Monday, October 9, 2017

New Justice League Trailer Confirms the Centrality of Batman v Superman

Recently, a writer at Vulture tried to make the case that Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment were pivoting decidedly away from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This writer did include excerpts from interviews with Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns, but as the Suicide Squadcast pointed out, those excerpts were couched in an editorialized piece that seemed to be trying quite hard to draw a "DC is successful everywhere except the movies" narrative.

So where can fans of Batman v Superman (like us!) look if they want to actually find out whether or not BvS is being thrown under the bus as the cinematic Justice League Universe moves forward? One place to look is the new trailer for Justice League. And there we can see many, many clear indications that BvS is being honored and maintained as the centerpiece of the universe thus far.

Justice League Heroes Trailer Connections to BvS

First of all, the beautiful opening scene of the trailer builds right off of the relationship between Clark and Lois that was integral to the BvS story. It is also set on the Kent farm, which was the location for the closing sequence of BvS. And if that wasn't enough already, this scene also shows that Justice League will be following up on both of the threads leftover from BvS -- a lot of attention has been given to the death and return of Superman, which is very important, of course, but there is also the thread of Lois's engagement to a postmortem Clark. It is now clear that that will be sincerely handled in Justice League, and the trailer made this explicit connection by even including footage from BvS. (And by including the beautifully poignant Clark Kent theme by Hans Zimmer.)

Speaking of Superman's death, that was the heartbreaking conclusion of his arc in BvS and of course it will play a big part in Justice League. We get several indications of this in the new trailer, both visually, metaphorically (with Superman representing "hope"), through Bruce's dialogue ("The world needs Superman"), and again with direct callbacks to BvS ("If you seek his monument...").
Bruce, in this trailer, also talks specifically about the promise that he made to Superman, referring to the ending of BvS where he said that he "won't fail him in death," as Bruce rededicated himself to being a better hero and a better man.

Another connection that is fairly specific to this Heroes Trailer is the reference to Bruce's dream, aka the Knightmare sequence in BvS. Bruce talks about his dream ("It was the end of the world"), and yes, the parademons are back! But this narration shows that the vision he had in BvS will be explicitly included in Justice League.

Speaking of dreams, it also seems as though Snyder's narrative device of using dreams to reveal aspects of character's inner strife will continue in Justice League, at least with Lois Lane, if not others as well.

There also seem to be some direct visual echoes from Batman v Superman, that will make for a great cohesion between the films when we have Snyder's complete trilogy. And there is also the continuity of costume design, obviously, and the inclusion of BvS vehicles even beyond the batmobile, such as a new appearance of the batwing VTOL aircraft.

Finally, although this was already clear from prior trailers, we will definitely have the continuing growth of the relationship between Bruce and Diana, which began so superbly in Batman v Superman as Bruce met someone who was unlike anyone else he had ever known before, and who's mysteriousness intrigued his detective-oriented self. They will not only partner up to recruit the team but will also move forward substantially in terms of how they fight together.

We could go on, but those are some of the connections that stick out to me based on this new trailer. The links between the two movies -- Justice League and BvS -- clearly go much deeper than just the teases in BvS of Cyborg, Aquaman, and the Flash.

So having identified these strong connections between Justice League and BvS, who should we believe -- the blogger from Vulture, or the actual footage that we see with our own eyes, that was cut together by WB's professional marketing team to promote the forthcoming blockbuster?