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.
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.
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.