Three years: that’s about how long it’s been since the first announcement of the release of Batman V Superman: Don’t Even Think this Article is Going to Regularly Use the Subtitle.
That’s a long time for loud critics to mold popular opinion into what they think the movie will be like. Not helping matters have been the trailers and TV spots that reveal a bit more than fans would’ve liked. And yet, we still have almost two-and-a-half hours of Batman V Superman goodness, packed full of heck-knows-what.
So here’s an optimistic and slightly naive look at the surprises Batman V Superman could still have in store that haven’t been spoiled by the marketing. Let’s take a look at How Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Might Still Surprise Us.
Doomsday Isn’t the Climax
Right now, it’s looking like you could stitch together a load of trailers and TV spots and come out with a slightly truncated version of Batman V Superman, minus a lot of Ben Affleck scowling. It’s easy to forget that the production of trailers is actually pretty disconnected from the production of movies themselves, though it’s also hard to believe that the infamous Doomsday trailer slipped through the net without some executive pointing out that maybe they should take out that clip that spoils the entire third act.
Or does it?
Yeah, it probably does.
But what if it didn’t?
Okay, sure, it’s unlikely. We even see Batman in his regular, non-armored suit going toe-to-toe with Doomsday, meaning that the actual fight in the title may be pushed even further towards the middle of the film and thus not the climax. But the trailer is strangely explicit in its attempts to spoil the fun, almost as if it wants the fans to rise up as one and angrily declare that they might as well re-title the film Batman + Superman + Wonder Woman V Doomsday feat. a bit of punching from those first two earlier in the movie (tactfully abbreviated as BSWWVDFBPFTFTEM).
This leads to the unlikely, yet still possible conclusion that we’re being screwed with, and the Doomsday fight isn’t nearly the earth-shattering climax we’ve been lead to expect. Perhaps that money-shot of the DC trinity standing together is the final frame of the film. Maybe it’s in the middle of the movie, or some kind of quirky vision. Sure, it’s all utterly implausible, but there are still ways that the fight against Doomsday doesn’t have to eclipse the actual fight we’re paying to see. So…fingers crossed that the final trailer is more the movie’s style.
Wonder Woman Steals the Show
Only recently was Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman allowed to use her voice, though she’s been pretty much in the thick of things since the beginning. We’ve seen washed out armor photos, surprise group shots and one particularly interesting shot of her either flying or jumping really fast, and looking amazing at the same time. What’s more, we know WW is getting her own movie sometime soon, leading to speculation that DC’s most famous female superhero is just here for a glorified-yet-awesome cameo.
But as recent rumors and the combined hopes of many may suggest, everything we’ve seen so far could only be the beginning. Initial reviews suggest that WW may be set to steal the show, and while we don’t really need yet another thing to pull attention away from the title characters laying into each other, this could be a good thing. After all, Wonder Woman is late on the scene, with the other two already standing on a pile of their own solo movies with wildly varying quality. The movie might be called Batman V Superman, and we’re expecting a healthy dose of both, but there’s no reason Gal Gadot’s Amazonian princess can’t burst on the scene and steal the show. She’s been a major player for over seventy years without a live-action movie; it’s about time Wonder Woman got to stretch her legs. Or just hit something with a sword in glorious widescreen.
That’s Not the Real Doomsday
Getting back to the Doomsday debacle, we’ve already mentioned how the appearance of everyone’s favorite genetically altered murder-beast has caused untold amounts of fan angst (fangst?) for ruining the finale, even though most people had kind of already guessed it anyway. However, another side of the complaint says that Doomsday is too big a villain to be appearing so soon in the DCEU. He’s known in the comics as the monster that killed Superman, and with a reputation like that, seeing him (presumably) taken down by the three of them in their first team battle ever might come across as a studio playing their cards a bit too early.
But as eagle-eyed fans have pointed out, the Doomsday we see sliding into frame like he has a titanium skateboard welded to his feet might not be THE Doomsday. He’s missing most of his iconic spikes and more resembles an Lord of the Rings-inspired cave troll, or one of Shrek’s less palatable cousins than anything else. Sure, he has the grey colour scheme and the seemingly indestructible legwear, but otherwise, it’s possible that this is…a grey monster. A grey monster that provides a perfect excuse for everyone to stop fighting for two seconds and team up. It’s been confirmed as Doomsday, but perhaps what we’re seeing is an early Doomsday prototype. Maybe Zack Snyder was going for Bizarro and it just went horribly wrong. Whatever the case, the situation might not be as clear-cut as we think.
Batman and Superman Stay Enemies
Fun fact: Batman will fight Superman in this movie. We’re pretty sure that part is 100% correct, because we’ve seen them doing it a lot. Beyond that, the apparent third-act team-up with Wonder Woman and the subtitle Dawn of Justice that we’re all just awkwardly ignoring for now, it seems a given that once the credits roll, the titular heroes will have shaken hands and parted as some semblance of friends. At the very least, Batman will abandon his vendetta and realize that Superman could actually be an ally against further incursions of grey monsters. Thus, the Justice League is born and we get a post-credits scene of Bruce and Clark having a sleepover in the Fortress of Solitude and staying up late to eat popcorn decide the perfect name of their future superhero club. Y’know, like buddies.
Except the title isn’t Batman V Superman: Dawn of Friendship. It’s entirely possible that the vendetta will continue beyond the movie, because why not? We’ve still got literal days of planned DCEU movies to wade through, so there’s plenty of time for the pair to become fire-forged friends. Batman V Superman might well end with them teaming up to take down a threat, but it could also end with Batman climbing inside his Batmobile to drive back to his Batcave where he’ll continue to shed Bat-tears about having to throw in his lot with the indestructible alien demigod that he still Bat-hates. One fight does not forge indestructible bonds of companionship, and we’ve still got the actual Justice League movies for their relationship to become anything other than open animosity. Plus we can totally see Wonder Woman as the cool big sis having to play peacemaker between the squabbling kids.
Lex Luthor is a Goof for a Reason
On a more minor note that is somehow still raising hackles, part of the contention surrounding the second trailer was how Jesse Eisenberg seemingly confirmed everyone’s dire suspicions and gave us a goofy Lex Luthor, all flowing locks and subtle winks to the audience regarding the premise of the movie. We see slightly more sinister version of him later on, but it’s still a smirking villain type and not quite what we were expecting from Lex Luthor, premier human villain of the DC universe with a terrifying intellect and not prone to comedy moments.
Many still don’t think Eisenberg’s Lex is what the DCEU needs at this point, and see it as a bastardization of the original character…but remember, the most we see of Lex is either the scene at the party – a smiling, chipper socialite – or his later self, aptly described by Lois Lane as psychotic. It’s absolutely likely that party Lex was just a public front to divert attention from the mad science project he has cooking in the basement, and also his more terrifying persona. As for injecting humor into the equation, there aren’t many ways to get that across in this movie, what with our title characters being a stone-faced alien superhero and a brooding bat vigilante. Lex is likely goofing around to fool people into thinking he’s harmless, and totally not stitching together a big grey murder-troll on the sly. The surprising part is if the movie spends an adequate amount of time to explain how Eisenberg’s Lex switches from jovial to villainous in the space of a few scene changes.
The Metropolis Destruction is Properly Dealt With
Another source of that aforementioned fangst is the devastation caused by the climax of Man of Steel, and it’s totally justified. Superman, defender of truth, justice and the American way, engages in a fight that utterly devastates Metropolis, causing countless deaths and pretty much razing the entire city center. Good job, hero! You just kissed your sorta-girlfriend while standing in the ruins of the city you not only failed to save but helped to destroy, that’s fine!
And sure, he was fighting bad guys who were trying to do a whole lot worse, but the end of the movie didn’t do much to clear any of that up. Clark Kent gets a job at the still-standing Daily Planet and that’s about it. While we’ve seen shots of Superman attending a hearing and various sound bites of people arguing about whether his presence on Earth is a good thing, we’ve also seen a whole heck of a lot about Superman being adored by the masses, even worshiped by some. He’s gotten his own giant statue and the Daily Planet have made him a regular feature. Basically, it sounds like Superman has gotten off nearly scot-free with only a few naysayers shaking their walking sticks and trying to paint him as bad news.
What a lot of people want to see is the Man of Steel climax not being dealt with and swept under the rug, but given a satisfying conclusion with more than a smack on the wrist. The Metropolis devastation might be the fuel for Bruce Wayne’s anger, but we need to see more of it from people who aren’t Bruce Wayne, because quiet fury is his default state and they had to have a reason for them getting into fisticuffs. Superman’s role in the devastation should be addressed, both prominently and with the gravity it deserves… and preferably with the repercussions felt for a while, not tied up in a neat bow once the graffiti is washed off the big, tasteless Superman statue.
A Surprise Role from a Major Character
It makes sense to keep the cast small for Batman V Superman, since you want most of the focus being on what we were promised in the title. There’s room to squeeze Wonder Woman in, and apparently a third-act villain, but not much else.
Except, maybe, another member of the future Justice League. We’ve been promised cameos from Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash, but as we’ve seen from all those J.K. Simmons-inspired “Bring Me Pictures of Spider-Man!” memes, it’s very much possible to keep a major player out of the marketing. It’s possible that a prominent DC character could be appearing in a role larger than the one we’ve been told. That one infamous trailer might have spoiled a great deal, but there’s a good two-and-a-half hours (roughly) of footage that we’re still missing (because that’s the bit you see when you go and watch the actual movie), and anything could happen. BvS is setting up a universe, and while the DC trinity are likely the only ones stretching their legs in a real fight, it’d certainly be a nice surprise if Nightwing made a visit to the Batcave and he and Bruce chatted it up about the good old days, when men were men and psychotic clowns were psychotic clowns. The confirmed “cameos” could be extended, or Zack Snyder could pull a fast one on us and chuck something completely unexpected into the mix; what if Perry White was actually Martian Manhunter all along?
A Suicide Squad Cameo
Hot on the heels of BvS is Suicide Squad, set around the same time but featuring a cast full of colorful villains. It’s an odd choice for the DCEU, given that all we’ve gotten so far is Man of Steel and, soon, BvS, but initial trailer hype has been high and we’re set to receive our first look at this universe’s version of The Joker, always a wild card (pun probably intended).
Since the two are so close together, it could well be that we’re getting a surprise Suicide Squad cameo in BvS. It’d help to drum up interest for upcoming projects and give us a point of reference for when whoever it is shows up elsewhere. Likely candidates include Jared Leto’s Joker, already referenced but very much available to pop up in one of Batman’s flashbacks. Bruce has been wearing the cape and cowl for years at this point, making it likely that he’s met most, if not all of his rogues gallery. Plus no one’s going to say no to a seeing Batfleck’s early years butting heads with his greatest enemy.
Harley Quinn would be another popular addition, particularly since we’ll be getting facefuls of her in Suicide Squad and we need a reason to care about her character. If a cameo is being kept under wraps, it could really be any member of the squad; perhaps the reason one or all of them end up slung in jail in the first place was because Superman or Batman put them there during BvS.
We Get to See Bruce Wayne, Socialite
Coming to terms with Batfleck has been a bumpy ride for many. Ben Affleck’s initial casting caused storms of fangst, resulting in online protests and petitions. Steadily, people seem to have been brought round by promotional images, leaked photos and trailers, minus the controversy over Affleck’s Batman voice. Then we got that final trailer where Batman hits a guy so hard he does a somersault and lands on his neck. Seems like we’re mostly OK with this version of the Dark Knight, even when he appears in bizarre TV ads promoting first-class flights to Gotham where you can see his seething rage bubbling just below the surface.
Yet Bruce Wayne has always been an integral part of the character, a flouncy playboy who cavorts with women, appears to do next to nothing in his role as…whatever it is he’s supposed to be doing at Wayne Enterprises and generally acts like an out-of-touch billionaire to divert attention from his nightly escapades. If this sounds familiar, it’s exactly what the DCEU’s version of Lex Luthor appears to be doing, while it seems like Bruce Wayne has been stripped of his humor and charm to fit the gritty reboot. Currently we’ve seen Bruce glaring at Alfred, glaring up at Superman, glaring at reporter Clark Kent, glaring at Lex and having a breathy conversation with Wonder Woman. What we’re not expecting to see is more of a contrast between Bruce Wayne and Batman, switching between brainless socialite and brooding bat. The trailer version of Bruce Wayne seems incapable of smiling even when he’s promoting his home city (see above: seething rage), which would make it a shock to viewers if he actually whipped out a party-boy persona, a la Lex. You don’t get to act as Batman for years without arousing bit of suspicion, so we’d like to see that this version of Bruce can play the part. Or maybe just smile when he’s out in public.
Batman V Superman Actually Lives up to the Hype
Batman V Superman, lacking an actual title, was announced three years ago, making it a case of an incredibly long and drawn out marketing campaign that made plenty of time for negativity to build around the project. Now that we’re less than a month away, early reviews are starting to trickle in that give us conflicting opinions.
Still, there’s one possibility that nobody seems to be talking about (or at least no one with great importance and/or a really loud voice): what if Batman V Superman is actually good? And not just good, not simply avoiding a box-office bomb, but so stupendously good that it becomes the perfect platform for launching the DCEU that Man of Steel didn’t quite manage to be. With the storm of opinions and hype over two of the most famous characters in fiction appearing together in a movie, it’s easy to buy into the negative vibes and assume that we’re dealing with another polarizing product from DC’s flailing attempts at one-upping Marvel. And yeah, there’s a good chance that BvS will fall somewhere in the middle, likely being warmly received but with its own flaws. But people must brace themselves for the apparently unthinkable conclusion: that BvS will be a massive success, the perfect Justice League foundation (a dawn of justice, if you will’) and beloved on a level that lives up to the hype and shuts up all the doom and gloom forecasters who’ve been running rampant for three years.
Or it could tank. Who knows? The movie isn’t even out yet. But at this point is almost feels like you’ll be getting short-changed and in some silent minority if you buy a ticket for Batman V Superman and end up thoroughly enjoying yourself. Every movie deserves a chance to prove itself, especially one that features Batman and Superman punching each other, a lot.
Anything else you think would surprise you when Batman V Superman finally hits theaters? Let us know in the comments…