Updated on December 10, 2021
News came earlier yesterday of the official title of the “Man of Steel” sequel. And that title’s not “Batman vs. Superman,” but… “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” No typo there… they really went with that as the title. To outline my issues with it (besides sounding like the bizarre sort of title one would see for a “Transformers” movie):
- The heavy talk about the film already assumed it’d be “Batman vs. Superman”; seems odd to run counter to that by dropping the “s” in “vs.”
- The only place such an abbreviation for “versus” is seen is in legal cases in court. As countless Twitter jokes have already done (and will do so for the next few years until it’s released), it sounds like a big courtroom battle between the World’s Finest heroes. But of course, Warner Bros.’ marketing minions who picked this title knew all this…right? Granted, I’d watch a film about the law firm of “Wayne, Kent, and Prince”…
- Giving Batman top billing in the film not only disposes of the increasing fiction of this being a Superman “sequel” (versus just being an increasingly forced sounding Justice League lead-in), but implies Warner Bros. really does value Batman more than Superman, to the point that they won’t even let the Man of Steel have a true sequel to “Man of Steel.” While “Man of Steel” was successful, the film isn’t truly beloved the way “The Avengers” is, for various reasons. However, instead of fixing said problems, WB seems to have decided it’d be easier to just make the next film have Batman star, to the point he gets top-billing in what’s supposedly Superman’s own film. Not only is this unfair, but it also implies DC/WB doesn’t have any worthwhile superheroes to offer besides Batman. Their video games and animated movies/TV shows also being Batman-heavy seems to support this. A far cry from Marvel, who’re making films and TV shows about everyone from SHIELD to Agent Peggy Carter to Guardians of the Galaxy, in hopes of repeating the success they’ve had with making various second-tier heroes household names (Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, etc.). While Batman’s a versatile character, DC/WB are in a tough spot if there’s the off-chance the public actually tires of Batman at some point.
- I assume the titular superheroes will do the old “first they meet, then they fight, then realize they’re on the same side and team up” comic book bit that sometimes happens when heroes meet each other for the first time. Given this is a lead-in for a JLA film and all, I doubt they’ll stay permanently at each others’ throats. Still, I’m assuming this film won’t be any lighter in tone than the last one with a set-up like that.
Overall, it’s clearly a title only a marketing executive would love…