Originally published online at 4:3.
If you’ve been thinking to yourself, “Gee, these Marvel superhero movies sure are fun, but I want a more cynical and mature superhero film,” then we’ve got some real good news for you. In response to a leaked recording, Warner Bros. have finally released the much anticipated trailer for Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. If you thought Man of Steel wasn’t dark and gritty enough – and you also see no problem in describing a Superman film as dark and gritty – you might just get a kick out of this.
The trailer opens to a swirl of voices talking about Superman’s actions in Man of Steel. The world is understandably conflicted with his existence, considering he helped destroy a part of Metropolis and straight up murdered a guy. But they’re not too conflicted, because they’ve erected a gigantic statue of him at, what I assume, is the battle’s memorial site.
It looks Snyder is definitely building on the ham-handed religious imagery of Man of Steel. If Superman floating into space while mimicking a crucified Christ wasn’t too obvious the first time around, maybe soldiers kneeling before him, a mob reaching out to touch him and “FALSE GOD” spray-painted over the statue’s chest will help. I’ve heard a rumor that at one point Kal-El looks directly into the camera and says, “It’s me, I’m Jesus Christ,” and then turns some kryptonite into wine.
We get to see Ben Affleck as a cranky Bruce Wayne, as he intensely stares into the camera. He’s probably mad that Netflix’s Daredevil is much better than the film. We also see him decked out in a Bat-suit and Bat-armour, whose designs are both taken straight from Frank Miller’s graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns. The trailer ends with Bats and Supes facing one another, in a scene also reminiscent of Dark Knight Returns – which admittedly, is pretty cool. The Batman versus Superman fight is one of the most iconic scenes from that comic-book, and for good reason. That said, Watchmen is considered to be to comics what The Godfather is to film, and we all know how that film adaptation turned out.
While I didn’t enjoy Man of Steel as a film, its trailer was interesting. It established a sense of wonder and possibility; that this summer, we will believe a man can fly. This trailer just feels soulless and uncaring. It’s obvious that DC are trying to establish an aesthetic for their upcoming shared universe that’s different from Marvel’s, but the darker and more mature tone they’re going for comes off as forced. Instead of feeling like a superhero film for adults it comes of as tedious and juvenile. Sure, the darker tone fits Batman, but this isn’t just a Batman film.
Batman v Superman doesn’t come out until 2016, so whether or not it’s actually good remains to be seen – but if this trailer and Snyder’s track-record is any indication, it’ll be another over-stuffed, CGI-saturated action film. I’ll give Snyder this though; Batman asking Superman if he bleeds is a hundred times cheesier than Han telling Chewbacca “We’re home.”