Warner Bros. Pushes ‘Batman vs. Superman’ Back 10 Months to ‘Fully Realize Vision’

Warner Bros. Pushes 'Batman vs. Superman' Back 10 Months to 'Fully Realize Vision'

The move sets up an intriguing potential showdown between the rival megafranchises next May

July 17, 2015 was the date fans of the Batman movies deserved, but not the one that Warner Bros. needs right now.

The studio has pushed back the release of its untitled “Batman vs. Superman” film to May 6, 2016 — a delay of nearly 10 months — to “allow the filmmakers time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story,” the studio told TheWrap on Friday.

The move is an interesting piece of the Marvel/Disney Warner Bros./DC rivalry for a couple of reasons: It takes Warners’ team-up of Ben Affleck's Batman and Henry Cavill's Superman out of the same summer as “Avengers: Age of Ultron” — and puts it squarely in the early-May zone that Marvel has owned since the gangbusters launch of “Iron Man” in 2008.

In fact, Marvel had an as-yet-unveiled film set on that date — is it Doctor Strange? Black Panther? Iron Man 4? — setting up a who-blinks-first showdown in the megafranchises’ rivalry that Marvel has been dominating, at least in terms of speed and ease of development, for nearly six years now.

Also read: Ben Affleck’s Batman Casting Bolsters Warner Bros. Relationship – Despite Jeff Robinov Exit

Warner Bros. says its date-change follows “the shift of the start of production to second quarter of this year.” The film was initially to begin shooting in Spring, and had already picked up some B-roll at a junior-college football game late last year.

The studio offered no further details on the reason for its move, which is all the more puzzling coming on the heels of announcing that “Fast & Furious” star Gal Gadot would be joining the cast to play Wonder Woman — another piece of the puzzle in the Justice League film that Warners/DC is itching to get off the ground asap.

Now that “Avengers”-style team-up supermovie is likely another year off, too.

Also read: ‘Fast & Furious’ Actress Gal Gadot Cast as Wonder Woman in ‘Batman vs. Superman’

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. wasn't about to let the plum summer 2015 date go unoccupied: In the same stroke, the studio moved its as-yet-untitled Peter Pan movie, directed by Joe Wright, into the July 17 slot.

“We are happy to take advantage of these coveted summer dates, which are perfect for two of our biggest tentpole releases,” distribution president Dan Fellman said. “We share the fans’ excitement to see DC Comics’ most popular figures, Superman and Batman, together on the big screen for the first time, which will now be arriving in theatres in May 2016. Peter Pan has delighted people of every generation for more than a century, so we are thrilled to bring him back to the screen next summer for today’s moviegoers.”

Press release below …

BURBANK, CA – January 17, 2014 – Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that the release of Zack Snyder’s untitled Superman/Batman film has been moved to May 6, 2016, allowing the filmmakers time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story. The decision was made following the shift of the start of production to second quarter of this year. The Studio has also set a July 17, 2015, worldwide release date for its as-yet-untitled all-new Peter Pan adventure. Joe Wright will direct the epic live-action film about the boy who would never grow up, created by J.M. Barrie. The dual date announcement was made by Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President, International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

In making the announcement, Fellman stated, “We are happy to take advantage of these coveted summer dates, which are perfect for two of our biggest tentpole releases. We share the fans’ excitement to see DC Comics’ most popular figures, Superman and Batman, together on the big screen for the first time, which will now be arriving in theatres in May 2016. Peter Pan has delighted people of every generation for more than a century, so we are thrilled to bring him back to the screen next summer for today’s moviegoers.”

Kwan Vandenberg added, “We know that there is already great anticipation building for the next Super Hero film from Zack Snyder, and we are equally eager to see what he has in store for Superman and Batman as they share the big screen for the first time ever. The summer release corridor is also perfect for Joe Wright’s ambitious new Peter Pan adventure, reimagining the ageless story of the beloved and forever-young hero for audiences worldwide.”

Zack Snyder’s Superman/Batman film stars Henry Cavill, reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent, and Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne. The film will also reunite “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane, and also stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.

Snyder will direct the film from a screenplay written by David S. Goyer, from a story co-created by Goyer and Snyder. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan and Wesley Coller serving as executive producers.

The film is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Batman characters created by Bob Kane, and Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, published by DC Entertainment.

The new Peter Pan adventure will be directed by Joe Wright from a screenplay by Jason Fuchs, incorporating J.M. Barrie’s classic characters. The film is being produced by Greg Berlanti and Paul Webster.

  • Alex Pelton

    They wonder why Marvel is beating the crap out of them. This just plain sucks.

    • Joe Riley

      Umm, that fact has nothing to do with release dates, and instead is more related to the fact the Marvel's universe of characters has always been richer and deeper than DC's.

      That said; good for WB. A wisely unexpected “wait for the creative to catch up with the business-side” move in a day and age when it's usually the opposite!

      • Derek Evans

        Is that why most if them are rip offs of DC characters?

    • Jack Bauer

      Yes Marvel had a better plan from day one and gave much more thought to their universe. Where as DC just relied on the greatness of Nolans Batman films not seeming to realize that they wouldn't last forever. So ya in terms of the entire universe of movies Marvel is way ahead, but I like the way DC is doing this. They cant just copy exactly what Marvel did leading up to the Avengers. If they do the Batman Superman in 2016 and introduce Wonder Woman and Flash and follow it with Justice League in 2017 I think most DC fans will be happy.

  • Josh White

    This is bad because we have to wait, it's good because it gives them more time to get the film they want just right, and to plan the rest of the DCCU

  • RobinsWorld

    I was hoping they finally realized Affleck is the absolute worse choice for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman and needed time to find a more suitable and believable actor to put on the cowl. Oh well…

  • CCEkeke

    Proving once again that DC does not have a solid plan in place to expand their cinematic universe. Now there will be three years between the release of Man of Steel (2013) and Man of Steel 2 (aka Batman vs Superman aka Justice League in 2016). Marvel had a plan in place the moment they released the first Iron Man, and has had no more than two years between their film releases. As much as I want to see DC's characters on screen other than Batman and Superman, its clear that this is all heading toward choke-ville for DC/Warners.

    • Bridge Troll

      “Now there will be three years between the release of Man of Steel (2013) and Man of Steel 2 (aka Batman vs Superman aka Justice League in 2016).”
      As there was between Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3 and there will be between Marvel's Avengers and Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Point?
      “Marvel had a plan in place the moment they released the first Iron Man, and has had no more than two years between their film releases.”
      Do you mean no more than two years between all Marvel movies or Marvel movie sequels? If you mean the former, the comparison makes no sense. If you mean the latter, see my comment above.

      • CCEkeke

        I'm referring to the space of time between all Marvel releases, not just the individual movie franchises (Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, etc). Now, taking Marvel out of the conversation, if the Superman reboot was a standalone franchise like the Dark Knight Trilogy, then three years between each film would be acceptable. But since Man of Steel is the foundation of DC's Cinematic Universe (by Warners/DC's own admission), and we have no clue of any further film releases beyond Batman vs Superman, then three years is a long time in the eyes of the public consciousness. The lack of a release schedule does nothing to further the capital that Man of Steel was supposed to establish and exposes a lack of faith in any DC character outside of Superman and Batman.

  • mlauzon

    To me, it's Bad Thing(tm) when studios push something back that long!

  • Derek Evans

    Fans of the Batman movies??? I thought this was a Superman movie that featured Batman….what about us fans of the Superman movies??? Way to be biased there Josh

    • Jack Bauer

      Lets be honest Superman may be the most well known superhero but we just got removed from the greatest trilogy in the history of the genre that elevated Batman to a whole new level. Superman does not have the same fanbase as it once did plus Man of Steel was not all that great.

  • Mike Hunt

    They have no faith in 2 hugely established characters. Fuck WB

  • soupherman

    I hope the delay is due to Chris Terrio taking the time to rework the lazy exposition, awful dialogue, dull character tropes and questionable character motivations that made the first movie such a disappointment. If the wait means a better movie, I'm all for it. And Affleck is the least of my worries, it's not acting that failed Man of Steel or even the direction, it was the terrible writing, particularly in the third act.

  • trusake

    or they could just NOT release it.

  • jake

    You guys complain because you thought they were rushing into it, now you complain because they aren't? I was disappointed too when I saw they moved it up a year but it is much better than them rushing it.

  • kel

    Time has no factor. The dark knight took 3 years to come out and The Dark knight rises took 4 years. Both of which were very anticipated and had huge openings and did very well in box office.

    The thing that DC is doing is taking their time to do things right.
    Marvel has had there share of crap.
    The hulk movies were horrible. Toby Mcguire Spidermans were awful (especially the third) Iron man 2 wasn't very good neither was IM 3. And dint get me sstarted on Thor. They had week scrips. The Avengers is taking a long time as well. Captain America isn't out yet either.

    The story has to be thought of first. Then the script written. It takes time with any comic book movie