While it would seem Warner Bros. had some vague plans to create a cinematic universe of its own prior to Man of Steel — Green Lantern certainly would have paved the way had it been more successful — director Zack Snyder said his choice to go forward with the idea did not crystallize until his producing team committed to featuring Batman in a proposed Man of Steel sequel.
Talking with reporters at a press conference for his new film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Snyder explained how that initial sequel concept grew into the completed project. “Once we had committed to that idea, it was only then that it implies that a whole universe exists for Batman and Superman to exist together,” he said, according to Slashfilm. “I know it seems obvious in the comic book world, but it had not existed in the movies, but once that idea took root and existed as reality, it was then and only then.”
Committing to the notion that Batman and Superman would share the screen led to Wonder Woman’s inclusion and, presumably, the reported cameos by several other members of the eventual Justice League. What was once meant to be the direct Man of Steel sequel became Dawn of Justice.
As previously reported, the subsequent films will be shepherded by a creative committee including Snyder, his producing partner Deborah Snyder, producer Charles Roven, DC Entertainment chief creative office Geoff Johns and a few others. But from the rough outline and timeline developed from the committee, filmmakers will introduce their own ideas into the mix. The first of these projects will be Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th.