The third trailer for Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice revealed much more than many fans expected. While some people cheered as Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) stood united against Doomsday (or at least a villain who resembles Doomsday), others felt the reveal of DC's Holy Trinity working together against Lex Luthor's (Jessie Eisenberg) presumably powerful experiment took away from the conflict between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, which - up until this trailer - has been the primary focus of the movie's marketing.
If Warner Bros. and DC are showing things like Doomsday and the heroic trio in the trailer, does that mean they think these reveals shouldn't be considered big spoilers and there are still plenty of surprises and highlights left in the final cut? Or was it an attempt to "go big or go home" by showing a few of Act Three's highlights, and the potential payoff of showing the heroes standing together outweighed the potential disadvantage of revealing footage beyond Batman and Superman's battle? Let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages behind the trailer's two biggest reveals.
DC's Holy Trinity Stands Together
The advantages of showing this: This is the first time Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman will appear together on the big screen. Wonder Woman's presence in the movie is far from a secret, but prior to this trailer, she was never seen with the two other heroes - not in costume, that is. The way the previous trailer showed her in action made it easy to think she's in a brawl which involves at least one of the other heroes, but it was cut in a way that kept the other combatants hidden. Now, Wonder Woman not only blocks an enormous blast of heat vision (which appears to save Batman), but she also stands alongside the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, ready for action.
There's a reason the trailer lingers on the shot of the trio for about five seconds: it's pure fan service. It's embracing the fact this is the first time these three are appearing in a live-action movie together, and it's giving fans time to let this team up sink in and fully appreciate it. Fans have seen the Holy Trinity in animated projects and countless times in the comics, but they've never seen this iconic trio brought to life in a live-action blockbuster. This shot alone likely filled millions of fans with excitement. Additionally, the brief interactions between the heroes had a bit of levity. A more balanced tone is something that many want to see in the DC Extended Universe, so this brief display of comedy and a more optimistic approach - heroes working together instead of at odds - has the potential to win back some people who think the DCEU is too bleak.
Are any fans that are following the movie's developments truly surprised by Batman and Superman working together to face a villain? Odds are the answer is no, and there's a very good chance the studio knows this. DC's slate through 2020 has been confirmed, and with two Justice League movies on the horizon, it was obvious this conflict would unite the two heroes instead of further dividing them - the title does include Dawn of Justice, after all. Fans have speculated for months and months that the two would fight and then join forces against Lex Luthor when they realize he's being devious.
The months and months of rumors about Doomsday appearing only further strengthened speculation that Batman and Superman would team up to battle a common enemy. With that in mind, showing the two - along with Wonder Woman - as allies against a different threat comes off as confirming the obvious as opposed to being a spoiler. Knowing the two move past their conflict - at least to some degree - shouldn't take away from the interest in seeing how it'll unfold. Several questions still remain about their conflict, and it's clear there's a lot of footage we've yet to see that'll focus on their clash. It reveals the obvious (the two won't remain enemies the entire time and they'll eventually join forces) and then offers a shot (i.e. the Holy Trinity) that has the potential to fill any DC fan with joy.
The disadvantages of showing this: Batman v Superman's biggest selling point - by far - is that Superman and Batman are at odds with each other and it's all going to play out on the big screen. Yes, the fact this movie aims to greatly expand the DCEU is something that has earned the curiosity of many fans but, first and foremost, this movie is about Kal-El and the Caped Crusader trading both verbal and physical blows. Odds are that any passionate - or at least interested - comic fan strongly suspects Batman and Superman will move past their blatant misunderstanding and then work together to take down the true antagonist. But that doesn't mean they want to see it just yet, especially since everything released has been about Batman and Superman's disagreement.
With Lex Luthor in the movie and it being confirmed he's in possession of Zod's corpse (which strongly implies he's studying Kryptonian physiology), it's fair to assume a considerable amount of fans know it's only a matter of time until Batman and Superman set aside their differences and focus on Eisenberg's Luthor. But did footage from Act Three - footage after the dust has settled from Batman vs. Superman - have to be revealed to further sell people on the film?
Immediately jumping from this character-driven conflict right to them working together can be understandably jarring to some. These viewers may be fully aware of the fact the duo will work together at some point in the movie, but given how everything has focused on Batman and Superman's battle, it's odd to race past this pivotal plot point in order to drop some fan service, especially since many people are going to see the movie simply out of curiosity - again, this is the first time the Holy Trinity will appear in theaters.