After five years of teasing a potential DC Comics shared movie universe, Warner Bros. finally unveiled a multi-year film plan – built on the back of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (and its divisive aftermath). Unceremoniously revealing the DC Comics film slate through 2020, Warner Bros. has yet to present fans with a fully-formed shared universe pitch. Some moviegoers and comic readers will say they don’t need to (and shouldn’t) reveal too much – but casual fans, industry insiders, along with a significant chunk of expectant DC die-hards are eager to see if Batman V Superman is actually building toward something special.
At Comic-Con 2013, Warner Bros. piqued fan interest with news that the Dark Knight and Man of Steel would finally share the live-action screen and, one year later, Snyder wowed the Hall-H crowd with footage from the team-up film. This year, Warner Bros. is expected to bring several Justice League cast members to their Comic-Con panel but what else does the studio need to show attendees – in order to get hold-out skeptics onboard the DC movie universe and pay service to faithful fans?
1. Buzz-Worthy Batman V Superman Footage
Despite a delay into 2015, Batman V Superman remains one of the most highly anticipated comic book film adaptations to ever get a green light. A number of controversial choices have given detractors pause; however, even if certain superhero fans remain skeptical, there’s no question that the World’s Finest face-off/team up movie is poised for big business at the box office. Leaning heavily on the aftermath of Man of Steel, the first Batman V Superman trailer was relatively restrained – with only brief flashes of the Dark Knight and Man of Steel; instead, placing the Superman controversy (rather than the Kryptonian himself) front and center.
That isn’t to say that there weren’t plenty of new details, talking points, and easter eggs to discuss – but, based on everything we know about Batman V Superman, there’s still a lot for Warner Bros. to reveal. As mentioned, the studio’s Hall H panel at Comic-Con 2014 revealed the teaser trailer’s climactic moment: a battle between Superman and an armored Batman. After setting a high bar last year, followed by an reserved marketing campaign, expectations are understandably even higher for Snyder’s next Comic-Con panel.
The studio has to be careful about what they show – since illegal leaks remain a problem for Comic-Con security and the actual battle between Batman and Superman will be the film’s biggest draw. Unlike many films, Dawn of Justice doesn’t need to spoil its star-studded fight to get viewers in the theater; for that reason, in order to maintain surprise, Warner Bros. may limit Batman versus Superman battle footage – opting to show the heroes, and the supporting cast, in more intimate scenes (as Bruce Wayne and/or Clark Kent) with other supporting characters (Alfred Pennyworth and Lois Lane).
Still, with an excitable Hall H crowd waiting overnight to see the panel, Snyder will undoubtedly showcase some memorable Batman and Superman (as well as Batmobile or Wonder Woman) action. An actual scene of the three heroes fighting side-by-side would be a welcome sight but, with Warner Bros. ramping up Batman V Superman marketing in the coming months, fans may have to settle for a Comic-Con exclusive sizzle reel.
Lastly, following images of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor (with hair), Warner Bros. would be smart to showcase footage of Superman’s archenemy – to give fans an idea of how Eisenberg’s unique take on Luthor (as a young tech genius) will fit into the larger DC movie universe going forward. Attentive viewers will recall that Eisenberg’s Luthor debuted (through voiceover) in the Batman V Superman trailer but, while that offered insight into how LexCorp’s president feels about the Man of Steel, actual footage of the actor playing the classic DC villain would be a welcome way to cap-off 2015’s Dawn of Justice sneak peek.