When it was announced that the DC Extended Universe’s follow-up to Man of Steel would be titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, people had quite a laugh. After all, it sounded like Batman was going to sue Superman, presumably for all the manslaughter by depraved indifference he committed at the end of his debut movie. However, it turns out the movie’s title could have been much, much more ridiculous.
Speaking at Justice Con this past weekend (via Collider), director Zack Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio revealed that the reason Batman is “v” Superman as opposed to “versus” Superman is because they didn’t want it to sound like some lame “versus” movie, which is funny because it is absolutely and unequivocally a “versus” movie. But that’s apparently not the title they really wanted.
“The whole ‘v’ instead of ‘versus,’ it was like this crazy negotiation,” Snyder said at the con. “I was like, ‘Guys, can’t we just do something like Son of Sun and Knight of Night, or something that’s a little bit more poetic?’”
On one hand, Son of Sun and Knight of Night is pretty clever since Superman derives his powers from Earth’s yellow sun, and Batman is the ultimate night person. On the other hand, this is a terrible, hoity-toity title for a movie starring two of the most popular superheroes in the world whose names are essential to gaining mass audiences’ attention and interest.
If nothing else, it’s a good reminder that it’s really fine that Zack Snyder is no longer in charge of the DC cinematic universe. Yes, his cut of Justice League was infinitely better than the theatrical release, but his vision for these superheroes has always been prohibitively adult, over serious, and self-aggrandising.