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DC Comics news: "Batman vs. Superman" gets title, and Bob Wayne retires

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"Man of Steel" sequel/"Justice League" prequel gets official title!

Ever since last summer, it has been no secret that Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment had begun production of a sequel to "Man of Steel" which long had an unofficial title of "Batman vs. Superman" and a logo. Now, the film's logo has been altered and an official title has been released. Arriving in theaters summer 2016 will be Zack Synder directing "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice". Of note is that it is not "versus" or "vs.", but "v.", which is commonly used for legal proceedings. Is this a bit of foreshadowing in regards to the plot, or just the usual studio obliviousness? At any rate, not only has Batman supplanted Superman in the title of his own sequel, but this makes it quite obvious that this is the next cog on the road to "Our Avengers Knockoff", better known as "Justice League" in 2018.

Filming for the blockbuster is set to begin in Detroit, Illinois, Africa, and the South Pacific. The film features returning stars Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Superman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), and Laurence Fishbourne (Perry White) alongside new cast mates Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg, and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Earlier in May, the first glimpses of the Batman costume as well as the new Batmobile were revealed online. Expect more casting confirmations to emerge as filming continues for what will surely be a very top heavy film.

As has been stated before in this column and elsewhere, Warner Brothers' naked attempt to imitate the success of their rival Marvel Studios has been obvious since 2008. When 2011's "Green Lantern" tanked, those plans were derailed and the reliance on their Batman franchise continued. However, then 2012's "The Avengers" grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide and Chris Nolan's trilogy was ending, so suddenly "Man of Steel" (which would be the second reboot of their Superman film franchise since 1987) has become their tent pole franchise to lead into "Justice League". Instead of taking the time to invest in introducing people to solo heroes as their own franchises (such as the long clamored "Wonder Woman" film), WB seek to be taking the shortest and most obvious path possible towards their own team film. It will remain how successful this will be.

Senior vice president of Bob Wayne retires!

As DC Comics (now DC Entertainment) continues along their plans to relocate their entire operation from Manhattan to California by 2015, it was well assumed that not all of their editorial staff would chose to make the move to the west coast. Now it stands revealed that one of them will be senior vice president of sales Bob Wayne, a longtime fixture of the company. Having worked at DC Comics for 28 years, he's apparently chosen to retire than relocate to California. Wayne was not only a major cog in the DC Comics engine, he helped create the modern direct market as it exists now from the collapse of Marvel Comics' distribution arm in the 1990's. Wayne was also always on hand to offer interviews, especially about DC Comics' new digital line. Considering that Warner Brothers is shifting DC Comics' business model away from print mediums besides for comics and Mad Magazine, it is easy to assume that a sort like Wayne will likely never emerge from DC Comics again.

In addition to this, DC Comics' new Burbank office is looking for quite a few new hires to replace the staff who were left behind. Including some expected positions such as interns or executive assistants, DC Entertainment are also looking to hire some lofty positions such as "vice president of publicity" or "vice president of development" and other management positions. Chalk up the "VP of sales" as one of them.

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