BATMAN VS SUPERMAN delayed to 2016. Warner Bros playing chicken with Marvel

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With so much about Warner Bros’ follow-up to Man of Steel wrapped up in a rumour, surrounded by hearsay and tied up in gossip, I must admit that it feels a bit refreshing to bring you guys some solidly confirmed news for a change. Unfortunately, it’s not good news. Well, it could be if you consider that your chances of awesomeness-overload related cardiac issues in 2015 just got lowered significantly, as WB have decided to push Batman vs Superman back 10 months.

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Previously scheduled to be released on July 17, 2015 (a year stacked to the rafters with geek related mega blockbusters), the still officially untitled Batman vs Superman will now be hitting cinemas on May 6, 2016. And according to the studio (via ComingSoon) this 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.”

That’s the official company line, which does make sense if all the characters and story bits rumoured to be in the film turns out to be true, but according to some other reports, Ben Affleck, who plays the titular Batman, has sustained a leg or rib injury – depending on who you ask – which has left him unable to perform several of the film’s action sequences for at least 6 weeks. That still leaves another 9 and a half months unaccounted for, so while I suspect that Affleck’s injury may be adding to the delay, it probably isn’t the root cause of it.

What this delay does do though, is add fuel to the fire on the rumour reported last week that WB plan to shoot Batman vs Superman and the team-up follow-up Justice League back to back. An additional 10 months on the schedule will certainly free up director Zack Snyder to take the reins on both films, shoot them in one go, have enough time to polish Batman vs Superman in post before its release, and then do the same to Justice League to release it the year after. That’s what the Wachowski’s did on the last two Matrix films and Peter Jackson did something similar (although he shot it all as one movie) with The Hobbit.

But irrespective of the reasons behind this move, what’s most interesting is the newly picked date itself. May 6, 2016 is actually when Marvel has scheduled one of its still to be named Phase 3 films to be released. This is a very risky and I believe very calculated move on WB’s part. They’ve essentially just gone “prison rules” on their rival, as at the moment, Marvel is undoubtedly the biggest and baddest (in a good way) dude around, and WB have just walked right up and picked a fight with him to prove that they can. Will Marvel back down and reschedule, or will WB realize that – mixed metaphors be damned – they just grabbed the tiger by the tail and it would be wiser to leave well enough alone? It all depends on what that Phase 3 film will be, as something as small (as in built-in general audience awareness) as a Ms. Marvel or Black Panther, where Marvel will want to have every audience advantage that they can, you may just see them blink first in this game of box office chicken.

Last Updated: January 20, 2014

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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