Holy, scheduling change, Batman! Warner Bros. has pushed Batman Vs. Superman back nearly a year from July 17, 2015 to May 6, 2016. Why? Boy howdy are they not saying much about that, other than to “allow the filmmakers time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story.” They also indicate this is a reflection of a need to push back production from this winter to the second quarter of 2014. That could be seen by some as validating the rumors of this movie being filmed back to back with a Justice League movie, as maybe the delay is due to needing to get that project ready in time. Then again, maybe they just need the time to finish their script.
The move helps unclog the already overcrowded summer of 2015, which will see releases of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Fast & Furious 7, Assassin’s Creed, reboots of Fantastic Four, Terminator, and Mad Max, a Despicable Me spin-off, and several other animated films and sequels. It looks like it could be a repeat of the summer of 2013 when far too many similar kinds of movies came out in far too small a window leading to market saturation and several embarrassing box office bombs. In recognition of this, prior to Batman Vs. Superman‘s move sequels for Independence Day and Pirates of the Caribbean had already been pushed back from the summer of 2015 to 2016.
Removing Batman Vs. Superman from the 2015 equation does yield the market to Marvel (Ant-Man, Avengers) and Fox-controlled Marvel (Fantastic Four). However, it also saves Batman Vs. Superman from having to go head-to-head with Ant-Man just two weeks after its release. Plus, if Batman Vs. Superman is to be the Justice League-light movie as rumored it might be better off putting distance between itself and Marvel’s well-established superhero team-up brand Avengers to avoid unfavorable comparisons.
Here’s the problem with that logic, though: for some reason (mostly likely just to be pricks) WB picked May 6, 2016 as Batman Vs. Superman‘s new release date. What is already scheduled to come out on the day? A currently untitled Marvel Phase Three super hero film (perhaps Doctor Strange?). On top of that, Fox has X-Men: Apocalypse schedule to come out a couple of weeks later at the end of May. Not to go all school yard on WB, but Marvel most certainly got there first. In fact (from THR):
“The early May berth has been associated with Marvel since Columbia released Spider-Man in 2002. X2, the X-Men sequel from Fox, followed the following year. Marvel has released all of its Iron Man movies in that time frame as well as Thor. In fact, a Marvel-based movie has come out each May since 2006. Additionally, that weekend is so connected to a comic book movie that retailers in North America organize a yearly Free Comic Book Day on the Saturday.”
So, what the hell is WB up to with this nonsense? Running away from The Avengers to team up their heroes against an easier foe to pick on, like a Doctor Strange or Captain Marvel movie (assuming Marvel is using the date to launch a new character and not a sequel to an existing one)? That will work itself out. We have pleeeeeeeenty of time between now and then for the respective studios to switch dates again.
The one thing time cannot necessarily change on its own is who is making this movie: Zack Snyder. If they get a better script from Chris Terrio’s (Argo) re-writes of David S. Goyer’s initial draft that would be fantastic (quick point: the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel was also pushed back due to script issues, at least officially). They would have benefited from a little more time with Goyer’s Man of Steel script. However, if it all goes through Snyder then this is still the guy who gives amazing visuals with little substance and enjoys at best minimal success with his handling of female characters.
But beyond the director WB/DC could use the extra time to just figure out what the hell it is that they are doing. The notion of simply filming this back to back with a Justice League movie makes a lot of sense. So, just go for it, and use the extra time to cast, plan, and rewrite your script and a Justice League script to streamline the story. Plus, maybe finally give us an official title since it is doubtful this thing will really be called Batman Vs. Superman. However, with the current people involved will any amount of waiting truly make this thing work? We have a quite a bit more time to debate that now.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.