This week sees the release of Zack Snyder's sequel to his 2013 Superman reboot Man of Steel which will see the last son of Krypton go head-to-head against Gotham City's legendary Dark Knight; the Batman. Since it was first unveiled at the 2014 Comic Con in San Diego the movie has divided the opinions of fans and critics with its casting choices, dark tone and its reported over-abundance of Superhero characters which is reported to include Wonder Woman, Aqua-man, the Flash, Cyborg, Doomsday and Darkseid. Having cost $250 million to produce and a further $150 million to market Batman v Superman will need to cross the $1 billion mark by the culmination of its theatrical run to be considered a success.
Early reports claim that the movie received a standing ovation from an audience composed of the movies cast, crew and studio representatives with speculative opinion suggesting that while the film will likely divide opinion among fans and critics, it will likely be proclaimed as the greatest comic book movie adaptation produced to date, with studio Warner Bros. having green lit a trilogy of Batman movies based upon the strength of Ben Affleck's performance and portrayal as Bruce Wayne and his vigilante alter ego; The Batman. This new Batman trilogy is expected to be co-written (with Chris Terrio), starring and directed by Affleck.
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Big budgets and bigger egos aside, can Batman v Superman really become the definitive comic book movie, surpassing the likes of Richard Donner's 1978 Superman or 2012's Avengers. It seems studio Warner Bros. are eager to do so, having already announced a R-Rated extended cut to be released on Blu-Ray and DVD this summer, in a move to capitalise on the recent R-rating trend started by last months breakaway comic book movie hit Deadpool.
Of course Batman v Superman is only the second of this years superhero offerings from two comic book giants Marvel and DC. In May we will have the lower in magnificence, yet somehow bigger in scale Captain America: Civil War, the premise of which outshines that of Batman v Superman yet has not yet amassed the same levels of hype. Later in the same month we have 20th Century Fox's second comic book movie of the year X-Men Apocalypse. Another movie that has the premise to outperform DC's superhero face-off but again, as with Civil War, has failed to generate any excitement, with some worries among fans that Apocalypse could become the worst X-Men movie yet. The latter two of this years comic book movie offerings, August's Suicide Squad and Novembers Doctor Strange however are both wild cards that stand the equal chance of either becoming huge hits or bombing dramatically depending upon their execution, but neither have the potential to challenge Batman v Superman.
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Considering the fans love and hate relationship with Zack Snyder's Man of Steel against the hope that with directors Anthony and Joe Russo Marvel Studios can recapture the praise they received for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and exceed it with many of Marvels premier line up at their disposal, the real question must instead be which movie will win the hearts of comic book fans as the ultimate face off – DC's Batman v Superman or Marvels Civil War?