Judging by what’s been shown of ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice’, one influence clearly stands bat-eared head and shoulders over any others: Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns’.  Director Zack Snyder admits that the 1986 alternate reality miniseries/graphic novel is one of his favorite Batman tales and that where he could, the director slipped homages to it into the upcoming film.  But he is also quick to point out that it wasn’t the only influence on him and that the film is not, in any way, an actual adaptation of the original comic.

One element that is music to my ears and most likely to others who don’t necessarily love the fact that every movie Batman going back to the Michael Keaton/Tim Burton version in 1989 has sported rather clunky looking armor– Snyder wanted a more “fabric-based” look, more in keeping with the mainstream comics and animated versions.  Of course, being a movie, things had to evolve a bit.

This is what Snyder had to say about his initial take on Batman:

“I had a really strong idea about what I wanted to do — I really wanted to do sort of a fabric-based Batman; not what’s become the more normal, armored Batman. That’s how we evolved it … I definitely wanted an older Batman. I wanted a war-weary Batman. That’s why, in a lot of ways, Ben was really perfect for me — we kind of aged him a little bit. It worked really great. I’m really excited about the Batman we created.”

And while the Miller evidence is evident– Snyder even consulted with the writer/artist– he is quick to point out that fans shouldn’t expect this to be an adaptation:

“There are so many great artists who have drawn Batman. So many great comics that have been created — it’s countless. I was talking to Frank about it: “Dark Knight Returns” was such a big influence on me, that I wanted to to honor him through imagery in the movie. You could still make “Dark Knight Returns” into a movie, if you want. 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] … All people have to go on are the first two trailers. They’re going to see more when we show more. You’ll learn more.”

So far, in addition to Batman’s appearances and even poses, there have been comparisons between Jared Leto‘s depiction of The Joker (who is NOT in ‘BVS’ but follow-up film ‘Suicide Squad’) with his sinewy musculature and speculation that Jenna Malone might be playing Carrie Kelly, the Robin from ‘The Dark Knight Returns’.  (Her role is still under wraps.)

Batman’s suit isn’t a total deviation from armor.  It’s certainly not a nylon bodysuit like the one Adam West wore in the sixties.  But the idea of a Batsuit that is at least a little more like fabric makes me happy.  The fact that despite the fact that all the photos so far have been drab, the suit is supposedly not solid black is also a step in the right direction.

How much ‘DKR’ influence do you hope to see?  Would you prefer ‘BVS’ stick close to that story or would you rather see something more original?

Source: Comic Book Resources