The news actually broke yesterday, at Comic-Con in San Diego, when Harry Lennix made the announcement, after director Zack Snyder brought him onto the stage, to speak to the rabid fanboys and fangirls who were in attendance.
A video of that moment was captured by one of them thankfully, and is embedded at the bottom of this post.
But, first, in short, via an official press release that was eventually distributed to the media, thanks to the global box office success of Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder will be bringing together two of the most popular Super Heroes of all time - Batman and Superman - for the first time, on the big screen.
That's right, what I suppose will be the sequel to Man Of Steel will see both Superman and Batman starring.
The press release adds that the key cast of Man Of Steel (Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane) will return in their respective roles, but the actor who will play Batman has yet to be cast. Recall that Christian Bale said he was done with donning the bat suit after the last film with director Christopher Nolan, so don't expect him to return. Who might DC Entertainment and Warner Bros be looking at for the part? Nothing on that front yet, but I expect an actor will be locked in very soon, with shooting on the movie to begin in 2014, for a summer 2015 release. They certainly aren't wasting any time on this, are they?
Zack Snyder is returning to direct, and will be co-writing the story with David S. Goyer, who will then pen the screenplay.
That Snyder is returning to direct isn't news that I can get excited about. The last Zack Snyder film I actually liked was Dawn Of The Dead - his feature film debut - in 2004. I was very disappointed with Man Of Steel. While I thought it was better than the previous Superman reboot, released in 2006, which Bryan Singer directed, it wasn't that much better. Both films lacked the ethos, pathos, and even the logos of the Christopher Reeves Superman films made some 30 years ago. Snyder's Man Of Steel especially relied too much on digitally-produced spectacle to carry the film (the last 30 minutes of nonsensical "boom and bash" were tedious to watch), and the cast was actually kind of dull - including Cavill in the starring role, and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. I wish another director was chosen for the upcoming Superman/Batman sequel.
Alas, Warners isn't exactly on pins and needles waiting for my opinion on this, so, we'll see how it goes.
Man of Steel has taken in more than $630 million at the worldwide box office to date, by the way. But, even with that total, I still just don't feel that audiences are in love with the film - certainly not the way they were with the second Dark Knight movie under Nolan. I remember reading/hearing folks saying that they were going to see that film for the 5th, 6th, and even 7th time. Of course Heath Ledger had something to do with that.
I didn't/haven't heard/read a similar enthusiasm for Man Of Steel since its release.
But Warners and DC have every confidence in Znyder, stating via press release: “Zack Snyder is an incredibly talented filmmaker, but beyond that, he’s a fan first and he utterly gets this genre. We could not think of anyone better suited to the task of bringing these iconic Super Heroes to the screen in his own way.”
And: “We are thrilled to be back in business with Zack and his team on this next movie. The success of ‘Man of Steel’ is a wonderful testament to the love and support that both fans and new audiences, worldwide, have for these characters. We are very excited to see what Zack has in store for all of us.”
And also: “Whilst our ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy is complete, we have every confidence that Zack’s fresh interpretation will take the character in a new and exciting direction. His vision for Superman opened the door to a whole new universe and we can’t wait to see what Zack does with these characters.”
So there you have it.
Watch Harry Lennix make the announcement at Comic-Con yesterday: