2016’s two biggest comic book movies are going to have an emphasis on heroes fighting heroes. Over in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) will find themselves at odds over how much heroes should be monitored in Captain America: Civil War. In the DC Extended Universe, Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will show the aftermath of the tragic and destructive events that occurred in Man of Steel. Can someone with so much power — enough might to effortlessly destroy any obstacle that the world can throw their way — truly be trusted? Can you take this godlike figure on their word that they’re here to help, or do you want to test their true intentions first-hand? Batman (Ben Affleck) isn’t going to simply sit around and wait to see what happens.
Batman v Superman aims to expand the ever-growing DC Extended Universe, while also focusing on Batman and Superman’s battle. As the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel clash, the movie will also establish Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Lex Luthor (Jessie Eisenberg), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) Victor Stone, a.k.a. Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and even more characters — even if they’re just quick cameos — are rumored. No matter how far the movie goes to tease the DCEU’s future, the promotions have made it clear this movie will strive to focus primarily on Batman and Superman being at odds with each other (and presumably ending their dilemma as friends, or at least earning each other’s trust). Now, a new sneak peek has been released, and it highlights their conflict.
Debuting during the season 2 midseason finale of FOX’s Gotham series, this 49-second teaser — which you can watch above — is all about the tension that’ll exist between Batman and Superman. These two iconic DC heroes may be best friends in the comics, but that friendship will presumably begin with a ton of hostility in Batman v Superman. In the brief teaser, Batman — dressed in desert gear — is being held prisoner by Superman’s army. (The Sons of Superman, perhaps?) Superman, with a stern expression, confidently approaches the Caped Crusader, and then callously removes the hero’s signature cowl. In that moment, the two share a look that is full of anger. The rest of the trailer will premiere on Jimmy Kimmel Live this Wednesday (December 2).
It’s easy for some fans to jump to negative conclusions about BvS‘ handling of Superman. After all, Man of Steel was a polarizing film, partially because some fans think Superman wasn’t as inspiring as he should have been. To now see him as a blatantly cold and hostile character certainly doesn’t help their impression of Cavill’s Superman. However, it’s important to note that this dark scene is likely one of Bruce Wayne’s nightmares. At New York Comic-Con 2015, an action figure revealed that Batman’s desert costume is called “Knightmare Batman“, so that, in combination with Superman acting out-of-character (given the limited context we have, that is) makes it look like the scene is probably Batman’s nightmare of a Superman who has used his immense power to rule the planet as a tyrant.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will open in theaters 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 23rd, 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 on June 19th, 2020. The Superman and Batman solo films have release dates TBD.