In 2013 the movie Man of Steel established itself as the beginning of a new cinematic franchise. DC Comics and Warner Bros hugely successful re imagining of Superman for modern audiences told not just a compelling origin story for the Last Son of Krypton it also sewed enough ideas for a sequel and for many more films in the future. Here are just a few reasons you should be excited about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ahead of it’s release on March 25th 2016.
A NEW TAKE ON BATMAN
Batman is being presented in a way not seen on screen before. Here is a grizzled veteran of forty something years of age. He has been fighting crime for decades but now is presented with a threat in the form of Superman the likes of which he has never seen before. The movie trailer cleverly shows how one of the buildings destroyed in the huge battle in Man of Steel was a Wayne Enterprises tower. Superman maybe a force for good but in Batman’s eyes he is an alien threat with power beyond what anyone should have and Bruce Wayne sees himself as the only person on Earth who can stand in his way. The casting of Ben Affleck could prove to be an inspired choice, the actor/director has been on a hot streak in the last few years hoovering up awards and critical acclaim for weighty dramas The Town and Argo. He should provide the character of Batman with a real gravitas and standing at 6ft2 tall an impressive physicality too.
DEALING WITH CONSEQUENCES
The viewing public got their collective knickers in a twist at the amount of destruction shown in Man of Steel particularly in the final battle in which a huge chunk of Metropolis was leveled. Director Zack Snyder has publicly stated that the fallout of these events will be addressed in the sequel. How will the public see Superman, yes he saved the city and the planet from Zod’s schemes but could he have done more and who will hold him accountable? Scenes glimpsed in the trailer include the Man of Steel attending a Senate hearing and members of the public protesting about the issues of an alien and the place he has on Earth. Of course the actions of powerful opposition to Superman are ripe for exploitation especially from…
LEX LUTHOR – A NEW TAKE ON AN OLD FOE
The film makers took a bold step casting thirty something Jesse Eisenberg as Superman’s most famous foe. Usually presented as a middle aged bald headed grand schemer this new take on Lex re imagines him as young Millennial prodigy with an over the top exterior that you just know will be camouflage for his true intentions. It’s a wise choice after Gene Hackman nailed the original take back in the 70’s and 80’s any attempt to imitate would have been foolish. Eisenberg has proven himself adept at playing young and successful before after his superlative turn as Mark Zuckerberg the founder of facebook in The Social Network. He should bring an intensity and menace not seen in the role before on the big screen.
RETURNING CHARACTERS AND NEW FACES
Man of Steel gave us in Henry Cavill not just a superbly cast actor as Superman it also provided huge amounts of talent amongst its supporting actors too. Amy Adams returns as Lois Lane, fully aware of Clark Kent’s secret identity and continuing to offer the troubled hero support and a down to earth perspective. Laurence Fisburne is back as Daily Planet editor Perry White and screen veteran Diane Lane once more fills the shoes of Martha Kent after her touching and tender moments with Clark in Man of Steel expect more from her in the sequel as evidence that even the strongest of people need their Mum to turn too sometimes.
With a new Batman comes a new Alfred and this time its classically trained British actor Jeremy Irons. Snippets in the trailer show him as strong and determined and not afraid to question Batman on the choices he is making.
A VISUAL CONSITENCY
Man of Steel doesn’t look like others superhero movies, it’s got a muted color palette so the more outlandish scenes are given a grounded sense. This works because if things had been turned up too brightly DC would have been seen as trying to copy the Marvel style. With such contrasts in visuals it should prove that there is plenty of room at the cinema for two very different sets of superheroes.
Glimpsed fleetingly in the trailers both in civilian wear and full costume the movie will introduce Wonder Woman in a big way. Snyder has been coy as to how much involvement she will have but confirmed its more than a cameo and she is seen taking part in a huge battle alongside Superman and Batman. Her appearance here will also serve to prime audiences for her solo movie in 2017. It may seem shocking with modern superhero movies being so common these days that not one has been headlined by a female hero before. Introducing her here should whet appetites for her own film and hopefully prove to studios that modern audiences want heroes that represent everyone.
THE JUSTICE LEAGUE
This is the big one, it’s been known for a while that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will also introduce heroes Aquaman and Cyborg who alongside the title characters and Wonder Woman will go on to form The Justice League. Synder has already begun preparation for the two part movie which will follow Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman in DC’s ongoing series of films. Other than one publicity photo of Aquaman not much is known about the role these two will have but expect it to be just enough to make you want to see more and to make the wait for Justice League just that bit harder to endure.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is released on March 25th 2016