It’s finally here.
After an online debacle where a camera-recording of the trailer leaked from a Brazilian theater chain, Zack proudly took to Twitter, once again, to out-do his online leakers (much like with the Batmobile) and show the Snyder-faithful, and the world, just what they’d been cooking up behind the sealed doors of the WB/DC fun-house.
But now, the moment every fan of cinema, of Zack Snyder, and of superheroes has been waiting for: the precursor to the cinematic event of 2016, the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer. No doubt our readers have poured over the brilliant 2 minutes of Zack Snyder’s sweeping and mature entry into the DC Universe; but so have we, and here’s what we at the Bible of Zack Snyder think of the debut teaser trailer.
Ever since Snyder’s 2013 reboot of Superman premiered in theaters, the film’s most controversial element has been the devastating impact Superman and Zod’s battle had on the City of Metropolis, along with Superman’s brutal and emotionally harrowing execution of Zod. We, and many like minded fans, have constantly said that this was all done as a point, that this was the defining moment of first contact, and that this would have deep ramifications through the entire world. The Zod/Superman fight was, for all intents and purposes, the 9/11 of that world. A massive loss of life that struck these people at their very core.
It’s fitting that the first bit of dialogue is:
“Is it really surprising that the most powerful man in the world, should be a figure of controversy?”
Set against a gorgeous and mood-setting pan in towards Superman’s defaced golden statue, which now reads in bright crimson at a flash of lightning: FALSE GOD.
The news pundits continue to way in, giving the trailer, and the film, it’s taste of the deep social climate this new world is going through. WATCHMEN tackled a similar theme as well. God exists…he’s on our side…but for how long?
The wounds left from Superman’s battle with Zod for the fate of humanity are still fresh, both in our world and more importantly within his own.
In the trailer’s most chilling shot (on an emotional level) we see a mirror of the scene from Man of Steel, where Zod shows Superman what will become of Earth, leaving Kal buried under a pile of human skulls, fighting for his way out. Now, we see these skulls have faces, they’re people, and Superman’s look isn’t one of terror or rage, it looks to be one of uncertainty.
In Latin culture, the make up is referred to as Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, face painting. Marie McKeown of Hubpages put together an interesting history of this painting, for those who might not be aware:
The day of the dead in Mexico is a fascinating mixture of Spanish Catholic and native Aztec traditions and beliefs. Skulls and skeletons were an important part of All Saints Day festivals in medieval Europe, especially since the Black Death ravaged the population of Europe in the 1300s. Across Europe artists, playwrights and poets mused on the theme of ‘memento mori’ (remember death) and the ‘dance of the dead’. Many artworks and books from the time depict dancing skeletons, or portraits with a skull to ‘remember death’.
At the same time, in Mexico, the Aztec culture believed life on earth to be something of an illusion – death was a positive step forward into a higher level of conscience. For the Aztecs skulls were a positive symbol, not only of death but also of rebirth.
People in Mexico wear traditional skull masks, and the tradition of painting faces to look like a skull has grown up as a variation to this. The wearing of masks has been a powerful symbol throughout traditional cultures, of the ability of humans to get in touch with their darker, chaotic side. Face-painting as skulls is a chance to overcome fear of death, act recklessly and get up to the mischief that is forbidden at other times of the year!
Very interesting. Could the citizens of Metropolis be donning this mask to remember the fallen from the First Contact incident, or is this Superman going more global, and dealing with problems out of the United State’s jurisdiction- something critics also tore Man of Steel apart for? The people in the shot look very Hispanic, and the idea of Jesus Christ is a very heavy part of Latin’s largest religion, Catholicism.
Snyder has been known to dig deeply into culture and traditions, such as his intense pouring over of the Spartans and ancient Greece, as well as his attention to detail in period set dramas like Watchmen and Sucker Punch.
The inhabitants of Snyder’s world have painted Superman as either a diety or a monster, and the only way to hunt a monster is to essentially send another one after it. To hunt a monster, to kill a God, they both require power. A kind of power that is the hardest to come by, and once found, almost impossible to stop: the power of rage.
The moment when a man goes far past his own limits and breaking points to accomplish one goal. This has been reinforced by Alfred (Jeremy Irons) in the trailer, who ominously says:
“That’s how it starts…the fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness, that turns good men cruel.“
Bruce Wayne is seen gazing into the Batsuit as a man stares into the face of a killer. The Batsuit’s battered texture shows signs of struggle, years of turmoil and pain, and as Bruce stares into the abyss, the suit, his second skin, answers with a hollow and unsettling smile. Come back to me, it almost says.
In a rainy and stormy night, through fire, we then see Batman emerge. A hulk of a man, determined and out for justice or is it vengeance? Either way we see the makings of a man prepared to fight a God.
The Dark Knight Returns
We here at The Bible of Zack Snyder were adamant since around May of last year that the quote from Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” that was read at Comic Con to unveil Batman/Superman was more than just a quote, and was in fact a prediction on the story line the film would take, based on some ideas and dialogue in Man of Steel and Snyder’s own hero-worship of Frank Miller, as far back as wanting to adapt “The Dark Knight Returns” in 2008.
The trailer is jam packed with “The Dark Knight Returns” world, such as the general dystopian vibe on top of things like the speculating news reporters and media hosts at the beginning of the trailer (a huge part of TDKR), Batman’s power suit (obviously), a more weary and tired Batman than we’ve ever seen, and a particular shot of Batman perched on-top of a tower, with a sniper rifle slung over his shoulder. Along with that, we also have the Bat-mobile which take cues from Miller’s comic book, being an all-purpose war machines.
DC did a pretty good job of making sure the public was aware of Miller’s graphic novel, especially with the 2-part animated feature that’s available now on DVD and Bluray.
Did we cover enough ground? Probably not. There’s still things in the trailer worth pouring over, and especially by Monday night, when we’ll cover the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice IMAX Event, and report it here ASAP for our hungry readers who couldn’t attend.