Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a 2016 American superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman. It is a follow-up to 2013's Man of Steel and the second installment in the DC Extended Universe. The film is directed by Zack Snyder, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, with a screenplay by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, and features an ensemble cast including 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 both Batman and Superman, as well as the first theatrical film to feature live-action portrayals of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash. In the film, the powerful alien Superman has become a controversial figure, and eccentric mastermind Lex Luthor, who is obsessed with defeating Superman, takes advantage of the animosity between Superman and Batman to produce a battle between them.
The production 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 would also be different than the character's portrayal in the previous Batman film trilogy, serving as a cinematic reboot of the character. The film also draws influence 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. It was released in the United States on March 25, 2016, in 2D, 3D, IMAX 3D, 4DX, premium large formats and 70 mm prints and is the second-highest grossing film of 2016. The film's North American and international box office openings set new records followed by a historic box office drop in its second weekend, "viewed as a disappointment because it will only make $850-$900 million worldwide." The film received a generally negative reception from the consensus of critics.