Expect a 2016 Release for Zack Snyder's "Batman Vs. Superman"

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
February 2nd, 2014

Fans of the long-awaited "Batman Vs. Superman" have to wait a little longer. As of January 2014, the film's producers at Warner Bros. are expecting the film to release in May 2016, not July 2015 as originally scheduled. This delay gives director Zack Snyder more time to explore the story and fully develop the film's vision.

"Batman Vs. Superman," the sequel to 2013's "Man of Steel," pits two iconic superheroes against each other in what is sure to be an epic box office smash. Henry Cavill is reprising his role as Superman, and this film is introducing the world to a new Batman, played by Ben Affleck. Originally, "Batman Vs. Superman" was scheduled to release on July 17, 2015. Fans who follow Hollywood new, however, were likely to notice that, as of January 2014, the film had not yet started shooting. Given the time-consuming special effects involved in bringing both Batman and Superman to life, it comes as no surprise that Warner Bros. announced a nearly year-long delay, pushing the scheduled release date to May 6, 2016.

The surprise, instead, comes in the stated reason for the delay. Major news sites and entertainment publications, such as CNN and Entertainment Weekly, cited an official quote from Warner Bros. stating that the film would be delayed to "allow the filmmakers time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story." This may in fact mean that the filmmakers need extra time to work on special effects. However, it is equally likely that this means director Zack Snyder and story co-writer David S. Goyer are reworking part of the "Batman Vs. Superman" script.

"Batman Vs. Superman" already received its share of fan backlash when Snyder announced that Ben Affleck was taking over the role made famous by Christian Bale, Val Kilmer, George Clooney and Michael Keaton. Fans doubted that Ben Affleck had the gravitas required of the role, especially after Christian Bale essentially redefined the part throughout Christopher Nolan's highly esteemed "Dark Knight" trilogy. These fans did not want to see Batman played by a primarily comedic actor, and feared that Snyder did not fully understand the Batman universe.

The delay, therefore, is causing this same group of fans to suspect that Zack Snyder does not yet have a handle on the story he wants to tell. "Batman Vs. Superman," after all, is a concept that has never been filmed before, although the two heroes have previously crossed paths in the graphic novel "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns." Snyder needs to handle the material very carefully, as he is working to impress two separate superhero fan bases, as well as integrate material from two very different DC Comics worlds.

Even with the delay, expect a filming announcement soon. "Batman Vs. Superman" received a $35 million incentive from the Michigan Film Office to film in and around Detroit, and the filming process is expected to provide an economic boost to both the city and the state. The filmmakers have already stated that the film primarily takes place in the Superman universe, meaning that Detroit is likely to represent Metropolis rather than Gotham, Batman's famous home city. As filming begins, photos and shooting stills are likely to give fans a clearer picture of Snyder's vision and prepare audiences for what to expect once the film releases.

Of course, the delayed release date is unlikely to affect box office draw. "Batman Vs. Superman" is likely to outperform all other films during its opening weekend, due to the sheer anticipation building around the film, and the film's linking of two separate superhero fandoms. Even if the release date gets pushed back even further, fans are sure to line up to attend the opening night and share in the enthusiasm surrounding the long-awaited story. The film is likely to generate sequels and feature cameos from other DC Comics superheroes, including Wonder Woman and Green Lantern.

Ultimately, the delayed release announcement means that fans of "Batman Vs. Superman" are going to get a better film. Whether Snyder is revamping parts of the story or whether the film is delayed to add even more spectacular special effects, the result is sure to be an even more impressive movie and a standout entrant into the superhero film genre.

By announcing "Batman Vs. Superman," director Zach Snyder has opened up all kinds of possibilities for the superhero genre. Now, all he has to do is make the film. The release date delay may cause some initial disappointment, but fans are unlikely to be disappointed once the film finally hits the big screen in 2016.