A Batman vs Superman story before Batman v Superman? Read on!
Back in 2016, fans had a chance to witness a battle of the ages. For the first time in live-action form, we got to see Batman take on Superman in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It was a film that could have been a huge juggernaut for Warner Bros. Sadly, thanks to some studio meddling, it ended up being a lackluster enterprise for many fans. In fact, even with the Ultimate Edition, it didn’t quite scratch the itch that many fans were feeling.
You never would have guessed that this was a story Warner Bros. has been trying to tell for a good while. But, in fact, they have. In case you haven’t heard, there was a time back in the early-2000s. It was before the eventual Christopher Nolan Batman reboot and after the Batman and Robin travesty. Se7en’s Andrew Kevin Walker did a draft of the Batman vs Superman script and Batman and Robin’s Akiva Goldsman came in for rework.
“I wrote on […] this version of Batman vs Superman [around 2001or 2002]— when Colin Farrell was cast as Batman and Jude Law was cast as Superman and Wolfgang Petersen was directing —we were in prep and it was the darkest thing you’ve ever seen,” Goldsman told Collider in a recent interview. “It started with Alfred’s funeral and Bruce has fallen in love and renounced being Batman, the Joker kills his wife, and then you discover it was all a lie. Just that the love itself was constructed by the Joker to break [Bruce]. It was a time where you would be able to get these sorts of stories together in script form but they couldn’t quite land in the world. Somehow, the expectations of the object — whether they be audience or corporate or directorial — it wasn’t landing quite in the way I think we imagined when we put them on the page.”
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So, what do you think? I have to admit, given that this came not long after Goldsman’s Batman and Robin script, it’s pretty ballsy. This was basically deconstructing the whole genre in Hollywood way before that was cool to do. In fact, that’s probably a big part of why it didn’t work out. It also sounds like there was a real technology issue in getting the story to land the right way. Perhaps that was another reason it was canned.
Either way, I would have been interested in this. The cast alone would have been a bold choice, and Wolfgang Peterson would have given the film an interesting directorial flare. That being said, just because something is interesting doesn’t necessarily make it good. In this case, I do think we were given the best end result, with Christopher Nolan making Batman Begins.
What do you think? Are you sad we didn’t get this version of Batman vs Superman? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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