If you’re like me, you really didn’t care for BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE.
Actually, if you’re like me you detested BvS:DoJ. You think it’s a War Crime against cinema. You haven’t been able to stop thinking about BvS since you saw it and it’s driving you mad and you think everyone involved behind the scenes should be lit on fire. (To hear more of my perfectly rational thoughts, be sure to check out the full review on ep.120 of The WAYNE GALE VARIETY HOUR podcast.)
However you feel about BvS, I think everyone can agree WB/DC really over-reached trying to cram a Batman reboot, MAN OF STEEL sequel and a JUSTICE LEAGUE world-building story all into one movie. While all the elements listed above were in BvS, none of them really had any room to breathe, and therefore most of BATMAN v SUPERMAN didn’t make much sense.
So rather than complain more, I have accepted DAWN OF JUSTICE is a thing and can’t be undone. But I also know it could have been SOOOOOOO much better. The simplest way that could have been done:
Follow-up MAN OF STEEL with a BATMAN stand-alone film. THEN you make BvS. THEN you make JUSTICE LEAGUE.
So, in an attempt to leave BATMAN v SUPERMAN mostly intact (aside from the opening, and some casting changes. But let’s be honest, as great as Eisenberg was, Bryan Cranston should have been Lex), here is my way, way, WAAAAAAY too late pitch for a BATMAN reboot film that leads directly into BATMAN v SUPERMAN and Zack Snyder’s really stupid vision for the DCCU. I give you:
Open on a shot of Superman (Henry Cavill).
Pull out to reveal it’s a picture from Lois’ front page Daily Planet story following the MAN OF STEEL events in the Arctic.
Keep pulling back from paper to newsstand to credits playing over the sweeping bright city of Metropolis.
Eventually we hit the docks & travel across the bay as it turns to night and to the dark, grimey streets of Gotham.
End credits on a zoom into a newsstand paper of a Gotham Gazette Vicky Vale story about murders that are clearly Joker related.
Cut to the Batmobile tearing thru the streets. Batman (Ben Affleck) and an actual 16 year old Jason Todd Robin (Gavin Casalegno) chasing down Joker (Jared Leto)–in a modified Humvee Tank.
Bats crashes/flips both vehicles.
The Batmobile is done but the Joker can-barely-keep driving.
Batman & Robin take chase on foot just as across the full moon blasts the Batwing, co-piloted by Batgirl (Jena Malone) & Nightwing (Zac Efron).
They take out Joker’s tank in a time’s Square-ish area.
Batman & Robin grab Joker from the wreckage to thunderous applause & the first wide-scale confirmation after nearly 20 years:
There is a Batman.
However, Joker reveals he has a detonator.
Just as he presses the power goes out/crazy everywhere.
The Batwing–which was coming in for a landing–begins a free fall.
The Power comes back on & all the screens in the Time Square area are filled with Zod’s message to Kal-El.
As Zod speaks Batgirl/Nightwing crash.
Joker jealously regains attention by pushing the trigger again.
A loud explosion is heard from roughly 6 miles north in the bay.
Arkham Island Prison.
Special facility for the more unconventional criminals of Gotham who have popped up over the years.
Guards are overrun as the west wing prisoners—KGBeast (Callan Mulvey), Riddler (Jesse Eisenberg) & Clayface (CG/Andy Serkis)–escape.
Batman, overwhelmed, misses a Joker henchman revive behind him & gets knocked out.
He wakes up to Nightwing/BatGirl stumbling from the wreckage as they are all surrounded by people recording everything on cellphones.
The joker is gone.
And he’s taken Robin.
Batman & co. meets with Commissioner Gordon(Jeffrey Dean Morgan) on the roof of CPD headquarters (there is no Bat Signal in this world).
They discuss joker/Robin situation, the loose prisoners & the fact now that Batman is public & confirmed real, Gordon will have be a cop about it.
“We’ve been secret allies for nearly two decades,” Gordon begins.”That’s two decades of putting my career on the line covering for you.
But the time we’ve always discussed–since the first night after my promotion to detective and for some reason playboy millionaire Bruce Wayne invited a nobody cop over for dinner…
And to go look at a cave on his property…
That time is here.
You need to take them all down, Bruce.
You need to get Robin back.
And you need to do it tonight.
Tomorrow I’m coming for all of you.”
Team Batman gets into all kinds of set pieces and do actual detective & hero work as they track down and recapture KGBeast & Clayface.
Clayface cracks on Riddlers whereabouts but manages to escape again for the duration of the film.
Riddler isn’t there, but he’s more a Se7en-inspired multi-media clue master in this reality & the clues he’s left Batman realizes all point to where the joker & Robin are–a grand distraction so Riddler himself may also slip away for this film.
Batman figures out the clues and where Joker has Robin:
The place Batman wouldn’t dare go.
The place that doesn’t want a Batman.
A place of light.
A place for Bruce Wayne.
Morning: Batman & Co head for Metropolis, but Gordon and both the GCPD, and later MPD, are on their tail in a massive car chase, the like of which not seen since MATRIX RELOADED.
Team Batman is vastly outnumbered, but they manage to reach downtown Metropolis and everyone abandons their vehicles.
Smoke grenades & fists fly between law and Dark Knights.
Nightwing is downed.Batman & Gordon go head to head.
Gordon has the upper hand when Batgirl leaps in…after fighting by Batman’s side for 5 years, she only now finally revealing to Gordon she’s his daughter, Barbara.
She reminds him about Robin and what they are all really fighting for.
Gordon helps Batgirl and the wounded Nightwing escape as Batman goes to Joker…
Who is the top floor of the Waynetech building.
Batman arrives to find a nearly beaten dead Robin in Bruce Waynes penthouse office.
Joker/Bats fight for a bit, but Joker slips away down fire escape.
Robin assures Batman he’ll be OK & to go.
Batman goes out window & swings around building scanning for heat signal.
He spies joker several floors below entering a bustling office.Batman begins his nose dive to the windows when out of his eye he sees…
…the World Engine …and Superman fighting Zod mid-air… and they headed right for where Robin was.
Batman crashes into the office.
He uses momentum to grab & beat Joker, as mid-running beat-down he screams for everyone to evacuate.
Batman & Joker then topple out the windows the other side.
As they fall, Batman grapples/swings to save himself–Joker’s landing status unknown
Lasers tear thru the Waynetech building.
Basically the same opening from BvS happens here, only Team Batman are in costume as they run in to provide help for this 9/11 times a million.
The movie ends with Metropolis in rubble & newspaper about the Mad God who destroyed it, and the other God who saved us all.Pull back to reveal it is Wonder Woman in street clothes picking up the paper.
Once again across the bay we go.
The streets of Gotham are lined for a parade celebrating Gotham’s great heroes who not only saved people in Metropolis, but also have in Gotham for years.
All is forgiven.
A Bat signal is unveiled by Gordon, who nods to the sky as he fires it up.
We see Batgirl & Nightwing on a roof and crowd cheers.
Back in the Batcave, Bruce puts a Robin costume in Lucite casing.
He looks over the Batcomputer and stares at a picture of Superman on the monitor.