SDCC 2015: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice- Trailer 2 Analysis/Breakdown


It was a big weekend at San Diego Comic Con. There were many big panels and a lot of things were revealed for upcoming movies. One of these was the new trailer for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (which you can see here). It was a fantastic trailer that had a lot going on. So in this article, I will be breaking down the trailer, shot by shot, and analyzing it to see what it truly revealed about the movie. So let's get started.


The trailer opens to Holly Hunter, who will be playing a U.S. Senator, speaking at a court case. We are to find out that this trial is for Superman (Henry Cavill), after the destruction of Metropolis in Man of Steel.


Protesters outside the Capitol building as Superman descends for his trial. What I love so much about this shot is that it is a perfect reference to the types of protests we have seen against gay marriage or civil rights. If an alien came from the sky and was part of the destruction of an entire city, there would be people with signs saying "God Hates Aliens". This shot just captured the real world.


Another great shot of the protesters against Superman.


Now Superman enters the room. What's interesting is that everyone turns their heads. This could be one of two things. Either everyone is just in awe of being in the presence of an alien, or they didn't know he was coming. Maybe they were having this trial in secret and Superman just crashed the party to defend himself. Either way, I think this is going to be an awesome scene.


More gaping faces as Superman walks forward. The Senators seem to stop what they are doing. The more I look at this, the more I think Superman was not invited.


Superman looks determined. He's probably about to make his case for the destruction of Metropolis. 


Alright, this scene from the trailer is awesome. It goes back to the end of Man of Steel, where Metropolis is being destroyed, but it shows the scene from Bruce Wayne's (Ben Affleck) point-of-view. In the movie, we saw Superman, a hero, trying to stop a power-hungry villain. Whereas, in this scene, we see two super-powered beings laying waste to entire city, killing hundreds. I think this perspective is going to be crucial to understanding why Batman is out to get Superman.


Here, Wayne watches as heat vision decimates a giant building, causing it to crash onto the street. This is a perfect shot capturing what I mentioned above: seeing this battle in a different light.


I love this shot. Wayne is on the phone and sees the building go down and he screams. We know that Wayne has a building in Metropolis and that it's one of the things destroyed in the battle, killing dozens of his employees. This is a powerful shot in showing the rage that Wayne is going to feel towards Superman.


More destruction from the battle.


This is an awesome shot of Wayne running into the cloud of smoke, trying to do everything in his power to help.


As Wayne hugs this girl, his face has so much emotion. One hand, it's a look of anger. He's enraged at the destruction he has witnessed. But it's also a look of helplessness. In a battle between gods, he was unable to do a thing to help, and I think that feeling is something that will ultimately drive him to fight and take down Superman.


A wide shot, showing the vast destruction surrounding Wayne. 


Alfred (Jeremy Irons) approaches, what looks to be, an old and abandoned Wayne Manor. It doesn't look like anyone has been living there. If so, then where has Wayne been living during his retirement? Florida?


A shot of the darkened Batcave. This looks awesome. I can't wait to see the new Batcave in full.


Wayne gets a letter in the mail...


Now, there's a couple thoughts going around about this letter. When I first saw the shot, I assumed that one of his employee's family members was so upset with the death that they blamed Wayne and sent this to him in the mail. But I heard a thought that this could be from the Joker (played by Jared Leto in the DC Cinematic Universe). If that's so, then this means that the Joker knows who Batman is, and could be sending him taunting letters throughout Wayne's retirement. I kind of hope it is the Joker, because that would make for a more interesting dynamic between the two characters when we see them together in the future.


Where are the Ben Affleck haters right now? Oh yeah, that's right: they're too busy sh*ting there pants over how f*cking awesome he looks in this movie!


This looks to be Wayne getting back into shape, preparing to become Batman once more.


We saw this shot in the last trailer, but it's great to see now that we have seen the full story. Wayne is back as Batman to take Superman down.


And here's the infamous shot from the previous trailer.


Here's our first good look at Irons as Alfred. I really like the look. He looks like he is going to be a very different Alfred than we've seen before. More of a rough, badass Alfred than a simple butler. 


Now, at the SDCC panel, it was confirmed that in this universe Gotham and Metropolis are neighboring cities-- Metropolis is the city for the upper class whereas Gotham is for the lower class. While this is a departure from the comics, I think it makes a lot of sense. And it definitely fits with the tones of the cities. Metropolis has always been the "city of tomorrow", whereas Gotham has been the darker and more dangerous city. 


GCPD back at again.


This is a great shot. I love the look of the new Batarangs. Their bigger and more menacing. These look like they will pierce the skin, whereas previous Batarangs have been used more to disarm a criminal.


At first look, it seems like Batman has merely just stopped a criminal. But take a closer look. The thug's shirt is off and he is chained to what looks to be a heater. If that is a heater and not just some fence, then this is truly a more cruel and dangerous Batman then we have seen before.


And this Batman apparently brands the criminals he takes down too.


This is an intense shot of all the bats flying right at the screen. It's really effective in the context of the trailer.


It's always good to see Laurence Fishburne on screen.


Now this part is interesting. Perry White (Fishburne) is telling Clark not to investigate the Batman. So if we were to make this a timeline, it seems like Batman is back from retirement and taking down criminals in Gotham. Word has gotten to Clark, who is intrigued. Maybe he asks White about Batman, who tells him a bit about the vigilante's past. Clark the decides to take matters into his own hands. So we have Batman after Superman because he sees him as a threat, and now we have Superman after Batman. Whether he's just curious in seeing another crime fighter or if he sees Batman as a dangerous threat, it's interesting that both characters are after each other. 


This could potentially be right after the trial, as we knew he was in Washington, D.C., since it was held at the Capitol Building. And now you can see the Washington Monument behind him. It's edited to look like he's getting ready to go after Batman, but it's most likely after the trial.


And Lois Lane (Amy Adams) is with him.


Aww, tender moment.


Now this is interesting. In the beginning, we saw those protesting against Superman. But now we have those who see him as a savior. In the wake of a flood, people are clamoring for Superman to save them. This shows that the "problem" with Superman isn't one sides: many different people have many different opinions of him.


So this leads into the shot from the last trailer, which we'll see in a second.


Yep, there it is. I love this shot, because the cinematography of it is beautiful. It's just a perfectly set up and arranged shot.


So now Superman is talking with his mother, played by Diane Lane. She's giving him a little bit of a speech on how he has to be a hero to the people of Earth.


And she continues.


So this is the second disaster that we have seen Superman come to the aid of the people. Are the critics beginning to change their minds on him, or are they still thinking of him as a threat?


So this shot was in the last trailer, but it still begs the question, where is he? The people around him look like they have darker skin, so he may be in another country. Or it could just be the lighting of the scene. And what's with the face paint? My first thought was that it was the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico, but that may be reaching a bit.


Oh no! The missile launch wasn't successful! What are we ever going to do?


Wait, what's that? Is it a bird? Is it a place? Wait, it's...


...Superman. I think this shot actually has some significance. Maybe it was a launch to go into space to investigate more life on other planets? That would be interesting.


Okay, at this point, his mother tells Superman that he doesn't have to save anyone because the world doesn't owe him anything. At first, this really struck me wrong, because I thought it went against his parents' ideology. But then I remembered what his father (Kevin Costner) said in Man of Steel, that it was worth it for people to die in order for Superman to keep his alien heritage a secret. So his mother saying that he doesn't have to help anyone isn't so out there. 


Now, I didn't pick up on this until subsequent viewings, but after his mother tells him he doesn't have to help the world, Superman turns his head, in a way to say "Really?". I think it shows that his parents are still human and, though good at heart, still have corrupting selfish tendencies and other parts of human nature that Superman just doesn't have. Being alien, he is wiser. So while his mother sees helping the human race as a choice, Superman sees it as his destiny. That makes this whole interaction a lot deeper and more profound.


And now we cut to Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), where his assistant is bring Holly Hunter into his home. 


This seems to show that, out of desperation, Hunter is allying herself with Luthor against Superman. Now, is this alliance between just the two of them, or the U.S. government as a whole?


Now, in my initial reaction to the trailer, I said that the one weakness of the trailer for me was Eisenberg as Luthor, as I didn't really understand what he was going for with the character. I still feel the same way, but with more viewings I've gotten used to him a bit more. I'm going to wait to judge his performance until I see the movie. Although, I really do not like his hair, I can say that much.


Now, this is a very interesting shot. Superman is kneeling before Luthor.


And, of course, Luthor is grinning like a maniac. I think this is the best shot of Luthor, as it makes the character feel more like his usual self. So I'm hoping as the movie progresses he becomes more and more like the comic book Lex Luthor.


Now, this shot is puzzling. When you watch the first two shots of this scene, you think that Luthor has weakened Superman with Kryptonite, thus forcing him into submission. But this face that Superman shows isn't of weakness or defeat, it's of utter anger. So what's going on then? Is there Kryptonite at play? Or is there something else going on? It's hard to tell, honestly.


Now, remember when I wondered whether Holly Hunter's character was meeting with Luthor to form alliance with him and the U.S. government? Well, this shot seems to support that theory. Because here we have the army delivering a package to Luthor. 


And it's the dead body of General Zod (Michael Shannon). There's a few things that I want to talk about with this shot. If Luthor wasn't allies with the government, then why would they give him such a top secret and sensitive thing as the dead body of an alien? Also, this seems to support the rumor going around that Luthor uses Zod's DNA to create Doomsday. Now, Doomsday has not been confirmed for the film at all, but the synopsis has stated that Batman and Superman must team up to fight a "greater threat". Seeing Zod's body in this trailer just supports the rumor. And honestly, it makes a lot of sense. In the comics, Doomsday killed Superman. So to have him in this movie would force Superman to team up with Batman (and Wonder Woman), leading into The Justice League.


Now, this is also another intriguing and important shot. Wayne is in the Batcave and stops to look at what seems to be a Robin costume. Now, I'll talk more about what it means in a second, but I want to point out the size of the costume. It doesn't look like it's made for a ten year old. It looks like it's the size of Batman, if not slightly smaller. This could mean that we are getting an adult Robin, which would make a lot more sense than having the kid or teenage Robin from the comics. 


I think this is the most important shot from the trailer, because it tells us a lot about Batman's past in one simple shot. In the comics, Dick Grayson, the original Robin, grows up and becomes Nightwing, so Batman adopts another Robin in the form of Jason Todd. The Joker kidnaps Jason and beats him to death with a pipe, and Batman is unable to save him. In the comics, this death in the family shapes Batman, giving him a lot more to be angry about, and also supplies his brooding, as he feels guilt for not being able to save Jason. Later, Jason Todd returned as the vigilante the Red Hood, who began killing the criminals of Gotham's Underworld in order to make a point to Batman that his ways were antiquated. It has been rumored for sometime that DC planned to use the Red Hood in future films, and that Batman v. Superman would have a flashback to the Joker killing Jason, and the death would be Batman's reason for retiring. So while this shot doesn't confirm a flashback scene at all, it does confirm that a Robin did exist at one point and was killed by the Joker. So will we see the Red Hood at some point? Does Nightwing exist in this universe? These are all questions posed by this one, simple shot.


One of the Batman v. Superman pictures revealed in Entertainment Weekly (which you can see here), there was a picture of Gal Gadot, as Diane Prince, dancing with Bruce Wayne at some reception. From the looks of this shot, it seems this is from that same scene.


This shot was in the original trailer, with Superman's soldiers bowing before him. But it leads into more shots later in the trailer, so I'll discuss some of my ideas about this later.


Close up on Superman walking down the hallway.


Batman, in battle armor, unveils the Batsignal.


Alright, this Batsignal looks awesome.


Now the waiting begins.


If he wanted to get Superman's attention, wouldn't it make more sense to use a Superman signal rather than the Batsignal. Oh well.


Have I said before that Batman looks badass. I have? Oh well.


So is this part of Aquaman's (Jason Momoa) scene in Batman v. Superman. Everyone has been claiming it is, only because it's underwater. They could be doing anything underwater. 


Now this shot no one has commented on yet. But I have an idea. I think it's Themyscira, Wonder Woman's homeland. When I saw this shot, I immediately thought of The Lord of the Rings type medieval camera shot. And what else in this DC universe is similar to medieval? Wonder Woman. This could very well be Amazonian warriors riding on horseback across the ranges of Themyscira, or it could be something else entirely. But I would be willing to bet money on the former.


I've never understood why so many people have bitched about seeing the Waynes die again. They all say "We've seen it so many times!" No we haven't. We saw it in Batman Begins and the TV show Gotham. That's it. Now, it's been shown in animated stuff, but that's different. We haven't seen the deaths as often as some people exaggerate it to be. And I don't think Zack Snyder would just throw it in the film for the hell of it. I'm sure it plays an important role, whether for developing Batman or allowing Superman to understand Batman more as a person.


This seems to confirm a report going around a little while ago that Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who we knew was in the film, would be playing Thomas Wayne. This actor is definitely him. 


Something I have to say for both Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman, in the midst of huge battle sequences and giant blockbuster action, Snyder has kept several indie feeling shot on little things. I noticed a lot of them in Man of Steel, and now seeing the shot of the gun or the Batarang shows his artistic side in such a big movie. It's encouraging to see.


Batman v. Superman- the story of how a little Ben Affleck would grow up to break kneecaps and brand criminals with heated Batarangs. 


This is most likely the burial of the Waynes. There is always a possibility that it is something else and they edited the trailer to trick us, but there's two coffins and a little boy in the front. I think it's safe to assume this isn't a trick.


Here comes the Batwing into a giant cloud of destruction. This looks to be a shot from the third act, (maybe) a battle between Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman against Doomsday.


Now, this takes us back to the protesters outside the Capitol building. The way Lois is standing up, it looks like something happened. Did someone attack Superman? Was there a fight? I guess we'll find out when we see the movie.


Bruce Wayne greeting someone in what looks to be Wayne Enterprises. But who is it?


Now, we've been seeing mysterious shots of Diana throughout the trailer. Snyder has said that Wonder Woman is the "gateway drug" to the Justice League. So maybe she's playing a Nick Fury type role and recruiting throughout the film. In which case, maybe she's trying to enlist someone in this shot. If that's true, then who she is she trying to get?


I don't know how good Gal Gadot will be at acting in the film, but damn does she look awesome as Wonder Woman. This looks to be from the third act battle scene.


If you take a closer look at the surroundings of the explosion, you can see a lot of buildings. Whether this is Metropolis or Gotham or both, this battle is going to be causing a lot of damage- on the level of Man of Steel, if not more. And what is that energy surge? Because we see Wonder Woman do almost a Hulk clap and then this shot. This isn't an explosion, but more of an energy surge. So did Wonder Woman do this, or is this a power related to the villain they face? Or maybe this is the origin of the Flash. That's just a random thought I'm throwing out there.


Okay, now here's where the shots get more interesting. We see Batman dressed up in more of a camouflaged costume, with a jacket, pants and goggles. But where is he exactly?


We see Superman's soldiers shooting around, and then the next shot...


...the soldiers are fighting Batman. This looks to be the same place that the hallway scene from the first trailer took place. But where are they? This is one of the more mysterious scenes of the trailer, as it is pretty much impossible to predict what is going on. Why is Batman in disguise? Where is this desert-like terrain? Why does Superman have soldiers? These are all questions I don't think we will know the answers to until we see the film.


A giant explosion alongside the Batmobile. I think this scene is part of a larger one hinted at later in the trailer, so I'll hold off talking about that until later.


Awesome fight scene with Batman.


What I like most about these shots is that they show us for the first time what Batman's fighting style is. It looks like he's fast, agile but brutally strong. It seems like the perfect style for Batman to use.


A continuation of the other Batmobile scene.


Another shot of Superman, I think from the Batmobile scene. But I'll get into that a little bit later.


So once again, it looks like Alfred will be the voice of reason. He says here that Superman is "not your enemy". But it seems like a stubborn Bruce Wayne is going to ignore him. I love this shot because it adds a lot of tension to end of this trailer.


So this looks to be the LexCorp headquarters, on fire. Now, we see a biker riding in with police trying to stop him, but he ignores them. My first thought is that the biker is Lex Luthor, who is coming to find his headquarters destroyed. But what destroyed LexCorp? Maybe it was destroyed during the battle between Batman and Superman, causing him to take a more proactive role in the film.


Now, this shot is interesting. This looks to still be LexCorp headquarters. We had heard a while ago that LexCorp was going to be a Google-type place, with beanbags, foosball and all sorts of cool and fun things. So seeing the deflated basketball is reminiscent of that rumor. And we see a pair of feet stepping over gun shells. The expensive looking shoes makes me think this is Luthor, which would support the idea that he was the biker. But what really happened in here? We see gun shells everywhere and wounded army soldiers. Maybe Batman fought them. But if that's the case, why were they fighting here?


Now here's Luthor with a big chunk of Kryptonite. And I have a theory. We know Luthor will be bald at some point in this movie, since we have seen images. But for the whole trailer he has had hair. Maybe, when Luthor uses Kryptonite against Superman, it causes his hair to fall out, giving us the classic bald Lex Luthor. It's not an unfeasible idea, but it's not based on anything except my own speculation. 


And this looks to be more shots from the Batman versus Superman fight in the rain.


Okay, that's f*cking awesome.


Who else can take down Superman like that but Batman?


Another look at Wonder Woman from what looks to be the final battle. But now she has a shield and a sword. I really like that she has a sword, because it gives her a lot more to do in a battle than just using her lasso and punching things.


Now, here's something I didn't pick up on. I thought these three shots of Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman was an Avengers-style tracking shot of the three heroes in the final battle. But pay closer attention. Superman flies up, with his eyes glowing, ready to use heat vision.


There's Batman, framed perfectly to look like his The Dark Knight Returns pose. And notice the sky. There's lightning, like in Batman and Superman's first fight.


Batman fires his grappling gun to swing away.


And I didn't see this the first couple times I watched the trailer because it happens so fast, but one of Superman's heat blasts strikes the building Batman was perched on. Which means that this is from the initial fight between Batman and Superman, and not the final battle between the movie's villain. So the shot of Wonder Woman is not related to these at all. Now go back to the shot of Superman flying up, his eyes glowing. Look at the destruction surrounding him. Did the battle between Batman and Superman really cause all of that damage, because it looks like the same kind of rubble from the final battle shot's we have seen. This is a classic example of a quick little shot in a trailer that can cause a lot of confusion and questions.


Now here, we see Lex Luthor, who has been narrating during these shots: "Black and blue. God versus man. Day versus night." Because of all the spectacle going on, it took me a little bit to realize he was talking about Batman and Superman. And I like that they put this in, because it shows just how polar opposites they are. They separate ideologies about fighting crime is what, in the comics, makes them such good friends and, at times, such bitter enemies. And it's going to be great to see that clash in this film.


Another kiss between Superman and Lois. Hopefully Superman has a better line to say in this one than he did with the kiss in Man of Steel


Now that is a pissed off Superman if I've ever seen one.


Alright, this is a puzzling shot. From the looks of it, Luthor is in his house, quite possibly still talking to Holly Hunter. And he says "The red capes are coming" in a different voice. Here's what I think it means, and I might be dead wrong, but here's my thoughts: I think he's using a play on "The red coats are coming" from the Revolutionary War. To the colonists, the Red Coats, or the British, were oppressors who used their superior power to squander them. And the Colonists had to rise up to gain independence. With Luthor saying "The red capes are coming", he could be referring to Superman, and saying that he and other super powered beings will trying to exert their dominance over normal people. And to protect themselves, like the colonists, the people must rise against these super powered beings. That's a lot of insight into one small phrase, but that's how I interpreted it.


So we have Superman walking to the Batmobile with fire around them. I think this is part of the same scene we saw the Batmobile in earlier. I think that Batman is fighting against criminals now that he's returned, and Superman shows up to stop him.


This could be why Superman is so angry, ripping off the doors of the Batmobile.


Now look. Batman isn't wearing the battle armor. So he's not prepared for Superman. I think that this is their first encounter. Superman seeks Batman out and Batman loses. Then, Batman makes the battle armor using Kryptonite and then, in the rain and thunder scene, uses the Batsignal to get Superman's attention for a rematch. 


This might be single-handedly the best shot of the whole trailer.


Boom! There it is!

What do you think? Do you agree with my analysis and theories? Did I miss anything? What are some of your theories? Did you like the trailer for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Written by: Nate 
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