The [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) trailer has finally been released! And it was worth the wait. 3.5 minutes of dramatic, gritty goodness, with the major themes revealed as CONSEQUENCES, SYMBOLISM and EVERYTHING MUST ALWAYS BE DARK AND RAINY.
Just in case you haven't caught it yet, here's a summary: Bats is angsty, Supes is going through some kind of god complex/existential crisis, and while they prepare to square off against each other the long suffering people of Metropolis rebuild their homes and offices (until the next battle which, despite all the talk of accountability, still features a lot of smashed buildings???!) There's also a brief flash of Wonder Woman (yay!), but Lex Luthor really steals the show. Don't take my word for it though! Here's the Batman vs Superman trailer in all its glory...
Ah, DC. Your orchestral scores really feed our desire for overemotional superhero drama. Brilliant.
"But Lex?" I hear you cry. "How could he possibly be the star of Batman vs Superman?" Luthor has a history of acting all his co-stars off the screen. From Gene Hackman's charm and flair for the dramatic, to Michael Rosenbaum's sympathetic kid turned all-around creep in Smallville, Luthor is just good fun to watch. Opposite a hero whose pure goodness can come off as a little bland, Lex has the freedom to be as wildly characterised as the actor wants.
Jesse Eisenberg seems to be following in this tradition already, perfectly capturing Luthor's ability to ensnare and manipulate, all masked by supposed philanthropy. As well as his fabulous taste in wigs...
Lex Luther: Man of the People
In the aftermath of Man of Steel, LuthorCorp seems to be leading relief efforts and helping to rebuild the city. Early leaked photos revealed LuthorCorp posters calling for all citizens to lend a hand. Combine this with the fact that he clearly has the Senator in his pocket, and we've got ourselves a Lex who wants the world to see him as a philanthropist. The question is, does he believe the lie?
In some versions of the story, Lex genuinely sees Superman as a threat. We caught a glimpse of an anti-Supes protest in the trailer, featuring signs painted with orders for Kal-El to "go home" and calling him an "illegal alien". This is the kind of public outcry that Lex will no doubt use to his advantage, though it is possible that he honestly thinks Superman is too much of a danger to humanity.
And that's the brilliance of this portrayal: Luthor is right. His is the voice of reason. How many people walked out of Man of Steel saying "good movie, but so much property damage!" Even fans of the film pointed out this criticism. And when you find yourself agreeing with the villain of the piece, that's when you know the villain is written well.
Pulling the strings
I feel like a lot of Lex's role in Batman vs Superman is just him gleefully grinning and yelling "fight, fight, fight" from the sidelines (before Wonder Woman inevitably clips him round the ear and pulls Batman and Superman apart). For all his talk, Luthor is clearly pitting Batman and Superman against each other, hoping they'll take each other out so he has free reign to do whatever criminal activities he has planned. (Or maybe he just really wants to know which will win.) And of course there's that kryptonite...
Is this going to be his secret weapon? Or will Lex use it to seduce Bruce Wayne to his cause? And why on Earth does he have Zod's corpse?
Speculation is swirling about Luthor, with both Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince possibly working for him, and his plans still shrouded in mystery. Whatever he's got in store for our costumed heroes, there's no doubt they'll eventually defeat him (if they didn't, that would certainly be a twist, though my money's on Wonder Woman sweeping in and taking out Lex while Batman and Superman have their showdown). But there's no way this is the last we'll see of the villainous billionaire.
Moviepilot already reported on the probability of Lex Luthor appearing in Suicide Squad, after photos revealed him training with a member of the Squad. So the future is bright for Lex: even after defeat he's not going away any time soon, and will probably be a recurring annoyance for our heroes in many of the upcoming DC Cinematic Universe films.
And you know what that means... we'll get even more fantastic wigs!