Wild Rumor: “Batman v Superman” Split In Two?

A photo first posted on the imgur photo site this morning and found by AICN has sent the online world wild with a rumor that’s both insane and yet vaguely plausible – “Batman v Superman” might be split into two.

The picture suggests the film will now be a two-parter starting with “Batman v Superman Part I: Enter the Knight” on October 23rd, followed by “Batman v Superman Part II: Dawn of Justice” on March 25th. Batman on Film got in touch with Warners and “got the standard ‘we don’t comment on rumors’ response” so even if true, they won’t say.

On the one hand there’s several reasons such a move would make sense:

1. The production was shot for a lengthy period (nearly a year) and was originally aiming to be ready for late this Summer, so there’s no shortage of material and a little more breathing room than usual for a film like this.

2. Warners has no issue with splitting its films in two, such as its planned “Justice League” movie and its “Harry Potter” franchise, and the box-office on such films has shown that it certainly doesn’t hurt major movie franchises.

3. Warners has no major films in the last quarter of the year – only the “Vacation” reboot in early October, and Jeff Nichols’ quirky sci-fi tale “Midnight Special” in late November. Revenue from a “Batman v Superman” would provide a very big boost to their Q4 2015 earnings.

4. The rumored first trailer release is said to be with “Jupiter Ascending”. To post a trailer for a film thirteen months out is unprecedented – but for a major film hitting in October? Perfect timing.

5. As a release date, late October gives “Enter the Knight” a few weeks to itself before the double punch of “Spectre” (November 6th) and the final “The Hunger Games” (November 20th). It’s an unusual date, but the likes of “Captain America: Winter Soldier” (April 4th) and Snyder’s own “300” (March 7th) proved blockbusters can be hits in pretty much any weekend if there’s demand for it.

On the other hand the reasons against it:

1. The blurriness of the photo certainly makes it highly suspicious, as does the url which is so smudged it’s either pointing to the official site, or a fansite which uses one less letter in the name (namely the ‘v’). Photos like this often turn out to be wrong, and this is a film which is known to generate well-made fan fakes.

2. If the decision was made after the fact, is there enough material for it to work? Doubtful. Script reviews suggest the film, like “Man of Steel,” keeps much of its action to the second half and Batman himself isn’t as big a part of the first half as you’d expect. It’s also an efficient beast which works as a single two-and-a-half hour film.

3. As much as the production has the extra time by going early, delivering a completed film by late October with all the visual effects that come with a movie this size – it’s going to be real crunch and extremely expensive.

This is all speculation for now, but it’s a rumor that will no doubt continue to swirl until someone official comments on it or an announcement is made. Even though it’s almost certainly false, one can see why it has gained traction over the past few hours.