Batman v Superman producer on balancing all those heroes, 'genre proof'-ing the story

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Sep 16, 2019, 7:51 PM EDT (Updated)

For a while there, it seemed like a new hero was being announced almost weekly to join the fray in Warner Bros.' Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. So how do they plan to keep all those balls in the air while still making a movie with an actual plot?

Producer Charles Roven opened up about the film’s development process in an interview with Collider, and though the film may seem “overstuffed” with too many characters, he said they really do keep the focus on Batman and Superman. Yes, you’ll see everyone from Wonder Woman to Aquaman, but this story is really about the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel (see: the film’s title).

Here’s an excerpt from Roven’s breakdown:

“I don’t think [being overstuffed is] an issue for this film at all. I really don’t… I think that the film is called Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so there’s a reason it’s called Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and not Dawn of Justice: Batman v Superman. So you’re gonna invest mostly in Batman v Superman and I think that you’ll find other characters in there that you hopefully will want to see more of…

We tried [to make it all feel real] when we brought it here, when Zod came here, we wanted to make sure that we followed that. We actually talked about what would that technology translate to here. And I think you’ll see in Batman v Superman we stayed true to that, we were attempting to stay true to that, how are things affecting Superman here, Batman is still human, he’s not Meta, he’s just a human, Wonder Woman is Meta, if you will, although some might think that she’s a God.”

Going beyond the giant pile of DC characters on the cast list, Roven touched on the film’s plot as a whole and how they hope to transcend the “comic-book movie” label. That’s a debate for another day on its own, but basically Roven is saying they’re trying to tell good stories, regardless of genre, in hopes that this movie can stand on its own as a film. Period.

You could argue that’s what Marvel Studios has been doing for years by weaving the “comic-book movie” trope into everything from political thrillers to space operas, and it’s certainly a worthy aspiration for DC.

Here’s an excerpt from how Roven sees Batman v Superman:

“I think like any genre, the movies have to be good and you have to keep the audience engaged. One of the things that we’re doing when we’re bringing together the DC Justice League Universe is we’re creating not only stories that work for the individual film but they have some resonance to the other films that we’re doing. And I’m hoping that what’s also gonna keep the interest very keen is we’re telling hopefully compelling stories. I mean, one of the great things about dealing with superheroes in general, at least from our standpoint, is they’re both inspirational and aspirational characters.

So you’re hoping that the audience is gonna want to be like some of them but you’re also hoping that the audience can relate to some of them, that if we make their stories compelling and relatable, interesting and emotional, that you’re going to really want to spend more time with them. So you talk about Man of Steel and I felt that Clark’s relationship with both of his fathers was pretty emotional and you can relate, certainly people who lost a loved one can relate, and we all have at some point in our lives lost loved ones. So I think even with Batman v Superman we wanna have characters that touch us, and if we can continue to make films like that, the I think they’re sort of ‘genre proof’”.

Batman v Superman opens March 25, 2016.

Do you think this is all hyperbole, or is Roven onto something?

(Via Collider)