The Pitch: Batman vs. Superman

The purpose of this column/series is to emulate how a meeting would go between a studio executive and a person, a passionate person, with an idea (pitch) for a movie. In this case, or every case for that matter with regards to this series, yours truly is that aforementioned passionate person.

Now that was the polite way of putting it.

In reality, the uninspired suited gatekeepers, who hold all the green light power, need a blunt kick to their out-of-touch bloody skulls! Yeah, they say you get more with honey (being nice). And in order for some these over-paid clowns to buy into a cinematic concept, and then move forward with funding the production, being nice can be the ideal approach. But since the world, specifically the realm of Hollywood, is already fake enough with people constantly masquerading with tactical kindness, let’s just cut the crap and, ironically, have a black-and-white old-school chat. 

It’s not that Hollywood fucks it up all the time, but they sure do miss golden opportunities that can be quite baffling to the fans.

And that brings me to this week’s pitch/bitch: Batman vs. Superman

Sarcasm is being shelved today, my friends at Warner Bros. (mostly… and yes, I’m feeling fine). We need to get serious and bullet point how this milestone undertaking will flow.


Having Superman and Batman in the same movie is going to be iconic even if it flops like so many 2013 summer endeavors (critically and/or financially). And the way things in Hollywood are progressing these days, it’s actually good business to crank this sucker out in 2015. The Avengers was the first modern-day blockbuster to prove that having many larger than life personas in one mega feature can be accomplished. Freddy vs. Jason proved that you can have two people on the same side square off against each other and still keep the essence of both respective franchises intact. Therefore, having two jaded good boys possibly duke it out could work out marvelously.

I get it.

Now here’s what I don’t get…


There’s really no need for this. It feels like you guys are just trying to “keep up with the Joneses” (Marvel). Yeah you want to eventually progress to a Justice League movie (comprised of DC Comic all-stars) but the problem is that you’re so far behind that the filmmaking trends or climate could change before that day can come and the luster may have worn off. The other criteria your peon minds fail to comprehend is that aside from Batman, the other characters, save for Superman, are lacking the momentum all the standalone Marvel flicks have garnered from both the lovely critics and the trolling fan boy contingent.

So, I kind of don’t get it, too.

Knowing this and understanding this tag-team dream scenario will happen, and since it was probably given the go-ahead in kneejerk -level fashion, allow yours truly to engage in some knee flinching antics on what could be novel onscreen moments:


Use the symbol encompassing both logos that you flashed at Comic-Con and slap one of the following on it: Rising Hope, Fallen Hope, Dark Hope…

Easy enough. Hope you get it.


Start this off with action. No backstory. Think, or learn, how pro-wrestlers present a story in the ring relying solely on their demeanor. Granted, there has to be some sort of verbal exchange at some point, yet don’t worry too much about dialogue. Similar to comics, have the audience venture in and learn the situation from physical displays. Have it center around Superman dealing with a major baddie that the comic-book realm knows about. Put Supes in a position where this larger-than-cameo villain is pushing him to the limits and actually has the advantage. This entire opening scene/sequence should be 30 minutes in length where the city is at the brink of destruction.  Then, at some point around minutes 15-20, we have a trailing shot of black boots and cape running through a rain storm, leaping off a building into the fray. For those not following that would be Bats.

Isolated, though indirectly working as a team, Batman’s interjection allows Superman to get his second-wind and the latter ends up overcoming the dire situation to save the cursed day. Right when the carnage ends, the two see each other from a distance yet no words are spoken. From there, the screen fades to black with the Comic-Con symbol/title coming in to focus. The symbol then dissolves away and the words 3 YEARS LATER appears.


As depicted in source material from the comic realm, Superman and Batman do have instances where they disagree with each other’s crime-fighting philosophies. With the announcement of Henry Cavill set to reprise wearing the red cape, and since citizens of earth have witnessed his persona, whomever is donning the black mask needs to have an edge to them; because it’s obvious that we’re going to see these two have a disagreement. But what can make this unique is when that disagreement occurs.

In lieu of the predictable mid-point clash, hide it until after the two reluctantly save the world from whatever nemesis appears three years later. However that climatic war against good & evil ends, it has to be controversial enough to justify having the good guy vs. good guy brawl. Personally, I think involving the death of a key character close to one of the heroes will sell this to the viewer (i.e. Lois Lane bites it; Alfred is sacrificed). Think of something along the lines where Batman can stop the baddie from achieving his/her diabolical goal, yet the screenplay articulates that he must choose to either save a massive group of people or keep Superman’s booty call, Lois Lane, out of harm’s way. He ends up choosing the people over her, and once Superman gets wind of this, a superhero cockfight ensues. The reason it’s a fair battle, and why we jump this 3 years after the opening, is due to the fact that Bruce Wayne/Batman needs even the odds and creates something to level the playing field. Perhaps he constantly chews Kryptonite bubble-gum.

By my count, that’s at least 3 CGI-laced battles you have to squeeze into this sucker. Probably need a fourth since the antagonist needs to make an impactful entrance. And while I’m demanding extended action sequences – the reason being is that no one wants to watch brooding, angst-ridden superheroes – of course it cannot be something like The Expendables where it’s an over-the-top action montage every 5-10 minutes. It’s just that you must be mindful of the balance here when trying to cram in two icons into a 150 minute epic.


Speculation is flying all over the place on who should carry the Dark Knight utility belt Christian Bale is no longer rocking. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the ideal choice in most people’s minds but I’m not sure he can reach that snapping mind frame the character would require when he’s not being Bruce Wayne. Plus, it would be a wise decision to subtly create some distance between Nolan’s Dark Knight universe, cause let’s face it, unless you hire him to do this, you won’t find the behind-the-lens talent to pick up his groundbreaking vision.

And quick sidebar, there must be a meeting of Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne; where one doesn’t realize who the other really is, for that conversation would be insanely provocative.

Getting back to the actor, Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood) or Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) seems to fit the mood of this costumed cinematic union. Actually, going with a relative unknown may be the best bet. But please, erase Jake Gyllenhaal from your short list. When’s the last time you saw him convince anyone he is really angry in anything? It would be like watching a Victoria Secret model take monster deuce (awkward and not believable).


While this reads similar to how the average Man of Steel was delivered onscreen (purposely done so you DON’T have Zack Snyder touching this), you now know what aspects to zero-in on for Batman vs. Superman. Hope (wink) this all work out! 

Joe Belcastro is a contributor to CraveOnline and the writer of the weekly series The Pitch. Follow him on Twitter @TheWritingDemon.