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Great Krypton! Superman and Batman set for multi-hero movie sagas

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a new series of superhero movies – including Henry Cavill as Superman. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar/Warner Bros
Warner Bros is to announce a superhero film series in the near future, according to the New York Times. The franchise is likely to include the much-anticipated Justice League film.

Warner has long been expected to launch a series of movies based on characters owned by comic book publisher DC, which oversees Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, among other titles. The studio, which owns all big-screen rights to DC superheroes, is under pressure to emulate the huge success of Disney-owned Marvel. Multi-character film sagas such as the The Avengers, which took $1.5bn (£901m) at the box office, provide an obvious point of reference.

In a profile piece published at the weekend, Warner CEO Kevin Tsujihara told the New York Times that a film series would be announced in the near future. A Justice League movie is expected to be part of the franchise.

Warner has already moved to ape Marvel's pioneering multiple-hero format by announcing the forthcoming "Batman v Superman" movie as a sequel to Man of Steel, last year's Superman reboot.

Zack Snyder's untitled followup, in which Henry Cavill will reprise his role as the last son of Krypton, will feature Ben Affleck as the caped crusader and Israeli actor Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. The movie is expected to set up a Justice League film based on the comic books, in which the three superheroes defending the Earth alongside a variety of lesser known characters.

Warner's decision to introduce Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman in one movie is seen as an alternative approach to that adopted by Marvel, which placed movies about Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor and Captain America in cinemas before bringing all four together for The Avengers in 2012.
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