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Answering questions on the “Batman v Superman” trailer

With the release of the first teaser trailer for”Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” came the autopsies — reviews by various blogsites talking about what we saw in the trailer. Hell, I even did a “Batman v Superman trailer review” one last week.

I read an interesting autopsy on Looper in their article, “Why the ‘Batman v Superman’ trailer has us worried.” Good questions that I think I can answer. Their question is the quote; my answer is underneath.

Haven’t we been here before?

Superman looking like a god

Courtesy Warner Bros

Looper posits that we’ve seen Superman as a potential bad guy in “Superman III” and asks just how many times can Bruce Wayne stare ominously at his Batsuit? “Where’s the new?” they rightfully ask.

First off, we don’t know if Superman is the bad guy here. I perceive the trailer as saying though some people see Superman as a god and savior, others see him as a super-powered threat. This isn’t necessarily true of Superman; this is just public perception, over which Superman has no control.

That’s like saying Bill O’Reilly hates America because he uses his bully pulpit to criticize the president. That’s the perception, but it’s not necessarily true nor is that perception under O’Reilly’s control.

Is this going to be any fun?

Thanks to the Christopher Nolan “Dark Knight” trilogy, DC Comics/ Warner Bros have gotten it into their heads that comic book movie equals high epic drama. They’ve forgotten what Marvel Studios knows — comic book movies can also be fun. (Though it looks like they’ve abandoned that idea for “Daredevil,” but I digress).

That means not taking things so damned seriously. At least let someone crack a joke.

I argue that it’s okay to go for the Oscar drama gold in this genre. Marvel has the lock on “fun.” Fine. Why compete with that by making your movies “fun” too? Then you’re just being Marvel; bad enough you’re already aping their “shared universe” conceit.

Then again, the “shared universe” conceit came from all comic books, so I shouldn’t hold that against them.

Movies like “Gladiator” or “Heat” (the model for “The Dark Knight”) weren’t “fun.”  But you remember them, don’t you? They moved you emotionally, didn’t they? In the case of “Gladiator,” it won Best Picture.

Maybe Marvel gets the money and laughs, and DC gets the awards — like it did for “The Dark Knight.”

Will casual fans be able to follow it?

News flash: if the studios made comic book movies just for comic book readers, they wouldn’t make a billion gazillion dollars.

As with any movie with a large cast of characters, it’s the responsibility of the filmmakers to make their story accessible for the lowest common denominator. Which is why sometimes movies seem “dumbed down.”

“Batman v Superman” director Zack Snyder did manage “Watchmen,” another movie with a big cast. Of course, he had the seminal comic book work as a template. This time he’s working from scratch.

Even then, the onus for keeping things together also falls on writers David S. Goyer, Nolan’s screenwriting partner,  and Chris Terrio, who Batman Ben Affleck brought in due to his work on director Affleck’s “Argo.”

Terrio won Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay for “Argo,” which won Best Picture.

I think they’ll be okay.

DC should just make sure people understand that their shared universe begins with”Man of Steel” and doesn’t include Nolan’s trilogy.

Does Superman have an army?

Superman from "Batman v Superman"

Courtesy Warner Bros

Thanks to the image on the left, it’s easy to think Superman has an army of followers.

Here’s another idea.

Maybe Superman goes to see the leader of an army of Superman worshipers?

They organize along the same lines as the Batman wanna-bes in “The Dark Knight;” not affiliated to Superman, but feel as if they should do their part.

Superman steps in to say, “Dudes. Cut it out.”

How Clark feels about all of this hero-worship will inevitably be a part of this story.

 Is it a fair fight?

Well duh! Did you see the armored Batsuit? Anyone who’s read “The Dark Knight Returns” (and I would assume any self-respecting Batman fan has) knows how that plays out. Can’t see Snyder and team avoiding the homage to that after ripping off so much of “Superman: Birthright” for “Man of Steel.”

Whose side are we on?

There is some question as to whether there will be a major villain, if Luthor is that big bad, or if it’s really just Batman versus Superman. As if that isn’t enough entertainment. However, I doubt a few minute trailer will get into that for a movie that’s not due for another year.

Patience, young Skywalker.

Can Zack Snyder nail the structure?

Answered above.

How many Batsuits does Batman need?

One for street level-threats, one for Superman-level threats, and one for every environment so they can sell toys.

Where’s the supporting cast?

Geesh. We’ve got a year to go! I’ll tell ya what my five-year-old nephew would say: “Calm down, uncle Mark, calm down.”

Well there ya go. Hope it helps.

And remember; these aren’t definitive answers based on some inside knowledge. This is just me thinking out loud.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on the Shadowdance saga Facebook page.



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