If you think that DC superhero movies aren’t going to catch up to Marvel superhero movies, you’ve got another thing coming.
At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, all the buzz was around the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer. Filled with explosions, gunfights, political intrigue, and tons of realism, the trailer is everything that one could possibly want in a superhero movie.
DC is certainly taking a risk in pitting their two biggest superheroes against each other this early on in the game, but this could be the penultimate to what Avengers was to the Marvel world ie: a gateway to tie ins for multiple other superheroes. Let’s not forget that Justice League is to be released in 2017.
There are several things to note about Zach Snyder’s Batman v. Superman.
First and foremost is his interesting and dare we say manipulative use of modern events and politics. It’s well known that one of the several things that drive a good superhero movie is a root in reality. This movie does just that, evoking powerful and disturbing imagery to draw audiences in.
This film sees Superman being held accountable for the destruction he caused in Man of Steel. In addition to that, the trailer shows off a plethora of hard-hitting scenes, ones that includes people picketing outside Congress with “SUPERMAN = ILLEGAL ALIEN,” Wayne Tower crumbling to the ground, a space shuttle exploding, and desperate refugees trying to escape a flood. It is no coincidence that Snyder wants us to draw parallels between, respectively, deportation debates, terrorism, the Challenger disaster, and refugees of natural disasters.
The second thing to note is the interesting amalgamation of talent. Batman v Superman was criticized early on for its seemingly random and ill-fitting consortium of good but atypical actors. This, really, is where the franchise will either strike gold or miss. Earliest fan reactions were negative to Ben Affleck being cast as Batman, for a multitude of reasons. He’s too old, not intimidating enough, was an awful Daredevil — these were just some of the listed reasons fans cited as to why he wouldn’t be able to carry the tough role.
However, instead of leaving these questions unanswered, Snyder chose to incorporate all of these into the film, having Bruce Wayne be an aging vigilante coming out of retirement to strike back at Superman. With veteran actors such as Jeremy Irons and newcomers such as Ray Fisher, the film certainly boasts a large and talented cast. Played correctly, these talents will undoubtedly produce a diverse and awesome movie.
A third and final thing to note is the darkness, both literal and metaphorical, of the film. I believe that the thing that has always separated DC from Marvel is DC’s willingness to go to those places, to question human nature and get into the gritty side of superhero-ing. It’s one of the reasons I think Captain America: The Winter Soldier did so well. It wasn’t afraid to stray from fighting aliens to fighting humans, and asking challenging questions about freedom and security. It seems that Batman v Superman, while grounded in their rivalry, amply includes real humans and real issues, tying it very closely with our own experiences today.
Fans will not have to wait long to see the results of two years of hard work, as DC paves the way for a bright future of epic superhero movies.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be released in theaters on March 25, 2016. It stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Laurence Fishburne, and more.