The more I think in the last few days, it's not about Batman in Man of Steel II: World's Finest (I wish this is the title) but rather how it could make the formula of Iron Man II a critical success (because we all know this film will be a financial success). The more I think about it, giving both titular characters enough onscreen time establishment and development would demand more than can be afforded, it would rob Superman of his rightful development and rush Batman. Splitting a film 50/50 would be a recipe for failure, as well as keeping the dark Batman tone from the previous film without making the indicated jump to a lighthearted film as indicated in the closing sequence. Yet not having a dark tone would screw over Batman but two dark Superman films is not good, really, I mean aside from Zod, who Goyer mentions will be dealt with, what does Supes have to worry about? Having it feature Batman prominently will ruin the film for Superman.
Now, before I get to Iron Man II, I have to talk about Superman vs. Batman. That is a huge recipe for a critical failure. There are so few storylines in DC that have gotten this concept right, and to do it in a film, it really would not be good. How would Superman and Batman come to blows? How would it end if there is no Kryptonite? Does Batman invent Kryptonite? Does Superman throw Batman out of orbit to end the film? Hell, as cool as it sounds, unless Batman has known Superman for years in the upcoming DCCU, Superman vs. Batman would not be a good film. Then it brings the last paragraphs article of character development back into play. Villains are normally underedeveloped to give the hero more sympathy, this was the case for Superman in The Dark Knight Returns. I don't want to see Batman taking on a Superman who seems to be a bit more badass from Man of Steel and I don't want to see Superman fighting a Batman because... well I can't think of a reason, which is because Batman is generally favoured over Superman. So would Warner Bros really make their golden goose the villain? No, and they would screw over Supes in the process. I love Batman and would not want to see this for him.
Now, underdevelopment, if done right, can be a very good thing. One of the things that I liked in Iron Man II, out of so few, was Black Widow. She was an underdeveloped character, but she wasn't the villain, she was a side character given as much prominence as it should have been. You see, Man of Steel II can be like Iron Man II and deal with the damage done to Metropolis, irradiation in the Indian Ocean and still feature Batman, an underdeveloped Batman and make it good. How? Presentation. Black Widow and villains are normally underdeveloped, Black Widow, in Iron Man II (not Avengers) is presented as such and villains are presented via villainy. Batman can be presented indirectly, though underdeveloped and still give a good character. Indirect presentation should be key. You see, Batman's role isn't going to be as minor as Black Widows, or as insignificant, but that doesn't mean the handling shouldn't be in the same way. It should be done in a similar fashion, for both Bruce Wayne and Batman, but done larger and given indirect presentation to indicate a troubling past, passive aggressiveness and just losing control. That would be how to handle Batman, the elephant in the film.
Now remember, Batman and Superman fighting in one scene near the middle won't be all bad, but as a culminating scene it will be terrible. The films story should reflect Bruce Wayne appearing as a playboy billionaire visiting Metropolis with an ulterior motive (Magpie anyone?), Clark's character development and Batman aiding Superman take down the villain's plans while Superman taking down the villain. That is a recipe for success, whilst I have a special post tomorrow.