The release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is only a week away (give or take a few hours, depending on your time zone). In anticipation of what is likely going to be one of the biggest releases of 2016, Warner Bros. has delivered a handful of new and extended clips from the film, giving audiences a better look at the kind of movie that awaits them on Friday. The cinematic bundle totals six clips in all, adding up to nearly five minutes of new footage for fans to study before they make their way to theaters to see the movie in its entirety.
The clips are a smattering of everything Zack Snyder’s superhero throwdown film has to offer, which includes everything from The Man of Steel having a one-on-one with his soon-to-be nemesis (once he gets over that whole antagonistic Batman thing, anyway) Lex Luthor, to Lois Lane (Amy Adams) doing what she does best; namely, uncover the kind of story that Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) finds intriguing enough he’ll okay a trip to D.C. (economy class only) for his ace reporter. However, the biggest attraction for most fans will almost certainly be the footage of Superman and Batman actually engaged in battle with one another.
This short segment definitely has some serious appeal, since the chance to see these two titans tussle is arguably the film’s primary selling point. But it may also gives fans on the fence as to whether or not they were going to buy a ticket to the movie the strongest reason they ever had to finally sign on. While it doesn’t necessarily provide a look at anything that hasn’t already been seen or surmised before – after all, there have been plenty of shots of Superman pushing around an armored Batman in less than ideal weather – this is one of the longest peeks Warner Bros. has provided as to how the brouhaha is going to unfold.
Granted, there isn’t much in the way of actual context to go on – not that a film titled Batman V Superman needs much in the way of additional context – but there is a certain amount of information to be gleaned from Clark’s initial approach to an armored Bruce. It’s clear by this point in their scuffle the two are well past the point of just talking it out and turning the “V” in the title into “verbalizing” what’s really bothering them about each other. Thankfully, the respective heroes’ inability to talk their differences out is what will give the film at least one impressive action sequence before they come to terms and decide it’s better to be Super Buddies than to constantly throw punches at one another.
While the clip of the main event is worth going over time and again, there are a few interesting segments that hint at a greater understanding as to why the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader have – or will – come to blows. Clark and Bruce’s introduction at a (potentially) glitzy event, and their light verbal sparring over the merits of Metropolis and Gotham’s respective vigilantes, was used by one of the first trailers the studio released. Fans may have already seen that exchange, but here it works to accentuate the shot of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor egging Superman on to engage Batman in a battle “to the death.” There’s no indication as to why Luthor is so eager for the Big Red ‘S’ to smash the Dark Knight, the implication of Superman taking orders from a man like Luthor (willingly or under duress – perhaps because Lois is in Luthor’s custody) are undoubtedly intriguing.
That exchange makes for an interesting parallel with Bruce and Alfred discussing the merits of going to war with an all-powerful, nigh-invulnerable alien who has taken to being a Samaritan. Bruce’s anger and (perhaps) paranoia definitely shine through in the lengthy exchange. While Alfred attempts to be the voice of reason, Bruce is quick to remind him, “20 years in Gotham… we’ve seen what promises are worth. How many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?” Of all the clips and lines of dialogue in this collection, this is the one that seems to hint at the potential size of the DCEU and Bruce Wayne/Batman’s experience in it (which is only strengthened by Bruce’s exchange with Diana Prince/Wonder Woman). Obviously, the Dark Knight has seen some rough times – rough enough to make him leery of Superman in the two years (two years?!) since the destruction of Metropolis that he’s contemplating “destroy[ing]” his would-be foe.
There is certainly a lot to unpack in this collection of Batman V Superman clips; each one offers a closer look at the kind of film that’s headed fans’ way – i.e., a massive one. While the timing of their release seems a little on the late side, it’s clear the intent was less to convince naysayers of the film’s super-heroic merit, and more to give eager fans some concrete moments on which they could pin their already-high confidence on ahead of the film’s arrival in theaters.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 16th, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019;Justice League Part Two on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on June 19th, 2020.