As the fanboys and naysayers pick apart every single aspect of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer shown at SDCC this weekend, I thought I would give a more pragmatic and slightly favorable breakdown of the trailer along with 90 screencaps. There is quite a bit of information to pick through in that short trailer that wasn’t immediately obvious. A lot can be taken away, along with some confirmation of previous rumors. And if you don’t mind, a bit of personal speculation.
To start off, we get our first look at Holly Hunter…a so far unnamed United States Senator who is calling Superman (Henry Cavill) to task for his part of the destruction in Metropolis. Director Zack Snyder said that Hunter’s role is a new character written specifically for the film.
Superman complies with the summonses to appear before the US Senate, but really looks as if he regretting his decision. “Let the record show that this committee holds him responsible.”
In an apparent flashback to Man of Steel, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is in Metropolis at the time of Superman and Zod’s battle. The Wayne Financial building in Metropolis is destroyed by Zod’s heat vision as seen in Man of Steel. Bruce appears to be deeply troubled by the destruction and loss of life. This is obviously the beginning of the animosity between Bruce and Superman.
Bruce Wayne is haunted by the scene that he saw and is being baited into taking action is spite of warnings from Alfred (Jeremy Irons). The abandoned building we see Bruce approaching looks like the building where Superman killed Zod (where we see Batman in a previous trailer). We get our first glimpse of the Batcave, which is far different than what we saw in The Dark Knight Rises, and is a bit more fitting a structure to a experienced and veteran Batman. It’s possible at this point that Bruce Wayne has given up his career as Batman and the appearance of Superman has sparked him into training himself to once again be the Dark Knight. The scene of Bruce training gives some credibility to this.
We now get our first image of Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth. Alfred provides a bit of narration in this part of the trailer, which serves as a warning to Bruce that he may be letting his feelings get the best of him. There is more evidence to support this idea further along in the trailer when Alfred says: “That’s how it starts. The fever, the rage that turns good men…cruel.”
This Dark Knight appears to be a little darker than what we’re use to seeing. The bat-branding of a criminal may just be Batman’s attempt to call Superman out. Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) lectures Clark Kent who is obviously on Batman’s trail. Could it be that Batman already knows who Superman really is? This would definitely be something that Batman would resort to in order to coax Superman into revealing himself on his terms. “No one cares about Clark Kent taking on the Batman.”
Superman has achieved an almost god-like status, and why wouldn’t he? The savior of mankind, an all-powerful man to fulfill the hopes and dreams of everyone on Earth. Clark gets his own words of encouragement from Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and his adoptive mother Martha Kent (Diane Lane). “Be their hero Clark. Be everything they need you to be or be none of it.”
Enter Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) who is undoubtedly playing the circumstances in true Luthor fashion. Anyone who reads comics knows that Luthor is manipulating the situation to suit his diabolical purposes and we will probably see Lex’s hatred for Superman develop during the course of the film. Lex meets with Holly Hunter’s character and perhaps plants the seed in her head to call Superman before the committee. As you can see, Lex has a full head of hair, but keep watching for clues to come. “Devils don’t come from Hell beneath us. They come from the sky.”
There’s no telling what’s going on here. Is there Kryptonite involved? Superman doesn’t seem too pleased with Lex in this scene. Then we get our first look at Mercy Graves (Tao Okamoto) and it’s pretty save to assume that Lex has acquired the body of General Zod to develop a weapon against Superman. Could this be a clue to the Doomsday rumor? Or could it be some kind of clue to the discovery of Kryptonite?
Another shot of the Batcave and a view that confirms the rumor that Batman has or at least once had a Robin at his side. The words spray painted on the costume are “HA HA. The joke’s on you BATMAN.” Could this have been Jason Todd’s uniform? Could it be Jena Malone’s, who is still rumored to be in the film? Is it possible that Robin was in the Wayne Financial building when it was destroyed by Superman and Zod. Bruce seemed to be talking to someone on his cellphone when the building comes down. Could this have been Robin?
The first look of Gal Gadot as Diana Prince followed quickly with another shot of Bruce Wayne speaking to someone who could possibly be Jim Gordon. “Twenty years in Gotham. How many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?” This is a pretty powerful line. It implies that Bruce has been active as Batman for at least twenty years and that he did have allies in some form during that time. It could also imply Jason Todd’s fall from grace. This is also where the trailer picks up the action.
“He has the power to wipe out the entire human race. I’m gonna have to destroy him.” Another powerful line signifying just how far Batman is willing to go to stop Superman. Perhaps the seeds of fear that Luthor may be planting have gotten to Batman as well. For those long-time comic book readers, Batman was aware early on the kind of threat Superman could pose if left unchecked. Being the person he is, Batman knew that he had to have something to stop Superman if it were ever needed. Are these soldiers the Red Capes that Luthor refers to later in the trailer?
Batman pulls a tarp away from the batsignal. It being covered could signify that it hasn’t been used for a while, and lend more proof to the idea that Batman had decided to hang up his cape before the appearance of Superman. In a homage to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Batman’s armored suit is just what he needs to take on Superman. Could it be powered by or use Kryptonite in some way? As seen in the previously released trailer, this is Batman calling Superman out.
It’s difficult to tell what we’re seeing in this still. I’m speculating it has something to do with Aquaman. Whether the diver is Arthur Curry or the figure or whatever it is in the bottom left corner is it’s hard to determine. Let’s just say that it does have something to do with Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and wait until we have something more solid to go on. Couple that with the next still of the men on horseback. Nearly impossible to tell what this is about. The desert horseback scene could have something to do the the Red Capes/soldiers Batman fights later in the trailer.
Can’t have a new Batman without a new origin scene of some sort, which this obviously is. One big surprise is Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Thomas Wayne. Always my pick to playing an older Batman, it’s nice to see that Morgan retains a place in the DC Comics family. Then a young Bruce Wayne watches his parents being murdered. I can only hope that this is a short flashback scene and Batman’s origin doesn’t take up too much of the film.
At this point in the trailer, things move fast. We get a shot of the Batwing in flight during some kind of battle. There is smoke, fire, and explosions happening. Then a scene of a crowd of protesters and Lois Lane. Something happens to cause Lois to duck down and then she sees something shocking. Could this be an appearance of a rumored Doomsday or someone trying to assassinate Superman when he arrives in Washington?
A shot of a very determined looking Bruce Wayne. It’s entirely possible Lexcorp and Wayne Industries are working together to develop a weapon to use against Superman. Then another still of Diana Prince looking amazing in a backless dress. The more I see of her, the more I am convinced she was the right choice to be Wonder Woman.
And now the money shot that a lot of fans have been waiting for–Woman Woman in action, and a hint of just how powerful she is. It looks like she slams her bracelets together to cause some kind of energy wave or EMP. Is she battling against Superman or Batman or someone/something else? She is thrown pretty hard into a large piece of concrete and it phases her very little…in fact, she looks pretty mad about it.
Various action scenes including Batman fighting some Nazi-looking soldiers with Superman’s crest on their uniforms. Are they the Red Capes? Could they just be hired thugs of Lex Luthor or some kind of super soldier experiments using Zod’s DNA? We see them bowing to Superman in an earlier still so they could possibly be some kind of cult being backed by Luthor. I think it is pretty safe to say that they have something to do with bringing Batman and Superman together to fight a common foe.
As I previously mentioned, Alfred tries to convince Bruce that Superman is not the threat he believes he is, saying: “He is not our enemy.” In this darker version of the DC Universe, I can’t think of a better choice to play Alfred than Jeremy Irons. I am eager to see more of him in the film. We see a still of ( who I am assuming is) Lex racing on his motorcycle to LexCorp after some kind of accident or terrorist incident. This could be some sort of staged event by Lex to blame on Superman.
Another fan money shot. Lex Luthor and a chunk of Kryptonite. My theory at this point is that Lex is either wearing wigs or exposure to the Kryptonite causes him to lose his hair, which also fuels his hatred of Superman and fits into comic book canon.
Action shots of Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman. Again it is difficult to know if they are fighting each other, but Superman appears to use his heat vision against Batman who bat-gadgets his way to safety. The voice over from Luthor convinces me that people will be surprised how well Jessie Eisenberg will preform in the role: “Black and blue. God versus man. Day versus night.”. Is it possible that Lex has been planning on pitting Superman against Batman all along? If Batman has been around for twenty years, it is possible he’s been a thorn in Lex’s side at least once over the years. Literally killing two birds with one stone may be Lex’s plan, but where does Wonder Woman fit into it?
“The red capes are coming. The red capes are coming.” This very ominous line only solidifies my prediction that Eisenberg is going to own the role of Lex Luthor.
Superman approaches a seemingly disabled batmobile and rips it open to reveal…guess who? Another great money shot for fans and Superman, the Man of Steel faces The Dark Knight, Batman. The trailer wraps up with the Batman/Superman logo and the film’s title.
Thanks for taking this rather lengthy trip with me. I wanted to give a slightly unbiased breakdown of the trailer instead of trying to find everything apparently wrong with it to use as evidence of why the movie will be a disaster. I for one am looking forward to Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice next year. To those on the fence or already dead set against the success of this film, I ask that you wait and see it for yourself before making any judgement.