After the fanfare of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, the sudden release of the Batman v Superman: DoJ trailer got lost in the shuffle. As usual, a leaked version forced Warner Bros hand. Leaks, leaks everywhere and not a drop to drink…Anyway, we got our first look at the Man of Steel sequel/Justice League set-up/Batman reboot.
Dark…brooding…dark….brooding…dark…brooding…well, you get the picture. We are definitely in the grittier side of things. It is natural with Batman, but it didn’t suit Man of Steel. At least, not the way Zack Snyder portrayed it. It felt dark and gritty for the sake of being dark and gritty, rather than for a meaningful purpose. But I tried to leave my feelings about Man of Steel aside for my viewing of the trailer. And the repercussions of Man of Steel are clearly visible (and audible) in Batman vs Superman.
First, we start of with a number of voices talking about the pros and cons of having Superman on Earth. One notable voice is that of Jesse Eisenberg, who will be Lex Luthor. He says ‘devils don’t come from hell beneath us, but from the sky.’ I wonder what role he will play in the film? That’s all we get from Luthor, so will he be a puppet master, hiding behind the scenes and manipulating the public? Or will he be a more visible force? I guess the Justice League need someone to unite against…
Holly Hunter is heard, saying that “the world has been so caught up in what he can do that no one has asked what he should do.” She obviously took inspiration from Dr. Ian Malcolm. Will Superman be the villain of the piece? Will the public turn against him (or be turned against him by Luthor?)? That must mean that Batman will be the hero. But when we first see Ben Affleck/Bruce Wayne, he appears to be staring at the Batsuit. Jeremy Irons/Alfred’s voiceover says something about ‘the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men cruel.’ Well, he can’t be talking about Superman, can he? He must be talking about Bruce Wayne. For Wayne to see an actual superhero, not just a guy in a costume, must give him a sense of powerlessness. Will he turn to underhanded means to defeat Superman? Why would he want to? We are also shown a shot of Batman standing tall on a very high tower. How many times have we seen that before? Something a little different would have been nice.
Why didn’t we get a straight sequel to Man of Steel? Why did they have to throw Batman in there (and Wonder Woman…and Aquaman…)? Is the Superman brand not enough anymore? It’s clear Batman was thrown in there because Man of Steel didn’t perform as well as Warner Bros thought. Indeed, considering when B v S is released, it will only have been four years since we last saw Batman on the screen. That’s shorter than the space between Spider-Man 3 and the reboot. Are we ready for another interpretation of Batman?
Fitting in Batman’s backstory, the introduction of the other members of the Justice League and Lex Luthor is going to need a lot of screen time. Man of Steel felt bloated and never-ending, so I can’t imagine how B v S will pan out. Warner Bros should have had the patience to replicate the Marvel Universe’s approach. Introduce each character in their own film and then have them team up. Batman should have had his own film (portraying the events that led to his retirement, perhaps? A nice reversal of the usual ‘origin’ story we have to deal with nowadays) before he goes up against Superman.
Of course, the trailer is meant to pique our interest with questions. It did pique my interest, but I wasn’t overly excited. The Inception music, for one, put me off. I think we need some new trailer music! We’ve been haunted by the tempo and pace for five years. It felt strangely muted. Compared to, say, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer, there wasn’t enough to boost anticipation for the film. However, the Batsuit was impressive. And I’m looking forward to Affleck’s interpretation of ‘The World’s Greatest Detective.’ His acting has improved in leaps and bounds as of late. But only time will tell us about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (what a long-winded title!!!)