With the long-awaited face-off between the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel scheduled for release next year, we list the five need-to-know facts about the 2016’s most anticipated blockbuster, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
1) Jesse Eisenberg is the new Lex Luthor
All eyes were on Breaking Bad mainman Bryan Cranston for the role of folically-challenged Superman über-nemesis Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman. Instead, the role went to 31-year-old geek prince Jesse Eisenberg, an actor with an impressive track record of playing twitchy super-rich geniuses (his Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network is, we imagine, not going to be a million miles from Batman v Superman’s Lex). And he’s already talking up the movie, promising a superhero flick for people who don’t like superhero flicks. "In Batman v Superman," he said recently, "even though it's a superhero movie, people who don't necessarily see movies in that genre will probably enjoy it. It discusses sophisticated and important themes."
2) Wonder Woman’s in it
Though Superman and Batman are nabbing all the headlines (and indeed the title here), it’s easy to overlook that this is also a film that is putting Wonder Woman up on the big screen for the first time ever. Former Israeli fashion model Gal Gadot stars as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, an Amazon princess and demigoddess daughter of Zeus. "I feel like I’ve been given a huge opportunity to inspire people, not only women," she said earlier this year. "And not because of me but because of who Wonder Woman is and what she stands for. There’s a lot of responsibility. But I have the best team and the best people to work with. It’s going to be an amazing ride, knock on wood."
3) The ‘Justice’ in the title refers to the Justice League
Simply, the Justice League are DC’s version of Marvel’s Avengers. First established in 1960 (three years before the Avengers), the team has a fluctuating lineup, but the mainstays include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern and the Flash. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice then, as the title suggests is a movie that’s readying us for the arrival of the Justice League. The first JL movie, Justice League Part One, is due in cinemas in 2017.
4) This ISN'T Man of Steel 2
Although it shares a director with Man of Steel (Zack Synder) and Henry Cavill returns as Clark Kent/Superman, this film is not, it’s being stressed, Man of Steel 2. "As far as the individual character is concerned, this is not a Superman sequel," says Cavill. "It’s more of an introduction to Batman, an opening to Justice League, and an expansion of the world that was created in Man of Steel."
5) Jeremy Irons is the new Alfred
Jeremy Irons is the latest actor, after Michael Gough and Michael Caine, to breathe life into the role of Alfred Pennyworth, trusted butler and confidante of Bruce Wayne. And though he seems to have a few of the obvious prerequisites (he’s English and over 60), Irons is insistent that this Alfred is a departure from previous screen Alfreds. "He is quite a different Alfred than we have seen so far," the actor told The Hollywood Reporter last year. "Zack Snyder had very clear views about what he wanted… I would just say he’s more hands-on perhaps than just a butler."
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice flies into Cineworld on 25th March.