Warner Bros. and DC Comics finally take a stab at establishing their own cinematic universe later this month with the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. A sequel to 2013’s Superman-only picture Man of Steel, Batman v Superman represents the first time DC’s two most popular superheroes will share the screen in a live action adaptation. Pairing two of the most recognizable comic book characters in the world sounds like a win-win situation on paper, but the hype surrounding Batman v Superman is a strange beast indeed.
On the one hand, it’s one of the most anticipated blockbuster films of the year and will likely generate some hefty box office returns on the back of the Batman and Superman brands alone, not to mention the ongoing popularity of comic book films in general can only be a boon. On the other hand, there is a lot more negative buzz surrounding the film than Warner Bros. was probably anticipating, especially when you compare the overly-enthusiastic hype being generated for Marvel’s next film, Captain America: Civil War, which drops in May. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess whether or not Batman v Superman will establish the DC cinematic universe as a worthy contender to Marvel’s, but if we had to go on what we have seen so far, we’d be willing to bet that Batman v Superman is going to disappoint due to the following factors, even if we really hope it doesn’t…
8. Too Much Too Soon
Having Batman and Superman battle each other on screen should be a momentous event and while Zack Snyder’s film is sure to be thrilling, it’s hard to see it making as much of an impact as it could have if Warner Bros had arranged its universe-building plans differently. The reason Captain America: Civil War has more hype surrounding it (other than the fact that Marvel is just showing off at this point) is because it’s a film that the studio has been building to. Having your franchise’s two most popular characters set against each other is nothing to take lightly and that’s why it’s taken multiple installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to get to the point where Captain America and Iron Man can believably be at each others’ throats (so to speak).
Batman v Superman has nothing to build off of other than one Superman film that wasn’t even initially designed as part of a larger interconnected universe. Sure, we’re familiar with these characters, but we haven’t seem enough of these particular incarnations to get heavily invested in them. Taking the opposite approach of Marvel could prove to be a winning formula, but that’s an awfully risky gamble for DC to make at this stage in the game.