Unfortunately last week’s cinema visits ended with me falling asleep on two separate occasions so I now have to re-watch those movies if I plan on reviewing them and I have no content to release today. I am trying to be consistent with my releasing of content so I decided to share a little side-project I’ve been working on. I know the hype of Batman Vs Superman has died down for most but I still can’t get over just how poor it was. I keep imagining different directions Zack Snyder and his team could have taken so I decided to jot these down and before long found myself penning a rewrite.
Now I don’t know a great deal about screenwriting so this post and the subsequent posts will be non-conventional but I’m hoping you’ll understand the story I was going for. Now while Dawn of Justice was a mess, I don’t think it was completely without merit. There were entertaining pieces of dialogue and the fight scenes worked really well; so I may reshuffle things at times instead of completely ripping things apart and starting over. Now this post’s title has a “Part I” so that suggests multiple future entries but it’s actually because I haven’t finished the rewrite. I also can’t promise how frequent these rewrite posts will be but when I have a significant chunk of story complete, I’ll share as soon as I can.
Well, without further adieu, let’s begin what I think should have happened in Batman vs Superman. Oh by the way, first change would have been losing the subtitle Dawn of Justice. Let’s keep it focused on these two titans slugging it out and let The Justice League sort itself out later.
We kick the movie off at one of those ever-present balls that rich people seem to be attending in movies, only this time it’s in France. Bruce Wayne is at the bar chatting a beautiful woman up. Suddenly the lights go dark and all the screens in the room (including the cellphones) begin displaying Zod’s “You Are Not Alone” message from Man of Steel. After the message is complete the woman Bruce was talking to turns to him to ask what that was but finds that he’s disappeared. Bruce exits the building and calls Alfred telling him to send the ‘jet’.
Cut to Superman battling Zod in Metropolis. Batman (visibly slimmer than we saw him in Dawn of Justice) arrives in the Batwing set to join the fight. Over his radio Alfred’s voice can be heard, desperately trying to convince him to sit this one out and let the ‘titans’ fight it out. Batman retorts that innocent people are dying; he can’t just sit back.
As Batman flies through the crumbling city, he notices people trapped in collapsing buildings. He detours to save them but the sheer amount of destruction is too much, for even him, to overcome. He finds himself hanging off a ledge with a mother and her teenage daughter holding his free hand. The weight of both is too much for him to pull to safety. The mother realises that Batman can’t save both her and her daughter and sacrifices herself. She lets go of Batman’s hand and falls to her death. Batman saves the daughter and carries her to the ground. He embraces the crying girl as he ruefully watches Zod and Superman battle in the sky.
Cut to 7 months later, Lex Luthor enters the office of a high=profile government official. Luthor begins explaining how his company – LexCorp – has been aiding in relief operations following the arrival of the mysterious Kryptonians. The official commends Luthor but explains that if he wants a Nobel Peace Prize, that’s on the sixth floor. Luthor states that the prize he seeks is knowledge. He opens his briefcase and a luminous green glow fills the room. He pulls a small rock out of the case and places it in front of the official. He explains that the rock was found among the rubble created by Zod’s terraforming device – The World Engine.
Luthor states that the rock is radioactive but its rays are non-harmful to humans. He goes on to say that the rays are analogous to those emitted by uranium and could possibly be toxic to Kryptonian physiology. He requests access to the Kryptonian vessel and Zod’s corpse for further testing. He postulates that he can duplicate and miniaturise the World Engine to create more rocks like this. Rocks which could be developed into weapons against Superman.
The official states that there is no need for such potential weapons as Superman is an ally. To this, Luthor emphatically states, “Superman is a god! He thinks himself a man, which is why he fights for us. One day he will realise his strength and how hopelessly ill-prepared we are to match it. When that day comes and our cities burn and our saviour becomes our oppressor, one question will ring in our minds – ‘how did we not see this coming?’”.
The official rejects Luthor’s offer. As Lex leaves the office he is met by his right hand – Mercy. She assumes the meeting went well because of the smile plastered on Luthor’s face. He informs her of his rejection; to which she wonders why he looks so pleased. He replies that he just gave them his best offer so now when they come running to him for help, they’ll take whatever deal he puts in front of them. She asks what if they never come running? What if Superman never gives them reason to? A wry smile spreads over Luthor’s face and he tells her that it doesn’t matter what Superman does, what matters is what they can make it look like.
Cut to a construction site in Metropolis. One of several in the city trying to rebuild the wreck. Among the construction crews flies an alien. Clearing rubble, lifting pieces of scaffolding and iron that most cranes would struggle with. The crew appear appreciative of his presence, throwing out high-5’s and affectionate terms of ‘Supes’ his way. A small crowd is gathered on the edge of the construction site. Most taking pictures and marvelling at Superman’s feats of strength. One person in the crowd stands silent, still. The same girl who Batman saved earlier in the film. Superman looks down at the crowd and notices the girl who is holding a white placard in her hands. Written on the placard in bright red paint stand two words which chill Superman to the core: “False God”.
Cut to the bustling offices of The Daily Planet. Clark Kent arrives clearly rushed, still fixing his tie. He’s greeted by a young, overly-zealous photographer – Jimmy Olsen – as he exits the elevator. Olsen begins rambling about some nonsense story about what he did over the weekend. Clark’s rushing to get to his desk to finish, actually begin, an article that was due an hour ago. He asks Olsen to go fetch him some coffee so he can work in peace. He’s surprised to find that the article has already been completed and submitted to the editor – Perry White. He gingerly smiles and walks over to Lois Lane’s desk.
Clark jokingly remarks that Lois doesn’t have to keep doing his work for him. She whispers that he’s off saving the world, it’s the least she can do. He offers to buy her dinner as a real thank you but is rebuffed. He moves towards her trying to touch her hand but she moves it away and reminds him that they’ve already tried that. She clarifies that she did what she did as a friend and nothing more. Clark opens his mouth to reply but is interrupted by Jimmy showing up with his coffee. Lois says that she’ll see them in the staff meeting and rushes away. Jimmy asks Clark how he’s handling the break-up, Clark mumbles a “fine” and returns to his cubicle.
Cut to the staff meeting, Perry is busying handing out writing assignments for the next issue. He tasks Clark with writing about a football match; Clark suggests that he instead write about Gotham’s Batman. Perry says that the Batman is ‘old news’ and not nearly as interesting to the public as Superman is now anyways. Clark argues that Batman has become increasingly more violent, Perry cuts him off and explains that the rent for their new temporary offices is sky high and they need stories that sell. Clark silently falls back into his chair. Perry concludes the meeting by stating that Lois will be travelling to Nairomi to interview General Chasa, which is met by surprised and concerned looks from Clark.
Cut to Lois packing up her desk to leave for her trip. Clark stands in front of her desk for the second time and asks when she was planning on telling him that she’d be visiting a warzone. Lois doesn’t reply. Clark breaks the silence and expresses his concern for her safety and that he still cares whether they’re dating or not. Lois appreciates his concern but reminds Clark that she was taking notes in warzones long before she ever met him. She jokingly reminds Clark that since she won’t be here for a week, he’ll have to write his own articles and asks Clark about his sudden fascination with Batman. Clark states that his interest isn’t purely professional – he wishes to reach out to Batman because he’s a superhero like he is and has had to deal with plenty of criticism like Superman is facing now. He’s, however, grown concerned with the brutality that accompanies Batman’s justice.
Cut to a street in Gotham where a suspicious-looking man is following a woman. He pulls a knife on her, she screams; but not at the mugger. She spots a dark shadow, flying down towards her over the man’s shoulder. Within a heartbeat Batman (now the muscular hulk we saw in Dawn of Justice) lands and savagely grabs the mugger. Another scream fills the air, this time the mugger’s as the screen fades to black with the sound of Batman’s punches against him.
Cut to Bruce Wayne sleeping in the Batcave in front of the computer station. Alfred Pennyworth walks in and wakes him up by dropping a folder next to his head. He hands Bruce a cup of coffee. Bruce examines the folder.
(for the next piece, I’ve decided to break into full dialogue)
This isn’t the morning paper; what am I looking at?
Hospital records of the mugger from last night. Change of rules?
He’s a criminal, Alfred. I’ve never been one to trifle with criminals.
Was it really necessary to break his wrist?
He had a knife
You also broke his leg in two places
Didn’t want him running away. He’s young, he’ll walk again but he won’t forget
So that’s what it’s about? Sending a message?
It’s always been about sending a message
Yes, but to whom have you been sending the message to lately? You think I haven’t noticed the change? Your increased bulk? Your ferocity? You don’t incapacitate criminals anymore, you maim them. I won’t even mention that monstrosity you’re building over there.
Alfred gestures to half-completed mechanical suit in the corner and then pulls up Batman’s files on Superman.
God’s fly through the sky and hurl thunderbolts at each other and all we can do is watch. All YOU can do is watch. That’s how it starts – the rage, the anger, the feeling of helplessness that turns good men…cruel. He is not our enemy!
Look at the numbers, Alfred. Thousands dead. That’s when he was fighting for us; what happens when he turns against us?
What makes you think he’s going to turn?
Twenty years in Gotham. How many good guys are left? How many stayed that way? He has the power to destroy the entire human race! Someone has to stand against him if he decides to act on that power
Bruce turns to leave the cave
So everyone eventually goes bad? What about you? Who will they send after The Batman
With my luck, probably you