After turning just about every DC and Marvel comic book hero into a blockbuster movie, sequel or "reboot", where can Hollywood possibly go next?
Comic-Con 2013 has revealed the answer: it’s cross over time!
The big announcement from the annual orgy of geekery that takes place each year in San Diego was that in 2015, Batman will be fighting Superman on the big screen.
A sequel to Man Of Steel, the face off will see director Zack Snyder and British actor Henry Cavill return, along with Amy Adams (as Lois Lane) and Laurence Fishburne.
Cavill will reprise his role as Superman but as yet, no one is sure who’ll play the caped crusader, with Christian Bale having emphatically ruled himself out already.
This is basically the stuff of comic book fantasies, and you can already see it smashing the box office success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise — which collectively raked in more than $1bn — and Man Of Steel, which made a healthy $621m worldwide.
Actually, the concept of the world’s two most famous superheroes having a dust up isn’t just the cynical invention of a movie industry bereft of ideas. Comic books have a tradition of pairing characters and in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, a four part series from 1986 written and drawn by Frank Miller, Superman defeated Batman after a huge battle in Gotham City.
Who "wins" is, of course, what makes the idea of the film so tantalising. Given it’s a Superman sequel, you’d expect the man from Krypton to emerge the victor, but who knows?
Whatever happens, expect a new wave of comic book hero blockbuster crossovers to follow, including Iron Man and the Hulk in a road trip buddy movie and Spider-Man and Cat Woman in a romcom. Possibly.