How to Make a World’s Finest Movie Work

With Warner Bros. announcing a Superman/Batman movie at Comic-Con, Anthony Stokes provides a few suggestions on how a World’s Finest movie could work…

Out of Brilliance or Sheer Desperation

In a move of either brilliance or sheer desperation, Warner Bros. has announced a Superman/Batman team up movie – and with Warner Bros., it’s probably the latter. However, this is a smart move on Warner Bros. part – they must’ve read my article How to Make a Justice League Movie Work and done right this could be a winner.  But that’s the key isn’t it. If done right everyone will love it and it will easily make an outrageous amount of money. If done poorly it will still make a lot of money, but will lack the word of mouth and repeat viewings required to make it the hit they really want. Since Warner Bros. made a bold choice, I will reward them with a few ways to make a good World’s Finest movie…

Do Not Reboot Batman

You do not need to completely reboot Batman.  Pull an Incredible Hulk and just pretend the last movies kind of never happened.  And do an original take on The Dark Knight. Have Bruce Wayne be a borderline sociopath who may or may not be mentally stable.  This will provide a foil for Superman’s naivety and sincerity.  Also, they have to make Batman stronger and more competent so it makes sense that Superman needs his help.  Get rid of the realistic aspects and go for the more fantastical elements so that he’ll still be an anchor for the movie, but so it’s believable he’d be in the same movie as Superman.

Power Down Superman

It’s clear that a Superman/Batman crossover wasn’t the studio’s original intention due to the fact that a smart filmmaker or studio would have powered the Man of Steel down so that he could fit into a shared universe. Instead, they went in quite the opposite direction and made him The Hulk on Bath Salts.  In order to make this movie work Batman needs to be in the same league as Superman. Batman needs to at least pose a threat to Superman at one point or another. And aside from that, a big problem with Man of Steel for a lot of people was the fact that the fight scenes basically had no consequences.  When two guys fight who are basically invincible until the plot demands it, it’s hard to make it interesting.  That’s why X-Men Origins: Wolverine stunk and why The Wolverine has taken steps to fix this dilemma.  In The Avengers the tension comes not from whether The Hulk gets hurt, but if he hurts those around him , which is why his character was considered a highlight.  Have Batman create something that limits Superman’s powers or tell him to hold back to avoid killing another couple of thousand people.  There’s a million ways around this issue if they consider it before making the movie.

Make It a Direct Sequel to Man of Steel

One of the problems I had with Man of Steel was the fact that essentially there is no follow through with the apocalyptic scenes of carnage and destruction on a level that’s been estimated as 9/11 several times over.  A lot of people have been saying it has been held back for a sequel, which I absolutely don’t buy. But, since the opportunity has presented itself, make it a follow up to Man of Steel.  The script essentially writes itself.  Have Bruce Wayne track down Superman and talk to him about how much destruction he’s caused and how many people he’s killed and have them rebuild the city.  This should be Man of Steel 2 featuring Batman since Man of Steel laid down the foundation for the rest of the shared DC Universe.

Build the DC Universe

I can appreciate the fact that Man of Steel didn’t turn into Iron Man 2 with countless references to the Justice League. There were some very subtle moments of references to LexCorp and Wayne Industries, but they certainly fit in the context of the story.  Now that we have a sequel which is basically all about fan service, this is time to set up future solo DC movies.  Wonder Woman should definitely be next in line for a solo movie, along with one more Batman movie to set up the primary line up, establishing the characters and further laying down the foundation for a Justice League movie.  And please no Stingers.

Get a New Creative Team

This is more of a personal point, but I really don’t want Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer involved on a significant level.  Goyer is great with coming up with stories. He should be the “Story By” guy and Zack Snyder should do the catering while Warner Bros. brings in somebody new.  The writer should be somebody who knows how to build mythologies and understands the characters and their dynamics, and the director someone who knows how to make fun movies with a lot of heart.  Warner Bros. is going to need some more go to DC directors eventually anyway, so why not bring in someone who can take the mantle while being guided by Snyder and Goyer?  It worked for X-Men: First Class, it sorta worked for the Evil Dead remake, and Kick-Ass 2 certainly looks promising. Warner Bros. needs to learn how to take well thought-out, calculated risks if they’re ever going to catch up to Marvel.

Warner Bros. and DC have obviously been listening to the backlash from the fans, which I commend them for. Now all they need to do is make a good movie. This is a great way of continuing the Batman franchise while also bringing more people around to Superman and the idea of a Justice League movie.  The ball is in Warner Bros. and DC’s court and let’s hope they hit a home run for the fans’ sake.

What are your thoughts on the Superman/Batman movie? Let us know in the comments below…

Anthony Stokes is a blogger and independent filmmaker.