The release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) has finally arrived. Finally, after seven years of waiting, we get to see the iconic rivalry between Batman and Superman in theatres. But beyond the two main characters, the film also boasts an amazing ensemble cast that includes an incredible lineup of A-list Hollywood stars. So which actor can play the part of Batman better than Michael Keaton? Or which actress can play Lois Lane better than Margot Robbie? And which cameo will be most memorable? We’ve put together a detailed analysis of the film’s highlights, from the costumes to the sets and almost everything in between. So sit back, relax and prepare to be amazed by the latest cinematic offering from the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight.

The Post-Production Process

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was one of the most anticipated films of 2016. For decades, we’ve been waiting for a cinematic clash of these two iconic superheroes, and fans jumped at the opportunity to finally see Batman and Superman on the big screen. The film went through a lot of changes after its initial script was leaked online. The studio rewrote and reshaped the entire story, and it wasn’t easy bringing everyone on board. According to producer Laura Merritt, “The longer you’re in production, the more things can change. If people love what you made in pre-production, they’ll love what you made in post-production, but if they don’t, you’ll have to start all over again.”

One of the major rewrites came in the form of Henry Cavil’s Batman. For years, people have been asking for a proper revision of this character. And for good reason – Henry Cavil plays Batman far better than any other actor ever has. In fact, many fans saw Batman v Superman as a chance to finally see Cavil in action, after he spent years on the big screen playing James Bond and other secret agent characters. After years of teasing, Henry Cavil finally took on the Dark Knight role, and his passion and commitment to the character were immediately apparent. So much so that some have suggested that he might actually be able to play Batman better than anyone else could.

The Ensemble Cast

Another major change came in the form of the film’s ensemble cast. For decades, fans have been clamoring for a female-driven adaptation of the iconic character, and it finally happened with the incredible performance of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. As executive producer Deborah Snyder said, “It’s important to us that Wonder Woman is a strong character who isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in. And that sense of strength really comes through in the movie.”

Another standout performance came from the film’s villain, Lex Luthor. Many fans were understandably disappointed that Jared Leto decided to pass on the role, but it makes complete sense. If anyone is going to portray Lex Luthor, it has to be Jared Leto. The actor best knows for his work in the Academy Award-winning Suicide Squad knows how to properly play the villainous billionaire, and it shows in every frame.

Then there’s the supporting cast. From Oscar winners like Michael Keaton and Diane Lane to acclaimed stage actors like Virginia Madsen and Marc Marceau, everyone in Batman v Superman puts in an incredible performance. It might not be the largest cast ever assembled for a superhero movie, but the chemistry is undeniable. And it all comes together to form one of the most memorable superhero ensembles of all time.

The Cinematography

Finally, there’s the cinematography. Often, the best superhero movies are the ones that don’t necessarily rely on special effects. The Matrix trilogy, for example, is often cited as one of the best modern adaptations of the DC Comics character, simply because it was shot on location and doesn’t rely on expensive visual effects. Similarly, Christopher Nolan’s 2005 Batman Begins is often lauded as one of the best films of all time because of its use of practical effects and some amazingly crafted shots – both of which were later reused in the 2015 Batman v Superman. While the effects in Batman v Superman are certainly amazing, the movie wouldn’t be near as good as it is without Christopher Nolan’s incredible eye for cinematography.

If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know that Nolan and composer Hans Zimmer pull off an incredible marriage of sound and image. Whether it’s the tense atmosphere created by the music, the way the camera slowly pans across the faces of the protagonists as they glare at each other, or the way the lighting plays off the steel gray of Batman’s attire against the bright white of Superman’s…well, you get the idea.

Costume Designs

Another thing that was widely discussed leading up to and after the premiere of Batman v Superman was the costumes. Both films were nominated for a total of four Academy Awards, and many fans are saying that the costumes were one of the highlights of the films. Indeed, Zack Snyder originally envisioned all of DC’s big characters as living in a shared universe, and that idea certainly came to life when it came to the costume designs for Batman and Superman.

When it comes to the DC Comics universe, it’s hard to avoid the costumes. Both characters have been inspiring fashion choices for many since the beginning, and it’s easy to see why. Not only do they offer extraordinary versatility, but they also allow the costume designer to fully realize their unique vision. It’s not often that you get to see something as iconic as Batman’s cape flowing in the wind as he runs towards the camera, but that’s exactly what filmmaker Christopher Nolan and costume designer Jany Temime were able to accomplish with their take on the Dark Knight’s outfit. As with most other aspects of the film, Nolan and Temime’s genius is immediately apparent.

The Sound Mixing

If you’re going to take on the Herculean task of taking on Batman and Superman, you’d better have the best team of experts at your disposal. And that’s exactly what producer Walter Hamada and director Snyder got. They enlisted the help of Christopher Nolan’s son, David, who mixed the audio for the director. Together, they were able to craft an incredible soundtrack that perfectly matches the epic nature of the story. And it doesn’t hurt that Hans Zimmer, who composed the music for the previous two Batman films and worked with Nolan on Interstellar, is back at it again with another score that will undoubtedly become as iconic as the ones that came before it.

From the opening scene, in which a choir of angels sing about the importance of family, to the climactic battle between the two superheroes, the audience is constantly treated to an incredible musical experience. As with the rest of the film, Nolan and Zimmer’s extraordinary skill at crafting an excellent musical score is undeniable.

Is There Life After Batman?

Finally, we come to the most important part of this article – Is There Life After Batman? The simple answer is…yes, there is. Not only did Batman v Superman premiere to critical acclaim and become one of the highest-grossing films of all time, but it also marked the beginning of a new era for the legendary caped crusader. Indeed, this was the first time in many years that the character had been seen on the big screen in something other than a supporting role, and it was also the first time in many that he didn’t appear in some form of Halloween clothing. Since the film’s premiere, fans have been asking if this is the beginning of a new tradition for the character, who didn’t technically die in Batman Forever. Could this be the start of a new superhero trilogy, with Henry Cavil at the helm? After years of teasing, it was finally revealed that Fox had plans to continue the Batman legacy with a new Batman movie, but now that the world knows that it’s possible, what will happen next? It’s time to find out…