Breaking Down the Batman v Superman Trailer Shot by Shot

The new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer came out last week. We finally get to see what Batman will look like in this sequel to Man of Steel. I decided to take a close look at each shot to either learn something from it or make a bad joke about it. Join me in deciding whether this is too dark and dreary or exciting and cool.

I enjoyed Man of Steel on some levels. Superman and Lois Lane were good. The Daily Planet staff was likable, if underused. The action scenes were exciting. I don’t have huge issues with the destruction of Metropolis, as this is Superman’s first big fight and it shows he doesn’t have the superhero skill he will develop. That said, if he could have taken a couple hits to save a few bystanders, that would’ve been nice. No, my only big problem is they got his father, Jonathan Kent, totally wrong. Asking Clark to not be himself and to hide his powers felt completely wrong and is a pretty bad message. It made no real sense and was just weird. I hope they can use what happened in the first movie to justify what happens in this one, with Lex Luthor working to turn the public against Superman. Let’s break it down.

metropolis at night

Chris: We start at night in Metropolis. No real devastation to see from Man of Steel. Instead there’s a statue in the middle. The trailer has a voiceover of various people in the media talking and it shows us  the next several shots, cutting closer to the statue. There’s various discussion back and forth about whether we can trust Superman. You can hear real media figures like Charlie Rose (talking about how Superman is a divisive figure) and Neil deGrasse Tyson (saying how the existence of an alien challenges our own sense of priority in the universe) if you listen for them.

hispanic people reach for superman

Chris: I don’t know whether this shot means Metropolis has a large Hispanic population or Superman visits Mexico for a Day of the Dead celebration. Either way, it’s super creepy how everyone’s reaching out to just touch him. And he still doesn’t have the “S” curl to his hair.

superman catches soviet rocket

Chris: It’s nice of Superman to catch this Russian Rocket (it reads Pockocmos on it). And obviously Superman isn’t skipping abs day. There was a rumor back in December that Anatoli Knyazev will be in this movie as a henchman to Lex Luthor. In the Batman comics, Anatoli is a soldier called the KGBeast. IF he’s even in the movie, I wonder if he could have anything to do with a falling Russian rocket?

Luthorcorp building

Chris: We now hear what sounds like Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Lex Luthor, speak. It’s likely him because at the same time he begins talking we can pretty clearly see a building with a giant L on it in the middle of the screen, which must be Luthorcorp. He says: “We know better now, don’t we? Devils don’t come from hell beneath us.” Uh, what are you talking about dude?

soldiers kneel before superman

Chris: I don’t understand this shot at all. He’s in some sort of bunker (the numbers by the ladder seem to indicate depth) and there’s sand. So it can’t be the Fortress of Solitude. The dudes are in all black but if you look at their shoulder, there seems to be a red shield symbol. I don’t know. It’s weird.

person reaches to superman in the sky

Chris: There’s a bunch of messianic imagery, which is fairly appropriate for Superman. But who is this person reaching up for him? Like, look at what they’re wearing. It’s all sorts of weird wraps.

false god graffiti on superman statue

Chris: At this point, we start hearing a voiceover that’s probably Jeremy Irons as Batman’s butler, Alfred. He says: “That’s how it starts. The fever. The rage. The feeling of powerlessness. That turns good men… cruel.” You know, like normal people chit chat about in our day to day lives.

ben affleck as angry bruce wayne

Chris: I’ve really enjoyed Affleck’s work lately. Argo, Gone Girl, The Town. Great performances. I trust him to handle Bruce Wayne. I definitely don’t blame him for the bad Daredevil movie. He tried, but it was a pretty terrible screenplay. The glass cases behind Bruce Wayne make me wonder if there’s a Robin suit in there? As in, he’s past losing Jason Todd.

empty batsuit

Chris: This Batman can smell crime. It’s very obviously based on Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns version of Batman. Same bat symbol on the chest and same stubby ears.

batman in abandoned building

Chris: I can’t guess where Batman is in this shot. Maybe a library or some sort of courthouse? But there is a distinctive question mark on the closest column. The thing is, that seems to be the Batmobile. I just can’t figure out why it’s left in a building that’s been covered in graffiti. Did… no one notice it?

drone approaches docks

Chris: This plane flies into frame over the docks and at first I was thinking Batwing but it doesn’t necessarily have any Batman-esque wings. It could simply be a drone of some sort.

drone shoots at military

Chris: I kinda HOPE that isn’t Batman’s Batwing because it’s shooting the hell out of these guys (and blows up that truck). These guys are on the docks and probably are up to no good but Batman isn’t a killer.

batmobile drives through explosions

Chris: As the plane or drone blows up the vans, it cuts to a shot of the Batmobile racing through an explosion. Could be a difference scene. The Batmobile is pretty similar to the tumbler design from the Nolan trilogy.

batman walks through wreckage

Chris: This shot of Batman emerging from wreckage really looks like footage from one of the Arkham video games.

batman holds a sniper rifle

Chris: Batman seems to be holding a sniper rifle. Modern-day Batman pretty much has a no-gun rule (since they killed his parents and it traumatized him enough to dress up like a bat). But in Dark Knight Returns, which pits an old, retired Batman against a Superman who works for a fascist version of the U.S. government, Batman does use a rifle:

batman with rifle in dark knight returns

But if you look at it closely, it fires a grappling line and he hitches a ride with a helicopter.

batman wears armor

Chris: Batman built himself an Iron Man suit. It’s very much based on the suit he wears in Dark Knight Returns to beat up Superman, along with kryptonite gloves.

batman looks up at superman

Chris: Superman just hovers above Batman. Like he’s not even worth facing him on the same level. Sheesh, this is dreary stuff. Spoiler: they probably team up in the final act.

superman looks down on batman

Chris: Batman taunts Superman (smart!) saying: “Tell me. Do you bleed? You will!” So it’s definitely a feel good team up.

superman lands in front of batman

Chris: I guess Superman hates to be teased because he finally smashes to the ground. Wonder what repairing that concrete costs the city. Thanks Batman and Superman!

19 batman v superman logo

Chris: Well, the logo looks good. Will you go see this in 2016?

  • Skewed_View

    Looking forward to it, will definitely see it. Don’t have extremely high hopes, but excited to see Batman and Superman together in a movie. I also think Ben Affleck is a fine choice to play Batman.

  • Chris Piers

    Fingers crossed.

  • Big Jim

    In some alternate universe, instead of making BATMAN & ROBIN, they made THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS with Clint Eastwood as Batman.

    But I’m looking forward to this one too.