Now that the Official Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice trailer has been released by Warner Brothers, I thought I would provide my own analysis on what we have seen. Debate has dominated all corners of the internet for over a year now on how the film will perform. Everything from the plot, characters, including Warner Brothers’ future DC film plans. The hot topic however has been the following question, “How will Ben Affleck portray Bruce Wayne / Batman?” Well, as Heath Ledger (Joker) said to Batman in The Dark Knight, ” You didn’t disappoint.”
The story continues off the back of Man of Steel, and there seems to have been a host of events that have transpired since the conclusion of the first film. With the destruction of Metropolis, we seem to have a very inexperienced yet powerful “hero” in Superman that has been the subject of a divide amongst people. The look on Superman’s face below suggests that he has a reluctance to lead the people who seek his guidance.
We see a fairly large gathering of people behind Superman. Their body language, and their hands out trying to touch him, the painted faces, all suggests that there is some form of group, cult, or faction that has formed in his honour. Are the words of his human father (Jonathan Kent) from the first film still relevant? Those words formed the fatherly advise to Clark ensuring he had to figure out when growing up the type of man he wanted to be. How does that influence his actions moving forward?
The quote in the trailer leading into this image suggests people are desperate, lack guidance and Superman now shoulders that burden:
We as a population on this planet have been looking for a saviour
How people deal with change is out of his control, what is in his control, is how he deals with both the events of the past and what is to come. We know from the trailer what is in front of him.
What rings true here, is the fact that Superman was, or is honoured for what he has done. In a very serious and spiritual way, and we see this with what seems to be a statue in his honour. People hold him in such regard, he is seen as a God in the view of some, but where there is hope, there is also defiance. We hear this in a very distinct voice which could be possibly coming from a protest. It is a background voice in the clip saying:
This is our planet!
This defiance certainly is coming first and foremost from Lex Luthor who is played by actor Jesse Eisenberg. As we progress through the trailer he says:
Devils don’t come from Hell beneath us, no they come from the sky
As obvious as it may be to some, the biggest and most noticeable trait of Superman is his ability to fly. It’s one of the traits that captures the minds and hearts of people around him. Lex Luthor makes his intentions clear with the above statement, and for those that do not believe Superman serves a purpose on earth, one can assume Lex will nominate himself as a saviour.
Go Home, Go Home, Go Home
With the statue of Superman having been defaced with the term “False God” suggests people clearly do not understand Superman and what they don’t understand they fear. As a result they want him gone.
The trailer dims, and we hear a voice. A voice of reason, a voice of guidance, the only person that Bruce Wayne truly trusts unconditionally. Alfred Pennyworth, who is played by one of my favourite actors Jeremy Irons. Towards the end of 2014, in an interview Mr Irons was quoted saying
“He is quite a different Alfred than we have seen so far. Zack Snyder had very clear views about what he wanted… I would just say he’s more hands-on perhaps than just a butler.”
Both the tone, and pace in how Pennyworth delivers what seems to be a very instructive yet guiding piece of advise to Bruce Wayne is enough evidence to suggest this persona of Alfred will be indeed something new. I found it quite striking and powerful. Words like that suggest Bruce is possibly at the cross roads with making some important decisions and Alfred is there to provide the required guidance.
Alfred delivers this quote:
That’s how it starts, the fever, the rage, the feeding of powerlessness, that turns good men, cruel.
Is Alfred talking about the situation that Superman is in? Or was this quote put into the trailer to set the expectation with fans on the type of Batman we are going to see Affleck portray? We know that there is a level of inspiration that Snyder took from the Frank Miller book, The Dark Knight Returns. With that we also know Affleck plays an older, wiser Batman. If in fact that Bruce Wayne is retired or semi-retired, does he come back out of the shadows to deal with the situation at hand?
The look on Ben Affleck’s face in the trailer was the most impressive and striking element. I am happy for fans reading this review to say I am judging a book by its cover. The stone, cold, angered face is something we haven’t seen before in any Batman film. Not like that. Alfred talks about fever, and rage.
The image of Bruce Wayne here looks to possibly be in the Batcave, and immediately after this we can assume he is looking at one of his Batsuits. The trailer suggests Bruce Wayne has two Batsuits, both look impressive and this one looks to be stored in a highly secured cylinder shaped inclosure.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be scored by both Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL. Their role is so critical to setting the mood, and tone of the film. They have done it brilliantly for the trailer. Don’t forget that Hans Zimmer was tasked with the same job for Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, and the Man of Steel.
Fans on the internet have already talked about hidden easter eggs in this trailer and one that has been talked about are the question marks on the pillar to the left in the image below. Is this a link to The Riddler?
With what seems to be Batman in true detective mode looking around and analysing his surroundings, the environment above looks to have been destroyed. Is he backtracking and scoping out Superman in some fashion? It could possibly be the location in which Superman defeated Zod at the end of Man of Steel. Or some secret gathering to where people meet who are either following or seeking to have Superman removed. Both are guesses and due to lack of deep knowledge around the plot, we really don’t know for sure.
The image below shows Superman entering some kind of underground tunnel. On either side of him are soldiers kneeling as he walks by, but if you look closely each soldier has an arm patch in the form of the Superman Symbol.
This could possibly be an alliance between Superman and the US Army/Government. Again, we draw similarities with The Dark Knight Returns. In the 1986 Frank Miller story, Superman fights wars along side the US Army.
The next short sequences show the tools and weapons Batman has at his disposal. We see what seems to be a possible Batplane, and the rear of the Batmobile
Is Batman using deadly force in this film against what he deems a threat? We see quick footage of people who are either part of a Lex Luthor initiative, or even possibly the U.S government (think back to the Dark Knight Returns Story). Either way, do not be shocked if this is the case, Batman has killed before. When was the last time you watched Batman Returns with Michael Keaton?!
Finally we get to see the clearest image in the trailer of Ben Affleck in the famous Batsuit, and it just looks menacing. He seems to be stepping out of the shadows, beyond fire, with ongoing destruction behind him. Both the suit and Affleck are huge, the persona built has clear parallels with the middle-aged Batman we saw in The Dark Knight Returns. The short clip again gives me confidence we will see a unique take on Batman that most fans should be pleased with.
Again we see a famous image of the Batman standing above what either could be Gotham City or even Metropolis. You may ask yourself, ‘What is that next to Batman?”. No, he isn’t holding onto anything. That looks to be the same grapple rifle Batman used in The Dark Knight Returns.
The final sequence of the trailer gives us the much-anticipated confrontation between Superman & Batman. We have to touch on Batman’s voice. It has been such a big talking point throughout the journey with the Nolan trilogy. Most people didn’t think Bale mastered the voice. Personally, I thought in Batman Begins he had a good hold over it, but post that it changed, and changed for the worst.
As we see the two DC characters together, Batman says to Superman:
“Tell me, do you bleed? You will!”
Hearing that for the first time sent chills down the back of my neck. The statement eludes that Batman isn’t just more experienced, but he is confident, dark, and gives the impression he is in control. The voice seems to be technologically modified. Is this something that is part of the battle suit he is wearing? If so, it’s just awesome. The helmet Batman is wearing has drawn obvious inspiration to the Dark Knight Returns. Separate from the obvious fact that Batman has to ensure he can compete with a more powerful opponent, is that a helmet made out of lead? Is it filled with kryptonite, and who provided the technology to Wayne? Don’t rule out Lex Luthor playing a role possibly driving Batman into the position we see him in.
I am confident that more people would be happy with what we heard in the trailer when comparing Batman’s voice to that of Bale’s. I drew similarities with the voice that Stephen Amell produces in Arrow.
Holistically the trailer is brilliant, with more information to come throughout the remainder of 2015 we should be a little more confident now that Zack Snyder is on the right path. To those who said Ben Affleck was the wrong casting choice, from what I have seen here, he will be amazing!
This article is based on the personal opinion of Damian Fasciani.