A “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” trailer has leaked online.
The studio behind the film, Warner Bros., took the trailer off YouTube, according to the Huffington Post, but the trailer is still up on other sites, and comic book fans are eagerly dissecting and discussing.
The new trailer includes glimpses of actor Henry Cavill reprising his role as Superman and Ben Affleck of “Gone Girl” making his debut as Batman, a role most recently played by “American Hustle” actor Christian Bale. It also has various voices giving opinions on superheroes. “We as a population on this planet have been looking for a savior,” says one, while another says that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
“Batman v Superman” is directed by Zack Snyder of “Man of Steel” and “Watchmen” and is set to be released in 2016.
The various properties of DC Comics are trying to play catch-up to those of Marvel when it comes to the multiplex. Marvel Studios has released numerous successful movies over the past several years and has already perfected the idea of a superhero team-up with the Avengers, an ensemble which was the center of the 2012 movie of the same name and will be the focus of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which will be released this May. The first “Avengers” movie was the highest-grossing movie domestically of its year, according to the website Box Office Mojo, and other recent Marvel movies like “Guardians of the Galaxy” have also become hits.
The iconic character of Superman has been harder to get right. The hero succeeded in cinemas with the series starring Christopher Reeve, though later installments with Reeve are less beloved by fans. But Hollywood first tried to bring Superman back to movie theaters with the 2006 film “Superman Returns,” which starred actor Brandon Routh as the hero. The film did well at the box office but got mixed reviews from critics – Monitor film critic Peter Rainer gave the movie a B, calling it “square… if the special effects are often terrific, the people are less so, starting with Superman himself… there’s only so far you can go without great characters.”
Hollywood tried again in 2013 with “Man of Steel,” which featured Cavill’s first appearance as Superman and was directed by Snyder. But critics panned the movie – it currently holds a score of 55 out of 100 on the review aggregator website Metacritic. It seems a new approach is necessary if this take on Superman, with Cavill and Snyder, is to succeed in “Batman v Superman."
Meanwhile, the Batman character might have the opposite problem. The recent series directed by Christopher Nolan are some of the most acclaimed superhero movies of all time, with actor Heath Ledger winning an Academy Award for his work as the Joker. The Nolan movies are still very fresh in people’s memories – the final movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” was just released in 2012 – so there are high expectations for any other take on Batman.
Fans will have to wait until 2016 to see whether the newest iteration of the heroes is a satisfying one.