Batman v Superman: Two Heroes, Two Worlds, One Trailer

Come you down from there right now, Mister!!
In a year when Marvel are ramping up towards Civil War then Infinity Wars, The Force has returned and Daredevil has straight out owned every Netflix stream across the globe, DC have been questioned about their direction as they inch towards a Justice League movie.

First it was their choice of director.  Zack Snyder did a solid job with Man of Steel but many die-hard Supe fans questioned his laissez faire attitude towards life, property damage and everything; not to mention some of ZS's filmic misses.  Then it was the choice of Batman that sat between the fanboy cross-hairs as Ben Affleck was announced and everyone pointed the finger to remind the world exactly what he had done to Daredevil.  Without doubt the 2003 Daredevil movie was problematic (to be generous) and at the time it was one of the major factors in my own turning away from the man without fear but having watched (and reviewed) the Director’s Cut recently two things have come to the forefront.  1. It’s not as bad as recollection insists and 2. Ben Affleck is not solely to blame for what is wrong.  Sure, he was the wrong choice for Matt Murdock.  He’s the wrong build for starters!  His bulk is certainly better suited to the Dark Knight, but he wasn’t the only wrong choice when it came to characterization.  Jon Favreau was a bad choice, Michael Clarke Duncan was a bad choice, Jennifer Garner was a bad choice, Joe Pantoliano was a bad choice; as was the music and the derivative choreography.  If anyone was to blame it was Mark Steven Johnson for either making the bad choices or not being stronger to resist the Exec that did.
It's not just the car.  Chicks love the mansion and the bank account too.
A lot has been made of the batsuit.  Personally, I think it’s a beautiful looking rendition of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and the clearest indicator of the tone that BvS and the overall DC Universe is going to take.  But enough lead in, let’s talk about the trailer.
Oh yeah?  You and whose army?!
Having witnessed the arrival of aliens from somewhere further away than TJ, the U.S. Government appears to be split along party lines; some championing his heroic endeavours against General Zod, others either downright against having him on Earth or at the very least against not being able to use him as the sharpest spear in their military arsenal.  Cue an Alfred voiceover and a lingering shot of Bruce Wayne (Affleck) as he stares at his batsuit… one, which we are led to believe, has been dormant for some time.  Cityscapes and heavy base follows before we see the fully functioning armoured batsuit (no doubt lined with kryptonite) as The Bat asks “Tell me, do you bleed?” pause, pause, pause “You will.”

There are some really gorgeous touches to Snyder’s trailer.  Where Nolan subtly peppered The Dark Knight trilogy with his influences, Snyder is wearing his fanboy colours firmly on his sleeve and I love that.  There’s something incredibly pleasing about clearly seeing his alliances.  Some sources have stated the presence of Jason Todd’s Robin suit in the batcave which creates some interesting threads that impact on everything that’s gone before, or at least all the way back to 1989; and points towards a reason for the hiatus that the Caped Crusader has been on.

The way the late twentieth-century Batman franchise ended always sat awkwardly with me.  Yes, Batman & Robin was beyond terrible.  I mean there were fewer redeeming factors to it than to mass murder but pre-nipples there were some nice elements in two to two-and-a-half of the four movies that seemingly have effectively retconned by Nolan’s back to basics.  What’s great about the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer is that, in a way, it reinstates the Batman “legacy” movies (for lack of a better term) and even strengthens the weaker sections of it (Batman & Robin we’re looking at you!).
I just died in your arms tonight...
In placing the Jason Todd Robin suit inside the batcave not only does it give confirmation of his death at the hands of The Joker and Harley Quinn but that he followed in the footsteps of Dick Grayson.  Gotham City was a neon-clad nightmare in Schumacher’s second outing, Batman –a non menacing PVC dipped C-List celebrity alongside the “Boy Wonder”; who we can only assume was appearing in Celebrity Squares when not fighting crime, such was their accessibility.  Assuming that the Gotham of Schumacher continues on beyond the final credits of the movie; Dick Grayson graduates to Nightwing, Barbara Pennyworth (or Gordon to the rest of us) is crippled and becomes Oracle and, now lonely, George Clooney’s Batman takes a young Jason Todd under his wing.  Made cocky by success (and the light family-friendly colour of Gotham) Batman has not realized he has gotten soft.  Enter Joker!  Killing Jason Todd destroys Bruce Wayne.  Darkens him, transforming him from George Clooney into Ben Affleck (ala Doctor Who) stay with me.  What he vowed would “never happen again” has happened again and upon retreating into his shell allows Gotham to crumble back down into its gritty, crime-riddled best.

Drawing a parallel to Nolan’s final outing, Bruce has become a recluse –that is until terraforming from above begins pancaking Metropolis, New York, Hong Kong, Gotham, the World!  Seeing the destruction that is possible in this New World Order, and the absurd power the man of steel has; the Dark Knight must return!  Yes, this is just a theory… one theory and no doubt there are problems but what it does is filmically create a split in dimensions similar to that of the comic book Earth One and Earth Two.
Come get in my selfie.  Noooooooo!
Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, and Batman v Superman all co-exist somewhat harmoniously in Earth One together.  The gradual change in tone, logic and direction is underpinned by reoccurring characters, threads and consequences.  Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises occupy Earth Two as a completed realm –most likely closed off to any further installments as it’s unlikely Christopher Nolan (or anyone else for that matter) will revive his “dead” Bruce Wayne.  Likewise, the Superman movies fall into two worlds, though his narrative progression is a lot less tidy.  As Batman v Superman cleanly occupies Earth One then it stands to reason that Man of Steel also resides here (it being BvS's predecessor).  The problems lie in Earth Two.  Superman, Superman 2, Superman Returns all occupied Earth Two.  The existence of Superman Returns not only retcons Superman 3 and Superman 4, what’s that you say?  They’re notgreat loss?  No, you’re absolutely correct, they are no great loss but here comes the ut-oh!  Earth Two has largely been abandoned in Superman’s lineage.  Lois Lane is raising his super-child and he is an absentee father.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeLane v Superman: A Quest for Alimony more like.  Movie looks great though, can’t wait to see Kal-El bleed.

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