This article contains potential Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice spoilers.
If you weren’t a fan of the first trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, perhaps this new one will make a believer out of you.
Not only is the new trailer considerably more action-packed, it puts an equal amount of spotlight on both Batman and Superman, and gives us our first look at Gal Gadot in action as Wonder Woman.
Just on the off chance that you haven’t seen it yet, or maybe just want to watch it again, here it is. Then we’ll get into the deeper stuff.
But there’s an awful lot to unpack in these three minutes, so we’d better get to it.
Meet Holly Hunter’s unnamed U.S. Senator. As we’ll see, she appears to be in Lex Luthor’s pocket, and she’s leading the establishment’s charge against Superman after the events of Man of Steel.
Superman arrives in Washington to answer for the many deaths caused during his battle against Zod. Note the “Earth belongs to humans” sign. This movie continues the theme of Superman as a “first contact” alien visitor from the first movie.
Aside from the obvious real world parallels with general xenophobia, these protestors, and the government’s interest in regulating superhumans, recalls Watchmen, and the events that ultimately led to the outlawing of “masked adventurers.”
It’s a theme that we might also see explored a little in Captain America: Civil War.
It’s always worth pointing out that Henry Cavill makes for an absolutely convincing Superman, and the costume design for this film and Man of Steel is the best variation on Superman’s “classic” look that has ever been attempted on screen or the page.
While Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is nobody’s favorite Superman movie, this scene of Superman striding into the Senate to testify before/be grilled by a subcommittee, is the opposite of the hopeful, triumphant “march into the United Nations” from that film. Take from that what you will.
OK, so the neat thing about this is that it’s not just a scene of general destruction from the Metropolis battle that took place at the end of Man of Steel, it’s a very specific moment from a different POV. When we first saw General Zod unleash the fury of his heat vision, they were inside that very building. The heat vision pattern is actually the same as where Zod was aiming in that Man of Steel scene. Now we know what it looked like to a bystander.
Not just any bystander, of course…
On the other hand, this shot of Bruce Wayne heroically rushing into the destruction, and the cloud of dust and flapping papers is very specific imagery lifted from the attack on the terrorist attack World Trade Center in 2001.
It does give an indication of exactly how seismic the events of Man of Steel are viewed in the DC Cinematic Universe. On the other hand, 9/11 imagery is tremendously overused in blockbuster movies, and the very specificity of this shot doesn’t sit right with me. The real world still feels the effects of that tragedy every single day, and it’s difficult to see Superman as “a symbol of hope” (as his “S” was described in Man of Steel) when his reveal to the world is treated as the equivalent of a terrorist attack.
If this sets the tone for every DC superhero movie going forward, Superman (and everyone else) is going to have a very difficult time of things.
However, for fans who wanted to see more of the human cost of that battle explored, it looks like we’ll see at least a little of that, here. Anyone want to take odds that this young girl lost her parents in that building collapse?
Wherever Bruce Wayne is living right now, it sure as hell isn’t Wayne Manor. In the early ’70s, Bruce relocated to a penthouse in Gotham City. Perhaps that’s where he is in this film. But the Batcave is still certainly underneath Wayne Manor, so this might indicate that he’s been out of action for some time.
That’s something reinforced by this later shot of him doing BatCrossFit or whatever the hell this is supposed to be. If this shot is contemporary (and I believe it is), then Bruce comes out of retirement specifically to take on Superman after the events of Man of Steel, and here we have what I can only hope is a Rocky-esque training montage.
This is perhas the most practical looking Batcave we’ve ever seen. See that thing in the right-hand corner there?
There’s your Robin costume, ladies and gentlemen! Whether this is Dick Grayson or Jason Todd’s Robin costume remains to be seen.
Like he did in The Dark Knight Returns (and later comics), Bruce keeps the Robin costume on display in the Batcave to remind him of his failures. Here’s a closer look:
Needless to say, there’s only one character who would have spray painted that on Robin’s body, so this mirrors the events of the 1988 Batman comic event, “A Death in the Family,” which allowed readers to decide (via a 1-900 number…those were different times) whether Robin would survive a brutal beating (with a crowbar) at the hands of the Joker and a subsequent warehouse explosion.
It’s tough to really see the colors on this, and they’re certainly muted, but the basic design seems to mirror that of the first Tim Drake Robin costume, which also happened to be the first one in the main DC Universe continuity that looked genuinely badass.
It was designed by Norm Breyfogle, and remains one of my favorite costume designs of all time. You can see Jason Todd’s Robin costume in a similar glass case in the above image, as well.
Who could be trolling Bruce Wayne? Could this be a Joker easter egg? That’s a page from The Daily Planet, but it’s undated. It’s obviously from the events of the first film, although amusingly enough it says “volume 2, edition 2” which is probably a reference to the fact that this is the second DC Universe movie.
Or maybe it means that Harvey Dent is sending Bruce love letters.
Finally! Our first look at Jeremy Irons as Alfred! Dishing out sage advice in Alfred-y fashion, I expect he’ll be a bit of a former badass, similar to the Sean Pertwee version of the character on Gotham.
In The Dark Knight Returns, a comic which obviously has influenced this movie quite heavily, when Batman first returns to action he lends a hand to two cops in pursuit of suspects, one who isn’t old enough to remember Batman in action, and one veteran who advises him to chill out and enjoy the show.
It looks like this is a take on that scene from the comics!
Also…is that Matt Damon on the right?
I have no clue who this poor victim of Batman is supposed to be, but…
This is what happens when you get whacked by a Batarang.
There was precious little of the traditional Clark Kent secret identity in Man of Steel, let alone time at the Daily Planet. It’s nice to see Perry White giving Clark the business here.
What that “nobody cares about Clark Kent taking on the Batman” line sets up, though, is that Supes isn’t just going to be bullied by paranoid, fascist Batman in this one. They both clearly have the wrong idea about each other’s motives.
Superman does have his support system, though. These pep talks from Lois Lane and Martha Kent are at least paying lip service to the more hopeful elements of the character, even if the overall tone of these trailers is a bit morose.
Well, other than the confusing “you don’t owe this world a thing,” line, which seems to pop that balloon, doesn’t it? Holy moley, what the hell is wrong with the Kents in this movie universe? This is like Uncle Ben telling Spider-Man “with great power comes the power to do whatever the hell you want.”
I really hope this was taken out of context.
Gosh, do you think this movie is trying to say something about how individuals with money hold undue influence in politics? I can’t be sure, but…
In all seriousness, other than his youth (and the hair, which obviously isn’t sticking around), Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is very much in keeping with the “billionaire industrialist” version of the character that has reigned supreme for the last 30 years in the comics. Note how he also dresses more flashy than the OTHER billionaire in the movie, Bruce Wayne.
Ah, the traditional, “Superman finds himself powerless before Lex Luthor” scene, an essential part of any new interpretation of the Superman mythology. What could it be this time? Kryptonite? Mind control? The simple knowledge that he can’t prove Lex is behind all his troubles?
Introducing Tao Okamoto as Mercy Graves. She’s Lex Luthor’s assistant and bodyguard, and a super strong badass in her own right.
What’s in the box?
That would be General Zod’s corpse. This confirms a pretty massive spoiler about the movie. But if Lex and friends are experimenting on the body of Zod, let’s just say that whatever they come up with probably won’t be too good for anybody.
Here’s Gal Gadot as Diana Prince…
We’ve all seen the Batsignal in action before, but even as a skeptic, I have to admit…this shot is plenty badass. And again, Batman “calling” Superman out for a fight like this is reminiscent of The Dark Knight Returns.
Is this a diver approaching the submerged, possibly chained up form of Jason Momoa’s Aquaman?
Hey, did you guys know that Bruce Wayne becomes Batman because his parents were murdered? Because we’re going to see that again in this movie. And again. And again….
Wonder Woman, complete with shield, looks pretty convincing here…
…and those bracelets are much more high-powered than merely deflecting bullets this time around.
It’s still unclear what these Superman-branded soldiers are about, whether they’re holding him hostage, if Batman is rescuing him, why this appears to be the Middle East. Your guess is as good as ours.
LexCorp has a Metropolis headquarters, it would seem…
Did you ever really doubt that Kryptonite would make an appearance in this movie? Of course not. It does look a little like a larger version of the meteorite from Superman: The Movie, though, doesn’t it?
Included solely because we’ve had a scarcity of Wonder Woman photos in relation to this movie until now. Note the shield and the sword, though. This is very much a warrior, and far less of a Princess.
Complete with lightning bolt, we have a recreation of the cover of The Dark Knight Returns #1. No, seriously, check it out…
Awww…man. Never mess with a guy’s car like that!
What else did you spot in there? Let us know and we’ll see if we can verify it!
We futher broke down the trailer in our SDCC 2015 podcast. Listen here!