Superman to battle Batman in new movie

July 22, 2013 at 5:04 PM ET

Godzilla vs. Rodan. Freddy vs. Jason. Alien vs. Predator. There have been plenty of powerhouse movie match-ups in cinema history, but usually at least one of the competitors is a bad guy.

IMAGE: Superman, Batman
Warner Bros.
Superman and Batman will face off in an upcoming film.

But now, it's the Man of Steel vs. The Dark Knight, two classic superhero good guys, who'll face off on the big screen. Even though fans still have two years to wait, the excitement started to build pretty much from the moment "Man of Steel" director Zack Snyder announced to the Warner Bros. panel at Comic-Con Saturday that the two heroes will duke it out.

"Let’s face it, it’s beyond mythological to have Superman and our new Batman facing off, since they are the greatest superheroes in the world," Snyder later said.

The as-yet unnamed film is expected to hit theaters in summer 2015.

Two major questions rise above the others — who will play Batman, and what sets the two heroes against each other?

Henry Cavill, who starred in this year's "Man of Steel," will reprise his role as Superman, but the new Batman actor has yet to be announced. Christian Bale last played The Caped Crusader in 2012's "The Dark Knight Rises" but won't be playing the role again.

The London Guardian says bookies are giving Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal and Channing Tatum good odds to grab the role.

It's unclear why the two heroes would be at each other's throats, but the two famously fight in Frank Miller's 1986 "Dark Knight" comics. In that telling, Superman is a government agent whose Clark Kent identity is public, and he's ordered by the U.S. to take on a 55-year-old Batman who's come out of retirement.

Some sharp-eyed fans have pointed out that the 2007 Will Smith film "I Am Legend," also made by Warner Bros., hinted at the matchup six years ago, displaying a Superman-Batman logo very similar to that shown at Comic-Con.

And rounded up five much weirder movie team-ups that never quite happened, including Jay and Silent Bob meeting Hellraiser and Casper the Friendly Ghost somehow mixing with skull-on-fire Ghost Rider.

Some fans are already excited about the chance to see two behemoths smacking each other around, but one Twitter superhero had a gloomier take. "HULK WILL JUST SAY IT. SUPERMAN VS. BATMAN AT THIS POINT SEEMS LIKE A BAD, BAD IDEA," wrote FilmCritHulk.