The upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is notable a lot of firsts. It is the first time Batman and Superman have appeared in a movie together (besides their animated selves in The Lego Movie) and the first time that Wonder Woman has ever been on the big screen (also besides The Lego Movie). It is also the first step in DC’s attempt at creating their own shared universe to rival Marvel’s. Its success will mean a world of possibilities for DC to put their characters on the big screen and the eventual day when I can go to the cinema and see a solo movie about Alfred Pennyworth.

It’s amazing that something like this hasn’t been tried before, so in the spirit of imagining The Avengers movies through time, we again look into the What-If Machine and see what if Batman v Superman had been made in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

1960s

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

When evil Commie scientist Lex Luthor (Yul Brynner) decides to destroy freedom, capitalism, and America herself, there’s only two men who can stop him. The clean-cut Superman, played by James Stewart, must work with the two-fisted vigilante Batman, played by John Wayne, to put an end to Luthor’s godless, Pinko scheme. That’s if the two musclemen can play nice with each other long enough to stop the nefarious villain. Filled to the brim with smash-bang-wallop, this is the superhero movie you’ve been waiting for. But it’s not all action, there’s even some comedy too, with the appearance of Wonder Woman (Jane Fonda), a lady superhero from an absurd island with no men on it. Sounds like fun, honey, but who’s gonna open all the jars!

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

1970s

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

Following the destruction of Metropolis, the world has stopped trusting its so-called heroes. Superman (Robert de Niro) is called a killer, a destroyer, and an alien. Batman (Clint Eastwood) is cleaning up the crime in his city one brutalised scumbag at a time. Lex Luthor (Jon Cazale), the newly elected President, is not what he seems. While the superheroes bicker and fight in the streets Luthor is deceiving the American people with lies about the real heroes, while creating monsters, and turning the Oval Office into his own drug den and whorehouse. Can the heroes see who the real villain is? Can Wonder Woman (Pam Grier) force the heroes to stop fighting? Can the real scum be washed away before we have Vietnam on the streets of America? Find out this summer in Batman Vs Superman: Luthor is a Nixon Analogy!

Directed by Martin Scorsese

1980s

20th Century Fox/Warner Bros.

20th Century Fox/Warner Bros.

This summer, in a world where heroes fight while villains laugh, the two greatest heroes of all time will declare war…on each other! Superman (Arnold Schwarzenegger), an alien from another planet sent here to help our world, and Batman (Sylvester Stallone), a billionaire by day and vigilante by night, will have a battle royale on the streets of Metropolis, in which only one can be the winner. As the heroes fight, Reaganite businessman Lex Luthor (Jack Nicholson) tightens his grip on the world’s economy through an alliance with Iran and his shares in the new video format, Betamax. When the heroes patch things up and join forces with Wonder Woman (Jamie-Lee Curtis), we can only hope the two heroes and their female sidekick/love interest, can save the world in time.

Directed by James Cameron

Featured Image: 20th Century Fox/Warner Bros.