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MASSIVE Batman V Superman round-up: Jena Malone cut from theatrical release! Flash! Wonder Woman! Green Lantern! Mult-verses and more

March 3rd, 2016 by Marc Comments

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Entertainment Weekly have just released massive article (here) about Batman V Superman and the universe it’s building – we recommend you read it as it’s pure comicbook gold – and we’re going to try to break it down into the best and must ‘need to know’ bits.

Ready? Ok, lets’ go…

First off, director Zack Snyder talks about how Batman can fight Superman not because he’s faster or stronger but because he’s smarter: “Superman doesn’t have to be as much of a chess player as Batman,” says Snyder.

“Superman has might on his side, but before the fists start flying, we see an armored Batman placing various traps in an abandoned stockyard, then walking along and driving a Kryptonite spear into the ground. He paces it off,” Snyder says. “Then when he throws Superman, the spear is right there. So you’re like, wait a minute, did he [plan] every bit? He know every move?”

It seems however, that it’s not just Batman who has to keep three steps ahead as Snyder reveals how he pitched Batman V Superman to DC and Warners: “I pitched it to the studio like, ‘Listen, the idea is that Batman exists within the universe of Superman.’ And I go, ‘Guys, here’s the headline: Not just if Batman exists, guess what? Wonder Woman, [The Flash,  Cyborg, Aquaman] the whole group,”

Their reaction, like ours, was “About time.”

Snyder points out that the only reason the interconnected thing hasn’t happened already is because, frankly, it’s really difficult to do.

“Once you know what the next movie’s going to be, then it becomes about, ‘Okay, where are we going to go from there?’” says Greg Silverman, the president of creative development and worldwide production at Warner Bros. “What do [moviegoers] really want to see Wonder Woman and Superman talking about in movie four, and how do we get there?”

He goes on:  “You now have a world in which Metropolis and Gotham are geographically close by, and all these little details start becoming real. There’s a satellite falling from the sky in Man of Steel, and you realize that each of these movies is going to be a huge part of the movie that follows.”

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Putting together the DC Multiverse on the big screen has been a tough job – the one on the small screen with Arrow, Flash, Constantine, Legends of Tomorrow and now Supergirl has proved that it can be done and that audiences are ready for it: Silverman goes on: “You have to get each individual movie right, and that’s been our focus. We pushed the release date of Batman v Superman to March. It was supposed to be out last year.

“The gift of time that [we gave it] allowed it to live up to its full potential, and for anybody else thinking of doing it, that’s the thing to do. Every movie has to be treated as if it’s the only movie — while you’re falling in love with how they’re all going to connect.”

The extra time allowed them to cast the full line-up of meta-humans: Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Ezra Miller as the Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman.

It also allowed them to confirm directors for each standalone movie: Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman, Seth Grahame-Smith for Flash, James Wan for Aquaman and let’s not forget Ben Affleck IS considering moving forward with directing a standalone Batman movie too.

But what about Green Lantern? He’s been getting none of the limelight despite the fans really wanting to see a new take on the character after Deadpool jeopardised the last one a few years ago (see what I did there?). With Fast and Furious star Tyrese Gibson making it very clear that he wants the John Stewart gig and now Lucifer star D.B. Woodside saying he is a life-long fan and wants the role too, it’s surely only a matter of time until it happens?

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“[Green Lantern] is an incredible character. He’s actually multiple incredible characters,” Silverman says.

“There’s real opportunity there. We didn’t do a great job on that first Green Lantern movie. This is a character who deserves to be treated in the same way that Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman are being treated now, which is with great reverence. I guess I can say to the Green Lantern fans: if they can be patient with us, I think they’ll be really happy.”

It looks like it will be Justice League Part 2 before we see him though: “Every beat of the movie is not yet worked out. So there’s the possibility that he may or may not be in Justice League 2,” the producer says. “For now, we felt that we were introducing enough characters that the best possible place we could put Green Lantern is some introduction in Justice League 2, or barring that, a movie after.”

At the minute the DC movie timeline has  Suicide Squad takes place after the events in BvS. And the Wonder Woman movie, while largely set in 1918 during World War I, will be framed by “present day” bookends that also take place after BvS. Meanwhile, BvS includes teases about what that upcoming movie will reveal about Wonder Woman’s past.

But what about the R-Rated home edition we heard about last week? It will feature more brutal fights, more links to other characters in the DC universe and – this took us by surprise – Jena Malone’s secret character (rumoured to be Barbera Gordon) who has now been cut from the theatrical release altogether.

Geoff Johns, chief creative officer at DC Entertainment and an executive producer of BvSelaborates on why some things made it in and others didn’t: “It’s all world-building as much as it is character-building,” he says.

“Batman isn’t just a character. He’s a character within Gotham City, with all the iconography behind him and the emotional underpinning of Bruce Wayne and the fight for justice, which is a pretty dark fight when it comes to Batman. And then you have Superman, on the other hand, who has a very different world he lives in and a very different way he operates and in a very different methodology to how he protects people and why he does it. He doesn’t wear a mask. He really wants to be accepted because, quite honestly, I think as a kid he never felt accepted. He never felt like he was one of us.”

But what about Wonder Woman? We are hearing a lot of positive things about Gal Gadot’s performance; was it difficult to ensure she was a vital and important character? “The hardest piece, and probably the most rewarding, was Wonder Woman,” Snyder says.

“You have to establish her but don’t give it away; don’t cash it all in. She’s enough in the movie where you definitely feel her presence. And she makes a huge impact on the film. But there are giant mysteries still surrounding her at the end of the movie.”

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“I can’t get over the fact that she’s going to be 75 years old and this is the first time she’s gracing the silver screen,” says Deborah Snyder, wife of Zack and producer of the Wonder Woman stand-alone movie.

“I think all these things — truth and love and wanting peace and all the things that she represents – is something that we all look up to and would want. In order for women to believe that they can do this, they have to see it.”

Johns is very excited by Wonder Woman in the movie and how strong a character – physically and mentally – she is: “I love her in the movie. I love when she’s hit by Doomsday and she turns around and smiles, like she hasn’t been in a fight like this in a long, long time. She clearly… she missed it.”

But with regards to the rest of the Justice League, it seems all the rumours were true and their appearances are very brief cameos and do seem to be there because someone (probably Luthor) has been monitoring meta-humans and it also confirms that Batman/Bruce Wayne holds Superman responsible for the death and destruction that reigned down on Metropolis in Man of Steel and that is why he’s coming for him. But is also leaves him wary of others with ‘powers': “The idea that there are more, that’s hopeful and also terrifying to him,” says Batman himself, Ben Affleck.

“Because then they could make humans even more powerless – or they could serve on our side. This is a Batman who has been at it for nearly two decades, and he’s both tired and a little hopeless.”

Affleck goes on, addressing the Robin suit seen in the trailers: “He’s projecting his own sense of failure, his own sense of disillusionment, his own cynicism onto Superman.” 

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As for the Robin suit? Well, as we suspected, that story will be told another day: “We’ll be exploring that,” says Johns, “No one says specifically the name of which Robin that is.”

Affleck confirms he is considering a standalone Batman movie very strongly: “It’s in development, and right now I’m really focused on finishing Live By Night [ he new movie project]. That’s where my focus is, and I tend to be a one movie at a time guy. So, when I’m finished with this movie, I’ll then focus on my next movie and figure out what that will be.”

And just to tease you some more, he adds: “I’ve seen Suicide Squad, and I can tell you that movie really works. That movie is really, really cool and fun and awesome.” Will Batman be in it?  “You should keep your eyes peeled for sure,” he says.

Anyway, so earlier we mentions the DC Multiverse and it looks like this will be at play – although subtly – in Batman V Superman with Darkseid being strongly hinted at in an apocalyptic dream scene and, even more exciting, it looks like Ezra Miller’s Flash will appear in a nightmare scene of Batman’s to deliver a message but if it’s a dream or a message from a future Flash is never made clear… it looks like that will be in there for the fans to have fun debating online.

Zack Snyder calls it “a giant Easter Egg – We had such a straightforward narrative, on one hand, I wanted this other layer of the movie to be complicated and bizarre,” he says.

He compares it to A Christmas Carol. Which we love.

The final word goes to Henry Cavill talking about Superman and why a mortal man like Batman can stand up to him: “His weakness is that he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. He doesn’t want to scare anyone, and in that you can take advantage of him. This is someone who is a complete amateur, and he’s facing up against someone who is very well versed in the arts of war.”

We have to say, all this sounds absolutely spot on – it sounds like Batman V Superman aims to blow open the DC Multiverse on the big screen the way the comics and TV Shows have already in their own mediums and we can’t describe how excited that makes us all here at FTN!

And check out earth from the newest Wayne Industries satellite PLUS new images after

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….

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