ByBrian Coverley, writer at

ENOUGH with the UNWARRANTED HATE!!!! [ re: Batman vs. Superman/DoJ (initial) trailer ]

So many people seem to want to hate the first trailer for Zach Snyder's sequel to "Man of Steel" which debuted roughly two months ago...

... I DON'T understand why ...

To me:

This [ first ] trailer suggests yet another MASTERPIECE in cinematic adaptation of two legends, who might very well be the *most* well-known superheroes in the modern/contemporary the WORLD!!


... it seems that it will also MOST faithfully offer us the [long hoped-for/dreamed-upon] "solution" to what we ardent superhero and comics fans have been complaining about, almost incessantly [ yet rightly ] since 1991: superhero (genre) films were lacking in enough sense of realism and gravitas — and thus a "Dark" (or "Dark-enough*") mood and tone.

With that said, there's something the haters don't seem to recognize, but seems pretty damn obvious to me: this sequel [ in theatres March* 2016, both domestically and overseas ] is but the 2nd Act, in a THREE-ACT STORY! [ I've no connection (thus no access) to the studios, I have zer0 "insider" info on Chris Terrio and Goyer's scripts and/or Snyder's production notes, but from what I saw from the trailer, this seems frankly self-evident.

Here's a little, Screenwriting/"Writing for Film" 101:

The 2nd Act — in a THREE-ACT structured plot — is most often: the more OMINOUS and (MORE) DRAMATIC, DOUR, and GRIM 「i.e. "DARK"」 part of a story/narrative, *BECAUSE*...

... THAT'S generally when the protagonist comes into direct contact with their principal antagonists, along with (rather, as a result) the stakes/risks of adverse consequence becoming both more apparent and severe. And more-often-than-not, said protagonist(s) may be at odds with those she/he may perceive to be their antagonists (at least at that moment/juncture in the story).

When it comes to producing a series of films (and generally it's a series of three, through it can entail more), filmmakers tend to rely upon a formula for effective storytelling, one that's derived purely from a schema that's worked for tens of thousands of years (... just ask Homer, or, Aeschylus, or Aristotle, Socrates and Plato, and their possible headache/gadfly, Aristophanes), a formula most commonly employed because its demonstrated to be "tried and true" ...

That formula? Transpose that same, fundamental THREE-ACT structure of storytelling, onto their proposed series of films (be it trilogy or quartet/quintet/sextet/etc). Said series (if conceptualized clearly and produced in adherence) should be able to have each of its components — each film — experienced and valued on its own merits, yet give an audience the strong impression that its part of a greater whole, but also conveying that the whole (once realized by we, the audience) is more than just a summation of its parts.

And within this formula, the second film of a filmmaker's trilogy generally has a decidedly more TUMULTUOUS, and GRIM yes: Darker theme, (thus) tone/mood.

Case(s) In Point:

Consider these three trilogies of film [ and therein, narrative ]:

Star Wars: Episodes IV - VI [i.e. "A New Hope", "The Empire Strikes Back", and "Return of the Jedi" ... but especially "The Empire Strikes Back"]

Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy [ it's very worth mentioning, that these films were made with either scripts by, or significant input from the talented and prolific David S. Goyer; most likely this fact was not only not overlooked, but actually favorably considered by "the gatekeepers" (and purse-holders) of Hollywood ]

Sergio Leone's "Dollars Trilogy" [ aka "Trilogia del dollaro"; aka "Man With No Name Trilogy" ]

• The first [and best] three of Ridley Scott's "Alien" franchise

• The first [and best] three of the "Dirty Harry" films

Without a doubt I believe, the second film of each series mentioned, clearly exhibited what I had mention earlier:

• The risks to and for the protagonist(s) are more intense (more dangerous); the consequences (if he/she fails) more severe ... simply put, the stakes are raised.

• The chief protagonist(s) confronts an antagonist (or cadre/group of such) who is (are) not what they've encountered before, and that encounter will demand more from the protagonist(s) in order to be defeated, often in the forms of newly arrived insight and resourcefulness, which comes from their achieving a significant/meaningful evolution [ Arc ] in their nature...

• The protagonist(s) often encounters further intensification of conflict from other characters, who (generally) aren't anathema to the views and nature of the protagonist(s), but who nonetheless seem to be at odds with them (for whatever reasons)... giving an audience (at least) the impression that the protagonist is beset with conflict from all sides; thus further spurring said protagonist to "dig Deep(er)" within themselves, to find the capacity and means to overcome the conflicts/obstacles.

In other words: I believe we got a glimpse (through the trailer) of what will be the 2nd Act of a THREE-ACT narrative... one that may even bring a smile to Joseph Campbell

Lastly, I have to say this –– Based on this first trailer, I feel it's More Than just "ok", that the theme/tone/mood of the coming sequel to "Man of Steel" seems so ... "Dark". Actually, it's GREAT!! Here's Why:

It wasn't that long ago*, that millions of fans (?and some would-be/closet-fans?) of superheroes suffered longstanding dismay, or perhaps (justified) abject grief from to how their favorite, (generally) costumed champion/Avenger/crusader/guardian/vigilante would be portrayed on the silver screen... A few nights earlier [ to publishing this], I had the unenviable "treat" of watching Tim Burton's "Batman Returns" again. And as I watched ... two, predominant thoughts kept whirling:

• Since "Batman Returns" [ 1992 ], Hollywood has come quite far in its understanding and thus appreciation of the superhero [ and let's not kid ourselves: that road of evolved understanding was long and quite bumpy ... and clearly the industry still far to go, in many aspects ] 

• I'm more than simply grateful that since 2005, the (Hollywood) movie industry seems to be genuinely trying to appreciate the tenet that Batman was never, ever meant to be ... camp. He is meant to be somber. GRIM. And initially (or at least ostensibly), he's not a superhero who ".... plays well with others". He's a cynic, and therefore he looks upon anything (or anyone) that seems "Too Good to be True" as anything BUT. [ I'd like to also mention that these character traits are eventually revealed to be detrimentsflaws that he must overcome — yet they are also some of the key [ character ] traits that inspire and drive him to become ".... the World's Greatest Detective" ]

And while it may not — should not — be lost on any true fan of Batman, I feel I have to mention another factoid: As of February 2016, it will exactly 30 years, since the debut of Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" ... and I'll declare that it will also be the first time, Miller's rendering of Batman, truly comes to the silver screen ... at least "in spirit". [ Don't get me wrong, Christopher and Jonathan Nolan should be given due credit and praise — I genuinely adore "Batman Begins"; have an overall, high regard for the sequel "The Dark Knight" and for the most part I like the trilogy's conclusion ... provided I decide to not use my brain throughout the most if not all of it ... ]

In short:

All you haters, hating on this trailer, trying to "forecast" that it somehow bodes ill for us moviegoers; bellowing that Zach Snyder vision and Chris Terrio's narratives and effort shouldn't be given The Benefit of the Doubt?


*STFU* and *STFD*


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