It’s about time: WB announces Superman/Batman film at Comic-Con

First reported in the LA Times this morning and confirmed at Warner Bros. Pictures’ Comic-Con panel shortly thereafter, the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight are finally going to share the big screen together in 2015.

“Man of Steel” director Zack Snyder, (executive) producer Christopher Nolan and writer David Goyer are reuniting on the sequel to this summer’s Superman reboot, which will introduce the Caped Crusader to the newly established DC Universe on film. And all I can really say is…it’s about time.

Sure, better late than never, but these properties have been under the same roof for decades. WB/DC have had a crazy running start over Marvel, which whipped its own movie universe together in the span of four years. Part of the issue is Nolan having held the Batman franchise somewhat hostage since 2005 (he repeatedly stated that his vision of the character did not exist in a universe that included other superheroes*), but nevertheless, fans will finally see the World’s Finest coupling on the heels of each character’s 75th anniversary.

*Further to that point about Nolan, he will only be the executive producer of the new film, not the producer.

Zack Snyder was on hand to make the announcement, with “Man of Steel” star Harry Lennix tagging along to help set the flavor of the film. Said Snyder, “He’s gonna read a little thing and some of you will recognize it. It is the thing that will help build this story.” Lennix then proceeded with this quote from Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns”:

“I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come, in all your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.”

And then an animated image combining the Superman and Batman logos appeared on the screen, sending Comic-Con attendees into ecstasy.

It was rumored that WB would announced “Flash” and “Justice League” films, but that didn’t happen. Just the Superman/Batman announcement. Of course, by the time 2015 rolls around, Marvel will be very deep into their next phases, but at least there will be some movement happening for those of us who love and cherish the DC Universe and think it has as much if not more potential than the Marvel world.

I’m not gonna kick the “it’s about time” horse any more, so let me just say that I’m super (no pun intended) excited to see this panning out. Doom and gloom will be shouted from those who despise the brand and sequel explosion (fair enough), but this is simply something too many people have wanted for too long. No one’s asking for an “Alice in Wonderland” sequel. But they’ve been asking for a Superman/Batman movie for decades, so ease up on the bemoaning, eh?

I don’t know what else Goyer and company will be drawing on, but while there’s a wealth of material out there, there’s also plenty of room to expand on the idea of these very different characters meeting and having a conflict. I hope they take the opportunity to stretch, because the comic books themselves are certainly taking liberties with re-imagining characters as of late. Batman is currently having his origin retold by Scott Snyder (not a fan), while Greg Pak is giving a new take on the first-ever meeting between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel (it’s pretty good, actually).

So fingers crossed this project comes together nicely. I know “Man of Steel” had a ton of detractors but, again, I dug it and I’m excited to see where they go from here. At the very least, I’m excited to see someone finally TRY.

Here is some footage of the announcement:

For more on the project from the official press release, check out HitFix’s report here.

Finally, about a year and a half ago, when it was clear that “The Dark Knight Rises” would be the end of Christopher Nolan’s say on the character, HitFix published a list of potential contenders to inherit the cape and cowl. I’ve taken that list (seen in the gallery below) and combined it with some other names I think would be interested and I’m putting it to you in a poll here. So you tell us, who should be the new Batman? Vote in our poll below.

Here is the logo that appeared on the screen in Hall H today (courtesy of AICN’s Eric Vespe):

And here is the page from “The Dark Knight Returns” that Lennix quoted:

For more from Comic-Con 2013, be sure to follow all of our HitFix team members on Twitter, including @HitFixGregory, @DrewAtHitFix, @HitFixDaniel and @sepinwall.