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As Man Of Steel had a super-sized opening at the box office, speculation ran rampant regarding a sequel to the film. Significant to the discussion is the fact that a Justice League film was already heavily in discussions. A screenplay was already drafted and a release date was targeted even prior to the introductory film for Superman, one of its principle components, had made its debut.

Now a decision has been made which shakes up the entire plan and likely scraps the initial script.

Announced in a Warner Bros panel at Comic-Con on Saturday (July 20th), the sequel to Man Of Steel will feature both halves of the duo commonly referred to as World’s Finest. The target date for this film is Summer 2015.

Despite reports from earlier this year that Christian Bale won’t reprise the role of Batman in any future films, The USA Today had an interesting quote in their report:

No casting for Batman was mentioned but Snyder teased that the Gotham City hero’s relationship with Superman in Frank Miller’s seminal 1980s comic The Dark Knight Returns will inform aspects of Man of Steel 2.

For those unfamiliar with The Dark Knight Returns, it focuses on Batman’s return to crime fighting after an extended period away from the fight. Though this was part of the plot to last year’s Dark Knight Rises, the Bruce Wayne of Frank Miller’s work is considerably older than what was portrayed by in the third installment in Nolan’s series.

Giving a bit more credence to this link between the source material and the upcoming film is the quote that Zack Snyder had Harry Lennox read leading up to the announcement:

“I want you to remember, Clark, in all the years to come, in all your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.”

That quote is from The Dark Knight Returns. It’s Batman speaking directly to Superman – who he knows is Clark Kent. Snyder insists that they’re not recreating the moment in the upcoming film, but he uses it to help set the tone viewers should expect.

After that quote was read, the lights dimmed, the Superman logo appeared on the screen, and then the Batman symbol appeared behind it.

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The option to target a Superman / Batman film prior to a Justice League movie is likely to be very popular with fans, who clamored about the tenuous, complicated relationship between Batman and Superman which should be explored separately before adding the likes of Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter or the like to the mix.

Though only rumors at the moment, The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Warner Bros is targeting 2016 for a FLASH movie, with the JUSTICE LEAGUE film hitting in 2017.


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