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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a 2016 American superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman. Directed by Zack Snyder and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the film is a follow-up to 2013's Man of Steel and is the second installment in the DC Extended Universe. It was written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, and features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the first live-action film to feature Batman and Superman together, as well as the first live-action cinematic portrayal of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash. In the film, criminal mastermind Lex Luthor manipulates Batman into a preemptive battle with Superman, whom Luthor is obsessed with defeating.

The film was announced at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, after the release of Man of Steel. Snyder stated that the film would take inspiration from the Batman comic book series The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, but clarified that it would follow an original premise. The incarnation of Batman in the film would also be different than the character's portrayal in the previous The Dark Knight Trilogy, serving as a cinematic reboot of the character. The film is also inspired by narrative elements from the "Death of Superman" story arc. Pre-production began at East Los Angeles College in October 2013, with principal photography starting in May 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Additional filming also took place in Chicago.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City on March 19th, 2016, and was released in the United States on March 25th, 2016, in 2D, 3D, IMAX 3D, 4DX, premium large formats and 70 mm prints. Following a strong debut that set new box office records, the film experienced a historic drop in its second weekend and never recovered. Despite turning a profit, it was deemed a box office disappointment and received negative reviews from critics. The film went on to become the 46th highest-grossing film of all-time. A director's cut, dubbed the Ultimate Edition with 30 minutes of additional footage, was released digitally on June 28th, 2016, and on Blu-ray and DVD on July 19th, 2016.

The story begins eighteen months after Superman's destructive battle in Man of Steel with General Zod in Metropolis. Superman has become a controversial figure, a savior to some a menace to others. Billionaire Bruce Wayne, who has operated in Gotham City as the vigilante Batman for nearly two decades, sees Superman as a potential threat to humanity. After learning of Batman's form of punishment, Clark Kent, Superman's alter-ego, seeks to expose Batman via Daily Planet articles. Meanwhile Bruce Wayne learns that a Russian weapon trafficker has connection with LexCorp mogul Lex Luthor and when attending party at LexCorp, where he meets a mysterious antiques dealer named Diana Prince. Wayne later discovers that Luthor is not only experimenting with kryptonite, but also investigating metahumans, one of twhom turn out to be Prince.

Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman

A billionaire socialite and owner of Wayne Enterprises who dedicates himself to protecting Gotham City from its criminal underworld as a highly trained, masked vigilante. The Batsuit in this film is made of fabric as opposed to the armored suits in previous portrayals, and a mechanical suit is also featured which Batman uses in his fight against Superman.

On Batman's suit, Zack Snyder commented "I had a really strong idea about what I wanted to do – I really wanted to do sort of a fabric-based Batman; not what's become the more normal, armored Batman. That's how we evolved it."

When asked what makes this Batman different from the previous portrayals, Affleck said this Batman "is a little older, he's a little more world weary. He's been around the block once or twice so he's a little wiser but he's definitely more cynical and a little darker and more jaded", adding that Batman has gotten "more exposed to the violence and the criminal element of that world over time."

The film's Batman was influenced by Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, which shows Batman in his 40s. Snyder said, "I definitely wanted an older Batman. I wanted a war-weary Batman. That's why, in a lot of ways, Ben was really perfect for me - we kind of aged him a little bit. It worked really great. I'm really excited about the Batman we created."

Affleck also commented on The Dark Knight Returns influences saying "I think everyone's heavily influenced by that... that's the seminal work. So, I don't think that there's any of these which have been made that haven't drawn from that book because it's so good." On Affleck's casting as Batman, Snyder said "Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry's Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne." Affleck praised Snyder for tackling the impact of the destruction caused in Metropolis in the previous installment, saying "One of the things I liked was Zack's idea of showing accountability and the consequences of violence and seeing that there are real people in those buildings", adding, "And in fact, one of those buildings was Bruce Wayne's building so he knew people who died in that Black Zero event". Brandon Spink portrays a young Bruce Wayne.

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent / Superman

A Metropolis-based Kryptonian survivor and a journalist for the Daily Planet who uses his extraterrestrial abilities to protect humanity. Superman's suit in Batman v Superman is somewhat similar to that in Man of Steel, but with enhanced, high-tech-style surface detail and a shinier, more metallic-looking cape. A quote written in Kryptonian was added into Superman's symbol which says "Where we had thought to stand alone, we will be with all the world".

As to how Superman has embraced his role as a hero since the previous installment, Cavill said "He's more used to this gig, doing his best to save as many lives as he can", further explaining, "He is no longer frantic. He's no longer a wet behind the ears kind of superhero." And as to how Superman views Batman's approach to crime fighting, Cavill said "He doesn't agree with his form of justice. For this farm boy, who tries to do things the right way, justice at any cost is not something he can come to terms with" hoping to use his position as a journalist for the Daily Planet to "show the world what this Batman dude is doing."

The film addresses the destruction caused by Superman and Zod in Metropolis, a part of Man of Steel that was criticized for being too extensive for Superman, to which Snyder responded "I was surprised because that's the thesis of Superman for me, that you can't just have superheroes knock around and have there be no consequences".

On what the public perception of Superman is in the film, Cavill said "In this movie, everyone has split into different directions as to how they feel about this alien", adding, "Some people love him, some hate him. Other people fear him. Is he a tyrant?" When asked how Superman has evolved since Man of Steel, Cavill said "Superman himself isn't that different. He does however have to deal with a new set of problems because he's now been revealed to the world. This film is more about how the world in general – and Batman in particular – sees this alien, and less about the evolution of Superman." Cavill described Superman and Batman as being the "two sides of the same coin. They have the same goal, but use very different methods to achieve it. Understandably, that leads them to clash with one another, and their conflict is a historic moment."

Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman

A 5,000-year-old Amazonian princess and daughter of Zeus who poses as a wealthy entrepreneur. Wonder Woman's suit is made out of chrome-painted polyurethane and she uses her hand wraps and sword harnesses. Gadot described her character as having "many strengths and powers, but at the end of the day she's a woman with a lot of emotional intelligence".

Describing Wonder Woman's compassion, Gadot stated "it's all her heart—that's her strength. I think women are amazing for being able to show what they feel. I admire women who do." On her thoughts on portraying Wonder Woman, Gadot said "You know Wonder Woman, she's amazing. I love everything that she represents and everything that she stands for. She's all about love and compassion and truth and justice and equality and she's a whole lot of woman. For me, it was important that people can relate to her." Describing her role in the film, Gadot said "In this movie you get a glimpse of who Wonder Woman is — she's being introduced into this DC Comics universe. But we were talking about her strengths, her facade, her attitude. Why is she acting the way she is?"

On Wonder Woman's battle scene with Doomsday, Gadot stated "I remember after we did that take, Zack came to me and he said, "Did you just have a smirk?" I said "Yeah." And he asked, "Why? I think I like it, but why?" "Well if he's gonna mess with her, then she's gonna mess with him. And she knows she's gonna win." At the end of the day Wonder Woman is a peace seeker. But when fight arrives, she can fight. She's a warrior and she enjoys the adrenaline of the fight."

Gadot also stated "I don't want people to think she is perfect", further explaining, "She can be naughty." On Gadot's casting as Wonder Woman, Snyder said "Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role." Gadot underwent a diet and training regimen, practiced different martial arts and gained 17 pounds of muscle for the role. Gadot was previously offered the role as Faora Hu-Ul in Man of Steel but refused because she was pregnant at that time; this allowed her to be later cast as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Amy Adams as Lois Lane

A reporter for the Daily Planet and love interest of Clark Kent. About her role, Adams stated that "Lois is still sort of like the key to the information, she's the girl going out and getting it and figuring it out and putting it together and all of that, so she's very much involved." When asked on her thoughts on portraying Lois Lane in the film, Adams replied "I love that she's fearless. I'm not that way so it's really fun that she really is not afraid of the consequences." On Lois Lane and Clark Kent's relationship in the film, Adams said "What's great about this is that, as far as the relationship with Lois and Clark goes, when we meet them you can tell that they've been in a relationship for while", further explaining, "So it was great to get to develop that sort of intimacy and that sort of friendship that I've developed with Henry, to get to bring that to screen." She also described Clark Kent as being Lois Lane's connection to humanity and said "She may have some tunnel vision, but she's got a job, moral standards. [When] we met her before she would do anything to get the story – now Clark has instilled some faith in humanity in her. Her relationship with Clark is the closes thing she has to anything faith-based, you know? Although moving in with Clark brings issues."

Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

An eccentric young businessman and hereditary CEO of LexCorp who is obsessed with defeating Superman. Luthor is usually depicted as bald in the comics while the film's version of Luthor depicts him with hair throughout the majority of the film. When speaking about his portrayal of Luther compared to previous portrayals, Eisenberg sad "When you're doing a movie like this and playing a character that's already been played, the further away it is from those previous incarnations the better", adding, "Because chances are, especially with a guy like Gene Hackman or Kevin Spacey, you're not going to get favorably compared." Eisenberg explained his character's background has a having "a core of reality", saying "[Luthor] has a back story that's tragic and an emotional inner life that's authentic. That's in the movie. It was my interest in playing the character with a real emotional core, and this writer, Chris Terrio's interest in creating a character that seemed viable in reality."

On Luther's behavior and attitude towards Superman, Eisenberg said "He is a narcissist of the first order but complicated in that way as well in that he is terribly troubled and competitive and vengeful. He looks at Superman not as somebody to destroy but as genuine threat to humanity." Eisenberg described his role as Lex Luthor as his most advantageous role yet, saying "In a lot of ways Luthor is more of a stretch than any character you would do in an independent movie, which is normally the place you stretch. So in that way it was not at all compromised. If anything it was the best, most advantageous role I've ever been given. The opportunity to do an interesting character on a movie of that scale is incredibly rare." Eisenberg describes a theme in the film, saying "It raises the question of how one man can have so much power. These are the kind of things that we talk about authoritarian states. They're addressing geopolitics in this movie and not in a way that's pretentious or esoteric"

Diane Lane as Martha Kent

Clark's adoptive mother. On her role as Superman's mother, Lane stated "I always said if I had a son that would be the ultimate test. Raise a good man — there's something noble about that." Lane said she was impressed by Zack Snyder's imagination and said "Who gets offered the opportunity to bring such things to the screen for millions of people? That's tremendous. It's an honor and a burden and I can't imagine shouldering that load." On Martha Kent's support for her son Superman, Lane stated "I think that she's reminding him he does have a choice", further explaining, "He doesn't have to be yoked to this destiny. He can actually feel the pleasure of making the choice."

Laurence Fishburne as Perry White

The editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet and Clark and Lois' boss. When asked about reprising his role in the film, Fishburne said "I was happy to come back to the character. I got really excited when I read it and I saw what was at the center at the movie which was this huge fight between these two titans."

On Perry White's role in the film, Fishburne said "He's dealing with the fact that his medium looks like it's going the way of the dinosaurs so that's a difficult position to be in", adding, the "good news is he's got a great reporter like Lois Lane and a new great reporter like Clark Kent who are interested and hungry to do the job." Describing Perry White's working relationship with Lois Lane, Fisburne added "she's my favorite child and she's my problem child."

Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth

Bruce Wayne's butler, chief of security and trusted confidant. Irons described his take as Alfred Pennyworth as being a "quite a different Alfred than we have seen so far. Zack Snyder had very clear views about what he wanted. I would just say he's more hands-on perhaps than just a butler." When asked what makes his Alfred different then from previous portrayals, Irons said "Zack Snyder, the director, wanted to create a completely different Alfred. So I felt I didn't have to carry any baggage from previous ones. It's sort of a reincarnation if you'd like. I had a feeling I was creating my own Alfred, more of a man who can actually do anything if he has to." Irons further described Alfred as being, "a lot more hands-on in our film than he has previously been", adding, "He's a bit of a grease monkey, and he's very involved in the decisions Bruce makes."

Holly Hunter as June Finch

The United States Junior Senator from Kentucky who heads the political argument on Superman and his actions. Describing her experience on being in the film, Hunter said "It was really fun to be part of a giant, massive piece of machinery, headed up by Zack Snyder, who is thoroughly at home in that uber mega environment. Most people would have a nervous breakdown with that kind of pressure, and he's enthralled." When asked how she got involved in the film, Hunter said "Zack asked me. He came to me with an offer, and I was like, 'Yeah, that would be fun.' It's fun to mix it up. I have scenes with Superman. He looks phenomenal. And to see Ben [Affleck, who plays Batman] and Henry [Cavill, who plays Superman] together is quite formidable." On acting in a superhero film, Hunter stated "Being somebody who's like a theater geek that I am, I can just go right back to Aeschylus and Euripides and Sophocles, they were writing about gods and goddesses versus humans, and how gods could distort pervert or help people get what they want. And so, for me this didn't feel foreign because that was the translation that it went through for me, that was my filter."

On her character's views on Superman, Hunter stated "What is her problem with Superman? That absolute power corrupts absolutely, when power is acting autonomously, unilaterally with no legislation, with no boundaries, with no law, except for the ones that he deems in his own mind, that can be detrimental."

Robin Atkin Downes as Doomsday

A monstrous creature created by Luthor through combining General Zod's DNA with his own with the help of Kryptonian technology. Downes portrayed the character through motion-capture and voice-over work. The role was kept under heavy secrecy that Downes did not knew who he was playing until the second trailer was released. On his role, Downes expressed he was proud to be part of the film and his admiration of helping bring Doomsday to life in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. When asked why Doomsday was chosen to be in the film, Zack Snyder stated "To go up against heroes like Batman and Superman, we wanted to introduce one of the DC Universe's most iconic and powerful villains", further explaining, "He is essentially an unstoppable force. He poses a real threat to the world within the film." Snyder has confirmed Doomsday will return in the DCEU with Snyder stating "Well, you have Doomsday, right? He doesn’t just crawl out of the ground. He has his own mythology, right? So that has to be explored." Downes has previously provided voice roles for various DC animated films and shows as well as DC video games.

Also co-starring in the film are Scoot McNairy as Wallace Keefe, an employee of Wayne Enterprises who is crippled during the destruction of Metropolis and holds Superman responsible, Callan Mulvey as Anatoli Knyazev, a Russian terrorist who works for Luthor and Tao Okamoto (right) as Mercy Graves, Luthors' assistant. Additionally, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan portray Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce Wayne's deceased parents, Patrick Wilson portrays the President of the United States in a voice role, and Michael Cassidy portrays Jimmy Olsen, a CIA agent. Reprising their roles from Man of Steel are Harry Lennix as Secretary Calvin Swanwick, Christina Wren as Major Carrie Farris, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Rebecca Buller as Jenny Jurwich and Carla Gugino returns as the Kryptonian A.I. Kelor. The corpse of General Zod also appears in the film in a crucial role; however, Michael Shannon did not film any scenes for the film and the corpse was created using the physique of fitness model Greg Plitt and a head-shot of Shannon. Mark Edward Taylor portrays Jack O'Dwyer, an executive of Wayne Enterprises.

Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa and Ray Fisher appear as Barry Allen / The Flash, Arthur Curry / Aquaman and Victor Stone / Cyborg respectively in brief appearances, which will lead to their inclusion in the Justice League film. Joe Morton appears as a role as Silas Stone, Victor's father. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy makes a cameo appearance as Senator Purrington, whilst U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow also makes a cameo. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Soledad O'Brien, Anderson Cooper, Nancy Grace and Charlie Rose appear as themselves. Jena Malone was cast as Jenet Klyburn, but her scenes were cut from the theatrical release, along with Man of Steel characters Coburn Goss as Father Leone and Joseph Cranford as Pete Ross; they were restored for the Ultimate Edition home media release. Jon Stewart has a cameo in the extended cut. To further establish the interconnection between the films of the shared universe, Chris Pine appears on Diana Prince's photo as Steve Trevor, as well as Saïd Taghmaoui and Ewen Bremner in undisclosed roles, which they will reprise in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie.

Dawn of Justice is Affleck's second film as a comic book superhero; he played Daredevil in the 2003 film of the same name, and was initially reluctant to accept playing Batman, citing that he felt he didn't fit the traditional mold. But once Zack Snyder showed Affleck the concept, and that it would be both different from the great movies that Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale made, but still in keeping with tradition, he was excited. Affleck previously stated in 2006 that Daredevil had "inoculated [him] from ever playing another superhero". Affleck is one of the few actors to play both Batman and Superman. He played actor George Reeves, who played Superman on television, in the 2006 film Hollywoodland (above right), and though one could nit-pik he wasn't actually Superman, he is in the Superman costume for a few scenes of that movie.

In 1949’s Batman And Robin serial, Robert Lowery starred as Batman. Lowery never played Batman in another movie, but he did make superhero history of a sort in 1956 when he guest-starred on an episode of The Adventures Of Superman. Marking the first time a Batman actor shared screen time with a Superman actor.

A Fun Fact: the two actors also appeared together in their pre-superhero days, in a WWII anti-VD propaganda film called Sex Hygiene.

Snyder cast an older Batman to be a layered juxtaposition against a younger Superman; while "bear[ing] the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain[ing] the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne." Nolan was involved with the casting of Affleck and he was the first actor Snyder approached for the part. The director had also discussed the part with Josh Brolin. Bale admitted he wanted to play Batman again after The Dark Knight Rises, though he stated that his Batman does not belong in any other film and he was never approached by Warner Bros. to play the role again.

On casting Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Snyder offered, "Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions". Bryan Cranston was considered for the role before Eisenberg was cast. Producer Charles Roven revealed that this incarnation of Wonder Woman would use the character's origins in The New 52, wherein the character would be a demigoddess, and the daughter of Zeus. This deviates from the character's original origins, where she was "a clay figure brought to life by the gods". Olga Kurylenko was considered for the role of Wonder Woman before Gadot was cast. Dawn of Justice is Ray Fisher's feature film debut, and the first live-action film to feature Cyborg, whose role will become more significant in future DC Comics films. It is also the live-action theatrical debut of Aquaman.

The casting of Affleck, Gadot, and Eisenberg was criticized. Affleck's casting caused significant backlash from comic book fans, with multiple online petitions demanding his removal from the role; unlike previous Batman actors, he was not considered intimidating enough for the role by the protesters. Via social media, fans criticized Gadot's small frame in contrast to Wonder Woman's warrior-like build in the comics. Responding to this, Gadot stated that she had been participating in various training regimens to achieve a body that stays closer to the source material. Fans also criticized Eisenberg's casting, feeling that the then-30-year-old was too young for the role, and not physically imposing enough.

This initial negitive fan reaction to Affleck and Gadot were similar to the objections raised when Michael Keaton was cast as Batman in Tim Burton's 1989 film and Anne Hathaway was cast as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. Dispite the "freak out" on the internet, upon the film's release, both Affleck and Gadot received considerable praise for their performances, despite the overall negative reception of the film itself.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice probably had one of the most fit cast and crew because they have on-board famed trainer Mark Twight, guy who gave the Spartan soldiers of 300 (2006) their abs and muscular physiques.

Henry Cavill had previously built up his frame for Man of Steel (2013) and since he had kept up with the regimen, he was able to gain even more muscle mass for Batman v Superman. During Cavill’s peak, he was at 100 kilgrams (220 pounds), but he opted not to keep the size for the duration of production.

The day after Ben Affleck was cast as Bruce Wayne / Batman, he started an intense 2-hour a day workout regimen to get ready for the role. The result was a gain of 30 pounds of muscle and cutting down to 8% body fat.

Gal Gadot’s previous experience in the Israeli Defense Forces gave her an edge when preparing for Wonder Woman. Her training regimen for the role included months of Kung Fu, kickboxing, sword fighting, Jujitsu, and an intense bulking diet.




Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition Trailer.




In June 2013, Warner Bros. announced that director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer would return for a Man of Steel sequel, with the studio considering the release for the film in 2015. The following month, Snyder confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con International that the sequel to Man of Steel would feature Superman and Batman meeting for the first time on film. Goyer and Snyder would co-write the story, with Goyer authoring the script, and Christopher Nolan involved in an advisory role as executive producer. According to Snyder, the film would take inspiration from the comic The Dark Knight Returns.

In November 2013, Snyder clarified his film would not be based upon The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel. "If you were going to do that, you would need a different Superman. We’re bringing Batman into the universe that now this Superman lives in." Batman v Superman marks the first appearance of Wonder Woman in a live-action, theatrical film, which Warner Bros. had been developing as far back as 1996. In December 2013, Chris Terrio was hired to rewrite the script, due to Goyer's commitments to other projects. Terrio had previously collaborated with Affleck on Argo.

The film's official title, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, was revealed in May 2014. Snyder stated that having the "v" in the title instead of "vs." was a way "to keep it from being a straight 'versus' movie, even in the most subtle way". Henry Cavill later stated, "I wouldn't call this a Superman sequel... this is Batman versus Superman. It's a separate entity altogether. It's introducing the Batman character and expanding upon the universe, which was kicked off by Man of Steel." Forbes noted that although the film originated as a sequel to Man of Steel, it was "revamped into a backdoor pilot for Justice League and/or an eventual stand-alone Batman movie."

In September 2000 Warner Bros. was developing a live action screen adaptation of Batman Beyond, as well as an adaptation of Frank Miller's 1987 comic book story arc Batman: Year One. There was one draft of the Batman Beyond screenplay and Warner Bros. abandoned the project in favor of Batman: Year One with the intent to to reboot the Batman franchise. Christian Bale was even approached for the role of Batman. Coincidentally, Bale would be cast in the role for Batman Begins. At the same time, Warner Bros. was moving forward on a Catwoman spin-off with Halle Berry (and we all know how that turned out). However, by June 2002, the studio decided to move forward on Batman vs. Superman and abandon Year One.

Warner Bros. had a J. J. Abrams' script for a film titled Superman: Flyby, which had been greenlighted with McG to direct. It was an origin story that included Krypton besieged by a civil war between Jor-El and his corrupt brother, Kata-Zor. When McG dropped out in favor of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Warner Bros. approached Wolfgang Petersen to direct, however, in August 2001, Andrew Kevin Walker pitched Warner Bros. an idea titled Batman vs Superman, attaching Petersen as director. Superman: Flyby was put on hold, and Akiva Goldsman was hired to rewrite Walker's Batman vs. Superman.

Goldsman's draft, dated June 21st, 2002, had Bruce Wayne going through a mental breakdown after his five-year retirement from crime fighting. Dick Grayson, Alfred Pennyworth and Commissioner Gordon are all dead, but Bruce finds some solace in his fiancée, Elizabeth Miller. Meanwhile, Clark Kent is struggling because of a recent divorce from Lois Lane. Clark and Bruce are close friends, and Clark is Bruce's best man. After the Joker kills Elizabeth on their honeymoon, Bruce swears revenge, while Clark tries to hold him back. Bruce blames Clark for her death, and the two go against one another. Ultimately, Lex Luthor is revealed to have masterminded the entire plot to get Batman and Superman to destroy each other. The two decide to team up and stop Luthor. Josh Hartnett was offered the role of Superman.

Filming was to start in early 2003, with plans for a five- to six-month shoot. The release date was set for the summer of 2004. However, Warner Bros. canceled development to focus on individual Superman and Batman projects after Abrams submitted another draft for Superman: Flyby. According to Petersen "[Warner Bros.' chief] Alan Horn was so torn, because it's such a fascinating concept to do a Batman versus Superman film." In the opening scene of I Am Legend, a billboard displays the Superman symbol within the Batman symbol in Times Square. It is meant as an in-joke by the film's writer, Akiva Goldsman, who also wrote the script for Batman vs. Superman.

Michael Wilkinson reprised his duties as costume designer. He updated the Superman suit from Man of Steel so that it "feels fresh and right for this installment of Zack Snyder's comic-book universe". The first Batsuit featured in the film is influenced by The Dark Knight Returns; unlike the suits seen in previous live-action Batman films, it is made of cloth instead of armor and is a cast of the physique of fitness model Rossano Rea. An image of the Wonder Woman costume was revealed at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con, in which the costume desaturates the red, blue, and gold colors that make up the costume of most versions of the character.

A second Batsuit was also unveiled at Comic-Con, and unlike the first, it is armored. Aquaman's look in this film shows him "tattooed in Maori-like patterns", and wearing a suit "decked out in shades of gold, black and silver armor". According to the Warner Bros. Studios lot, the next generation Batmobile combined inspiration from both the sleek, streamlined design of classic Batmobiles and the high-suspension, military build from the more recent Tumbler from the The Dark Knight Trilogy. Designed by production designer Patrick Tatopoulos, the Batmobile is about 20 feet long and 12 feet wide. Must be hard to find a parking spot.

In September 2013, Larry Fong joined the crew as cinematographer, having previously worked with Zack Snyder on 300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch. Initial filming commenced on October 19th, 2013, at East Los Angeles College, to shoot an American football game between Gotham City University and rival Metropolis State University. At the end of the month, construction began on the Kent farm seen in Man of Steel for the film. Principal photography involving the main cast of the film began on May 19th, 2014, in Detroit, Michigan, with scenes featuring Gal Gadot as Diana Prince being filmed early on May 16th.

Additional filming began in Chicago, Illinois in November 2014. Other locations included the Michigan Motion Picture Studios, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, Yorkville, Illinois, and New Mexico. Sequences of the film, including a scene depicting the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents, were filmed using IMAX cameras. The planned shoot in Morocco was shifted to New Mexico due to incidents related to the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Principal photography wrapped on December 5th, 2014.

Hans Zimmer composed the film score, emphasizing a challenge to not reuse the themes he established with the Batman character from Christopher Nolan's trilogy. Junkie XL, who provided additional music in Man of Steel, also returned for this film, helping to compose the theme for Batman. Originally, Zimmer enlisted Junkie XL to compose the Batman material, with Zimmer planning to focus solely on the Superman side of the score, but the final Batman theme was written by both composers as a collaboration. Zimmer noted that he had significant trouble in finding a new angle from which to tell the story and after the release of the film, Zimmer announced that he would retired from superhero films. The soundtrack album of the film was released on March 18th, 2016 by WaterTower Music.

An estimated $165 million marketing effort helped promote Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. At the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International, Snyder introduced the film's first footage intended to be exclusive to the event. A teaser trailer was scheduled to be screened in selected cinemas on April 20th, 2015. However, on April 16th, the trailer leaked online, and within a few hours Snyder officially released the trailer to Twitter. At the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International, Snyder and the cast attended to present an initial trailer of the film. The trailer was, unlike the teaser, which received mixed response, positively received by attendees, who gave the trailer a standing ovation. Mark Hughes of Forbes said the trailers "both set the stage for a story about the world’s distrust and fear of Superman, Batman’s rage at Superman and intention to duke it out with the Man of Steel, and Wonder Woman’s participation in a big fight featuring the 'Trinity.'"

Warner Bros. Consumer Products partnered-up with a wide slate of global licensees for a broad, multi-category licensing and merchandising program, including Mattel, Lego, Rubies, Funko, Thinkway Toys, Hot Toys, Junkfood, Bioworld, Pez, Seiko, Converse and among many other licensees to sell merchandise related to the film. (Check out our Big Store for Batman v Superman collectables and toys).

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was also a licensee for the film, offering a special edition Jeep Renegade in exchange for a near-exclusive product placement deal; aside from Bruce Wayne's Aston Martin, all vehicles in the film were either from Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, or Iveco. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Cross Fire, an original companion novel tied to the film, telling a tie-in story set before the events of the movie, was published by Scholastic Corporation.

A five-issue comic-book prelude exploring what happened in the weeks and months leading up to the events of the film was released as a tie-in with Dr Pepper's character-branded bottles. Also, there are a series of four minicomics found in Batman v Superman-branded General Mills cereals. Additionally, those who purchased Batman v Superman-themed Doritos Family Fun Mix at Walmart received the comic book prequel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Upstairs/Downstairs. Rocksteady Studios released a downloadable content for the video game Batman: Arkham Knight that featured the Batmobile and Batsuit from the film.

The third trailer debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on December 3rd, 2015. It received positive responses, with Scott Mendelson of Forbes calling the trailer a "Saturday morning cartoon nerd’s wildest dreams." Molly Driscoll of CS Monitor stated that it looks like the film "will continue the trend of adapting comic book stories as timely tales." Graeme McMillan of The Hollywood Reporter noted that based on the trailer's content, the film might be the anti-Civil War, referring to Marvel's Captain America: Civil War as "Superman and Batman complete the comic book trope by overcoming their differences to fight a common foe, alongside a third hero, who saves them both — that feels the most fresh, especially in light of the Civil War trailer. While that ended with a showdown between three heroes, this trailer moves beyond that to show three heroes standing united."

Warner Bros. did not buy a Super Bowl 50 commercial; instead, they worked with Turkish Airlines to put together a pair of Batman v Superman-themed airline commercials (above). McMillan of The Hollywood Reporter stated that the spots "inform interested parties about the culture, geography and history of Batman and Superman's individual stomping grounds, each one filled with Easter eggs for the comic book faithful and newcomer alike." Jesse Eisenberg's part as Lex Luthor in these commercials was praised, as Dirk Libbey of CinemaBlend noted that "he matches up well with Bruce Wayne by playing the welcoming billionaire business man. It's a far cry from the somewhat cartoonish villain we’ve seen in the clips from the film."

The final trailer was released to the public on February 11th, 2016, which was described as "intense" by Kwame Opam of The Verge. Mendelson of Forbes felt that Warner Bros. "probably wouldn’t have even dropped this one had the prior trailer back in December been received better. So now we have this fourth and final sell, and at least they are going out on a high note." Jonathon Dornbush of Entertainment Weekly said that the footage "works to establish Batman as his own independent crime fighting force, while also providing a deeper look at his existential struggle against Superman."

In February 2016, Warner Bros. and Doritos formed a partnership, creating a website offering fans the opportunity to enter codes found on Doritos purchases branded with the film's logo, and enter to win movie tickets, tech toys, and a trip the premiere in New York City. Warner Bros also partnered with Omaze to give fans who donated a chance to win "The Ultimate Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Experience", while benefiting three nonprofit organizations nominated by Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Jesse Eisenberg. "The Ultimate Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Experience" offered a fan and their friend the chance to win tickets to the premiere of the film, as well as fly on a helicopter with Cavill or ride in the Batmobile with Affleck. Hendrick Motorsports drivers Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. drove cars based on Superman and Batman respectively, at Auto Club Speedway on March 20th, 2016. A tie-in endless runner video game to the film, entitled Batman vs Superman – Who Will Win?, debuted March 16th, 2016, released by Warner Bros. International Enterprises.

In January 2014, Warner Bros. announced that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was delayed from its original release date of July 17th, 2015, and moved to May 6th, 2016, in order to give the filmmakers "time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story." The release date was moved once again in August 2014 from May 6th, 2016, to March 25, 2016, with a Warner Bros. insider saying the studio was "not flinching" in regards to the previous opening date being on the same day as Marvel Studios' Captain America: Civil War, but instead stating that March 2016 was a "fantastic corridor" for them. According to sources obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. considered the possibility of having a 70mm release for the film, which was partially shot in the 65mm IMAX format.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered at Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City on March 19th, 2016, followed by a New York City premiere on March 20th at Radio City Music Hall. Following the Brussels attacks, Warner Bros. originally cancelled the red carpet of the London premiere, but decided to carry on with the premiere for the fans. The film was released in the United States and the United Kingdom on March 25th in 3D. It opened simultaneously in North America, China and Japan, the world's three largest film markets, as well as additional international territories, with the exception of Poland, where theaters do not open on Good Friday. The film debuted simultaneously across 30,000 screens in nearly every major foreign territory across 61 markets, including China, with domestic open across roughly 4,242 locations of which 3,500 theaters (85%) were in 3D, 390 IMAX screens, 470 PLF locations, 150 D-Box theaters and ten 70 mm prints.

The film grossed $166 million in North America in its opening weekend, the eighth biggest opening of all-time, ahead of The Dark Knight Rises' $160.9 million. The film had a worldwide opening of $422.5 million, which stands as the second biggest for Warner Bros. and the fourth biggest of all-time. It became the fourth film to have a global opening above $400 million. It also had an IMAX worldwide opening weekend total of $36 million from 945 IMAX screens, the third biggest ever, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($48 million) and Jurassic World ($44 million). However, both inside and outside of the United States, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice experienced a notable poor Friday-to-Sunday hold and set a new record for the worst Friday-to-Sunday drop for a superhero movie release in modern box office history with a 58% decline, which was previously held by Fantastic Four.

In its second weekend, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice experienced a "historic" box-office drop, with a 81.2% decline on Friday that was "one of the biggest Friday-to-Friday drops any blockbuster has ever seen", and an overall "68.4%" drop for the weekend despite not "facing any big competition at the box office", making it the second largest decline for a marquee superhero title, behind only 2003's Hulk. Brad Brevet, writing for Box Office Mojo, reported that "it appeared Batman v Superman was looking at a drop anywhere from 58–68% and it ended up settling in on the wrong side of those expectations." Scott Mendelson, writing for Forbes, said "Whether or not the movie is any good, and whether or not audiences respond to the picture, is best measured by the second and third weekends... Yes, we’re still talking about a $15.35 million second Friday and a $50m+ second weekend, but in terms of legs, this film sadly doesn’t seem to have any." Continuing this trend, in its third weekend, the film dropped by 54.3% in which Brad Brevet concluded in a follow-up for Box Office Mojo that "the legs on this one are proving quite short."

In the weeks leading up to the film's release, advance ticket sales outpaced The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, and Furious 7. Worldwide, it was estimated to gross between $300–340 million in over 35,000 screens in its opening weekend. It passed the $50 million mark in IMAX ticket sales on its second weekend, grossing a total of $53.4 million from 571 IMAX screens. Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief Jeff Goldstein described the film's box office performance as a "fantastic result, by any measure." Box office analyst Jeff Bock said "Still, outside of Christopher Nolan's two Dark Knight movies, and Tim Burton's Batman films when you adjust for inflation, this is the highest-grossing property in DC's bullpen thus far. It tops Man of Steel by more than $200 million," and that "overall, BvS successfully relaunched DC's cinematic universe, but they are nowhere near Disney/Marvel in terms of critical reception and box office prowess. One can only hope that bigger and better is still on the way." The film needed to reach $800 million in revenue at the box office to "recoup its investment" according to financial analysts. Despite surpassing this amount, it was considered "a disappointment" for failing to reach $1 billion, resulting in a May 2016 announcement by Warner Bros creating DC Films, a dedicated executive team responsibility for films based on DC Comics, similar to the dedicated Marvel Comics focus of Marvel Films within the larger Walt Disney Studios group. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice grossed $330.4 million in North America and $542.3 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $872.7 million, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2016 behind Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia and The Jungle Book.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice received generally negative reviews. But a survey showed that the introduction of Wonder Woman was a primary draw for moviegoers. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 27% approval from critics but the aduience score was 65%. Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average to critic reviews, gave the film an average score of 44 out of 100, based on 51 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.

BBC News reported that, "the film had been widely praised by fans after its first screening in New York last week. But critics have not been so positive about the long-awaited movie."

Cynthia Fuchs of PopMatters said, "As you’re watching this movie, you might also contemplate your own part, in being swayed into consuming so much of what you’ve consumed before." Adding, "Wonder Woman’s remains Batman v Superman‘s most compelling story, precisely because it’s untold." Michael Philips of Chicago Tribune wrote, "A near-total drag, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice plays like a loose, unofficial quarter-billion-dollar remake of The Odd Couple, in which Oscar and Felix are literally trying to kill each other."

On his podcast Hollywood Babble-On, film director Kevin Smith, a long-time friend and collaborator of Affleck, praised Affleck's performance but panned the film, commenting that it "didn't really have a heart" and was "humorless", arguing that "there seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of what those characters are about. It's almost like Zack Snyder didn’t read a bunch of comics, he read one comic once, and it was [The] Dark Knight Returns, and his favourite part was the last part where Batman and Superman fight." On a second viewing, however, Smith via his Instagram lightened his stance.

Jeremy Irons expressed displeasure with the film, feeling it was "deservedly so" savaged by critics and calling the feature "very muddled" while expressing hope that the forthcoming Justice League (2017) would be better due to its story being "...a lot smaller, it's more linear".

Conversely, David Betancourt of The Washington Post and Scott Mendelson of Forbes praised the film's visual spectacle and the performances of Affleck, Gadot, Irons and Hunter. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called the film "better than Man of Steel but below the high bar set by Nolan's Dark Knight, adding that "Dawn of Justice is still a colossus, the stuff that DC Comics dreams are made of for that kid in all of us who yearns to see Batman and Superman suit up and go in for the kill."

Jake Coyle of Associated Press wrote, "it hurtles not with the kinetic momentum of Mad Max: Fury Road nor the comparatively spry skip of a Marvel movie, but with an operatic grandeur it sometimes earns and often doesn't." Mark Hughes of Forbes called it "the follow-up to The Dark Knight that many viewers and fans wanted or hoped for", adding that it's "visually stunning, with powerful emotional storytelling and awe-inspiring action spectacle." Andrew Barker of Variety said "as a pure visual spectacle... Batman V Superman ably blows the hinges off the multiplex doors."

Charles Koplinski of the Illinois Times called it "a brooding, but most importantly intelligent take on the seminal figures of our 20th century pop culture mythology, a movie that at once pays tribute to these characters' roots while offering up modern incarnations of them that ring true for our times." Nicolas Barber of the BBC called the film "a four-star epic" praising Affleck's performance as Batman and the visual grandeur of Fong's cinematography. Jordan Hoffman of The Guardian gave an ambivalent review; he especially criticized the "very bad writing", but conceded "there are a lot of moments... that work" and praised Affleck and Gadot's performances, calling Gadot as Wonder Woman the best thing in the film.

The film received multiple 2016 Teen Choice Awards nominations, including Cavill, Affleck, and Adams for "Choice Movie Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy" and "Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy", along with "Choice Movie: Sci-Fi/Fantasy". Gadot was nominated for "Choice Movie Scene Stealer", with Eisenberg nominated for "Choice Movie Villain", and Cavil and Adams receiving one for "Choice Movie Liplock".

An extended cut of the film dubbed the Ultimate Edition was released on home media platforms, alongside the theatrical cut. This version received an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America, for more violence than the PG-13 rated theatrical cut, and is longer by 30 minutes. The film debuted in first place on the home video sales chart for the week ending July 24th, 2016. With the release of the "Ultimate Cut", which was the director's original version of the film before additional editing, critics noted that the film would have likely been better received with the additional footage. Ben Kendrick of Screen Rant stated that while it was more "intelligible", character portrayal was not "fundamentally changed" and "for viewers who didn’t like Man of Steel or Batman V Superman for larger reasons, such as tone, approach, and the darker characterization of DC’s most iconic heroes, the Ultimate Edition is only a longer ... version of a film that ... is likely to remain divisive, even if the final product is a better film."

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