Now that I have written my editorials on Batfleck and on Man of Steel, I can move on with my “Minor Vision of the Future…” series with the Batman vs. Superman crossover film. I'll be writing other editorials in this series, for many films we all speculate on here and in many countless other websites all over the internet.
TL;DR Version: WB/DC should have announced Batman at the end of MoS
First off, let me start with a nitpicky gripe. I know it's nitpicky, and nothing can be done about it; but this is something that WB/DC is failing on that Marvel is doing supremely better. WB/DC should take notice and (really) start to implement connecting, what little they have, together for the sake of any hopes of actually creating a cinematic universe.
I think the announcement of this film in Comic-Con was cool; But, yes the but, essentially was very short sighted in how the announcement could have been handled. The ending of Man of Steel should have been the tie-in for its own sequel, especially a sequel of this magnitude. There is a similar tie-in, at the end of Batman Begins connecting the Joker as the new villain for The Dark Knight sequel. Why not capitalize on the same concept and do it again to ignite your audience (one last time) before they leave the theaters? A missed opportunity, or simply DC was yet again unprepared to do so.
This is what should have been done here in this scene. Eliminate the stupid drone, have Superman asked to meet the president in the White House. Have an Obama-like POTUS ask him to look into a new masked vigilante, and make an off-color comment about other "vigilante" characters running around taking the law into their own hands. Have POTUS explain how he government (seemingly) is unable to stop them because of how powerful these unknowns are. Maybe even mention something like, "...Now there's some crazy amazonian type as powerful as you Superman" and show him a surveillance photo of Batman whooping ass in a blurry Sasquatch-fashion photo. No face needs to be seen, perhaps a flourishing of the cape into a bat-like image of terrific proportions. Thus eliminating the need to see this scene in the new film.
TL;DR Version: Give Superman screen time to be old school again.
Man of Steel was an excellent popcorn flick; admittedly, as a Comic book film, (arguably) is based on one of the most iconic and ideological superheroes ever created. Superman had an extreme departure from his usual psychological bag of behaviors. I hope to see a slight return to the old school Superman, to some degree. I don't expect a full 180 about face from the variation that was created by Snyder, that's counterproductive, and I certainly hope he is not watered down simply to incorporate the addition of Batman.
I do hope to see him become more functionally aware of his near God-like power as far as people and cities are concerned. I want to see him do his "Bugs Bunny", playing baseball, superhero routine throughout the world; accomplishing herculean tasks. Some of which was generally missing in Man of Steel. I want Superman to have a return to renaissance. To present himself with the same super-powered hope he usually conveys; prior to the meta-story in the film taking place, (or as it takes place) and weave it in carefully, without sacrificing time to accomplish this aspect of his story.
Something that we definitely need some form of in this film, is a montage of events that are globally taking place where we can establish Superman's near omnipresence with his heroics. He needs to be able to relatively handle almost everything going on in the world. As if he needs no help from outsiders. Not that he wouldn't be willing to take help, but he should embody the concepts of a seasoned, upright, and responsible hero that wouldn't condone someone else trying to do the same thing; when he can do the work (easily), and have virtually no risk involved. It's an unspoken tedium, but he takes it all on, for the sake of keeping everyone safe.
Consider the scene in Nolan’s Dark Knight where Batman chastises the fake Batmen; he doesn’t want their potential deaths on his conscience, "What gives you the right! What's so different between you and me!?" to his ratchety and throaty response "I'm not wearing hockey pads." Superman should be functioning in the same manner, but more so "bigger than life", a near gaudy goody two-shoes. Someone that would probably make Batman cringe, from his super-heroics (you didn't get that? Because Batman isn't impressed with Superman, he's a honey badger). The Nolan Universe Batman in two of his films seemed to want a way out of the cape and cowl. I want this Batman to parallel Superman as his counterpart, and be as obsessed with his work, completely unflinching. Especially in his distrust for a (nearly) invincible alien he's trying to figure out. If Superman were to ever lose control and turn on the people, Batman wants to have a contingency; especially in the wake of the destruction he was party to causing from battling the Kryptonians.
TL;DR Learn your Lenses Snyder! Better Yet, get a proper cinematographer!
I tend to love Snyder as a director, and look at a few of his films as pieces I would love to learn from, in terms of film-making for me to hone my skills. My part-time day player work i'm an Associate Producer for Univision, MTV, Zancada Productions, and Metro Life Ministries. While all film is collaborative, the director has a lot of control over his film and what he feels will work from the script in his/her vision. Snyder is just one example of someone I would love to draw inspiration from.
Let me give you an extremely oversimplified look at this type of work...
Directors use Cinematographers and or "DP's", Directors of Photography (which often times are both the same person), to generalize a concept for filming a storyboard that the Director had already created with a Storyboard Artist and (usually) a Writer or team of writers (possibly also the Showrunner(s) used for TV), or a Screenwriter adapting a work based on something else, to setup up a general idea of what he wants to shoot; what he wants to see on screen.
From here, shot lists are created, and placed into setups for a Production Design crew to build or prep a location, or set, based originally on concept art (usually). The Associate Producer (someone like me) makes sure the director has everything he needs on this particular set for principal photography to begin; by coordinating a variety of crews and equipment to accomplish the goals of the shot list for that day, based on the budgets allocated. Including working with a crew for audio (usually part of Sound and Lighting). The director uses all that is setup according to what the shots require to film. The cinematographer/DP makes sure the shots are framed properly for the director to get his exact takes (roll inventory). The cinematographer/DP will also work with another type of director (or tech) for the lighting to be accurate and then makes sure the lenses the director wants (in these shots) are setup based on how the shots appear on the storyboard. A lot of times a Director is monitoring everything from his own screen through a specific camera.
Once a take is filmed and everything is reset to do it again; it's all done a few times to discern the best takes, and dailies are created that go off to people given oversight authority. Producers, the studios, writers, etc.
Here's the kicker, some directors have no clue what lenses they have available to them, let alone know them all (object word, "All"). Kevin Smith is someone that admittedly has no idea about his lenses, or most camera's for that matter. Only the most hands on directors, that not only have a vision, but are constantly, behind the camera's (themselves) follow the tech; and that itself is daunting. Usually a lot of directors rely on their cinematographer/DP's to keep them in check for the exact look desired in the film, latest tech, or specific techniques for desired effect. Many directors also have lens-based signatures, where you immediately recognize their work.
Snyder usually has a great visual hyper-stylized signature on his films, with a lot of over saturated color schemes. But in Man of Steel (it did seem), to a degree, he had forgotten his film school basics (but then again, he went to Art School, which explains his artistic style). Snyder seemed to have preferred extreme closeups, smaller angle lenses, and a variety of steady-cam shots with varied lighting effects that added to the "shakiness" of the scenes. Especially in fight scenes, on top of adjusting speeds of various action shots with heavy editing, another one of his signatures; that usually works. Possibly to help the illusion of extreme speeds being displayed. But this didn't really work very well in MoS. Even with the film being a great success in the Box Office, most people agree the steady-cam concept needs to go away.
I hope he looks at a few different cinematographers from WB's stables that are absolutely amazing and are highly adept at varied techniques for wide angle shots, and heavy pans; we even saw some minor use of extreme zoom-in shots, that go from wide angle telephoto to extreme closeup and back. But this was somewhat popularized by the recent Battlestar Galactica reboot, and wasn't consistently used in the MoS film, at least not consistently enough to say it was effective; rather it was random, as if tossed in during post.
Problems like these simply take us out of the escape into the film, and we begin to lose our focus, thus making the movie that much harder to watch for some people. I say to Snyder, Ditch Amir Mokri, who is also responsible for shake-central Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Bad Boys II, (Hell!) even Freejack...O_o Go back to Larry Fong! He delivered one of your best films, 300. He also did the cinematography on Watchmen, which is an amazing comic book film (to me).
TL;DR Version: Give Cavill more lines!
Cavill has been in many productions, but my favorite was always The Tudors; where he co-starred alongside an extremely intense Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who played Henry the VIII, as his closest friend and confidant, Charles Brandon. These two characters defined the "Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll" of the 16th century, and Cavill's performance was phenomenal, and essential for Meyers success in the series.
Cavill didn't have a whole lot of dialogue in MoS, but then again, Snyder does have a very visual style of filming. I say trust Cavill to deliver more endearing dialogue. Give him some time to actually express his ideals on screen as big blue, so we don't have to decipher what those ideals may be (ourselves) from hundreds of comments on websites (like these), of bickering fans that disagree about the interpretations; because we're left to our own devices. So if we get more crazy visuals with many new allusions to extremely deep meanings, the mainstream needs more dialogue to understand your new interpretations. Give us more verbal story, just as much as you give us visual. Feed our ears as much as you want to feed our eyes! I'm Hungry...
TL;DR Version: Lex Luthor, enough said!
Lex Luthor is someone I’ve always loved as a villain, and throughout the various interpretations he’s undergone throughout the animated series, the films, and even the previous Superman films. He’s always going to be a mainstay and a symbol for corruption in Metropolis. However, the necessity for a normal human corrupt power, that is all encompassing as a villain, will be much more difficult for Snyder's Interpretation of Superman to properly flesh out.
If you read my take on Man of Steel, you’ll understand why Luthor has to be, himself, a completely evolved version of the villain we’ve come to know and understand. I’d also (personally) hate if he was turned into a finite villain with one incarnation in just the next film. He should be a source of insurmountable and nearly untouchable strife for Superman. I’d personally love to see Luthor in the films in a variant capacity, but possibly not the main and only villain. Someone that is not necessarily in the forefront, yet always completely in the foreground of Kal-El’s present; thinking up ways to make him miserable or ultimately eliminate him.
Luthor should be someone that is in a great point of power, has his amazing intellectual talents, and is possibly running for the Presidency. If he's not already the new president in place trying to manipulate Superman to deal with Batman. Who may be a thorn in the side of the government.
I'm not sure I completely like that concept, it would be interesting, and you never know the curve-balls Hollywood throws out there.
In Truth, Luthor running for president is where I feel he should be, at least in this film. Making him a much more difficult person for Superman to (essentially) come after from a standpoint where he won’t just outright do as he pleases. It would also provide longevity for the villain in context.
I akin Luthor in this next film as an amalgamation of Marvel's Loki and Nick Fury. Mainstay characters that are always in the background doing their thing, that reveal their master plans every so often, and retreat into shadow if things turn unfavorable, only returning when able to do so; yet never truly gone, and possibly pulling the strings from the safety of those shadows.
Which leads me to whose strings, Luthor potentially should be pulling (or at least believe he's pulling with impunity)...
TL;DR Version: We Need Brainiac
Oh Speculation, how I love you so. In so doing, we've all wondered who possibly occupied the open stasis pod in the scout ship. Rumors and conjecture that it's Doomsday doesn’t really make sense, but are out there. Many people speculate it’s Supergirl, Kara-El. Others claim it’s nothing and just random chance, or essentially another general villain that killed all the others inside their pods.
Personally, I’m i'm at least 50/50 that it’s a variation of Brainiac.
The scout ship has been on earth for just over 18,000 years; there are any number of reasons for explaining how it got there, and why it got there such a long time ago. I’m hoping for a version of Brainiac that has all the different versions melded into one cohesive enemy, based on Snyder's interpretation. A possible Kryptonian construct whose life support pod failed in the crash, and placed itself in the pod adjacent, with the dead alien (prior to his/her death), that might have later on been absorbed by one of the ships AI, like the bot that attacked Superman. This I know is a stretch. But it's possible in the destruction of the scout ship that that entity got loose and is somewhere on earth trying to regenerate.
We need a much larger villain to contend with Superman as opposed to machinations devised by Luthor. I don't really want to see him destroying massive mechs or other random tech created by Lexcorp. At least not as the main source of antagonism. Personally, if that is what occurs, I’d claim DC took the cop-out bullshit route of giving us garbage for some veiled attempt at maintaining a rating (which is going to happen anyway); one of the reasons you don't see massive amounts of people dying in MoS (ratings maintenance).
I’d also like to propose that what might have been trapped was somehow already collected by Lexcorp, who can be stated to own Darpa, and connect Luthor directly to said being, and the crash site. If we can get Brainiac in this fashion, then we can add the 1983 Action Comics #544 reinterpretation of the villain into the film; which would work nicely with the existing Miller source for Batman and Superman, and tie in Luthor and Brainiac into the plot. I'd further try to toss in my fantasy casting of Clancy Brown in the role.
But of course, this is the catalyst that can cause our heroes to stop fighting each other. The real purpose most people want to see this film; besides the introduction of a villain we've wanted on the silver screen for years, is the crossover between Batman and Superman.
TL;DR The whole point of this film...
This is a question that is all over CBM fans minds right now. For many of us, we look to the sources and wonder how much of this is going to be used, how much is going to be changed, and what other sources are being used (if any)? I’ve already stated I want to see a lot of Miller in Batfleck, but that’s not what I want out of Superman. Most fans are right, at least in my estimation, that Frank Miller (whose work I do love) generally has Superman wrong, which is mostly right; however, I've always thought Miller is simply drawing from the cheesy American origins, as if Superman was like a Dr. Manhattan - a tool of our country, "Truth, Justice, and the AMERICAN way!" Right?
Well, I’ve imagined that the epic battle between both heroes in this movie will come just before Superman’s fight against the combined forces of Brainiac under the control (or presumed influences) of Lex Luthor. I posit from this encounter Batman may eventually ally himself with Clark to take on the focus of dealing with Luthor's forces as Brainiac breaks free of his control, or influence; or simply stops his charade of acting like Luthor ever had a chance of controlling a twelfth level intelligence. Leaving room for Superman to just focus on Brainiac. Another stretch, I know.
As the battles ensue, and are approaching an ending, nearing Brainiacs defeat or presumed destruction; cue the trembling of the earth, as Batman as well is finishing up his last set of onslaughts against whatever tech Luthor launched against them. The sky darkens, and a massive armada of ships descends from the skies, and begin to decimate everything in their path. The oceans rise and begin to crash on land all over the world from the sheer devastation. Cut to various parts of the planet where chaos is breaking out, as various heroes we recognize begin to use a communicator of sorts and confirm with Batman that the earth is under invasion, he and Superman will need their aid (imagine a proverbial global "suit up!" scene). Apokolips has come. How these invaders arrived here, is anyone's guess...
TL;DR How to Bring together Gods!
Justice League, finally I will get to be extremely satisfied when DC announces completion of this long awaited production and begins to show trailers. One, I like reading (if any) of my assertions, speculations, and general thinking is inline with what we end up getting. Right or wrong, it's fun to speculate and investigate existing material, online leaks, and communicate with fellow CBM fans. I love doing that. Even if I am balls to wall wrong on every point. It's extremely fun to work some of this out.
Most fans argue and debate who of our two heroes will actually bring these "Gods" among humans together; will it be Superman or Batman?
I've always speculated it will be Batman. Simply put, he is the one that will be investigating everyone to literally create detail analyses on all to deal with them if they get out of line, go rogue, or attack humanity. Just like he wants Superman to stay out of his way. I'd posit that Bats throughout this film will be carefully reaching out to various groups, whether the film directly reveals this to us and gives us a third person omniscient perspective. letting us know everything as it's happening, or keeps us in a general perspective where we only know what Superman knows. Personally I'd love it to be mostly in Superman's POV. I'd love bits of foreshadowing to help point me in that direction. But overall, I'd love to be surprised.
This movie can have epic surprise, after epic surprise, to keep us drooling and falling out of our chairs. Because that is what DC needs to do. It needs to try and kill us with awesome...Literally, your goal is to explode all of our little fanboy and girl hearts (this time I use "fanboy" without the negative vernacular). I expect to be slayed!
To bring our heroes together, and cause them to realize they need to work together to protect the world from these types of threats. The film will indeed need a massive global threat of this magnitude prompting the need, regardless of these characters' individual stances on each other. This isn't Marvel. I don't expect they'll retreat away and not deal with each other when it's all said and done. I expect they'll be more focused on preventing events like this from ever happening again.
This climax at the end of this film should only briefly, in a Thanos-esque manner, or perhaps with a little more screen time then its competitor introduce my next point.
TL;DR Version: Because you want your sphincter to pucker up...That's right, I said it! Come at me bro!
Introduce one of the greatest villains Superman and the Justice League have ever encountered, bring in his armies, Mongol, Granny Goodness, The Furies...Make this the comic book movie event, to end all comic book movie events (at least for it's last minutes in climax). Leave us salivating and sweating, with swamp ass in our seats from panic, exasperation, and complete and utter surprise; beyond what our nerdy hearts can handle (remember I said try to kill us!). Then cut to black...roll credits...
That is how this film should end and lead into the Justice League film. Of course, this is all in my head, or so the voices tell me.
Comment, Share, Tweet, Bitch, Complain, form words of distinction and express yourselves. I'll be here surfing the internet trying to entertain the voices in my head. @emanuelfcamacho