There was a moment early on in the lifecycle of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – then referred to internally as Man of Steel 2 – when the concept of introducing Gotham’s Caped Crusader was floated by Warner Bros.’ top brass.
It was a decision that would completely upend any plans for a second Supes standalone feature, and was certainly one that wasn’t taken lightly. Perhaps more so than anyone else involved in the creative process, it was Zack Snyder who shouldered the responsibility of handling the titanic crossover, though he sought the advice of one Christopher Nolan before making any tangible progress.
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Snyder and Nolan’s conversation was published by Empire earlier today – incidentally, the featured image above is a colorized version of the outlet’s new issue by artist Jeremiah Skipper – revealing that the former presented The Dark Knight director with something of an ultimatum before pushing ahead with Dawn of Justice.
“You tell me if you don’t want me to do it,” Snyder told Nolan. After a silence, Nolan said, “Well, we don’t own these characters. When you’re done making Batman movies, someone else will [make them].” “I think he found it a little bit hard,” Snyder admits. “I would feel the same way.” Batman was last seen on screen in Nolan’s 2012 epic The Dark Knight Rises, in which the character appeared to retire, and which many considered to be the perfect finale for the character.
Much digital ink has been spilled in the past regarding the way in which Snyder’s take on Gotham’s vigilante differs from the Christian Bale-fronted trilogy, though it’s fascinating to learn of the creative process early on. Indeed, both Snyder and Nolan collaborated for 2013’s Man of Steel, and much of the DCEU’s unflinching attention to realism – how would Earth really react to an all-powerful alien? – is drawn from Nolan’s acclaimed trilogy.
We’ll see Snyder’s vision come to life in earnest when Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice roars into theaters on March 25.