Superman and Batman will team-up on the big screen, according to a new report from the Los Angeles Times.
Warner Bros. made the announcement official following its Comic-Con panel in Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center on Saturday afternoon.
Following nearly two hours of promotion (other Warner Bros. films highlighted on Saturday included "The LEGO Movie," "Gravity" and "Edge of Tomorrow"), "Man of Steel" director Zack Snyder walked on stage and announced that a sequel to "Man of Steel" was happening. He then called out actor Harry Lennix, who co-starred in the recent Superman film, to read a section of Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns": "I want you to remember, Clark, in all the years to come, in all your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you." Behind Lennix, a screen showed the famous Superman logo with the equally famous Batman logo lurking in the background. (As Vulture noted, Snyder stressed that the film wouldn't be based on Miller's comic.)
The "Man of Steel" sequel, now a Superman and Batman film, will bring stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane back together with Snyder and writer David S. Goyer, Warner Bros. announced in a press release on Saturday after the panel. The film will have a new actor playing Batman: Christian Bale, who starred as Batman in three films for director Christopher Nolan, has said he wouldn't return to play the character for a fourth time, and Warner Bros. noted that another star will be cast as Bruce Wayne in the Superman/Batman feature. (Nolan, for his part, will executive produce the new film.)
"We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three [Batman films]. That's enough. Let's not get greedy," Bale told Entertainment Weekly's EW.com earlier this month. "Chris always said he wanted to make it one film at a time. And we ended up sitting there looking at each other, saying 'We're about to make the third.' We never really knew if we were going to get to be there, but if that was how it was going to be, this was where it should end as well."
The Superman and Batman movie would take the place of the long-planned Justice League film -- which would combine Superman and Batman with their DC Comics brethren like Green Lantern, Flash and Wonder Woman -- on the calendar. Indeed, speculation was that "Justice League" would arrive in theaters some time in 2015 to compete with "Marvel's The Avengers 2." Geek site Ain't It Cool News reported that both "Justice League" and another Batman film were scheduled for a 2015 release.
That, however, was wishful fanboy thinking. According to THR, "Justice League" will come in 2017, after not just after the Superman and Batman movie but also a feature about The Flash, which would hit theaters in 2016.
The "Man of Steel" sequel was first announced before "Man of Steel" even opened, but Warner Bros. saved this big reveal for Comic-Con.
Additional reporting by Mike Ryan.