The Avengers changed the way we think about movie franchises by creating a crossover film on a massive scale. Warner Bros. has decided to rush the model and already moved to Justice League 0.5 with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s an odd film because it directly follows the events of Man of Steel, but it’s clearly trying to set up the events of Justice League. So what kind of movie is it?
According to star Henry Cavill, it’s not a Superman sequel. “I wouldn’t call this a Superman sequel,” Cavill told MTV while promoting his spy drama “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. “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.’”
Cavill is landing on the side that this is a Justice League prequel, which is interesting. The events of Batman v Superman can’t happen without Man of Steel, so how is it not a sequel? Yes, the events of The Avengers can’t happen without the previous Marvel movies, but that’s from multiple films. Our language of “sequels” and “prequels” is getting bent out of sorts.
“Everything could change in the editing room,” Cavill noted, “but as it stands, it’s an introduction of the character, and ultimately, the introduction of Justice League.”
If that’s the case, I’m a little bummed, although I was a little disappointed once Batman started butting his pointy little ears into the next Superman film. While Man of Steel didn’t really hold up for me, I felt that there was at least room for Superman to grow into a better character. The introduction of Batman felt like a panic move from Warner Bros. after Man of Steel failed to clear $300 million domestically.
While I’m inclined to believe Cavill on the film’s direction (he was on the set slightly more than I was), I’m hoping that Batman v Superman will be more about Superman’s journey and the fallout from Man of Steel rather than piling on more Batman and clearing a path for Justice League.