Volume 5, Issue 7!
The Batman V Superman hype train is rearing up yet again, this time releasing a brand new (and MUCH better) trailer. With Deadpool out of the way and Civil War dropping in May, it’s clear sailing for WB’s upcoming mega movie to clean up at the box office, But when looking at the marketing materials for this film, it’s looking more and more like WB want you think that this is a Batman movie guest-starring Superman, as opposed to a Batman AND Superman movie. Nearly all of the marketing, especially the newest trailer, have a strong focus on Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight, which begs the question: what’s Warner Bros so afraid of?
Well, according to Hitflix’s Drew McWeeny, a lot actually. According to his “inside sources”, the main reason why that new trailer is so Batman heavy is because he’s the biggest hit for test screening audiences, and that’s causing WB to second guess their DC cinematic universe plans. Yes, that means that the reported Justice League movie by Zack Snyder may not happen anytime soon, and may not even be helmed by Snyder. And in its place will be a solo Batman movie starring Ben Affleck’s Caped Crusader.
Now as a Batman fan, this rumor sits just fine with me. And as someone who’s been questioning nearly everything WB has decide when it comes to their plans for DC properties on the big screen, this also sits fine with me. But at the same time, it makes me really wonder just what exactly is going on at Warner Bros. The fact that they’re surprised that early test audience reactions to Batman V Superman aren’t great is pretty alarming, because it’s seemed from the get go that they were hell bent on throwing everything into one movie to set up Justice League, and weren’t really concerned about how it would affect the plot. But for them to now be worried about their plan? That doesn’t sound like a studio that has a great hold on their properties.
Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that the person who’s supposed to be overseeing this new cinematic universe is also supposed to be directing some of the movies. Now, I’ve never directed a big-budget superhero film (and have no desire to), but I can imagine that it’s an insane task to take on. And when you add in the fact that it’s a movie starring such icons as Batman and Superman, it’s an even bigger deal. That’s going to take up a lot of time. Time that should also be used to plan out how your other films will fit into the world you’re setting up in Batman V Superman. That’s why Marvel Studios has Kevin Feige, aka the guy who oversees all of the movies and make sure that they all fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s it. He’s not also directing Avengers, because having him do that (despite the fact that he’s not a director) would take away from his main job, which is MAKING SURE THAT ALL OF THE MOVIES FIT IN TOGETHER. Now I have no problems with Zack Snyder (unlike 90% of the internet), but having him oversee the DC cinematic universe AND direct not only Batman v Superman but also TWO Justice League movies? Something will have to suffer.
It’s also easy to feel bad for Henry Cavill. The guy had a starring role in Man of Steel, and if I can be honest, I think he’s a really good Superman, if a little too quiet sometimes. But he’s now gone from starring in a sequel that has Batman to suddenly being second billed in both title and, seemingly, plot. Through no fault of his own, he’s seemingly being demoted, all because Batman is still the more popular character. You can nitpick the Christopher Nolan movies all you want, but they’ve done a lot to elevate Batman in the modern moviegoer’s eyes, and pretty much made him synonymous with quality.
I’m really excited to see Ben Affleck’s take on Batman, and hearing that he’s considered the best thing about Batman V Superman is pretty damn awesome. But at the same time, I can’t help but feel like this movie should be a way bigger event film than it is. It seems like WB has watered down the potential of this film by including too many characters. You could’ve made a great story from just having Batman, Superman, Lois Lane, and Lex Luthor, with a Wonder Woman after credits cameo. But with the amount of things going on in this film, it seems like it might be too much for Zack Snyder and WB to handle. And if that causes them to stumble out the gate, it’ll fall on Ben Affleck’s Batman to pick up the baton and lead the Justice League to the big screen.