In December, it was heavily rumored that Joaquin Phoenix is wanted by Warner Bros. and DC Comics to play one of two major villains in the upcoming Man of Steel, tentatively titled Batman Vs. Superman. Today's report claims that the studio is actively pursuing the actor for the role of iconic Superman foe Lex Luthor, and that he is 'very close' to signing his deal.
This news comes amidst a ton of new details and information about the project, including reinvented looks for both Batman and Superman, and the real reason behind the release date delay, which was first blamed on a leg injury Ben Affleck had sustained last week.
Production was initially scheduled to begin next month in Michigan, but it was said that shooting was being pushed by six-weeks, with a new March start date being eye. Later that same day, Warner Bros. officially announced that Batman Vs. Superman was moving from July 17, 2015 to May 6, 2015, allowing the filmmakers to "fully realize their vision." Ben Affleck's injury was not mentioned in the press release.
Comic Book Movie claims that the leg injury was actually a musculature injury to the ribs, which isn't too severe. The actor is expected to make a full recovery by April, and the production will use a stunt double for certain fight sequences that the actor can't perform until his recovery is complete. The source also stressed that the actor's injury was not the reason behind delaying the production and release date, while speculating that this news may have been leaked to divert attention from some of the real behind-the-scenes issues that are arising.
Its believed that the main reason behind the delay is the film's budget, and whether or not they want to show Wonder Woman's home of Paradise Island (a.k.a. Themyscira). If they head to the superhero's homeland, it will require a massive amount of visual effects work. instead, they may merely only reference Paradise Island in the story, without ever showing it.
Earlier this month, another unconfirmed rumor surfaced, claiming that Warner Bros. is shooting both Batman Vs. Superman and Justice League back-to-back, to maximize the cast member's busy schedules. The report indicated that Batman Vs. Superman will feature a cliffhanger ending that will lead directly into Justice League.
Warner Bros. executives are currently weighing this plan, but a final decision has not yet been made. Another unspecified source says that Justice League has been given the green light, and that it will be released in 2017.
In regards to the cliffhanger ending of Batman Vs. Superman, "General Napier" reveals that part is true, which Warner Bros./DC is using to differentiate itself from Marvel Studios, who employ end credit scenes that tease their next movie. Warner Bros. plans to use cliffhangers to set up their next movie from here on out, and they also want to produce short films that highlight smaller, supporting characters, which will be played at the end of each film. Marvel employs this tactic as well with their Marvel One-Shot series of shorts, although they are attached to Blu-ray and DVD releases.
Warner Bros. plans to start its marketing campaign for Batman Vs. Superman this year, with the studio releasing new photos in the coming months along with a viral site that asks fans to "choose their side." Casting confirmations are expected very soon regarding Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Holloway, who is rumored to play Aquaman, and Jason Momoa, who recently denied rumors that he is joining the sequel.
Now, about those new looks for Kal-El and Bruce Wayne. The same source claims that
Henry Cavill's Clark Kent/Superman will be sporting a new haircut, which will resemble Superman's hairstyle in Alex Ross and Mark Waid's Kingdom Come, which features the trademark S curl not featured in Man of Steel. The comic book was first published as a four-issue mini-series by DC Comics in 1996, with producers pushing for a late 90s vibe that is clearly nostalgic.
As we already know, Batman will be getting a new look in the sequel as well. Something we've never seen on screen before. Back in November, Kevin Smith revealed that he had seen a photo of Ben Affleck in the new Batman suit for Batman Vs. Superman, calling the costume "mind-bending" and saying that fans, "have not seen this costume in a movie on film before".
Costume designer Michael Wilkinson also confirmed in December that Batman will have a brand new suit, although Warner Bros. still has not unveiled this revamped design yet. Over the weekend, while on the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Ben Affleck's wife Jennifer Garner teased that she had seen the suit, calling it "unbelievably cool."
Here's what Jennifer Garner had to say, when asked if she might try to get her husband to come home dressed as Batman one day during the production.
"I don't think I could get him out of the suit, so no. I'll probably go to the set, and look from afar. I've seen the suit. The suit is unbelievably cool. It's a total reinvention. It looks great."
Zack Snyder is directing from a screenplay by David S. Goyer, with Henry Cavill (Superman/Clark Kent), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Ben Affleck (Batman), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), Laurence Fishburne (Perry White) and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) confirmed to star.
What do you think about all of this?