Sure it’s called Batman v Superman, but you didn’t think the titular heroes would spend an entire movie slugging it out?
The latest full-length trailer for the anticipated showdown debuted Wednesday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and for the first time we see the supers ready to set aside their considerable differences to save the world from an existential threat. With a major assist from Wonder Woman.
Let’s break it down. The new three-minute clip begins with Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) and Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) meeting cute at a gala thrown by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). The two don’t exactly hit it off: their frosty introduction frames the first half of the trailer as Kent and Wayne reveal their enmity for, respectively, Batman (a remorseless vigilante) and Superman (a false god). “Maybe it’s the Gotham City in me,” says Wayne at one point. “We just have a bad history with freaks dressed like clowns.”
As Kent and Wayne enumerate their issues with each other’s alter egos, the trailer retreads some big moments from previous previews: that street thug branded by a Batarang…
a messianic Superman descending to rescue flood victims…
the Joker-defiled suit worn by the slain Robin…
Batman tussling with a group of armed soldiers bearing the S-insignia on their sleeves…
Superman removing Batman’s cowl to reveal his secret identity…
and the armored Caped Crusader and Superman pounding the snot out of each other.
But then we discover the threat that will ultimately unite the duo. As speculated since the late Zod’s (Michael Shannon) corpse first surfaced from a body bag in the Comic-Con trailer, Luthor transforms the Kryptonian into Doomsday — the virtually unstoppable creature that (temporarily) kills Superman in the comics, and provides a formidable adversary worthy of DC’s top heroes. Here, we finally see the film’s big bad.
And it looks like the Dark Knight, trapped inside the wreckage of his crashed jet, is going to be Bat-toast as Doomsday unloads a fiery blast.
But Wonder Woman arrives in the knick of time, using her Amazonian shield to deflect the flames.
Then we get something completely unexpected: a moment of levity in director Zack Snyder’s otherwise grim world. “Is she with you?” asks a befuddled Supes. “I thought she was with you,” replies an equally confused Bats.
Finally, DC’s Trinity is together and ready to kick some ass. This is the Dawn of Justice referenced in the second part of the film’s title.
It’s been almost five months since we’ve seen new footage from the film inspired by of Frank Miller’s brutal, uncompromising Batman Returns comic. The first teaser premiered in April and introduced Affleck’s brooding Batman reluctantly returning to crime-fighting, while a conflicted Superman tries to navigate a world in which he is considered both devil and savior. A second, full-length trailer, released during Comic-Con in July, revealed the Wayne Tower building was destroyed during Superman’s climactic fight with Zod in Man of Steel, setting up the conflict between the two heroes. That trailer also introduced Wonder Woman, Luthor, and voice-of-reason Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons). On Monday, in advance of the new trailer, Warners released a brief clip from the film showing a longer version of the unmasking scene.
Due out March 25, Batman v Superman will also mark the film debut of Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and will feature cameos from fellow Justice Leaguers Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher). So far none of those Super Friends has turned up in any footage.
Ostensibly a sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel, Batman v Superman serves not only as a counterpoint to Marvel’s 2016 superhero smackdown, Captain America: Civil War (whose trailer premiered a week ago on Kimmel), but also as launchpad for a slate of movies set in a singular DC Universe. Suicide Squad, featuring a supervillain teamup that includes Joker (Jared Leto), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), and Deadshot (Will Smith), along with a cameo by Affleck’s Caped Crusader, arrives next August. That will be followed in 2017 and 2018 by the two-part Justice League movie, which will bring the DC heroes together Avengers-style, as well as solo outings for Wonder Woman (which just began shooting), the Flash, Aquaman, Shazam, and Affleck’s Batman.
Watch our breakdown of the trailer: