The Red Capes are Coming?

The internet is alive at the moment with talk of the first full BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE trailer that made its debut in the legendary Hall H of Comic Con yesterday.

It’s got all the fireworks, striking heroic poses and flying fisticuffs you’d expect from such a title, plus our first proper looks at Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman (in armour and wielding sword and shield), Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor (appropriately cocky and amused by the chaos erupting around him), Jeremy Irons’ Alfred (dispensing wisdom) and Holly Hunter being an awfully good sport about being an exposition machine.

We get a general idea of the direction the plot will be going. Following that really boring fight between Superman and Zod at the end of MAN OF STEEL, Kal-el (Henry Cavill) is worshiped as a god by some (a skull-faced cult, because of course), and seen as a menace to the planet by the rest, which brings him into violent conflict with Batman (Ben Affleck).

I’d say it’s a slick, pretty solidly put together piece of marketing. It shows you enough,  but doesn’t go overboard and leave you with nothing to experience for the first time when it hits the big screen. Still no appearances by Aquaman and the rest of the Justice League, but there’s time yet. It was a surprise to see Michael Shannon’s Zod make an appearance on a slab, and it makes me think someone (likely Luthor) might be conducting experiments on it to find the Last Son of Krypton’s weakness, which could be why we see Lex gazing at a lump of Kryptonite behind glass later in the trailer. Speaking of Lex, this brief look at Eisenberg with strawberry blonde locks (they’ll be going at some point) strutting around and seemingly just enjoying the show, is very promising.

What is less clear at this stage is what his final repeated proclamation: “The red capes are coming” actually means. If it was just “the capes are coming” then it could refer to all these superheroes making a splash on Planet Earth, but “red capes” seems more specifically to refer to Superman. We do see some paramilitary types overwhelming Batman in the trailer, and they look to have Superman’s “Not an S” crest emblazoned on their arms, so could it be possible that Luthor is manufacturing an army to support Superman (or at least to give that impression). We also see Supes looking an awful lot like he’s bowing to Luthor, so has Lex got some leverage over his alien nemesis? There’s certainly a lot to think on.

It looks like they’re going for grand, operatic super-serious superheroics again. The scale of the thing, and Zack Snyder sticking to the same muted colour palette as he used for Man of Steel pretty much confirms that this will be the way DC/Warner Bros will be taking their comic book adaptations for the foreseeable future. Fine, but that could get monotonous fast. At least we’ll have SUICIDE SQUAD as a bit of (hopefully) light relief post-Bats vs Supes, and who knows, maybe one of the dueling icons might crack a smile at some point? Or maybe that’s what Lex is for. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

I'm not paid to write about film - I do it because I love it. Favourites include Sam Mendes, Guillermo del Toro, Bong Joon-ho, Steven Spielberg, Danny Boyle, Edgar Wright, Taika Waititi and the Coen Brothers. All reviews and articles are original works owned by me. They represent one man's opinion, and I'm more than happy to engage in civilised debate if you disagree.
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