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August 06, 2014

‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’: New release date avoids ‘Cap 3’

Posted in: Movies

aaanewwonderwomany74hkhy Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice: New release date avoids Cap 3

"Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" director Zack Snyder tweeted out this first look at Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. (Clay Enos/Warner Bros.)

newgallerysuperman horizontal Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice: New release date avoids Cap 3

Henry Cavill will be reprising his “Man of Steel” role as Superman in "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice." (Warner Bros.)

newgallerybatman1 Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice: New release date avoids Cap 3

Ben Affleck will portray the Dark Knight in "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice." (Warner Bros.)

Batman and Superman will no longer be staring down Captain America the next time they appear on the big screen.

Warner Bros. will now open “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” Zack Snyder’s follow-up to “Man of Steel,” in 3-D on March 25, 2016. The film previously had been set to open May 6, 2016, opposite Marvel’s third “Captain America” film.

The studio also revealed that it plans to release two DC Comics-based films annually starting in 2016: They will be released on Aug. 5, 2016; June 23, 2017; Nov. 17, 2017; March 23, 2018; July 27, 2018; April 5, 2019; June 14, 2019; April 3, 2020, and June 19, 2020.

A new release date schedule also includes two untitled Warner Bros. “event” films — opening Nov. 16, 2018, and Nov. 20, 2020.

PHOTOS: The roles that led Ben Affleck to Batman

“Batman v. Superman” was the talk of San Diego’s Comic-Con International, where a teaser for the film was screened and stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot appeared in person at a Warner Bros. panel presentation. It was a significant moment for the project, which had generated some controversy early on thanks in part to casting choices.

First, comics stalwarts expressed surprise and skepticism in August with the revelation that Affleck would inherit the cape and cowl from actor Christian Bale, taking on the role of Batman opposite Cavill’s Superman in the much-anticipated superhero sequel, the follow-up to his 2013 blockbuster that grossed more than $668 million at the worldwide box office.

Then came the announcement that Israeli actress Gadot, best known for her work in the “Fast & Furious” films, would play Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in the movie, and the uproar started anew. More chatter was sparked by the announcement that boyish “The Social Network” star Jesse Eisenberg, 30, had claimed the part of Superman’s traditionally burly, bald and middle-aged arch nemesis Lex Luthor.

In an interview with Hero Complex in March, Snyder assured worried fans, “We know the material … we’re casting according to what’s happening in the script. And we’re hoping that leads to enough originality, enough perspective on what we’re doing that you get something fresh and exciting. I understand the canon. I’m not crazy. I know what these characters need from a mythological standpoint.”

Since then, the tide has begun to turn as early photos from the film — particularly Affleck in costume — seemed to win approval from most corners of the fan community.

Much had been made of the impending DC/Marvel face-off with the plan to open the sequel opposite the next installment in Marvel’s “Captain America” franchise — the most recent film in that series, April’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” currently stands as the highest-grossing release of 2014 at the domestic box office. But the new release date avoids any such conflict.

Are you looking forward to “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

— Gina McIntyre and Chris Lee | @LATHeroComplex

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