If you haven’t heard yet, following Marvel’s shining example DC is attempting to create their own shared movie universe. However, it seems that this easier said than done. With numerous setbacks since the Man of Steel, a Justice League movie seemed farther and farther away. Than like a light in the darkness, Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice was revealed! Geeks, nerds, and fans shed tears of joy as the one of the ultimate questions in comics would be answered, who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman. Unfortunately it seems this question may not be answered, at least not in the way people want it to be. Alright, so the main problem with DC’s approach is they are going for gold right out of the gate. Unlike Marvel who decided on a slow burn, establishing each character in their own franchise which resulted in the geek storm that was The Avengers, DC has decided to bet the farm by placing numerous heroes and villains in one movie. With four heroes (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman) and possibly FIVE villains (Lex Luthor, Victor Zsasz, Morgan Edge, David Cain, Amanda Waller), it seems things are getting awfully crowded. In their defense, the majority of these villains rely on their corporate powers which could help to balance out the equation, especially when they would essentially be facing three demigods and Batman. This isn’t even to mention that Doomsday is consistently rumored to appear as another villain possibly bringing the count to SIX villains. The inherent problem with this many main characters is they become underdeveloped in their own way. With each character vying for screen time, characters will undoubtedly be left behind. The likely two that would get the short end of the stick would be Wonder Woman and Aquaman, the movie is called Batman vs Superman after all. This could create some problems down the line for these heroes in their solo films. Mainly, their solo films should be a chance for them to grow, which again is what Marvel did. However, if Batman Vs. Superman lays a weak foundation, those movies will essentially have to start the character development over which could easily bore the audience. Now that you understand the inherent problems with this upcoming film, let me introduce you to my solution. Batman Vs. Superman is supposed to be the film that introduces these characters to each other for the first time. Now, if only there was some comic series that told the story of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman all meeting for the first time………
As it turns out, there is. This Trinity tells the story of how the big three or Trinity of the DC Universe, meet. The story goes that Ra’s Al Ghul is out to destroy global communications to send Earth back to the stone age. He recruits Bizarro, think evil Superman with a far lower IQ, and Artemis, a fellow Amazon from Themyscira, to aid him in his plan. Of course, with each hero chasing their respective villain, it’s easy to see how they end up meetin. Now, some tweaks would obviously have to be made to the story. For instance, audience members may still remember Liam Neeson’s portrayal of Ra’s Al Ghul from Batman Begins, which could be confusing. Not to mention that both Bizarro and Artemis have their own complicated back stories that would just complicate the story. However, this idea of destroying the worlds communication systems while possibly retaining some form of technological advantage sounds very similar to something another major DC villain would do. Enter Lex Luthor, one of the smartest, richest, and most powerful men on the planet who has the resources to turn these heroes against each other.
To make things a little simpler, let me outline how my Trinity film would go:
The first thing you would need to do is establish that Superman is strong, but still beatable. This raises the stakes of the film and shows that he can’t just punch his way out of every situation. Enter Batman, with his resources he would easily be able to acquire some Kryptonite which would be a great way to introduce the two characters as well as Superman’s signature weakness. You have Batman warn him about Lex and give some other vague mention that Superman isn’t the only Superpowered being on Earth. Next, Lex would be fully introduced, possibly at a press conference that Clark is attending where Lex is denouncing Superman and his actions. We notice that Lex is wearing a ring with a green gem stone that when Clark approaches makes him weak in the knees.
Lex’s anti-superman campaign would eventually lead to Wonder Woman’s introduction. Not as an ambassador, which is the role she later adopts, but as an executioner who is tasked with bringing Superman back to Themyscira to answer for his role in Zodd’s invasion. You see the Kryptonian terra former would have had to have caused devastating results for the rest of the world, with Themyscira somehow receiving an extra portion of damage and destruction. Superman is still a little cocky after his victory over the invasion force making him overconfident. This lead to Wonder Woman laying the smack down on Superman. She achieves this primarily in two ways, her physical strength as well as her magical abilities. This would eventually lay the ground work for introducing the audience to Superman’s second major weakness, magic. After an intervention on Batman’s part, they are able to sit down and sort through the entire situation. This of course reveals Lex’s deception and they proceed to plan their attack. Lex of course has hired some goon or created some machine to do his fighting for him and makes his escape during the fight. In the aftermath of the final showdown, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman reveal their true identities to each other and the Justice League begins.
Now, for the after credits scene, Lex would be sitting in his office, just lounging with a few bodyguards when all of a sudden a squad of armed gunmen enter, incapacitating the body guards and clearing the room. Enter Amanda Waller, who introduces Lex to the Doomsday Initiative by tossing a corresponding folder on the table.
Ok, now that we have my main points on the table let me fill in the gaps. Lex would have been observing Superman, including his first meeting with Kryptonite, which is how he learns of it. Batman would have more screen time than is mentioned but he would mainly be flexing his detective skills on screen by investigating Lex. It would also be revealed that Lex was feeding the Amazon’s false information somehow to turn them against Superman. All this observation would be possible through Lex’s vast communication’s network which includes more than a few surveillance satellites.
With this plan, you place the focus on the heroes while still laying ground work for things to come. From here, you would have each subsequent DC movie be a Trinity member running into other future League members, where they ultimately recruit them. Batman meets Flash since they both have CSI backgrounds. Not to mention their public images are mirrors of each other since Flash is well loved by his city as opposed to Batman’s negative public image. Superman would recruit Green Lantern since they both have alien backgrounds. Don’t worry, there are three other (technically four) Green Lanterns that could be used so that the Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern movie would not have to be revisited. Lastly, since Wonder Woman and Aquaman both have Greek backgrounds, it is a no brainer that they should meet first. Not to mention they both aren’t strangers to magic in the DC Universe. Each film would of course reveal a little bit more about the Doomsday Initiative. Finally, after all these team up films, you would have the Justice League film which would bring them all together and would pit them against Doomsday, which results in the “death” of Superman. The film would end with two button scenes, one showing Superman in some sort of chamber where he is obviously alive but unconscious and an introduction of the Martian Manhunter who will act as the warning for Darkseid.
Essentially, what DC needs to realize is that Marvel is so successful because they use the slow burn to their advantage. Always teasing whats next to hype up their next film. Sure, they can go for the hail mary pass right away, it’s just going to be more difficult to pull off with out sacrificing the development of some of their characters.
Peter Orrestad - Jul 21, 2014 | Film Thoughts