Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a 2016 American superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman. Directed by Zack Snyder and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the film is the second installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) following 2013's Man of Steel. It was written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, and features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the first live-action film to feature Batman and Superman together, as well as the first live-action cinematic portrayal of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg. In the film, criminal mastermind Lex Luthor manipulates Batman into a preemptive battle with Superman, whom Luthor is obsessed with defeating.
The film was announced at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, after the release of Man of Steel. Snyder stated that the film would take inspiration from the Batman comic book series The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, but clarified that it would follow an original premise. The incarnation of Batman in the film is different from the character's previous portrayal in The Dark Knight Trilogy, serving as a cinematic reboot of the character. The film is also inspired by narrative elements from the "Death of Superman" story arc. Pre-production began at East Los Angeles College in October 2013, with principal photography starting in May 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Additional filming also took place in Chicago.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City on March 19, 2016, and was released in the United States on March 25, 2016, in 2D, 3D, IMAX 3D, 4DX, premium large formats and 70 mm prints. Following a strong debut that set new box office records, the film experienced a historic drop in its second weekend and never recovered. Despite turning a profit, it was deemed a box office disappointment and received generally unfavorable reviews from critics for its tone, screenplay and pacing, though some praised its visual style and acting performances. An extended cut, dubbed the "Ultimate Edition" which features 30 minutes of additional footage, was released digitally on June 28, 2016, and on Blu-ray and DVD on July 19, 2016. A follow-up entitled Justice League is set to be released in November 2017, and a standalone Superman sequel is in development.