- "The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world: God versus man; day versus night; Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham!"
- ―Lex Luthor[src]
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the second film in the DC Extended Universe, following on from 2013's Man of Steel also directed by Zack Snyder. Henry Cavill returned as Clark Kent/Superman, as well the other principle cast members from Man of Steel. Ben Affleck, Jesse Eisenberg and Gal Gadot joined the cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Lex Luthor and Diana Prince/Wonder Woman respectively. The film was released March 25, 2016.
An R-rated version of the film, titled the Ultimate Edition, was released on DVD and Blu-ray on the 16 July 2016, and online in digital HD on June 28, containing extended and deleted scenes that were not chosen for the theatrical cut. It is largely considered to be the completely finished project.
It's been nearly two years since Superman's colossal battle with Zod devastated the city of Metropolis. The loss of life and collateral damage left many feeling angry and helpless, including crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne. Convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, Batman embarks on a personal vendetta to end his reign on Earth, while the conniving Lex Luthor launches his own crusade against the Man of Steel.
In 2013, Bruce Wayne arrives in Metropolis in the midst of the Battle between the Superman and the Kryptonians . He tries to proceed to the Wayne Financial Building, giving the order via phone for the people inside to evacuate. As he drives his way to the building, he narrowly avoids the debris from the crashing Fortress of Solitude with Superman and Zod inside. He witnesses the Black Zero as Kal-El's Phantom Drive crashes into it and crushes the Black Zero into a singularity. As Superman and General Zod begin to fight, Zod throws Superman into the Wayne Financial Building and Zod's uncontrollable heat vision causes the building to collapse in ruin. Horrified, Bruce makes his way through the debris looking for survivors, finding Wallace Keefe trapped underneath some rubble. He helps rescue him then saves a little girl whose mother perished. While consoling her, he angrily watches Zod and Superman fly down from the sky.
18 months later in 2015, Lois Lane travels to war-torn Nairomi in Kenya, seeking an interview with the African warlord in a raging civil war. Lois was accompanied by Jimmy Olsen, a photographer who is revealed to be a CIA operative. The camera he was carrying had a tracking device hidden inside as discovered by a bodyguard, Anatoli Knyazev. Before being shot, he states that Lois knew nothing of either the device or his identity. The warlord then takes Lois as a hostage, threatening to kill her. Superman soon arrives, saving Lois and returning her home.
A US Senate committee headed by Senator Finch hears evidence given about Superman saving the life of Lois Lane in Africa. Concerned at how Superman may be seen by the public, due to his constant acts of vigilantism, she sends a public announcement to Superman, inviting him to speak in a committee to defend his actions at the US Capitol in Washington D.C.
Returning home to his and Lois' apartment, Clark sees Lois in the bathtub and said he wanted to surprise her by cooking up something. When the subject shifts to the controversy surrounding his actions in Nairomi, Clark makes it clear that he is unconcerned, as Lois could have been killed; also adding that he didn't murder anyone. When Lois questions if whether or not it is possible for him to love her and be Superman, he responds by giving her one of the roses he bought and getting into the bathtub with her despite being fully-clothed; kissing her passionately before his glasses come off. Clark then proceeds to take off his shirt.
Meanwhile in Gotham, the vigilante Batman rescues a group of young Asian women from sex trafficker Cesar Santos by subduing him and then ruthlessly branding him. One of Gotham City Police Department's rookie police officers tried to shoot him but the Dark Knight escaped, leaving Santos with a "bat-brand" on his chest.
On the morning news, while cooking, Clark hears Nairomian Kahina Ziri being interviewed regarding Superman, and she states that had Superman been in her presence she would ask him how he decides: "which lives count, and which ones do not?", leaving Clark visibly disturbed.
Later that same day, Clark is assigned by Perry to travel to Gotham City and cover the Metropolis vs Gotham football game (being given the headline "Underdog Dreams Dashed - 10 Yards Between Gotham and Glory") when the news reports on Wallace Keefe vandalizing the Superman Statue by spray-painting the words "False God" in red on the chest before he is arrested. Clark is visibly saddened about this hate crime. Perry, while also quite upset, gives Jenny the headline "End of Love Affair With Man In the Sky?"
In Metropolis, billionaire business mogul Lex Luthor, meets with Senator Finch and her subordinate to discuss the radioactive mineral discovered in the Indian Ocean following the destruction of the World Engine 18 months prior, wishing to manufacture the mineral into a "deterrent" against Superman and other possible known "metahumans". Finch considers this before leaving while Lex gains access to the Kryptonian scout ship and the body of General Zod from her subordinate. Later at Luthor's home, Luthor tries to persuade Senator June Finch to allow him to import the mineral but Finch declines, claiming to see through his facade of good intentions. Angered, Luthor warns Finch of the consequences before she leaves.
Back in Gotham, Bruce has been searching for someone known only as the "White Portuguese" which he tells Alfred is bringing in a dirty bomb to Gotham city. Bruce learns that a Russian man named Anatoli Knyazev may have information regarding the "White Portuguese", but even after interrogating 6 people as Batman, he learns nothing. Hence, Bruce Wayne later attends an underground fight club where he meets Knyazev. He and Bruce had a brief conversation, which allowed Bruce to successfully clone Knyazev's phone and discover that Knyazev worked for Lex Luthor. Bruce then expresses his intention to break into Luthor's house as Batman, but Alfred is quick to point out that that would be unnecessary, as Luthor has already invited Bruce to attend a fundraiser event.
At Lex Luthor's fundraiser event, Clark is representing the Daily Planet while Bruce aims to infiltrate information regarding the "White Portuguese" and its occupant. Among the event is antiquities dealer Diana Prince. Suspicious about Bruce, Clark approaches him claiming to want an interview in which they discuss Batman's brutal activities in Gotham and the differing perceptions of Superman and his nature to the world with Clark condemning Bruce's alter-ego and Bruce being unapologetic in his opinion of Superman being a threat to humanity. Bruce later leaves to retrieve his collected data from the mainframe of Lex's home but finds it to be stolen by Diana, much to his annoyance.
Meanwhile, Lois researches into the recovered bullet from the warlord's camp, ascertaining that it is not made by any known manufacturer. She proceeds to query this with General Calvin Swanwick. Reluctantly, he gives in to her requests to identify the bullet's manufacturer. He reveals that they are a special prototype round, made by LexCorp Industries.
Bruce and Diana meet again and the two converse about the drive. Diana explains that she borrowed it because she belives Lex Luthor has a photo of her, which she was unable to aquire due to the drive being protected by a military-grade encryption. She gives it back to Bruce, who takes it to the Batcave to decrypt.
While decrypting the drive, Bruce falls asleep and has a nightmare of a post-apocalyptic world: the Injustice War, where Superman leads a Regime over the world and Batman leads an Insurgency to stop him. However, Batman is betrayed and a battle ensues, with many of his followers killed by Regime Stormtroopers and Parademons. Batman is eventually captured and is tied up in a room. Superman arrives and kills others tied up with him. Superman unmasks Batman and states that “She was my world... and you took her from me...”. He then crushes Batman’s chest. As Bruce wakes up, a time traveller from the future arrives and tells Bruce that Lois Lane is ‘the key’. However, he realises he came too soon and instead warns Bruce that he has always been right about the Man of Steel and that he should fear him. He ends by saying that he needs to find us.
While the rest of the world is busy debating whether Superman has been a positive or negative addition to planet Earth, Clark returns home to Smallville to visit Martha. There, she advises him that either way, he shouldn't be concerned with what others think of him.
Despite media speculation to the contrary, Superman arrives to speak and answer at Finch's committee. She points out to him a victim of Superman's actions, Wallace Keefe, who lost his legs in Superman's battle with General Zod. After seeing a distasteful note left for her by Lex Luthor, she stops in mid-speech before a bomb (hidden inside Keefe's wheelchair by Lex Luthor) explodes, killing her and everyone else present, except Superman. Later that night, Lex discovers that Batman has stolen his kryptonite from LexCorp in Metropolis, leaving behind a batarang as a symbol. In Washington D.C., Superman meets Lois at her hotel suite and laments on his failures to stop the bombing and his role as Superman. Lois tries to convince him that he must remain a symbol of hope for the peoples of Earth before he flies away in exile. Using the fingerprints of Zod, Lex enters the Genesis Chamber of the Fortress of Solitude in Heroes Park and learns information on hundreds of thousands of recorded worlds.
Bruce Wayne begins physically training in the Batcave to prepare for his fight against Superman while also converting the kryptonite into three gas grenades and a kryptonite-tipped spear. While accessing Lex's data drive, he discovers folders on metahumans, one containing recent surveillance on Diana and a 1918 photograph of her as Wonder Woman in Belgium. Meanwhile, Lex brings the corpse of General Zod to the Genesis Chamber and Kelor warns him of the ban of genetic modification by the Kryptonian Law Council. However, Lex ignores this and combines his blood with Zod as the Genesis Chamber begins to transform the body of Zod.
Clark arrives at a snowy mountaintop and imagines his father, Jonathan Kent, building a tomb with stones. Kent recalls his childhood when he remembers one bad rainy season when he and his family spent all-night damming the water to save the farm. Kent remembers that his mother called him a hero and baked him a cake and, while he was eating, the neighbour's farm was wiped out and he could hear the neighbour's horses drowning. He continued that he used to have nightmares about the horses. Clark asks if the nightmares ever stopped, and Jonathan answers when he met Martha Kent, who gave him hope that there is good in the world. Bruce visits the ruins of the Wayne Manor as Alfred tries to dissuade him from combating Superman to no avail. Bruce recalls when his father sat him down next to the Wayne family shield and his father taught him of the first generation of the Wayne family that sold pelts and skins to French traders, citing that they were hunters.
In Smallville, Martha Kent is kidnapped by Anatoli Knyazev and his men and is brought to Gotham. In Gotham, Batman prepares his weapons against Superman and shines the Bat Signal in the stormy sky, as Lex watches from the LexCorp tower from across the bay. Anatoli also kidnaps Lois Lane and delivers her to Lex, who then pushes her off the tower to lure Superman. Superman saves her and puts her down on the ground before flying up to confront Lex Luthor. He then shows Superman photographs of his kidnapped mother, and offers an ultimatum to him: if he does not kill Batman within 30 minutes, then Martha Kent will die by fire.
At Heroes Park, the Fortress of Solitude begins to emit electric discharges to the surrounding buildings. Elsewhere, Diana receives an email from Bruce, showing a photograph of her from 1918, questioning her identity and her origins. In the attachment, she uncovers surveillance footage of Barry Allen, Arthur Curry, and video diaries of Silas Stone using a Mother Box to resuscitate his son, Victor Stone. As Lois returns to the Daily Planet, she rides a helicopter straight for the Bat Signal in Gotham in hopes of stopping the fight.
In Gotham, Superman meets Batman in his armored Batsuit and tries to explain the situation. However, Batman does not bother to listen as he activates sonar cannons and machine gun turrets against Superman to no visible effect. Superman and Batman then begin to fight, with Batman firing two kryptonite gas grenades at him during the fight and gaining the upper hand. Finally, Batman grabs the weakened Superman and drags him over to his kryptonite spear. However, as Batman is about to kill Superman, Superman pleads with Batman to "save Martha". Believing he is using his mother's name, Batman shouts in rage until Lois arrives and explains that Martha is his mother's name. Shocked, Batman comes to his senses, realizing that Superman is no threat to humanity and his foolishness in fighting him. Superman and Lois explain the situation to Batman, and he promises to rescue Martha Kent while Superman investigates the electric discharges coming from the Fortress of Solitude and confronts Lex. Lois grabs the kryptonite spear and throws it into a pool of water nearby to dispose of it.
Alfred tracks Knyazev's phone to a warehouse in Gotham, and Batman flies there via the Batwing. He infilitrates the warehouse, neutralizes all the criminals, kills Anatoli Knyazev and successfully rescues Martha. Meanwhile, Superman finds Lex Luthor at the Genesis Chamber and upon learning Superman has not killed Batman, calls Anatoli. He is surprised when Batman is on the other line instead and realizes Martha is safe. Lex then executes his backup plan: unleashing an ancient Kryptonian deformity known as Doomsday designed to kill Superman. As the monster awakens, it roars at Lex Luthor before reaching out to kill him. However, Superman stops his attack and Doomsday breaks out of the Fortress of Solitude into Heroes Park while Lex stays behind.
Superman promptly confronts Doomsday, and the two battle one another, destroying the Superman Statue in the process. Doomsday's strength surpasses that of Superman, but the the Man of Steel holds his own, managing to send the monster flying into a building. Doomsday is then shot at by military helicopters, but his body takes it all, adapting and only becoming more durable.
In desperation, Superman tackles Doomsday into space. The US President intends to shoot the alien monster down with a nuclear missile, and it is carried out, despite the protests of Swanwick. Superman defiantly holds Doomsday in place as he sees the missile approach, determined to have the monster destroyed. The resulting explosion is so gigantic, that Batman can clearly see it from Earth's surface.
Doomsday's body lands on the abandoned Stryker's Island, but he is far from dead, as the tremendous explosion seems to have only made the monster stronger, with its body once again regenerating. Batman then attacks it with his Batwing, unleashing an immense amount of firepower, but Doomsday is unscathed, and brings the plane down with his heat vision and breath. Before Batman can escape his crashed vehicle, Doomsday corners him, and fires a tremendous superheated torrent at him. Wonder Woman arrives, however, just in time to save Batman, deflecting the beams with her indestructible bracelets, which creates a massive wave of energy outwards.
In the meantime, Superman is floating in space, with him being extremely weakened by the nuclear missile, rendered thin and undead in appearance. Soon, however, he is exposed to radiation from the yellow sun, which reinvigorates Superman's cells, returning him to full power. He then proceeds to defiantly fly towards Doomsday again, sending the monster flying into a gas tank.
Wonder Woman and Superman then proceed to jointly attack Doomsday in tandem, while Batman tries to expose the monster to Kryptonite, which would exploit its only known vulnerability. Wonder Woman soon manages to cut off the monster's right hand, but that only results in a sharp bony protrusion growing back in its place.
In the meantime, Lois is in Gotham, unsuccessfully trying to retrieve the Kryptonite Spear from underwater. Superman is able to hear her drowning, and flies off to rescue her from drowning, helping her retrieve the spear in the process, while Wonder Woman has manages to temporarily restrain Doomsday with her indestructible lasso. Superman sees that the only way to stop Doomsday is to risk his own life. Hence, he says a tender goodbye to Lois with a kiss, before taking hold of the spear and flying back to the battle scene, exposed to the substance himself in the process.
He stabs Doomsday in the chest with the Kryptonite Spear, but since the weapon did not manage to fully pierce the monster, Doomsday is able to stab Superman in return, piercing the latter's chest with his arm bone protrusion. A desperate and mortally wounded Superman uses the leverage to further impale Doomsday with the spear, finally killing the creature, though dying himself in the process. A shocked and saddened Batman promptly arrives, and retrieves Superman's lifeless body, enveloping him in his own cape, shortly before the arrival of a devastated Lois.
Superman is given a symbolic funeral with an empty casket in Heroes Park in Metropolis, while the funeral of Clark Kent is held in Smallville, with Father Daniel Leone presiding over it, and with Pete Ross and Lana Lang also being in attendance. An after function is held at Martha's home. Lois is in Clark's bedroom when Martha enters. She gives Lois a letter, revealing to her that Clark had intended to propose to her.
Still at the cemetery, Bruce and Diana share a conversation about bringing the other metahumans together, in case a threat of that scale ever should arise, honoring Superman's heroic sacrifice. Diana questions the necessity and inquires why Bruce is proposing it. He replies that it is simply due to a feeling he has that things will inevitably get worse.
The Ultimate Edition
- There is a brief shot of the gun being leveled at Martha’s face.
- During the Black Zero Event, Bruce Wayne witnessed a teacher leading a group of children through the streets.
- In Nairomi, the man who was shot in the original version is confirmed to be Jimmy Olsen.
- To clarify the accusation against Superman in Nairomi, it is revealed that before fleeing, Knyazev and his men murder the warlord's men and the villagers, before immolating their corpses with a flamethrower (making it look like they had been killed by Superman's heat vision) and escaped before arriving moments later, and the Man of Steel was framed for the murder.
- The CIA launched a drone to bomb the compound, but the drone was promptly destroyed by Superman when he arrived.
- Lois Lane comes to the MCPD where an analyst (played by Jena Malone) studies the bullet for her.
- It is revealed that Clark Kent first learnt of Batman through going to Gotham to interview Kahina Ziri, where he encountered her neighbor and warned Clark about leaving before dark "unless [Clark] wants to run into him.", and drew the Bat symbol on a scratch card.
- In the original version, the newsman depicts that "a Bat brand in prison, essentially means death". Later, the man who was branded by Batman (Cesar Santos) was murdered in the prison by other inmates (as per the orchestration of Lex Luthor, through Anatoli Knyazev), confirming that Batman was actually sending death sentences, to clarify the motive for Superman's confrontation against Batman.
- When Lex Luthor visits Wallace Keefe at his home, the latter curses at Lex saying "What the fuck do you want?" Whereas in the orginal version, he just says "What do you want?" instead.
- Superman helps the Paramedics in aiding the survivors of the explosion in the Washington D.C. 's Capitol building.
- Wallace Keefe's wheelchair is revealed to be lead-lined so that Superman couldn't see it during the Capitol Bombing.
- When Doomsday was released, the GCPD arrived at the Gotham Port warehouse to aid Martha Kent, shortly before the Batwing appears and flies away.
- Originally, Doomsday leapt at a helicopter and missed, hitting LexCorp Tower, but in this version he rams through the helicopter, destroying it.
- When Batman visits Lex Luthor in prison, he tells him that Luthor was to be sent to Arkham Asylum in Gotham.
Four days before Man of Steels release, it was announced that Zack Snyder, David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan would return to their respective roles—director, screenwriter, and executive producer (albeit in a lesser role than in the previous film), for a Man of Steel sequel. Goyer had previously signed a three-film deal with Warner Bros. for Man of Steel, its sequel, and a Justice League film featuring Superman.
The movie was officially announced at the San Diego Comic-Con on July 20, 2013. The film is set for a 2015 release and will feature Superman and Batman meeting for the first time in a cinematic format, with most of the first film's main cast set to return, while a new actor would be chosen to play Batman. Two tentative titles for the new film, Batman vs. Superman or Superman vs. Batman, were suggested by Goyer during the Superman 75th Anniversary Panel at Comic-Con. Filming will start sometime in 2014 in Toronto, Ontario instead of Vancouver. On August 23, 2013, Hollywood Reporter announced that Warner Bros. cast Ben Affleck as Batman.
Despite the film being primarily concerned with Superman and Batman, the character of Wonder Woman was confirmed to play an undefined role in some capacity. It was announced on 4 December 2013 that Gal Gadot would portray the character in the film. On January 31, 2014, Actor Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as Lex Luthor and Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons has been cast as Alfred Pennyworth.
- Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman
- Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman
- Amy Adams as Lois Lane
- Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor
- Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth
- Diane Lane as Martha Kent
- Laurence Fishburne as Perry White
- Holly Hunter as Senator June Finch
- Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman
- Callan Mulvey as Anatoli Knyazev
- Scoot McNairy as Wallace Keefe
- Tao Okamoto as Mercy Graves
- Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/Flash
- Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman
- Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg
- Joe Morton as Silas Stone
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Thomas Wayne
- Lauren Cohan as Martha Wayne
- Brandon Spink as young Bruce Wayne
- Robin Atkin Downes as Doomsday
- Harry Lennix as Secretary of Defense Calvin Swanwick
- Christina Wren as Carrie Farris
- Michael Cassidy as Jimmy Olsen
- Michael Shannon as General Zod
- Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent
- Wunmi Mosaku as Kahina Ziri
- Dennis North as Senator Barrows
- Kiff VandenHeuvel as Officer Mazzuccheli
- Mason Heidger as Officer Mike Rucka
- The "Dawn of Justice" in the movie title is a rather obvious hint that the Justice League would be forming soon, not to mention Wonder Woman's inclusion.
- The future Batman sees appears to have been based on Injustice: Gods Amongst Us, where Superman was tricked by the Joker, leading to the death Lois Lane (pregnant) and the destruction of Metropolis. Consumed by his grief, Superman killed Joker and began a tyrannical rule of Earth to protect it. Batman lead a team of rebels heroes, to combat Superman's regime.
- However, unlike the vision that showed Batman being killed by Superman, the game had a different plot, where heroes from parallel earth arrived and helped overthrow Superman.
- Superman had previously appeared to die in the film Superman: Doomsday. Just like that film, it's hinted that Superman didn't really die from the wounds inflicted by Doomsday; instead, his body went into a state of suspended animation in order to heal from his injuries, with his heartbeat so slow he seemed dead. It's likely the same thing occurred in this film.
- Superman is referred to as a god several times. In the Supergirl TV series, this has been a recurring theme with Lillian Luthor, who is bigoted towards aliens and thinks that the Supers are malevolent beings trying to get the world to worship them.
- Perhaps to reflect Luthor's seemingly unstable/unpredictable behavior, his outfits mix casual articles of clothing with business suits.
Behind the scenes
- United States of America
- Gotham City
- Monarch Theatre
- Wayne Manor
- Wayne Botanical Garden (marketing)
- Gotham City Opera House (marketing)
- Rosemont Theater (marketing)
- Aragon Theater (marketing)
- Globe Theater (marketing)
- Midtown Mall (marketing)
- Midtown Arena (marketing)
- Gotham City Museum of Antiquities (marketing)
- Gotham City Museum of Natural History (marketing)
- Robinson Park (marketing)
- Gotham City
- Belgium (in photograph)
- Germany (mentioned)
- United States of America
- Batman's Utility Belt
- Wonder Woman's battle armor
- Bracelets of Submission
- Lasso of Truth
- Wonder Woman's shield
- Wonder Woman's sword
- Flash suit
- Aquaman's trident
- Mother Box
- Daily Planet
- MN 8 HD
- Wayne Enterprises
- Gotham City Police Department
- Ace Chemicals
- Central Intelligence Agency
- S.T.A.R. Labs
- STAGG (marketing)
- Kord Industries (marketing)
- Queen Industries (marketing)
- Sheridan Dynamics (marketing)
- Geschäft-Krieg (marketing)
- Doomsday (Bertron)
- Joker (indirectly mentioned)
- Alexander Luthor Sr. (marketing)
- Laura Wayne (marketing)
- Benjamin Wayne (marketing)
- Patrick A. Wayne (marketing)
- Charles Wayne (marketing)
- Queen Industries' CEO (marketing)
|Films in the DC Extended Universe|
|Films||Man of Steel | Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice | Suicide Squad | Wonder Woman|
|Upcoming films||Justice League | Aquaman | Shazam | Wonder Woman II | Cyborg | Green Lantern Corps|
|Announced films||Batgirl | The Batman | Black Adam | Flashpoint | Gotham City Sirens | Justice League sequel | Justice League Dark | Man of Steel sequel | Nightwing | Suicide Squad 2|