As I sit here this afternoon, my kids are playing Disney Infinity with some of the newer figures they've picked up, so I am being treated to one ridiculous battle after another. At the moment, Stitch and Green Goblin are fighting, which is one of those images that is so silly that you have to love that this game can create those absurdities.
This seems appropriate as people are losing their minds, both good and bad, over the now-officially-released “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” trailer. There's also been a good deal of indifference, which doesn't shock me. People had pretty strong reactions to “Man Of Steel,” and it seems to me at this point that people are drawing battle lines over Zack Snyder in general. Right now is a pivotal moment for DC and Warner's plan for the next few years. Honestly, I can't imagine having to deliver a movie under the sort of microscope that Snyder's dealing with at the moment. No matter what he does, people are going to be watching closely and jumping immediately on anything that makes them unhappy.
I am on the record as being a pretty staunch advocate for “Man Of Steel,” and one of the things that I immediately like about this trailer is that it clearly builds off of what many people disliked about the first film, and yet those same people are the ones who seem to be immediately disgruntled. I've seen lots of talk about the filmmakers “not getting” Superman, but I'm not sure how anyone can claim at this point that there is any one interpretation that is definitive.
Even more than Marvel, DC has seemed to open to a very elastic interpretation of its various iconic figures over the years, and as a result, you can have two people who are both fans of Batman who may like something totally different. If I meet someone who really only likes the Adam West version of the character, I don't dismiss them simply because that's not my preferred version. Same thing if someone's a rabid fan of the first Burton film. I may prefer the second one, and I can tell you exactly why I prefer it, but I am more than willing to accept that what I like might not be the same thing someone else does.
With Superman, I've grown very tired of the way he was portrayed on film. I like so many things about the character, but I felt like people just stopped at the Donner film and then acted like there's no other version that will do. One of the things I loved about “Man Of Steel” is how completely it felt like Snyder decided to do his own thing. I'm curious to see how he handles Batman and the other corners of the larger world he's helping to establish.
And if audiences really don't like this one or don't go (yeah, right, like that's going to happen), then Warner is going to have to take serious inventory of what they've got planned. There is a particular tone that this trailer seems to be establishing, and it's verrrrrrry different than anything we see from Marvel. That's important, because the worst thing DC could do would be pure imitation. It's more important that they figure out how to make their world serve the stories and the characters they're using, and I like that they are pushing things are far as they appear to be in this trailer.
We've still got a long way to go before 2016, and a million giant movies, it feels like, but this is a hell of an announcement for the general public who isn't dialed in to every little development at Warner.
“Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice” is in theaters March 25, 2016.