ENEMIES AND ALLIES: The Blueprint for a Batman/Superman Movie?

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It’s hard to imagine it’s already been nearly eight years since BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE was released.

The highly divisive movie has become the poster child of what might have been for the previous DC movie universe. A movie featuring the two most beloved superheroes in history (sorry Spider-Man, you’re getting the bronze here) should not have had that kind of reaction. The box office proved it.

Disappointed fans now await the next time we see Batman and Superman together on the big screen. Odds are that it should be in James Gunn’s DCU but that meeting is years, maybe a decade, away from happening…if it even does. The box office verdict has yet to be rendered on the new DCU by audiences.

That being said, what if I told you a blueprint was laid out over a decade ago for a Batman/Superman movie in print form, and it’d be a perfect film for DC’s ELSEWORLDS label?

I introduce Kevin J. Anderson’s 2009 novel ENEMIES AND ALLIES to those of you who have never heard of it.

It’s another “Batman Meets Superman” novel but this one is unique in one way: It takes place in the 1950s, just as the Cold War is heating up

It’s a novel that’s got it all. It accurately portrays the nuclear worries, the alien invasion film fad, and just overall captures the mood of that period of history. It’s a period piece for period pieces ever really became a thing and it’s easy to see how DC could do a Batman/Superman movie like this after how WONDER WOMAN handled World War I.

Oh, and one more thing to be crystal clear: there absolutely should not be another Batman on screen until whenever Matt Reeves is done with his own Batman universe. This is just an idea for a different film under the ELSEWORLDS banner.

Anyways, in ENEMIES AND ALLIES, there are so maybe little nods to the lore of both characters, especially Superman, but it’s also different enough to give audiences something fresh. For example, we get to see (or read about) Lex Luthor’s battle suit but it’s handled brilliantly for that era in time. Same with the discovery of Kryptonite as well as the state of affairs in Gotham City.

Both Batman and Superman are early on in their careers, too. Gone is the dichotomy of BvS with a newer Superman facing a veteran Dark Knight.

They are adversarial at first in Anderson’s novel but not to the point of full-blown fisticuffs. I won’t spoil the ending but the parting scene between the two is just *chef’s kiss*.

I’m not saying DC should just adapt Anderson’s book but a Batman/Superman period piece would be different and potentially special. Those rumors/dreams about a Batman movie taking place in the 1930s? Basically, take that and add Superman.

As someone who almost always prefers his Batman working in a grounded world away from any super-powered being, I walked away from reading ENEMIES AND ALLIES intrigued. I don’t know that I want a Batman in a JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER situation, but a film with just Superman in it could work.

Using the paranoia of that era against someone like Superman was a bold move by Anderson and using Senator Joe McCarthy (shamefully of my home state of Wisconsin) in the book made for a great surprise. Blending real people from our real world with the fictional world is something that isn’t too often done.

Again, Batman works best solo and on the ground but you know the studio is itching to get its two best superheroes on screen together again.

If it has to be done, Anderson laid the blueprint. Now the studio just needs to find a director interested in the concept for ELSEWORLDS and get the heck out of the way.

Oh and if you haven’t read ENEMIES AND ALLIES, this author highly recommends you do so. – Kris Burke

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