'Batman Vs. Superman' Release Date Changed To 2016

Unofficial Fan-Made Poster via 
The spring of 2016 just got much more interesting for superhero fans. In a surprise announcement late this afternoon, Warner Bros. made a huge change to their movie release schedule. If you just want the condensed version - the Batman/Superman movie has been pushed back 10 months (May 6, 2016) to allow Zack Snyder and company time to "..realize fully their vision...".

Warner Bros. Goes Head-To-Head With Marvel Studios Movie

According to The Wrap, Warner Bros. has pushed back the opening of the untitled follow-up to ‘Man of Steel’ (known as 'Batman Vs. Superman') to May 6, 2016. The original opening date was July 17, 2015.

Here's an interesting tidbit about the new opening date - it's the same date as an untitled Marvel Studios movie (rumored to be ‘Dr. Strange’ or ‘Black Panther’). Hmm, intentional or pure coincidence?

Warner Bros. Press Release

Warner Bros. gave the reason for pushing back the movie 10 months in the official press release -

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"Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that the release of Zack Snyder’s untitled Superman/Batman film has been moved to May 6, 2016, allowing 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."

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Dan Fellman, a Warner Bros. executive, added -

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“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…”

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The press release also offered a partial cast list -

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"Zack Snyder’s Superman/Batman film stars Henry Cavill, reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent, and Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne. The film will also reunite “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane, and also stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince."

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Why Did Warner Bros. Change The Opening Date Of 'Batman Vs. Superman'?

This announcement is really interesting because it goes directly against what everyone assumed about the plans Warner Bros. had for the next few years. I think most people believed WB wanted to fast-track 'BVS' in order to play catch up with the mega-successful Disney/Marvel superhero franchises. Now there's over a two year wait until the next superhero movie from WB, and the studio's forever-in-development 'Justice League' epic is at least three years down the road. The press release made it sound like this change was only for creative reasons, and that kinda makes sense when you think about the time frame involved.

A movie the size of 'BVS' must have one solid year of promotion and build-up before it hits screens. We've seen this schedule before with movies like 'The Avengers' and 'Man of Steel'. That year-long promotion time means that WB would have to start filming in February or March of this year and debut the first teaser footage at San Diego Comic-Con in July.

Assuming production started on March 1 (I'm just guessing here), that means Zack Snyder would have about four months before Comic Con 2014. For comparison, principal photography on the 'Man of Steel' production was almost six months (August 1, 2012 to January 20, 2013) and Snyder had six months to prepare for Comic Con 2012. Now take into consideration that 'BVS' would be a much more ambitious and complex movie than 'MoS' and you can see why WB was forced to make the change.

Long story, short - Warner Bros. misjudged how much pre-production work was needed and made an unwise decision to announce the 2015 opening date at last year's Comic Con. In the long run, I think making the change was a good call, but it does make me wonder how well WB planned its new cinematic universe. I mean, you'd think by now the powers that be at WB would realize that you can't rush out a movie like 'BVS'.

Whaddya think about this 'Batman Vs. Superman' news? Did WB make the right call in pushing back the movie a year?

image: unofficial fan-made poster by Jon Bridges

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