After over a year of speculation and worrying, Warner Bros has finally released footage for the newest film from their DC Cinematic Universe Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The teaser, which was illegally leaked yesterday thanks to a shaky camera recording of a version with Portuguese subtitles, heavily features the two main DC titans (and none of the other Justice League members who are also scheduled to dawn in this film) and serves as a sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel. Director Zack Snyder took to Twitter to release an official version of the teaser earlier today. Here, in full HD, is the teaser for your viewing pleasure;
So after months and months of debate over casting decisions, story direction and the general aim of the DC Cinematic Universe, we finally have our first look at what Dawn of Justice will look like. And boy… does it look like Metropolis and Gotham need to pay their cities’ electric bills. Seriously, this world looks so completely lacking in any consistent illumination, shrouded in general darkness. Obviously, based on the tone Snyder created with Man of Steel, this universe was destined to lean more towards a somber note, but this seems even more angst ridden and downbeat than that film ultimately was. Some of this angst is admittingly warranted, given the complaints that many (including myself) had over the destructive nature of Man of Steel‘s climax. The voice overs questioning Superman’s purpose and motives (one of whom being Neil DeGrasse Tyson of all people) are interesting and it’s not a bad angle to revolve a Superman story around, regardless of the previous installment’s ending.
That all being said, for a sequel to a movie about Superman, this trailer REALLY doesn’t seem to like or care that much about him. He’s constantly framed as this opposing force for Batman, never really showing his own turmoil with these accusations. I know it’s a teaser, but you could at least give Superman the same courtesy as Bruce Wayne to show him being somewhat… human. Sure, he’s an alien, but he was raised as Clark Kent. He would naturally have some inner conflict that I’m sure the film overall addresses. Why not have a bit of that in the trailer instead of a rather unimpressive camera pan over the drab image of this Superman statue with graffiti that continues to drill the Superman/Christ metaphors into our brains? No, instead we have way more emphasis on Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne, giving dirty looks in his Batsuit and robotically threatening an alien that he will bleed.
Now, I’m not against Affleck as Batman. He looks good in the suit, the normal suit itself looks different from any other version we’ve seen in previous adaptations and his Batmobile & Batwing look rather impressive. Yet at the same time, his robotic tinged voice & armored suit feel a bit off and potentially more laughable in this overly gritty atmosphere than Zack Snyder would intend. Some have commented that the “Do you bleed” line feels inappropriate for the anti-killing Batman, but I’d say that’s the least of the potential worries as it could easily be about taking him trying to take Superman down or at the very least Bruce Wayne dealing with the possibility of striking a lethal blow to this otherworldly threat. Ultimately, the final shot is meant to tease the battle to end all battles, but that battle really doesn’t have that much weight when this is their first encounter. Seeing Batman and Superman fight doesn’t have as much effect if the two of them have little history, so hopefully the story they build around the two of them will convey a struggle of ideologies that these two deserve and will give solid motivation for their decision to duke things out… but given my own disappointment with Man of Steel, I’m not holding my breath.
What did you think of the Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice teaser? Are you excited for March 25th 2016 or are you just going to stick with Marvel’s sillier style? Post your thoughts in the comments below!