Ben Affleck as Batman in upcoming movie <i>Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice</i>.

Ben Affleck as Batman in upcoming movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The highly anticipated Batman versus Superman film has finally been given a title.

It will be Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The title is the first solid indication that DC Comics, the comic book franchise owned by Warner Bros, is mounting a fight back against the cinema dominance of its longtime rival Marvel.

Despite a longer history with individual franchises for Batman and Superman, DC Comics has been eclipsed in the last decade in the movie business by Marvel-owned properties, such as Spiderman, Thor and Iron-Man.

Marvel has also successfully built a multi-character franchise in The Avengers, as well as a TV spin-off, Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

At the same time, other DC-owned hero franchises such as Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern have foundered in TV and film development hell, or failed as pilots.

As well, a planned Justice League movie, which would have starred Australian model Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, never made it into production.

The title of the Batman-Superman film - Dawn of Justice - is a nod to the Justice League, DC's iconic gathering of superheros.

In comic books and animated TV iterations, the Justice League has included Superman, Batman (and sometimes Robin), Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern and The Flash.

The upcoming film, a sequel to the Superman solo film Man of Steel, will star Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman. Filming is due to take place in Africa and the South Pacific.

Fans got an early hint that it would introduce other members of the Justice League with confirmation some time ago that Israel actress/model Gal Gadot would also star in the film as Wonder Woman.

The presence of other characters from DC Comics lore - such as Batman's butler Alfred (Jeremy Irons) and Superman's nemesis Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) - suggest director Zack Snyder plans to heavily mine the comic book histories of the characters.

It is expected that Snyder will follow Batman v Superman with a fully-fledged Justice League film.

Batman v Superman is due in cinemas globally in May, 2016.