April 17, 2015

UPDATED: I Feel Bad For That Leaked BATMAN v. SUPERMAN Trailer

Warner Bros has a big IMAX event scheduled for Monday night where they planned to unleash the first official teaser for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Then the internet went and ruined everything.  That's kind of how the internet rolls.

Even if the footage hadn't been taken down, I wouldn't run it here because I have a long-standing hatred of leaked trailers, especially ones that consist of shaky phone camera footage with muffled audio that occasionally drifts out of focus.  This is a bad way for any movie to be introduced to the public, let alone something as grandiose as Batman v. Superman.  The fact that the entire trailer is made up of nighttime combat footage and overlapping voiceovers only exacerbates things.  To be honest, there isn't really a whole lot to see here, but it's a teaser trailer so that's fine.  This should really be about tone more than anything else.  And, unsurprisingly, that tone can be most accurately described here as "dour as shit."

What's worse, the trailer was leaked just hours after the official release of that newfangled Star Wars trailer, which was met with such overwhelming enthusiasm by the nerd community at large that anything released in its wake could only be considered a disappointment.  Even if this BvS trailer had been more remarkable, between the poor quality footage and the shadow of Skywalker looming large, the deck was simply stacked against it.  What's worse, because of their big IMAX event, Warners can't even utilize Marvel's clever strategy of countering the leak by immediately releasing a high quality official version.

UPDATED: Well I called that one wrong.  Warner's did end up releasing the official version online in advance of their IMAX event, which certainly makes sense.  Once it's out there, it's out there. You might as well make it look as good as possible.  See it embedded below.

Make no mistake about it.  This is a very big deal.  In a few weeks Marvel will release the money printing machine that is Age Of Ultron and before rounding the corner into the truly epic weirdness of Phase 3.  Meanwhile, DC is just starting to roll out their cinematic universe with nothing but the promising-yet-problematic Man Of Steel as a foundation.  Frankly, audiences have no idea what to expect going forward and Warners has a long road ahead of them convincing the world that they've got something that's both compelling as/uniquely different from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Right now their strongest indicator is probably Suicide Squad, which will certainly feel nothing like any other comic book movie to date, for better or for worse.

I'm probably a little more optimistic than most (I quite liked Man Of Steel!) but there's no way to overstate the value of a first impression and blurry iPhone footage is the polar opposite of what Warners was shooting for here.  The DCU is already on shaky ground when it comes to public opinion.  Here's hoping they can turn it all around.

Photo credit to Redditor Thomassaurus

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