When it comes to certain superhero movies, fans are either all behind it, or rather against it. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has universal praise for its films outside of a select few, but for the DC Comics Extended Universe, it’s a bit more of a mixed back in terms of fan reception. While there are gems in the critical realm like Wonder Woman, Shazam, and even Birds of Prey, others like Suicide Squad, Man of Steel and Batman V Superman have a lesser love.
Batman V Superman especially is one of the most divisive superhero films ever made because of its rather dark depiction of both Batman and Superman. Instead of just rivals in regards to morals and how they handle their cities, they’re slowly manipulated into the “match of the century” by Lex Luthor until they eventually unite alongside Wonder Woman to go and fight Doomsday.
The fight divided fans and critics. Some praised its darker themes and the depictions of Batman and Superman, while others said it was “too dark”, had “not enough comedy”, and more.
But what might surprise many is that the first pitch for the film didn’t come from Zack Snyder, it came from Akiva Goldsman. In an interview with Collider, he talked about his version of the film from 2001-2002, in which Batman was Colin Ferrel and Superman was Jude Law, and it was directed by Wolfgang Petersen.
According to him, his version was even darker than Snyder’s, teasing the death of Alfred, Joker killing the wife of Bruce Wayne all in an attempt to break him mentally, and then that setting up the fight with Superman.
Goldsman stated that despite him having a lot of it planned out, Warner Bros and other executives weren’t buying into the vision. Makes you wonder how things would’ve changed if his film had gotten made.