The most recent Batman vs Superman trailer was a weird beast. It removed all of the mystery from the first trailer and replaced it with... a weird beast. Let's not dance around the campfire here: Doomsday looked bizarre (and that's putting it generously).
Weirder still, the way the new trailer removed all of the mystery from the first and basically told us straight-up, "Hey, so the big conceit of this movie, the two superheroes facing off? The one that everybody knew wasn't really the end game but we were all pretending not to? Remember that? Well, here's who they're really fighting, and here's the exact linear structure of the whole shebang! Now you can take a toilet break at any point in the first ninety minutes!"
Okay, calm down, pop a xanax - I'm not being entirely serious. There's still a lot we don't know about next year's second-most anticipated hero vs. hero epic, not least of all whether or not it'll actually be any good. And we like the not knowing, don't we? Not knowing is what gives rise to fan theories, fan theories are what keep teenagers away from porn for large chunks of the day, and the universe remains in balance.
Talking of fan theories, the last few weeks have spawned a few, some less insane than others, some surprisingly plausible, and two in particular caught my eye...
1. Return of Doomsday
A brief history of Doomsday: Born humanoid on Krypton 25 centuries ago, killed by that planet's unlivable environment, the little that remained then collected by the scientist Bertron and cloned. The process was repeated over and over, each incarnation stronger than the last, the pain of his repeat deaths giving birth to feelings of intense hatred inside the creature.
His accelerated evolution was such that soon he could survive on Krypton, at which point he killed his creator and escaped his home planet. Eventually he was killed by an energy being called the Radiant and shot into orbit, his dead body crash landing on Earth.
After being reborn as a result of his advanced evolutionary abilities, Doomsday wreaks havoc by taking out the Justice League and going to war with Superman in the '92 comic The Death of Superman. The series ends with Doomsday once again sent into orbit, chained to an asteroid but, unbeknown to anybody on Earth, very much alive.
How does this tie into the Doomsday of the Batman vs Superman trailer? Well, much like Marvel has positioned Thanos as a background threat throughout their movies, Doomsday is the perfect supervillain to loom large over DC's movie universe, particularly given the two Justice League films on the horizon.
Long story short, the theory posits that this iteration of Doomsday is the first, and that though he may be presumed dead after the film's climax, in reality he will only disappear for a while before coming back stronger in the future.
Bonus theory expansion: Lex Luthor takes on the "creator" role of Bertron in Zack Snyder's DC movies, being the scientist responsible for Doomsday's cloning and accelerated evolution, and thus making Lex a powerless villain in one sense (as in the trailer, manipulating Batman and Superman with no tools of his own) and a God-like super-creator and havoc-wreaker in another.
What are the chances? 65%. There has to be some reason Doomsday looks so laughable - this being his first incarnation would explain that. (Sort of.)
2. Where's Lex Luthor Sr.?
We know from Warner Bros.' viral marketing that Jesse Eisenberg's incarnation of Lex Luthor is in fact Lex Jr. His father, the original owner of LexCorp, died in "unexpected" fashion in the year 2000, which doesn't sound shady at all.
The same bio from the fictitious Fortune magazine mentions Lex Sr.'s unexplained fascination with "strange meteorite crystals," which can't possibly be coincidental to the fact that Lex appears to be in possession of Kryptonite in Dawn of Justice.
And there's a third element, which may or may not be a huge McGuffin: Lex's hair. Early promo pics showed Eisenberg bald, but in every piece of footage seen thus far he's in possession of a very healthy head of hair. It sounds as insane as anything you'll hear all day, but what if Eisenberg is playing the role of Lex Jr. (present day, with hair) and Sr. (flashbacks, without)?
But for what reason would Lex have killed his father (bearing in mind that he would've been (barely) a teenager at the time)? The motive remains unclear, as does the impact of that subplot on the overall story arc of the movie.
There's one more possibility: Lex Sr. isn't dead, merely in hiding, and he installed his son in his place to distract attention away from whatever plot or scientific monstrosity he's been concocting in a secret lab somewhere. That really would be an epic plot twist, and could tie in nicely with the idea of Doomsday being given the evolutionary cloning treatment post-"death" in this movie.
Bonus theory expansion: We know that Lex Jr. has political ties, as evidenced by his close relationship with Senator Finch (Holly Hunter). In DC's comics, Lex was actually President of the United States at one time. Could he be orchestrating some kind of war between superheroes that will necessitate the sale of a product or technology made by LexCorp to the government?
What are the chances? 45%. There might well be too much other stuff going on in this movie, between Doomsday and Wonder Woman and Superman being put on trial, to go for a full-on Luthor family saga - but then again, that account of Lex Sr.'s mysterious death is just begging to be investigated...
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice arrives in theaters March 2016.