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Batman vs Iron Man fan film looks awesome, but will it survive?

When the Joker gets out of jail, the impossible happens. Characters from DC and Marvel meet on the screen in a CGI extravaganza -- maybe.

Here's the setup of a new fan film now raising funds on Kickstarter:

The Joker gets freed from prison by "a group of humanoid combat robots." He then robs Batman's lair and takes all his wonderful toys. Next, he gets his hands on one of Iron Man's suits, which he hands over to the uber-villain that set him free from prison. And, of course, battles ensue in which Batman winds up fighting Iron Man (or is it?) All this supposedly takes place after the "Dark Knight" and original "Iron Man" movies.

Sounds pretty cool, doesn't it? And, based on the trailer above, it looks like it'll be high quality as well. The only question is, will the film ever see the light of day? Two major obstacles stand in the way.

The first is that the film's creators -- a group of young animators known as the "Root End" team, with members in the US, Europe and Iran -- are asking for $96,000 to create 15 minutes of their CGI opus "Batman v Iron Man: The Jokers." They want $190,000 to make the movie last 30 minutes. And only people who pledge cash will be able to watch the final project.

Considering that there are oodles of fan films out there that people make for free (like this dark reimagining of the Power Rangers), this seems like a huge ask. I reached out to the filmmakers to see what they need all that moola for.

"Creating CGI films is actually very expensive and we have done our best to bring the expenses as low as this," they told me. "Honestly we expected people to ask us how we managed to decrease the expenses that much. The reason why our film is more expensive than other fan films is that this one is a full cinematic CGI film."

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The second issue has to do with intellectual-property rights. While it's inventive to mash up one character from DC (Batman) and one from Marvel (Iron Man), those major powerhouses may not want their intellectual property used so freely. Just last week we saw a very cool darkly animated James Bond short get squashed by MGM within hours of its release, so the studios are watching.

Still, projects like these open our minds to what might be possible in a world without so many lawyers -- and the trailer is a good little ride. The creators say they picked Batman and Iron Man because they wanted to pit two "ordinary" heroes against one another. "We all agree that Batman and Iron Man are the most realistic characters among comic heroes," says producer Shahaabedin Shabaani, "because they don't have any superpowers and they use their intelligence and their invented technology to do their work." Plus, it's just a fun idea.

Time will tell if it's one that will ever see the light of day.

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Root End Team