Much has been said about how Warner Bros.’ aptly titled The Lego Movie would feature appearances by both Batman and Superman years before their live-action counterparts are set to cross paths. Sure, there’s a whole storyline revolving around an ordinary Lego citizen (Chris Pratt) believed to be the only one who can save the Lego universe, but thus far, a lot of the film’s marketing has focused largely on the inclusion of the aforementioned DC heroes.

As voiced by Will Arnett and Channing Tatum, Batman and Superman are only expected to have supporting roles in The Lego Movie, with the former presumably featured more prominently. However, it makes perfect sense that Warner Bros. would emphasize their appearances in the film, especially given all the discussion about the shared film universe that the studio is planning for Batman vs. Superman. Today, though, the connections between The Lego Movie and the DC universe are taken to a whole new level.

Warner Bros. has just released the third trailer for The Lego Movie, and the footage presents the film as a straight-up parody of director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, right down to the use of Hans Zimmer’s memorable score. It’s a clever move on the part of the studio’s marketing team. After all, Disney’s The Muppets used a similar approach, selling the film through a series of hilarious send-ups.

Coming from the filmmakers behind Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Lego Movie is expected to feature the same tongue-in-cheek mile-a-minute pace as that film, and this latest trailer certainly promises audiences an irreverent adventure for the whole family. The film has already benefited greatly from its use of DC heroes and other licensed characters that have become part of the Lego brand, and the fact that the studio is gutsy enough to play directly into that only further serves the self-referential nature of The Lego Movie.

It’s this silly self-awareness that makes the film one of our most anticipated releases of 2014. While the prospect of a Lego film may have sounded questionable to some when it was first announced, the film has established from its first trailer exactly what it’s aiming to accomplish with the film’s story and enormous cast of characters. The only question that remains is whether the film will make enough to kick off an entirely new franchise for Warner Bros (and earn back its reported $60 million budget). With the word of mouth it has going now, The Lego Sequel probably isn’t far from a reality.

Are you going to see The Lego Movie in theaters? What do you think of the Man of Steel themed trailer? Sound off in the comments section with your thoughts.

The Lego Movie hits theaters on February 7, 2014.

Source: Warner Bros.