When I found out that Marvel would not be attending Comic-Con this year, I knew that DC and Warner Brothers would have something up their sleeves for the best week for nerds. After unveiling their lineup about a year ago for their string of films to kick off a DC Cinematic Universe (DCCU), I was never fully on board. In fact, you can read my thoughts on that here. I knew DC needed to drop some serious material at this panel because I’m most certainly not the only comic book nerd/fanboy out there that thinks DCmay have bitten off more than they can chew. After DC’s panel at SDCC, I definitely felt satisfied with that was shown, but that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily itching to see these movies. First I’ll put my thoughts down about the most recent trailer of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and then the first trailer that premiered for the bad guy centric DC movie, Suicide Squad (2016)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Comic-Con Trailer
Right off the bat I think the storyline of Superman answering for the destruction he caused in Metropolis throughout the climax of Man of Steel (2013) is the best route to go down. It’s clear they are going this route so as to “fix” any complaints people had about the mass destruction that Metropolis endured and it’s nice to have the fan’s voices be heard; but was this always the direction the story was supposed to go? I only hope it is and they aren’t doing this to ONLY shut people up. Ben Affleck definitely encompasses the persona of Bruce Wayne – no doubt in my mind. However I’m yet to be convinced if his portrayal of the Batman will meet expectations. I’m so thrilled that they aren’t doing a Batman origin story again and instead it looks like either Batman has been working for some time, or has retired and it’s Superman’s destruction that brings him back into the fold. I think it would be very cool if we first encountered a broken Batman tormented by years of trying to protect Gotham from the likes of The Joker (More on him in the Suicide Squad trailer). You can definitely see bits and pieces of Batman’s past throughout the trailer like a damaged Robin suit with graffiti all over it from clearly The Joker as well as lines of dialogue like “Twenty years in Gotham, how many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?” Perhaps he’s talking about Harvey Dent or Jim Gordon? It’s because of this that Batman doesn’t trust Superman and therefore thinks he needs to be destroyed. I like seeing the motivation here as opposed to, “These two don’t get along, what’s gonna happen next!” I’m still not convinced with Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor. I enjoy the wig (If it is one) that he wears – very Gene Hackman; but my main concern is still that when I see him in this trailer, I still see Jesse Eisenberg just playing some smart guy as opposed to seeing Lex Luthor. One theory that I like is that Luthor’s exposure to the Kryptonite (seen in the trailer) may lead to him being diagnosed with cancer like in the storyline from the Justice League animated series – and that’s how he loses his hair. Regardless, I’m still not convinced Eisenberg can pull off the greatest criminal mind of our time. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman certainly looked badass, but I still don’t see why she needs to be in this movie. It’s characters like her, and the Aquaman cameo that’s said to be in this movie as well, that make the movie seem like it’s going to be way too bloated and take away from the titular heroes and act more as just a filler for the eventual Justice League movie. I really do hope that’s not the case and the two biggest icons in comics get their due.
Suicide Squad Comic-Con First Look
Viola Davis opens the trailer as Amanda Waller, basically the Nick Fury of DC, but way meaner. She is telling some military special ops top secret general guys that she has a plan to bring together the worst of the worse so that they can go out of their comfort zone and do some good. We then get highlights of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn hanging from a cell while guards surround her. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn has been something I’ve been on board with since that was announced. I love her, and think she’ll kill the part. She’s also gorgeous. Robbie doesn’t really have the Harley voice I’ve grown accustomed to from the Batman Animated Series and the Batman: Arkham games, but I think that’s for better than worse. I don’t know if I need a high pitched Margot Robbie shouting “Mistah J!” for two hours. I’d rather see the Harley Quinn that’s somewhat of a tragedy. Someone so intelligent as Dr. Harleen Quinzel whom The Joker just breaks mentally. From the tone of the trailer it certainly has a vibe like this movie could be a tragedy; but I doubt they’ll go ALL the way down that road. There’s evidence in the trailer of Harley being somewhat involved with the Joker, like a first encounter sort of ordeal, as evidenced when she’s riding shotgun in a Lamborghini (Mercy) definitely driven by the Joker and she says, “I hope you have insurance,” and who’s on top of this Lambo in hot pursuit? The Batman. Word is that this movie takes place BEFORE BvS so perhaps it’s while Batman is still out and about, or Batman never retired to begin with and maybe this is just in his prime. I love the way Harley Quinn looks in the movie, she does look like she’s nuts, and call ME nuts, but I think this is the best looking Robbie has ever looked. Maybe I just like the crazy ones, I don’t know. We see highlights of other characters too like Will Smith’s Deadshot, Rick Flagg played byJoel Kinnaman (as opposed to Tom Hardy who was originally cast) looks really cool, especially in that one shot next to Smith when Smith says, “Let’s go save the world.” Also, go figure Will Smith gets to say “Suicide Squad” in the trailer. I almost expected The Who to kick in and to go straight to the CSI: Miami opening credits. I liked seeing Enchantress (played by Cara Delevingne). She’s a cool character in this movie because she’s straight up magic and we haven’t really seen that before. Killer Croc looked really CGIed and I’m not sure why another Batman villain is in the movie but hey, maybe it’ll work. The other villains only really get highlights but in the highlights the action looks intense. I love the one guy wearing a cartoon Batman mask while opening up a machine gun in what looks like a warehouse of some sort. I also loved the other guys with animal masks on; very Kubrick. Finally at the end, we get our first real look at Jared Leto’s much anticipated Joker. There were rumors that the tattoos on his body in that first official image were Photoshopped on but in the trailer it’s pretty clear they’re there to stay. I’m personally not too much against the tattoos, except for the “Damaged” one on his forehead; that’s just dumb. I liked that first laugh we got from Leto, but I’m waiting for more of the maniacal laugh, as opposed to that casual kind of laugh. The end is just great when he says, “I’m not gonna kill you, I’m just gonna hurt you. Really, really, bad,” and he smiles showing his silver teeth fillings. There’s also a rumor that Joker’s teeth are all filled in from Batman punching them out and if that’s the case, then that’s awesome. At first everyone thought they were grills and I think we all agree that Joker would probably never wear grills.
I will say that as far as trailers go, both were very good. I’m leaning towards the Suicide Squad trailer more for a few reasons. First off, I’ll be the first to admit the BvS was a hair too long coming in at over three and a half minutes. Towards the two minute mark I thought it was over and it just kept going. Props for not going the Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) route and not giving away the entire plot in the trailer, though. I’m also just more excited for Suicide Squad overall. We’ve never been given a superhero movie focusing solely on the bad guys and that’s definitely formulating some interest among moviegoers who have been holding on for dear life with this “Golden Age of Superhero Films” we seem to be in. As far as trailers go, Suicide Squad had the overall better trailer; but don’t let that fool you into thinking that DC/Warner Bros has already hit a homerun. I thought the Man of Steel trailers were really cool too and that movie was a piece of work. A good trailer NEVER guarantees you a good movie, never forget that. But that doesn’t mean one can’t get a little excited when a trailer pops up and wows you. It’s called the hype train and once you’re on, you have a long ride ahead of you. Few people understand the hype that goes with these movies. That’s half the fun – speculating and predicting at the sign of any piece of news or new material pertaining to these movies, whether they be Avengers related, Batman/Superman related, or X-Men, or whatever else. If you’re not on the hype train, people on it just seem stupid; but those who embrace the hype train have a hell of a time. It also sucks though because I keep forgetting that we are literally a year away from both of these movies; yet with these trailers it feels like they’re coming out next weekend.
Here’s the slate of DCCU movies coming up in the next few years in case you care.
o “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” directed by Zack Snyder (2016)
o “Suicide Squad,” directed by David Ayer (2016)
o “Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot (2017)
o “Justice League Part One,” directed by Zack Snyder, with Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams reprising their roles (2017)
o “The Flash,” starring Ezra Miller (2018)
o “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa (2018)
o “Shazam” (2019)
o “Justice League Part Two,” directed by Zack Snyder (2019)
o “Cyborg,” starring Ray Fisher (2020)
o “Green Lantern Corps” (2020)
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