Despite the trailer showing an armored, older Batman facing down the Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder promises that next year’s cinematic clash of the titans won’t be an adaptation of Frank Miller’s classic comic book series The Dark Knight Returns.
While Snyder admitted to Comic Book Resources that the visuals for next year’s follow-up to Man of Steel take some cues from Miller’s much-loved 1980s comic book — “Dark Knight Returns was such a big influence on me, that I wanted to honor him through imagery in the movie” — he denied rumors that the central story is the source for Batman v. Superman.
“You could still make Dark Knight Returns into a movie, if you want,” he said. “That’s what I’m saying, as far as how much we used and how much we didn’t use. The visual elements, there are some that I homage, but I don’t think the movie [is an adaptation]. … Definitely [an] influence.”
The Dark Knight Returns tells the story of a retired Bruce Wayne resuming his crime fighting career after 10 years, only to find himself facing opposition from the U.S. government, climaxing in a conflict between the caped crusader and Superman. (Batman wins, of course; it’s his comic book, after all.) The series remains one of the most popular Batman stories ever told, with DC Entertainment launching a second follow-up, Dark Knight III: The Master Race, next month.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice will be released March 25, 2016.