger Superman, while "bear[ing] the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne." Nolan was involved with the casting of Affleck and he was the first actor Snyder approached for the part. The director has also discussed the part with Josh Brolin.
Snyder commented on casting Eisenberg as Luthor, "Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions". Olga Kurylenko was considered for the role of Wonder Woman before Gadot was cast. Producer Charles Roven revealed that this incarnation of Wonder Woman would use the character's origins in The New 52, wherein the character would be a demigoddess, and the daughter of Zeus. This deviates from the character's original origins, where she was "a clay figure brought to life by the gods". Dawn of Justice is Ray Fisher's feature film debut, and the first live-action film to feature Cyborg, whose role will become more significant in future DC comics films. It is also the live-action theatrical debut of Aquaman.
Affleck's casting caused significant backlash from comic book fans, with several online petitions demanding his removal from the role; unlike previous Batman actors, he was not considered intimidating enough for the role by the protestors. Via social media, many fans criticized Gadot's small frame in contrast to Wonder Woman's warrior-like build in the comics. Responding to this, Gadot has stated that she has been participating in various training regimens to achieve a body that stays closer to the source material. Fans criticized Eisenberg's casting as Luthor, feeling that the then-30-year old was too young for the role, and not physically imposing enough.
Michael Wilkinson is reprising his duties as costume designer. He updated the Superman suit from Man of Steel slightly so that it "feels fresh and right for this installment of Zack Snyder's comic-book universe." The first Batsuit featured in the film is influenced by the one seen in The Dark Knight Returns; unlike the suits seen in previous live-action Batman films, it is made of cloth instead of armor. An image of the Wonder Woman costume was revealed at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con, in which the costume saturates the red, blue, and gold colors that make up the costume of most versions of the character. A second Batsuit was also unveiled at Comic-Con, and unlike the first, it is armored. Aquaman's look in this film, unlike most versions of the character which show him in a bright orange and green wetsuit, shows him "tattooed in Maori-like patterns," and wearing a suit "decked out in shades of gold, black and silver armor".
In September 2013, Larry Fong joined the crew as cinematographer after previously having worked with Zack Snyder in 300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch. Initial filming commenced on October 19, 2013, at East Los Angeles College to shoot an American football game between Gotham City University and rival Metropolis State University. At the end of the month, construction began on the Kent farm seen in Man of Steel for the film. The principal photography involving the main cast of the film began on May 19, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan, with scenes featuring Gal Gadot as Diana Prince being filmed early on May 16. Additional filming began in Chicago, Illinois in November 2014. Other locations included the Michigan Motion Picture Studios, Yorkville, Illinois, and New Mexico. Sequences of the film, including a scene depicting the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents, were filmed using IMAX cameras. The planned shoot in Morocco were shifted to New Mexico due to incidents related to the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Principal photography wrapped in December 2014.
Dawn of Justice is scheduled to released in the United States and in the United Kingdom on March 25, 2016 in 3D. In January 2014, the film was delayed from its original July 17, 2015 release date, and moved to May 6, 2016, in order to give the filmmakers "time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story". The release date was moved once again in August 2014 from May 6, 2016 to March 25, 2016, with a Warner Bros. insider saying the studio was "not flinching" regarding the film previously opening on the same day as Marvel Studios' Captain America: Civil War, but that March 2016 was a "fantastic corridor" for them.
Dawn of Justice will accelerate a shared film universe featuring DC Comics characters. Warner Bros. had previously planned a Justice League film in 2008 with George Miller as director, but it was canceled and the studio decided to reboot with Man of Steel instead. Shortly after filming for Man of Steel finished in June 2012, Warner Bros. hired Will Beall to script a new Justice League film. Beall was replaced by Goyer following Man of Steel 's release and in April 2014 it was announced that Zack Snyder would be following up Dawn of Justice as director for Justice League for release in 2017. Chris Terrio replaced Goyer as screenwriter. Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Ray Fisher are expected to reprise their roles. In October 2014, it was announced that Justice League would be a two-part film, with Snyder directing both parts. The second film is set to be released in 2019.