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Time Warner Inc.’s Huge Risk With ‘Batman vs. Superman’

By Tim Beyers – Mar 8, 2014 at 4:20AM

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In an interview, filmmaker Zack Snyder reveals just how far he may depart from what we know of the traditional comic book mythos.

Fans who are expecting to see the heroes they know when Time Warner (TWX) brings Batman vs. Superman to the silver screen in 2016 may end up disappointed, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times pop culture blog, Hero Complex, director Zack Snyder said Batman vs. Superman "explodes" the Man of Steel and Batman universes. He also said that, as a filmmaker, he isn't as "tied to the mythology," noting that he and his team had to create a distinct origin and mythology for Superman in making Man of Steel.

While it's too early to know precisely what Snyder has planned, history and his comments suggests that the Batman we see on screen won't be the same as the Batman we see in the comics. Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is also likely to be a departure, just as Snyder's Superman was for many fans who saw (and ranted about) Man of Steel.

Batman vs. Superman multiplies the risk by involving additional big-name characters who represent rich brands for Warner. Batman alone sells hundreds of thousands of comic books monthly, while his origin is the genesis for the forthcoming Gotham TV drama from Twenty-First Century Fox. Confusing or disappointing viewers could show up in the sales logs while pushing back plans for a long-overdue Justice League film.

The good news? Snyder has plenty of fans who like not only his earlier work but also his interpretation of the Superman mythos. Man of Steel earned nearly $670 million worldwide while paying for more than 75% of the film's production costs via product placement.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Are you excited to see what Snyder has in mind for Batman vs. Superman? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand, and whether you would buy, sell, or short Time Warner stock at current prices.

Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Time Warner and Walt Disney at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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