Batman Vs. Superman Trailer: An Intense Breakdown Image By Image
WB and Zack Snyder recently released the Batman Vs. Superman trailer.
Below you can check out some thoughts and speculations on the various scenes.
Overall, I felt the trailer did it's job by giving us a first look at the Ben Affleck Batman and setting up why Batman fights Superman.
The trailer has been getting mixed reviews online by fans. Personally, I felt it was a bit dark, and I am desperately hoping by the end of the movie that Superman gets looked at as an inspiration and a hero.
Our movie reviewer, Lawerence Napoli, felt the trailer was trying to be dark and "edgy" similar to Man of Steel, but that it "lacked those certain moments of inspiration and light." Lawrence didn't like how "Batfleck, Batman and 'darkness all over' highjacked the franchise, and just like that, the whole planet hates Superman." Lawrence also thinks the trailer means Snyder might be "pulling a Watchmen" again.
Our comic book reviewer, Chris "The Doc" Bushley, felt it was "way too f'n dark!" Chris said Superman needs to offset Batman's darkness, and that "it looks like they just made an Injustice movie!"
Now on to the breakdown...
The trailer opens up with darkness and asks: "Is it really surprising that the most powerful man in the world should be a figure of controversy..."
Obviously this is a reference to Man of Steel as well as setting up the rest of the trailer (and guessing the movie). On one hand, Superman saved everyone, but on the other, is he to blame? After all, if there was no Superman, there would have been no Zod. In addition, obviously the most powerful man would be the most controversial as everyone will have an opinion as to what he should be and do. Should he be a dictator and tyrant that tells people what they should do? Or should he lead by example? Should he lead at all?
The first scene of the movie is of Metropolis and the Superman statue, possibly at the Zod battle scene (similar to World Trade Center site). If you recall, a set image landed online revealing part of the statue - meaning it's real - and now we know that Snyder used practical effects for the movie.
What this tells us is that following Man of Steel, the city (or whomever) thanked Superman for saving the city and the world, so they erected a Superman statue.
The scene also has the following dialogue: "We as a population on this planet have been looking for a savior" (with "savior" giving an echo sound effect). Again, the question rises: Should Superman be our savior? And in exactly what way? Is he here to take care of every one of us? You could argue this has similar political arguments with those who feel the government(s) should be the savior of the people. The narration concludes leading to this image of Henry Cavill as Superman:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is Superman at a parade for the Mexican Day of the Dead. I think that is what the black and white make-up represents (and not The Purge 2, lol). So we can guess Superman does something super in Mexico, with the people rushing to him. The imagery (at least to me) is also similar from Man of Steel when Superman had the Zod vision of himself in the black suit and all the skulls - obviously signifying death (and from the narrated lead-in above, possibly meaning "Superman our savior will lead to death").
Next we hear various quotes, with the first being from American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson: "We are talking about a being whose various existence challenges our own sense of priority in the universe."
When Tyson states "being," there is another voice over.
I can't quite make it out, but at least to me it sounds like "Damien." I'm not sure what that means other than an Omen reference, or "demon," or Batman's son, Damien (again, no clue). Update: It's "Alien."
Following Tyson stating "existence" a woman's voice states: "They are not telling us the truth."
Following Tyson stating "priority," it sounds as if voices are stating: "This is our
Tyson stating "universe" leads into the following:
We see that the image (Superman saving a Soviet rocket) challenges humanity's place in the universe as it's shows an alien doing something humans can't do. This is sort of waking humanity up to the fact they aren't the center of the universe. This could be representative of humanity once mistakenly believing the Earth was the center of the universe. It's the sun that is the center of our Solar System - or Superman, the Last Son, is the center of the universe.
Update: The rocket also has "300" referencing the movie.
A man's voice then states: "Human beings have a horrible track record of following people with great power."
A female voice says "tragedy" directy after "record of."
A second female voice states "power corrupts" as soon as the man stated "power."
This can obviously be read as: following people with great power causes tragedy.
The female voice then states "And absolute power corrupts absolutely" (update: possibly voiced by Holly Hunter) with a second female voice interjecting "terror" and "chaos."
Which leads to:
Now there is a lot going on in this image. For one, it shows soldiers bowing before Superman. Notice the Superman shield patches on their arms? They are a part of "Superman's army." As I stated in a previous article, I am guessing they are an independent faction who worship Superman or view him as their savior (which references the above: "We as a population on this planet have been looking for a savior.") They also appear to be wearing black masks to conceal their identity and black clothes. I'm guessing Superman is here to whoop their ass for doing some bad stuff in his name. They see the Man of Steel come down in their bunker and immediately bow before Superman (referencing Zod's own demand "bow before Zod"). I'm also guessing this is Snyder taking a dig toward the Christian conservative right groups, i.e. they are "militant" and "domestic terrorists." The image also has a heavy Nazi feeling with the helmets. Perhaps the bigger question: Who is the leader of Superman's Army? Another interesting aspect of the image is that it's similar to the Injustice Gods Among Us video game.
Check it out:
The scene ends and goes dark with: "Maybe he is just a guy trying to do the right thing."
Next, a closer look at the Superman statue is shown with the following said, which looks to be said by Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor: "We know better now, don't we?" Again, this is a reference to the above image being representative of Superman as a dictator (leader of the Nazis, Hitler, or whatever dictator) as "we know better now" because we already lived it (those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.)
The same voices that stated above, "This is our planet," now can be heard stating, "He's out of control." This is the anti-Superman crowd (set pics revealed people picketing against Superman) declaring, "This is our planet. [Superman] is out of control [something must be done]."
Lex Luthor continues with, "Devils don't come from hell beneath us. They come from the sky."
Between Luthor's two statements, what sounds like an elderly man saying, "A brother warrior," can be heard. More than likely, this is some sort of "priest" that is part of Superman's army. Superman is their "brother warrior" in their fight against - whatever they feel Superman and themselves are fighting against.
Following Luthor stating "[Devils] come from the sky" the following image appears:
Superman is the devil from the sky. He is the false savior, the false god (at least Luthor is trying to convince people that).
Another voice says: "The world has been so caught up in what he can do" - and then a closer look at the Superman statue is shown - with it questioned, "That no one has asked what he should do."
This is more repetition of the savior theme: Should Superman be our savior and tell us what to do? Or for that matter: Should we be telling Superman what to do (referencing the end Man of Steel scene with General Swanwick where Superman tells him they will never control him).
The anti-Superman voices then chant,"Go home! Go home. Go home!" - which means Superman (you alien) go home back to Krypton; with the following then shown:
And this is the end of the first half of the trailer, which introduced us to Superman being looked at as the bad guy (though we did apparently get two images of Superman "saving the day" in Russia and Mexico).
Now it's the Batman half of the trailer, which is kicked off by Jeremy Irons voice speaking as Alfred.
"That's how it starts," Alfred says, right before the above image goes black.
We get our first look at Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne. Now this is it, our first impressions are made from this image and what comes next.
Alfred continues, "The fever. The rage."
The camera zooms in on Bruce - "The feeling of powerlessness," Alfred says.
Bruce is looking at the Batman costume:
Bruce Wayne felt powerless when he couldn't stop his parents' death. Batman gives him power (interesting: now that there is a super man, does that make Wayne again feel powerless?).
"That turns good men cruel," Alfred concludes.
Alfred full words: "That's how it starts. The fever. The rage. The feeling of powerlessness. That turns good men cruel."
Now is this just a reference to Bruce Wayne? It probably can be looked at as a reference to how humanity is feeling as well, and especially Lex Luthor.
The trailer then cuts away to the Superman shield "in 2016" image:
We then go into the following:
I believe this might be Wayne Manor. Set pics revealed that Bruce Wayne has been staying at a cabin or house by a lake. If it's Wayne Manor, obviously it's been vacated for a while as we see graffiti all over the place. Easter Eggs include the Riddler question mark, and maybe "Joe" is a reference to the Joker (Joe being an alias of the Joker in the comics).
Update: There is a Wonder Woman Easter Egg as well with "Aphrodite" (under the Riddler question mark) as Aphrodite was the creator of the Amazons and Wonder Woman. It's also possible the above scene takes place at an abandoned subway station.
Next the following is shown:
I believe what is happening is that the flying object is a drone and not the Batwing. It's a drone attacking some sort of warehouse on Gotham River. Of course, it could very well be the Batwing, and I'm wrong.
We then see the Batmobile for the first time:
The trailer makes it look as if the drone (or whatever) is firing on the Batmobile (maybe they did this intentionally to make us question whether it's the Batwing above).
More of the Superman logo is shown leading to our first look at Ben Affleck as Batman:
It's not a crystal clear image of Affleck as Batman, but Batman appears to "rising" from the "terror" and "chaos" (recall the above).
More Superman logo imagery is then shown taking us to:
Batman on top of the world.
We saw the earlier image of Superman in the sky, and now we see Batman in the sky. This represents the two being rivals and probably also that Gotham is Bruce Wayne's city.
Remember what Luthor said?
"Devils don't come from hell beneath us. They come from the sky."
Not only is Superman a devil, but Batman is another devil.
This represents, eventually, Lex Luthor against all the superheroes and the "dawn of justice" (the Justice League are devils, too).
We also see that Batman is holding a rifle, another nod to Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, in which Batman uses a rifle to fire a grappling hook from one building to another.
We then see the Batman suit that Bruce uses to battle Superman.
It's a rather interesting look. Not only is it borrowed from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, but what is it telling us? More than likely, Batman is using some sort of night vision. Or is it possible that Batman knows Superman may be able to see different light spectrums - perhaps this is some sort of device that will cloak Batman or interfere with Superman's vision? We see Batman is heavily armored. Is it made of some special material? Is it armor from the Kryptonians? Batman also appears to be wearing a cape (or maybe some sort of parachute device). Questions: Does Batman even know the extent of Superman's powers? This appears to be their first meeting - is Batman even wearing this suit because of Superman or is this a chance encounter? Did Batman don the suit and purposely try to find Superman (perhaps creating some false emergency to lure him)?
Another question: Is this even a new suit for Batman? It appears already to be battle-damaged (this is a veteran Batman), and this appears to be first Batman/Superman encounter. This might just be Batman's "heavy hitter" suit that he uses to take on the big bad villains (i.e. Killer Croc and such).
Batman is looking up in the air at a hovering Superman:
Recalling Luthor: "Devils don't come from hell beneath us. They come from the sky."
"Tell me," Batman demands of Superman, leading to the following:
Look how small Batman looks. Look how small the human looks from the super man's perspective.
"Do you bleed?" Batman asks.
Bruce Wayne's voice is scrambled through a voice modulator (Arrow did it first!). Does Batman know about Superman's super hearing? Or does Bruce Wayne always use a voice-changer when he is Batman (and then we never have to hear "swear to me" again!).
Bruce Wayne questioning, "Tell me. Do you bleed?" is an obvious reference to Superman being an alien as well as asking if he is a god (do gods bleed red?) and probably a reference to Shakespeare ("If you prick us, do we not bleed?").
Superman comes down to the ground.
Now this is another interesting image.
Here we see the back of Batman, with what appears to be the cape.
We see Superman has come down to Batman's level - they are both no longer in the sky.
We see Superman has come down, yes, he is part of this world and humanity.
What do we also see?
It shows Superman kneeling before Batman. The trailer ends with Superman just about to get up, but not fully standing. I found it to be an interesting aspect as the other image showed the humans kneeling before Superman. Here at least, Superman, looks humble.
The trailer then goes dark, and Batman says, "You will."
So Batman says: "Tell me. Do you bleed red? You Will."
Them be fighting words!
"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" has a March 25, 2016 release starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Ray Fisher as Cyborg with Callan Mulvey, Holly Hunter and Tao Okamoto in new character roles for the film. Justice League is to follow directed by Zack Snyder as well.