Disappointing news for DC fans in Fresno yesterday as Warner Bros. announced that Zack Snyder's upcoming film, currently going under the assumed moniker Batman vs. Superman, will now be pushed back until the year 2016.
According to such sources as SuperHeroHype.Com, the release date of the film has been changed from July 17, 2015 to May 6, 2016, which is the same intended release date as a yet-to-be-titled Marvel Studios film.
The studio claims that this decision will give "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."
Incidentally, Warner Bros. also set a July 17, 2015, worldwide release date for its as-yet-untitled Peter Pan adventure, set to be directed by Joe Wright and based on the original story by J.M. Barrie.
This dual date announcement was made by Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President, International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. 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."
As most of us know, Batman vs. Superman is the upcoming sequel to 2013's blockbuster Man of Steel, which rebooted the Superman film franchise for a new generation, though unfortunately it was to very controversial reception with many criticizing the overly exuberant action set pieces, some less developed characterizations in comparison to past iterations, and for having a overall much darker tone than previous Superman origin stories. However, other viewers praised the high level of action as well as some of the liberties taken with what is likely the most well known superhero origin story of all time. Despite the mixed reception, the announcement made at Comic-Con 2013 about Batman's inclusion in the sequel was met with incredible elation and has been a source of nonstop attention and speculation ever since. And yet, when it was announced that Ben Affleck was cast as the new Batman, fan reaction was livid with uproar not unlike the reaction to Michael Keaton's casting in Tim Burton's Batman from 1989. Recently, it was also announced that Fast and the Furious star Gal Gadot has also been cast in the film as Wonder Woman. So, with all of this speculation and onslaught of announcements, the decision to push the film's release until two years from now is likely to be a disappointment to a lot of fans.
And yet, with this announcement, the mixed reception of Man of Steel, and the decision to suddenly release a single film featuring with Batman and Wonder Woman teaming up with Superman when Wonder Woman still has not had her own solo big screen outing yet, this examiner cannot help but wonder whether Warner Bros. has simply put too many eggs into one basket in their desperate attempt to build up to a Justice League film that can match or surpass the success Marvel's success with The Avengers. Did Man of Steel even leave a strong enough foundation to build their own DC Cinematic Universe upon? Does Warner Bros. have a master plan in mind to give the fans what they want as fast as possible? Or are they simply so desperate to catch up to Marvel at this point that they are just setting themselves up for one big mess? We will just have to wait and see, and perhaps that is the biggest frustration of all.
Once again, Batman vs. Superman is currently slated for worldwide release on May 6, 2016.