"Is it really surprising, that the most powerful man in the world, should be a figure of controversy?" -Taken from Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice"
The same could most definitely be said about Warner Bros. upcoming blockbuster, Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Ever since its announcement at SDCC '13, the film has been met with both excitement and negativity, negativity perhaps undeserved. These are 5 reasons why I personally believe that BvS is being treated unfairly. This is just my opinion, and is also my first article so try to be open minded, and also... be gentle.
1. Ben Affleck as Batman
This reason comes in at number one for me because it has mostly subsided in recent months, however, it was a very different story in 2013.
When it was first announced that Ben Affleck was to be the next actor to don the cape and cowl, the internet went ablaze. Ben Affleck has spoken about how the first internet reaction he saw after his casting read "Ben Affleck as Batman? NOOOOOO" This was a mild reaction compared to most fans. I admit I was indeed unhappy at first, with The Dark Knight Trilogy still very fresh in my mind, I had high expectations for the casting of the new Batman, especially the Batman that would get to fight Superman. However, I soon began to realize what a brilliant casting choice this was, after revisiting films such as The Town, Argo, and Gone Girl, I began to see what a versatile actor Affleck actually is. Also (and this is where the aforementioned "be gentle" part comes in) I do not hate Daredevil, the director's cut is a much better film and Affleck showed signs of potential even back then, specifically the scene where we are introduced to Daredevil in the bar fight followed by the subway scene, you can really tell that Affleck has what it takes to be a truly kick-ass Batman. Surely enough, after 3 full length trailers, a handful of TV spots and various images from BvS, almost all of the ones who were complaining about his casting are silent. While there are still doubters out there, this is not even close to the biggest reason this film is being mistreated and underestimated....
2. "The trailer showed too much! I've seen the whole thing now!"
Now with this one, I can understand the fan frustration, but I myself was just more excited afterward. Last summer, fans were delighted when the Comic-Con trailer for BvS debuted online, but for those who are not familiar with the characters past match-ups, or those ignorant to the idea of Batman coming to blows with Superman, the trailer raised questions such as "Why would Batman fight Superman!?! Aren't they buddies!?! Wouldn't Superman squash Batman like a bug!?!" all of which are valid questions to the regular, non-comic book reading joe. It is my personal belief that Warner Bros. sought to alleviate these questions by providing curious viewers with a sight of something that could bring the heroes together after their brawl, and since the title basically confirms BvS is also a Justice League beginnings film, they presumably were thinking "let's give them a look at the big villain, that'll amp things up" and did it ever.
Once again, BvS set the internet ablaze. This time we were treated to internet trolls dousing us with memes featuring ninja turtles, The Abomination, and really poorly photoshopped bone spurs over Doomsday. Whether you like the look of him or not, the revealing of Doomsday should in no way reflect on the film. "But we know they team up in the end now, the movie is ruined WE KNOW EVERYTHING!!!" No. No we don't. Doomsday has been rumored to be an additional villain for a very long time now, so while it was surprising to see him in a trailer, this doesn't take anything away from the film (at least for me). BvS is reported to be 2 hours and 31 minutes long, we know nothing except for what they decide to show us. It is also evident that Warner Bros. has listened to the fans, since Doomsday has been absent from all trailers, TV spots, and merchandising, I think it is safe to say that the films secrets still remain intact.
3. Zack Snyder
This is where I draw the line and start disagreeing with people. While he does not have the longest film career in the sea of directors, I believe there is no one better than Zack Snyder to kick off the DC Extended Universe. Looking at his resume, I find only encouragement, but, people are constantly questioning his capability to bring us a worthy BvS film. The popular response is "The guy who made Sucker-Punch and that Owl movie? Yeah right." To those people I say: Watchmen and 300. Not only are these two films exceptional in almost every category, they are also extremely faithful to their source material, which is something I believe the comic book movie desperately needs. Don't get me wrong, I rarely am disappointed with a Marvel film, but they have not been the most faithful to their characters' respective origins/stories, and this is where Snyder will hit a home run. Not only is he capable to give us a visually stunning film, but a very faithful adaptation of Batman which, frankly, we haven't exactly gotten (not to take anything away from previous Batman films).
Another popular complaint regarding Snyder is "Well, he can't tell a solid story" and being that Watchmen and 300 did not need much addition from their source materials in terms of story, this brings up a valid argument. But, to those who are worried about Snyder's ability to tell us a great BvS story, you need not worry. While the film is being directed by Snyder, it has been written by David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight Trilogy) and Chris Terrio (Argo). This trio of creative minds is sure to give us the film we've all been dying to see, in terms of both visuals and story-telling.
And don't worry I didn't forget about Man Of Steel, its time here will come. But for now, on to the next one!
4. Marvel Cinematic Universe
DUM DUM DUMMMMM!! It had to happen, the inevitable war between all things Marvel and DC! Hero against hero, villain against villain, FAN AGAINST FAN.
While the world is not shy of its Marvel vs. DC fanboys, I am not one of them. I embrace the idea that we can just have these films and enjoy them, as we're lucky to be even getting films as big as these in the first place. However, I think BvS (and the upcoming DCEU film slate for that matter) are being unfairly compared to the MCU.
A popular complaint is that BvS is introducing too many characters too quick, and that they're doing this all in an attempt to catch up to Marvel, again, I must disagree. While DC is behind in the comic book movie race, I believe they will be taking a totally different approach to uniting the characters that we are going to see in Dawn Of Justice. I do not have a particular theory but I have serious doubts that Warner Bros. just decided to throw in Wonder Woman, The Flash and Aquaman for the sole purpose of catching up to Marvel. I don't foresee Warner Bros. and DC sticking to the ever popular "solo movie, solo movie, solo movie, team up movie" routine that Marvel has used. Perhaps the uniting of their characters will be more of a situational team-up as opposed to The Avengers being recruited over the course of several years. But until March, we're still left speculating which brings us to my final topic that I feel is being unfairly held against BvS....
5. Man Of Steel
See! I didn't forget it.
Man of Steel, not unlike its' predecessor Superman Returns, divided audiences. With a more serious tone, and more excessive action sequences, viewers are still unsure of what to make of the Snyder directed reboot. For Me, this film is the biggest reason for my excitement for BvS. Was MoS a perfect film? Definitely not. However, I love the direction they took the iconic character, and for someone who isn't the biggest Superman fan, that means a lot. In the wake of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, fans genuinely seemed to like the realistic tone of the films, and we were bound to get another adaptation along the same lines as those films, thus we were given Man Of Steel. I feel with this film Snyder not only revitalized this character, but gave us a universe where heroes such as Batman, Aquaman, and Green Lantern could exist, which is something DC has been attempting for years.
As far as the films criticisms go, I don't think Snyder is to blame. I'm sure while making MoS, Warner Bros. was demanding much more action than Superman Returns, does that justify leveling Metropolis? Not really, but they have now made themselves a vessel to carry us to the next story, which we have seen will play a huge part in BvS.
So how is this relevant? What's the purpose? The relevance is this:
Man Of Steel was in no way a perfect film, but I think it was the perfect start to a broader, heavily interconnected, universe where DC's best stories can not only be told in stellar fashion but can also feel as real as possible. And now because of Man Of Steel, we are getting the superhero film that fans have been begging for for decades: Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice
While this may have come across as an avid fan ranting about why people should be excited for a film, that's not the goal here. These were just some criticisms that I feel are unfairly being used against BvS by certain filmgoers. Will the movie be perfect? No film ever is, but, I'm willing to bet that it will exceed expectations, and have many people saying "Ok, I was wrong, bring on the Justice League!!"
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters March 25th, 2016.