The future of the DC Cinematic Universe has been a hot topic amongst film and comic book fans. After the mixed response critics gave Man of Steel, some were concerned if Warner Bros. would continue to pursue a connected universe setting up a plethora of superheroes. Of course, that question was answered just a few weeks later when Zack Snyder announced the follow-up would be a film that pitted Batman against Superman – the ultimate face off.
This weekend, DC proved just how serious they are on competing with not only Marvel but also any studio pursing the cash flow that is comic book movies, through the Comic-Con trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
After debuting a teaser trailer in mid-April, which got a moderately positive response, it seems as if Warner Bros. knew they had to step up the stakes. So, what did they do? They had the bright idea of debuting a fantastic three-and-a-half-minute long trailer at Comic Con and then sticking it online for all to see. Make no mistake, after this weekend, they have changed things forever, setting a precedent on how to win an entire convention seemingly effortlessly. They are fully aware that they are the underdog and that they have a lot of prove to comic fans and the general public. It is no secret that Marvel has been crushing it since 2008.
The trailer has garnered almost twenty million views on YouTube and another eighteen million on Facebook, turning the DC ship in the right direction. It successfully got the attention of the entire public, showing off a multitude of new footage with Batman, Superman, Lex Luthor, and yes, even Wonder Woman. The reaction to this trailer spread like a wildfire, reaching to the top of trending topics on Twitter and Facebook. This was Marvel while they watched:
What also makes the trailer worthwhile is the way it slaps detractors in the face. After Man of Steel, there was this backlash over the mayhem and destruction featured in the third act with many saying it was left field, unwarranted, and served no purpose to the plot. In the new trailer we are shown that Zack Snyder and the writer, Chris Terrio, have found a fantastic way to connect the destruction to the emergence of many superheros, the main one being Batman (a re-emergence in this case). The trailer shows that Batman was present in the destruction of Metropolis and it is why he has such a vendetta against the Boy Scout. His building was taken from him, but most importantly thousands of people would have been in there – some of them he would have known. Outside of The Dark Knight Trilogy, their film output has received very mixed to negative reception. However, it’s evident from this trailer that Snyder and Terrio love these characters and take them extremely seriously, and given the previous point it feels as if the former listened to the fan criticism of Man of Steel and took it into account during the writing process. They are no longer in the business of making movies that have mixed and bad responses. They are in the business of making good movies, which is what Batman v Superman needs to be.
On another level, the reception is unsurprising considering just how insane the concept of this film is. You have the DC Trinity together on the big screen for the first time ever. To some, this is a childhood dream come true. But footage is only one element, and Warner Bros. was smart. They knew to keep the focus on Batman v Superman, but also tease to the future of their universe, which is in heavy development. They had to prove they had a plan. And they did.
They gave fans an illustrated slate before the panel began, showing a Wonder Woman movie in development, (a film that currently has Patty Jenkins attached, the original director for Thor: The Dark World that DC hilariously stole from Marvel) a Green Lantern Corps film in development, as well as The Flash, which will star Ezra Miller. And even on top of that, they brought the entire Suicide Squad cast out onto stage, debuting footage that ended with a creepy first look at Jared Leto as the famous Joker.
DC wanted to get a message across. That message was, “Hey, we have a plan here. We are no longer waiting to see how each film does. We are confident and we are planning this universe out into the next ten years.”
Maybe that’s why I root for DC. Not only because they are the underdog currently, but because I have such a deep love for their characters. Batman, Superman, these are characters that started the entire comic book sphere. There is nothing more deeply rooted in American pop culture than Batman and Superman. San Diego Comic Con had an abundance of films being presented, but one company took the opportunity to steal the spotlight and finally give people, and naysayers, some confidence.
Make no mistake, after this weekend; DC and Warner Bros. have leveled the playing field. In the wise words of Lex Luthor…