Man of Steel Could've Been Set In Dark Knight Universe - Snyder
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Man of Steel Could’ve Been Set In Dark Knight Universe, Says Snyder

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BY June 4, 2021

It’s no secret that DC loves a good crossover. From the Crisis on Infinite Earths (did you see that finale?!) to Black Lightning possibly appearing in future CW episodes, crossovers allow characters to come back and fans to gain a more well-rounded view of their favorite superheroes’s world. With that being said though, DC has struggled a bit with cohesion. Recently, Zack Snyder said that Man of Steel could’ve been set in the Dark Knight universe created by Christopher Nolan, wrapping up the DC movie universe nicely, but unfortunately that fell through.

First Some Man of Steel and Dark Knight History

Nolan was the mastermind behind the Dark Knight series that came out in the early 2000s. It began with Batman Begins in 2005, The Dark Knight in 2008, and The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. Christian Bale starred as the gritty and tortured Bruce Wayne, while Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman also appeared in all three movies as Alfred, Inspector Gordan, and Lucius Fox, respectively. When Snyder relaunched the DC film universe with Man of Steel in 2013, there was talk of Superman being in the world that the Dark Knight trilogy was set in. Snyder went on the Happy Sad Confused podcast and said:

It was not 100 percent off the table. We did talk about it a little bit.

The Man of Steel movie was a hit with audiences and Snyder later told a packed Hall H at San Diego Comic Con that a Superman sequel was in development. He then brought out Man of Steel actor Harry Lennix to read a passage from The Dark Knight Returns, the 1986 Frank Miller miniseries that saw an aging Batman take down Superman, thus confirming what the sequel would be about.

Ben Affleck Stopped Being the Batman Justice League Image via Warner Bros.

Just as a memory refresher, at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) takes over as Batman for Bruce Wayne. This in itself complicated things. Audiences most likely wanted to see Bruce Wayne’s Batman duke it out with Superman, not an alternate version. Snyder seemed to agree:

Maybe that’s why we didn’t do it. It would have been Joseph. Which could have been cool. I don’t blame Nolan. I like that his thing doesn’t get muddied by these other touches.

Ultimately Snyder went on to film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice in a new universe with Ben Affleck playing Bruce Wayne. Justice League followed in 2017, although it was poorly received due to Snyder stepping down and major script rewrites by Joss Whedon. Earlier this year, the Snyder Cut of Justice League was released, bringing Snyder’s familiar style back to the screen, although whether it was deserved or not is still up in the air. 

Snyder’s Upcoming Plans

While Snyder has enjoyed the DC universe he created with a Cavill/Affleck Superman and Batman, he expressed interest in doing a straight adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns comic with new actors.

I think it would just be its own thing. I would do it 100 percent Watchmen style. I don’t even think it’d be that expensive, to be honest. It’s pretty gritty.

Do you think the Man of Steel would’ve fit in with the Dark Knight universe? Let us know in the comments below!

Image via Warner Bros.

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Keilin Huang is a freelance writer that likes the Oxford comma, reading from her neverending pile of books from the library, and Reeses peanut butter cups. She thanks her Dad for introducing her to his Superman comics and probably majored in Journalism because of Lois Lane.

christopher nolandark knightMan of SteelZack Snyder

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