Batman vs Superman should be a musical
Updated: Apr 18, 2020
"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" was without a doubt the most disappointing movie I have ever seen. It's not so much that the movie is actually that terrible – it just could have been so much better. The story could have been so investing and emotional, and the first trailers were truly awesome. They promised a deeper look at Superman's effects on Earth. At how a godlike being would be perceived by humanity in both positive and negative ways. And how Batman, who had been fighting the strangest of enemies for a long time, would want to eliminate this potentially dangerous and destructive alien. It could have been really really good.
Batman and Superman aren't just DC's most popular superheroes. They are almost opposites when it comes to their ideologies. Superman is a shiny beacon of hope, an incorruptible force of good. He isn't just punching the bad guys – he always believes in the good in people. He is just and kind and the ultimate role model. He wants to set an example humanity can aspire to. Batman on the other hand operates in the dark. His strongest asset (at least in most of his newer portrayals) is fear. He is the thing Gotham's criminals are afraid of. A living nightmare to those who do wrong. He has a great, analytical mind and tries to be master of any given situation. It is very easy to see how he and Superman wouldn't get along too well in the beginning. This could have been an interesting and deep, psychological movie. A clash of ideologies more so than fists. However, the movie failed to deliver.
But what if ...
I was at a P!nk concert last summer. I'd been looking forward to this for a long time because she's an amazing artist and very committed to her performances. By the end of the concert, she was singing while flying over the arena, secured by four ropes or cables that allowed her to hover above or land in pretty much every spot in the stadium. It was brilliant. And there I sat thinking, "What if that was Superman? How awesome would that be?"
I couldn't quite get the thought out of my head ever since. What if Batman and Superman got another chance? What if this time it was in form of a spectacular live performance? What if it was a musical? Would anyone watch that? I sure would. I love good musicals. Do other superhero fans love musicals? On a very shallow level one could say that this show might be the perfect compromise for couples with different interests. A musical with superheroes. The perfect Valentine's Day activity. So even someone with a narrow mindset of "Boys like comics, girls like theater" (a view I absolutely do not share) would have to agree that a musical with Batman and Superman might be profitable if done right. And after all, Batman already sang in the LEGO movies, right?
So many good themes for powerful songs
The interesting thing about every larger than life persona is their humanity. Batman is a deeply damaged and flawed character. And even someone as "pure" as Superman can face moral dilemma. Maybe he isn't well adjusted to his role as Earth's shiny savior yet? Maybe he has doubts? Maybe he wants to tell Lois about his secret identity? Maybe he already did. This could make for some really good songs. You could throw a little Lex Luthor in there for good measure. A song full of loving memories of Jonathan Kent. Some good advice by Clark's mom. Some anthem sung by his admirers or haters. There's plenty of emotional turmoil to deal with.
And then of course there's Batman. He wouldn't even have to sing himself (how funny would it be if he didn't?) because there's so much going on around him. I can almost hear Alfred's heartbreaking ballad about how his surrogate son and master is growing old with barely any social interaction. How he might indeed be the last member of the Wayne family. How Bruce shuts himself off from all human connections because he wants to avoid further pain. I can hear the criminal underworld of Gotham sing about the dark knight, the bat, the figure in the dark that scares them into avoiding criminal activities. Jim Gordon could have a song too. The possibilities are endless.
This musical would have almost all the potential the movie had. It could be a chance to make things right. To give us a decent first encounter between two beloved characters. It could have some amazing, powerful music. Dark and depressing as well as joyful songs of hope and passion. I would watch that. I would buy a ticket just to see Superman fly over the audience like P!nk did. And to see Batman punch some people. I'd even write the lyrics myself if that's what needs to be done. Maybe I should. Because this show, if given the right budget and stage, could be pretty damn sweet.