Poor Batman v. Superman. First its trailer has the misfortune of being leaked via shitty cellphone footage from a theater, then it’s released properly in close proximity to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a far superior event trailer.
Seemingly hellbent on being every bit as dour as Marvel films are irreverent, the BvS trailer is dark, loud, and no fun. Superman looks weary and Bruce Wayne glowers at his suit. A few things go boom - probably whatever it is in the film that didn’t require extensive effects work. Red paint streaks like blood across a statue of Superman, foreshadowing the ugly sentiment from Batman at the end, where he promises to make his nemesis bleed.
And that’s it, by the way, that’s the capper to the whole thing. An absurdly voice-modulated Batman promises Superman that he’ll bleed. Compare that bit of nastiness to the expertly crafted fan service at the end of the Star Wars trailer. Han Solo and Chewie return to the Millennium Falcon, and with three simple words, “Chewie, we’re home,” the trailer lights up by showing a moment that’s as meaningful for the characters as it is for the audience. For Han and Chewie, being back on the Falcon means everything’s in its right place. For fans everywhere, having their favorite characters where they belong means their movie won’t suck. A trailer full of tension and conflict still ends on a note of home, family, and heart.
BvS, on the other hand, offers little except the promise of a big slugfest between two beloved properties DC hasn’t yet been able to give a proper treatment in a post-Marvel world. Its closing line from Batman, “Do you bleed? You will.” is an artless ending to a joyless affair, and a fundamental misread of what people want out of this character. Where the end of the Force Awakens trailer offers hope, BvS offers only the hope that all we really want to see is Batman snarl and threaten Superman like a thug.
I’d be very happy to have BvS succeed in giving DC the liftoff it needs for its own shared cinematic universe. But, surely they can use their massive marketing budget to come up with a trailer that promises more than Batman acting like a jerk for two hours.