How much more Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice promotional material can you handle in your life? Warner Bros is hoping your answer is “quite a bit more,” because the saturation-marketing for the studio’s mega-expensive superhero blockbuster shows no signs of slowing down. Whether it’s comic book covers, songs, costume-details or early hype for Director’s Cut Blu-rays, no expense has seemingly been spared to make this the most culturally-omnipresent blockbuster since Deadpool – whose ubiquitous marketing turned it into a record-setting blockbuster.
The latest volley into this battle for pop-culture attention? Ben Affleck swinging by the post-Oscars special broadcast of Jimmy Kimmel Live to present a “deleted” scene from the film.
Affleck and perennial sidekick Matt Damon are regular fixtures in the orbit of Kimmel’s late night gigs, so its not a huge surprise that the new Bruce Wayne would make the popular host’s ABC After-Oscars Special the place to do some final run-up promotion for his film. Presented as a now-deleted scene from the film that would have featured a cameo from Kimmel, the clip instead takes the form of a comedy sketch wherein Affleck and Henry Cavill (Superman) re-enact the first meeting of Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent as seen in the film’s ubiquitous trailers… only to be interrupted by an obnoxious party guest (Kimmel) who won’t stop bothering them – especially once he realizes (very quickly) who they really are. As in the “real” version, Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor stops by to get in on the act, followed by a pair of significantly more unexpected cameos.
It’s fun to see big stars have a laugh not only at their own expense but at the expense of their huge projects, but while Warner Bros is likely thrilled to have a potentially viral comedy-skit keeping the title and premise of the film at the forefront of the public consciousness, promotion like this is no laughing matter considering the size of the investment. The studio has been looking for a replacement for the yearly cash-infusion the Harry Potter films provided for almost a decade, and along with solidifying the Superman brand after the mixed reception of Man of Steel; Dawn of Justice is tasked with launching the DC Extended Universe of films to compete with Disney/Marvel Studios’ successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Affleck specifically being courted to direct and star in a Batman solo film in the near-future.
And while Batman V Superman is widely expected to be a major success, the film has become plagued in recent weeks by chatter about a nervous studio, criticism of a perceived overly-dark tone and questions about its box-office strength versus other recent entries in the genre. That’s not necessarily the kind of talk that can hurt a movie long term, but with all eyes on the all-important opening weekend numbers Warner Bros needs the film to be the kind of cultural-event that even casual audiences not invested in the superheroic grudge match of the title will turn out for anyway just to be part of the national conversation – a sense that they’re likely hoping will be fueled by continued promo-stops like Affleck’s humorous turn on Kimmel.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016, which is followed by Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19, 2020.
Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live