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Old 09-15-2013, 05:13 AM   #1
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Default The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

I noticed that in another thread
http://forums.superherohype.com/showthread.php?t=376691
Who should be the villain in the sequel for Man of Steel?

Forum posters are given 9 options for the villain of BvS, and none of the options is "Batman". I have not read every post, so I apologise if I'm neglecting some perspectives, but the general perspective seems to be that Batman and Superman should meet, team up, beat up a couple villains as well as fight Lex. I argued that this is a bad idea, and I hope that Goyer and Snyder go for a pure versus movie, which is in fact possible as they've said that they're "inspired" by The Dark Knight Returns.

My arguments are that a pure versus movie would be more original, more focused, a more coherent and organic sequel to Man of Steel.

A Pure Versus Movie Would be More Original:
This is the simples argument, on the basis that it's manifestly correct. We've seen heroes fight briefly in a staged match, then team up against a greater enemy. There's a movie called The Avengers with a bunch of ridiculous fights (Iron Man vs Thor, etc) between the heroes before they team up against the greater enemy. That's been done, so repeating the formula starts the movie off to a bad start.

What has not been done is adequately exploring why two heroes with different styles and histories who are not well-established in the public eye might actually distrust each other originally (they should), and how they would fight each other. On that point, a Batman vs Superman would necessarily be original, because it can't (or shouldn't) be a pure physical brawl. There's going to be a use of gadgets, escape hatches, psychology, and conflict avoidance involved at various stages. That's necessarily original.

A pure versus movie between the two heroes who don't actually know that the other is a hero, and who don't know that the other is a villain, would actually be interesting. Both Batman and Superman are supposed to be brilliant. One is a detective, and the other eventually becomes a world-renowned investigative reporter and is dating his equal. One has an abnormally high IQ (let's guess 160) and a high emotional quotient as well; the other has a superhuman IQ (250?) but a naive understanding of human nature and less life experience. Batman has cameras everywhere, superman has supersenses. Superman has the advantage that as a public figure he can go from point A to point B without hiding, Batman has the advantage that as a hidden figure Superman cannot easily find him.

As an aside, a lot of people say that what's most interesting about Batman is not Batman but the villains. Well, Goyer and Snyder can turn that on its head by making Batman the villain.

It's More Focused:
This movie is very hard to write. Batman and his immediate entourage need to be written, apparently Lex Luthor needs to be introduced, and a lot of issues from MoS have to be resolved, such as the destruction of quarter of Metropolis. That is very hard to do, therefore it would be irrational to also require building up some villains (Mr. Freeze, etc) just to have Batman and Superman beat them up would consume precious screen time that can be better spent on the important issues:

- Building up Batman
- Consequences of the destruction of Metropolis
- The broader world's reaction
- Forward the Lois/Clark relationship

I make an exception if these villains are auxillary villains, like Scarecrow in the Batman movies. If it's someone that Superman or Batman could run into, then dispatch over a 5 minute action set piece to show off Zach Snyder's mastery of visual art, then that works.

With a single antagonism defining the plot, the tension can be built up better. The first scene of the movie can be an action shot of Batman beating up some minor bad guys in some back alley in Gotham, the same way that TDK and TDKR begin with the Joker and Bane scoring points. The third shot of the movie can be Bruce Wayne pulling over in a Lamborghini in Metropolis, from a distance of a few hundred meters, where Superman is getting some attention from the public. If you have a single antagonism, it can be built up properly.

As a counterexample to this: Star Trek into Darkness, a disappointing movie from this summer that was recently ranked the worst of all the Star Trek films at a fan convention. It had two villains: Khan Noonien-Singh and Admiral Weller (Robocop), they were not well-integrated and thus the movie didn't flow naturally. Excessively complicated plots don't work. Another counterexample is TDKR, which might have worked better if Bane had been the sole villain, with Talia Al Ghul completely removed from the story.

Focus is good. That doesn't mean Luthor, Intergang, etc can't show up... just have them show up in small tertiary pieces, such that their arcs are spread over multiple films.

A Pure Versus Movie Would be a More Coherent and Organic Sequel to Man of Steel:
The world has just been introduced to alien life. Remember how America felt after 9/11? The trauma in the world of MoS would be substantially worse, because nobody's going to go kick ass in Afghanistan now and bomb the enemies to hell and take revenge. The people now know that there are aliens in the Galaxy, that their abilities are far beyond any human abilities' to defend, and that some of them could be hostile. And again, 100,000 people died in Metropolis. As Snyder said, this is a "mythological event", so deal with it. Through Batman. Don't just move on to the next story involving Darkseid. Take a step back, and deal.

Batman has been fighting crime in the background for a few years (decades?). Suddenly, he's in the batcave one night, and all of his computers are taken over by General Zod. He sees a man in blue claims to have saved the day. We know it wouldn't be in Batman's character to immediately trust the man in blue. So let him investigate Superman. In a way he'll be the audience surrogate as we better understand Superman's role in the world.

At the same time, this is a proper MoS sequel as we only have one major villain: Batman. Not having them first fight, then team up against the Penguin and Metallo and whoever else. The screen time saved allows us to see more of the Daily Planet, of Lois and Clark, of Martha Kent, etc, all of which are vastly more interesting than seeing Clayface get melted by Superman's heat vision.

I'll note that there are good models of 1 on 1 psychological thrillers in recent movies: The Departed, and The Prestige among others. Those are both good and interesting models to follow. The Avengers? Not an interesting model to follow.

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Old 09-15-2013, 05:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

I don't necessarily agree with everything you've written, but you make a lot of good points. Interesting films to pick out as benchmarks too, built around a battle of wills between two protagonists. Another template to possibly draw from is The Negotiator. Not an amazing film, but it has a good model where the film is dominated by this extended conflict between two protagonists: Samuel L Jackson and Kevin Spacey. There ARE villains of the piece in the mix too, and ultimately the story is about how these bad guys can only be toppled once the two good guys stop fighting each other and join forces, but that team-up only comes in the third act climax. For most of the film they're at each other's throats.

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Old 09-15-2013, 07:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

Interesting. You have some good points there, even if I can see a good movie being made of the concept that they fight and then team up against a villain like Riddler, Metallo, Parasite etc.

If they made a pure Superman vs Batman movie with Batman as the villain, how would they team up for Justice League? Would they become friendly towards eachother or what are you thinking? How would they contact eachother for JL later on? They should have become friendly enough to see eachother at a cafe or whatever as Bruce and Clark. So that would require some friendly-ness.

I suppose they would have to develop this mutual respect for eachother in the movie and then look past their differences for Justice League.

Bruce could be portrayed as this darker unpleasent charachter that no one really bounds with/likes. Clark however knows that Bruce has A lot to contribute from their earlier encounter and he knows Batman wants the same thing as Superman. So he invities Batman to the team. The thing is, Superman doesnīt know any other "heroes" so he has to start with someone.

If they arenīt friendly enough towards eachother but just have this respect, then Superman must go public in order to find Batman. Let the Bat come and help him in a fight or publicy adress Batman(which wonīt happen). Or somehow let the Bat come to him. I really hope this isnīt the case. I prefer the idea of them being friendly enough to have a way of meeting. Like in a cafe as Bruce and Clark or whatever.

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Old 09-15-2013, 07:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

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Originally Posted by Mightyally View Post
If they made a pure Superman vs Batman movie with Batman as the villain, how would they team up for Justice League? Would they become friendly towards eachother or what are you thinking? How would they contact eachother for JL later on? They should have become friendly enough to see eachother at a cafe or whatever as Bruce and Clark. So that would require some friendly-ness.
I can't answer that because I don't know what the plot of the Justice League movie is going to be. Goyer probably knows, and I'm sure that the story will be constructed to have whatever degree of consistency. There are many possible endings that I could write one down, but most of them won't make sense for whatever particular JL movie is envisioned.

Here is one attempt. Batman, who Superman eventually figures out is not superpowered, is somehow fighting Superman to a draw in 2 or 3 fights earlier in the film, or escaping at great speed. It's very confusing. Superman is confused. Lois is confused. We, the viewers are confused. In the final fight, Superman finally is besting Batman. He's frustrated, he has his hands around Batman's neck, and he says "Bruce Wayne, in all the years to come I want you to remember the last man who beat you" **... then he has flashbacks to Zod, feels motionally trauma, and pulls back, he lets Batman go to Batman's surprise. The fight stops. We then see a lasso hold Superman. One-by-one walks out Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and they surround Batman and Superman. We the viewers understand what has just happened: Batman has been getting help from other members of the JL throughout the film.

Camera fades to black, we see "one month later" written on the screen, and Superman and Batman are enjoying milk in some cafe.

** This brilliant reversal was suggested by someone else on the forum.

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Old 09-15-2013, 08:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

I like the idea of Superman fighting Batman and the Caped Crusader leaving Metropolis out of shame. Not gonna happen, though.

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Old 09-15-2013, 08:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

Given the fact that these are TWO of DC's BIGGEST icons, any smart person in charge of this film would know that you don't go about doing this movie by having either hero embarrassed and upstaged by the other hero.

Plus, it's almost a given that Warner Bros are looking to start a new solo Batman franchise with Ben Affleck in the role, especially if he does and is received well by the fans and general audiences alike, so they can't make Batman look bad either, but they shouldn't make Superman look bad just to make Batman look like a badass.

This should be a introduction for the DCU's Batman and use that to help forward Superman's own journey and story altogether. They should only give a good amount of Batman where he doesn't overstay his welcome but enough to leave people wanting to see more of Ben's Batman in the future.

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Old 09-15-2013, 09:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

I agree 100% with the original post. Batman being the 'villain' to me is the best way to go. Ideally MoS 2 for me would have been the time for Lex Luthor to come into the equation and challenge Clark in the wake of the destruction in film one. But Batman is a good substitute to challenge Clark and that's what the focus should be. I hope that not only do they not team up, I hope it ends with them duking it out with one and other. There would not be a bigger fight in superhero movie history. I don't buy this notion you have to have them be friends at the end of the movie. Like hell you do. Any future friendship/partnership should be built up over the course of a couple of films and not within the first hour of the movie. The whole thing with Luthor pulling strings to get them to fight and then they team up to take him down is cliched, predictable and frankly boring. If you're going to do Batman vs Superman you do exactly that - you build up the entire movie to that very climax.

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Old 09-15-2013, 09:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

I wouldn't be surprised if it ended with the fight, not started, ala The Dark Knight Returns. Have them working together before hand.

In Justice League they're forced to make up/team up.

Or the other way around.

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Old 09-15-2013, 09:58 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

Agreed jmc but they canīt build up that friendship/partnership if they donīt have the mutual respect or some quality in their relation that allows them to work with eachother in the first place.

I know that I wouldnīt want them to be enemies at the end of the movie, but I donīt want them to be friends either. However, itīs important that they have differences but can find common ground.

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Old 09-15-2013, 10:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

I think that while the concept is original, it would be a tricky balance of keeping the characters likeable enough to make fans want to go see another film that would feature any of the characters.

If this were a tv series, I could definitely see them taking that kind of route. But this is film, and I don't know that they'll want to take the risk of having Superman and Batman be quite so at odds with each other, because they probably want to quickly build the world up so they can finally get their live action JL movie.

If Goyer uses Earth One Superman for part of his world-building, I wouldn't be surprised to see Parasite and Lex Luthor show up.

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Old 09-15-2013, 11:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

I'm all for a vs movie. I would love nothing more than to have a build up of tension and end it with Superman shooting lasers at Batman, with Batman hiding behind a pillar with batarang in hand ready to sink it into Superman's skin. You have to slow things down. Taking half a movie to show the greatest partnership in comics is not enough. It needs to take a whole movie to show why they are partners. At least in my eyes. Have them testing each other out mentally through the first 3/4 of the movie and end it with the best comic fight in movie history.

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Old 09-15-2013, 01:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

The thing is , if you want a pure vs movie you've got to have a compelling reason as to why these two would be enemies , at least enough to sustain 2 plus hours worth of story. It can't be contrived and it can't be half a$$ed. The whole " he's an alien" or " We have different approaches" or "its a misunderstanding" or " your fight with Zod caused mass death" isn't enough. Its just not. The story has to be there to justify why these two would consider each other big enough threats to take each other down. I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but there really has to be a compelling reason why these two would be enemies for most of the film. The same applies to a team up as well, but its easier to justify why these two would team up than why they would be enemies.

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Old 09-15-2013, 04:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

Well said ^

I have no idea for this actaully. Anyone wanna come with some ideas for this?

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Old 09-15-2013, 04:24 PM   #14
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Agreed jmc but they canīt build up that friendship/partnership if they donīt have the mutual respect or some quality in their relation that allows them to work with eachother in the first place.

I know that I wouldnīt want them to be enemies at the end of the movie, but I donīt want them to be friends either. However, itīs important that they have differences but can find common ground.
Exactly. Show them as respectful, but detached. Allow WF to be the sequel that shows how they BECOME friends. So yeah, I want this film to be a true sequel that just happens to have Batman in it

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Old 09-15-2013, 04:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

I don't know if I'd call Batman 'the villain' in this scenario, but I always thought the best way to do this story would be as a reaction to the events in MOS. Bruce would be very wary of a supremely powerful being who just broke the neck of another supremely powerful being. He would come to Metropolis as Bruce and probably work with Lex, who would publically be trying to turn the perception against Superman. It would be precautionary, while Lex would slowly start pushing it over the line. That would be the basic dynamics I would like to see, but there really are so many possibilities of where they actually can go with it. They definitely will begin as adversaries though, of that I'm fairly confident. Whether they actually fight or not, I have no idea. I can see a few ways of them making that happen, and it likely will. Probably towards the end of the second act. But to make that feel organic and have it be a plausible battle given the Superman they established in MOS is going to be tough. Not impossible, but definitely have their work cut out for them.

I can see DAs idea being the first two acts, with the true villain having emerged throughout the film who they have to team up against and beat after. It wouldn't really feel all that satisfying for them to solely be against each other the whole time only to end up uniting and then it ends. Just feels incomplete.

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Old 09-15-2013, 04:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

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Originally Posted by Frodo View Post
The thing is , if you want a pure vs movie you've got to have a compelling reason as to why these two would be enemies , at least enough to sustain 2 plus hours worth of story. It can't be contrived and it can't be half a$$ed. The whole " he's an alien" or " We have different approaches" or "its a misunderstanding" or " your fight with Zod caused mass death" isn't enough. Its just not. The story has to be there to justify why these two would consider each other big enough threats to take each other down. I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but there really has to be a compelling reason why these two would be enemies for most of the film. The same applies to a team up as well, but its easier to justify why these two would team up than why they would be enemies.
I've actually thought about this. As a homage to Public Enemies, Lex Luthor can frame either one of them for a crime they did not commit(preferably Superman as the movie needs to be a Lex vs Superman movie as well as Batman vs Superman). If it was me writing this, I'd make it say the murder of the US president(a neck snap would be good, seeing Superman capable of such things, it would make him look even more guilty) as a power play for Lex to swoop in and act like a hero and claim the oval office. Then the movie pretty much becomes a Cat & Mouse chase where one tries to take down the other as the framed one tries to look for evidence of innocence and maybe eventually lead to a fight on Crime Alley?

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I agree 100% with the original post. Batman being the 'villain' to me is the best way to go. Ideally MoS 2 for me would have been the time for Lex Luthor to come into the equation and challenge Clark in the wake of the destruction in film one. But Batman is a good substitute to challenge Clark and that's what the focus should be. I hope that not only do they not team up, I hope it ends with them duking it out with one and other. There would not be a bigger fight in superhero movie history. I don't buy this notion you have to have them be friends at the end of the movie. Like hell you do. Any future friendship/partnership should be built up over the course of a couple of films and not within the first hour of the movie. The whole thing with Luthor pulling strings to get them to fight and then they team up to take him down is cliched, predictable and frankly boring. If you're going to do Batman vs Superman you do exactly that - you build up the entire movie to that very climax.
The sequel practically screams for Lex Luthor's inclusion, if you cut Lex out completely for just a pure versus movie(which is pointless anyway as we all know they do become friends by the end of the movie, thus setting the stage for Justice League) you are cutting out significant development for Superman, plus you'll just disappoint fans. When I saw the general tone and feel for Man of Steel in the trailers, I was thinking to myself: "My god, Lex in this universe would be badass"

Batman is not Superman's villain, Lex Luthor is. Without the best possible villain, the hero would never truly become the hero. That's what made me see Iron Man 3 as a colossal failure and what made Man of Steel and The Dark Knight good films.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have Batman treat Superman as the bad guy and vice versa, but he should be in an antogonistic role, which is different role to the main villain, Lex. There's no reason why you can't have Lex as the ultimate puppet master making both of these guys repeatedly fight each other in a cat and mouse game throughout the movie. To avoid making it sound cliched, it's all about how it's presented. If they can do something cool, on the level of Benedict Cumberbatch in STID and Loki from Avengers, then more power to them.


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Old 09-15-2013, 05:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

There are a lot of troubling claims in the argument for the proposed type of film.

1. "A Pure Versus Movie Would be More Original"

No, it would be not be original in any conceivable sense. First and foremost, versus films are a very tired and beaten horse: Freddy vs Jason, King Kong vs Godzilla, AVP (1 and 2), Hulk vs, and so on, are many manifestations of this terrible model of storytelling. Even though they cover a few different genres - such as horror, science fiction, superhero, and so on-they all have in common factor: they are terrible films. The script is based around a novelty and cannot be converted into A-list screenplay. The only thing I will praise Freddy vs Jason for was its promotion: namely, the incorporation of the 'professional' wrestling, since at the end of the day, that is a film in this paradigm is: an overglorified WWE match with a bigger operating budget and fancier costumes.

If the lack of artistry in the model of storytelling is not problematic enough, it is an extension of a practice that is becoming a bit tiresome in comic book cinema: fan pandering. As much I loved the Avengers, the fights between the team members started to get old. The one in the forest worked because it marked the intersection of a few different strains of politics and perspectives in the film's universe and showed the team dynamic well. However, the ones that followed-Hulk vs Thor, Widow vs Hawkeye-were gratuitous, popcorn fluff at its finest.

The later sequences became quite tiring and they barely in the two digit mark, in terms of alloted screen time. Stretching a conflict2 out for a 2.5 run time is a torture I would not wish on my worst enemy.

***

And the lack of an antagonist would compromise the film structurally. Basic screenwriting dictates that a clearly defined villain has to be present to create obstacles for the heroes to overcome, and also allow the characters to grow. Batman and Superman are not villains; this is not Watchmen, where everyone is a rat bastard. And when one thinks of the audience-families and kids-they realize that this moral relativity has no place in a brand that extends from comics and onto children's backpacks. It's a family oriented brand and Batman/Superman are nearly, if not equally loved. They represent our highest aspirations; since this is supposed the forming of the DC Universe, why would one pursue the Departed approach and make Batman a jerk? He has a massive fanbase; and demoting to the category allocated for the Joker defies any merchandising and artistic sense.

Superhero films are by their nature good films, not great ones; the only way they transcend to A-list cinema is if they are secularized, and that is when they cease being superhero films. One has to realize that:

a) Moral relativity / binary morality (Superman=good, Batman=bad_) have no place in a comic book film. Audiences like simple characterizations with pleasing arcs and not having familiar brands turned into the superhero equivalent of the Hattfields vs the McCoys.
b) While the Marvel brand is marked with hero against hero action, it is part of the playful nature of the brand of comics and works well in limited sequences. No one wants to see a Fantastic Four film where Johnny and the Thing spend every moment beating the snot out of each other.
1) That type of humor has no place in the DC Film Universe. Nolan's films had dry humor, but were otherwise dead serious.
c) reducing the film to a 'vs' film is going to cause a considerable dip in the quality of the franchise. Vs films do not have critical or artistic substance. They are like hardware store popcorn: quick and easy to eat, but unpleasant on the stomach.


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Old 09-15-2013, 07:01 PM   #18
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

Jonathan,

Alien vs Predator was not a pure versus movie. It started that way, but then the Predator and the Human teamed up to fight the Aliens. Therefore, that movie is actually quite close to what seems to be the null hypothesis for Batman vs Superman, that they're going to start off fighting then team up against some "greater" enemy.

The reason the sequences in The Avengers are tiring is because they were pointless action scenes that were not organic to the plot at all. I'm not suggesting constant physical fights between Batman and Superman, that sounds really boring and dumb, as boring and dumb as the Iron Man vs Thor fight. I'm suggesting a psychological thriller / cop drama, where they are continuously investigating each other, flirting with combat encounters but rarely or never actually engaging in it.

I remember one of the commentaries from the season 1 DVDs of Battlestar Galactica. Ron Moore said that he would limit battle scenes with the cylons, because he wanted the battle scenes to be more significant. And they were, for seasons 1 and 2 of BSG, seeing the cyclons raised the tension meter every time. Hopefully, the action scenes are extremely limited in BvS, though I'm not holding my breath.

The worst case scenario for the sequel is Batman and Superman meet, they fight, then the plot changes at just the right time, they team up, a second movie happens, and we have a lot of action scenes against tertiary villains who have taken up precious screen time being built up the entire movie at the expense of the characters who matter.

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Old 09-15-2013, 07:05 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by smallville fan View Post
The sequel practically screams for Lex Luthor's inclusion, if you cut Lex out completely for just a pure versus movie(which is pointless anyway as we all know they do become friends by the end of the movie, thus setting the stage for Justice League) you are cutting out significant development for Superman, plus you'll just disappoint fans. When I saw the general tone and feel for Man of Steel in the trailers, I was thinking to myself: "My god, Lex in this universe would be badass"
There's nothing wrong with introducing Lex in this film and spreading his arc over multiple films.

As for movies being pointless because we know the ending... everything about this franchise is pointless then. We know that Superman eventually becomes the greatest and most beloved hero, that Luthor ends up dead or in jail and humiliated, that Lois and Clark eventually marry. All of this is known. It's the journey that matters, because we don't know the journey.

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Old 09-15-2013, 09:50 PM   #20
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

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As for movies being pointless because we know the ending... everything about this franchise is pointless then. We know that Superman eventually becomes the greatest and most beloved hero, that Luthor ends up dead or in jail and humiliated, that Lois and Clark eventually marry. All of this is known. It's the journey that matters, because we don't know the journey.
Yes all true, but when we see that this is called a "versus" movie, it usually implies that they start as enemies and then walk away as enemies with one of them pretty much defeated which is clearly not the case here.

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Old 09-15-2013, 10:20 PM   #21
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I don't like the idea of them against each other like that, not in that particular sense. I think they should have a different way of doing things, different moral codes, like two cop partners, one being the do-gooder and the other being the badass that just gets things done. They come from different backgrounds, they do things differently and have different views on the world, but the one undeniable thing they have in common, the thing that brings them together and creates that eventual mutual respect, justice.

I'd rather they have to closely work together for most of the movie. It'll make for some compelling scenes, some compelling and heated conversations. The potential for great dialogue scenes between the two is enormous. I bet Tarantino would love to write a scene between them.

So something needs to bring the two together and force them to work together. They don't have to be friends, I actually rather they not be. Just forced to work together for the greater good. It's then they come to have their clash of morals or what have you, then at the end they come to respect each other, and respect the fact that the other will do things their way.

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Old 09-15-2013, 11:44 PM   #22
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

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Originally Posted by smallville fan View Post

The sequel practically screams for Lex Luthor's inclusion, if you cut Lex out completely for just a pure versus movie(which is pointless anyway as we all know they do become friends by the end of the movie, thus setting the stage for Justice League) you are cutting out significant development for Superman, plus you'll just disappoint fans. When I saw the general tone and feel for Man of Steel in the trailers, I was thinking to myself: "My god, Lex in this universe would be badass"

Batman is not Superman's villain, Lex Luthor is. Without the best possible villain, the hero would never truly become the hero. That's what made me see Iron Man 3 as a colossal failure and what made Man of Steel and The Dark Knight good films.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have Batman treat Superman as the bad guy and vice versa, but he should be in an antogonistic role, which is different role to the main villain, Lex. There's no reason why you can't have Lex as the ultimate puppet master making both of these guys repeatedly fight each other in a cat and mouse game throughout the movie. To avoid making it sound cliched, it's all about how it's presented. If they can do something cool, on the level of Benedict Cumberbatch in STID and Loki from Avengers, then more power to them.
If you noticed I used the word villain in inverted commas, ie Batman is the antagonist not an actual villain. In all honesty, you don't need Lex if Batman is going to be present because he basically can be a substitution for Lex. My issue is teaming them up to combat a mutual threat - it's boring and predictable and a film I can already play out in my head. Batman vs Superman should be about a clash of ideologies and misunderstandings, a simmering tension that bursts onto the surface in full view of everyone, and the finale should have one of them coming out on top. Go big or go home, don't pussy foot around and have them at the end of the film and be all smiles and handshakes, if you want there to be a sense of respect after all is said and done then that's fine, but one of them has to learn something about themselves after the ordeal, either Bruce needs to learn his actions aren't always right, or Clark needs to learn that in spite of his powers he can still be brought down to size.

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Old 09-16-2013, 12:19 AM   #23
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

Jmc,

You just brought up an excellent point.

In a pure versus movie, we the viewers do not know who is going to win. This can an incredible tension to the viewing experience.

Kudos!

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Old 09-16-2013, 12:31 AM   #24
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One of the things I could see happening for the film is not that Batman is horrified at Superman breaking someone's neck, but simply that Superman is just too darn powerful.

This is a theme parroted time and again in the comics, and would translate the best to the big screen as well.

So Batman's antagonistic role would be to be trying to find different ways to subdue Superman. Perhaps he tests one of his ideas out on Superman, and it derails a rescue or some sort, and Batman has to step in to save innocents.

Cue Superman confronting Batman. They exchange heated words, and part ways, both highly indignant, frustrated, and immensely annoyed with the other.

The second act would consist of the introduction of Lex Luthor or a more minor super villain, who feeds the anger of Superman or Batman. Another confrontation ensues between Batman and Superman. This would be the big battle between them, where (probably) Superman is nearly beaten.

Something interrupts the battle; the villain joins the fray, aiming to kill Superman. Batman realizes he's been used as a pawn, and that ticks him off, so he switches sides, and has to get Superman to safety while he recovers.

When Supes is coherent again, the two talk/argue some more, further showing us a divide in their philosophies. Things are about to devolve into a full-blown argument, when Alfred interrupts them to let them know there's some Big Trouble. The guys head out again, this time as reluctant allies.

Another battle, things get hairy for a while, they end up saving each other, exciting explosions and CGI happen on-screen for like 10 minutes, and finally, they win the battle.

We have a moment with them on a rooftop, chatting. They are thoughtful, and decide that perhaps they could work together, even though one of them is clearly Type A and the other is Type B. Perhaps Superman can even give Batman permission to keep the weapon that weakened him, or suggests that Bruce build another one, just in case. They part ways.

Or something like that.

But a true "vs" film? I don't se that happening. They'll want to end things to allow Batman and Superman to work together in the future. I'm not sure fans will be pleased with a cliff-hanger, and WB may not be willing to risk a weird ending that may not generate enough enthusiasm for another film.

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Old 09-16-2013, 12:50 AM   #25
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Default Re: The Case For a Pure Versus Movie

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Jmc,

You just brought up an excellent point.

In a pure versus movie, we the viewers do not know who is going to win. This can an incredible tension to the viewing experience.

Kudos!
Exactly. Imagine going into the film where the two greatest superheroes of all time are duking it out and not knowing who's going to come out on top because one of the two has to claim a victory of sorts. It will end in controversy and spur endless debate among fans, but damn it it will be a hell of a lot more interesting than coming up with them teaming up to stop Lex or whoever. It's a heavy weight title match of biblical proportions, in fact it would be better to look at it as more of a boxing movie than a superhero movie.

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