WELL, THAT HAPPENED: Tale of two blockbusters

By on April 23, 2015
Photo: LucasFilm

Photo: LucasFilm

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Last week, teaser trailers for the two most anticipated big-budget films of the next two years were released within days of each other. The first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out last November, making this trailer the second glimpse at the blockbuster. But it was the first time we got to see footage from Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

I’ll just go ahead and confess that I am a way bigger Star Wars fan than I should be and am 100 percent biased in favor of the franchise over those of Superman and Batman. Not only that, the moment I discovered the existence of this second Star Wars teaser I let out an audible gasp of shock and literally could not click play for a good two minutes due to sheer nerdgasming. And I wonder why I’m still single.

In fear of overanalyzing these teasers, I won’t go into too many specifics as to what they reveal (you are more than welcome to marathon them as much as you wish), but brass tacks: Star Wars: The Force Awakens showed us new characters, as well as Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew (Han Solo and Chewbacca) in costume for the first time since 1983. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice showed Ben Affleck as Batman facing off against Henry Cavill’s Superman in a joyless, dark and moody cityscape. Is my bias showing already? Damn.

I’ve loved every single Marvel Comics movie thus far (minus 2005’s craptastic Elektra) from Spider-Man to Guardians of the Galaxy. But for some reason I cannot get behind DC Comics. For those unaware of the difference, Marvel represents enterprises such as The Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men, etc., while DC Comics handles Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and any other Justice Leaguers. Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were two of the best superhero movies in the last decade, but honestly, DC has been trailing in the wake of the powerhouse that is Marvel Studios.

A study in 2014 revealed that if you take into account every Marvel and DC property that had been adapted into a film, DC has made approximately $8.9 billion on ticket sales, whereas Marvel has grossed $17.7 billion. That is a huge, huge gap for DC to close, but they seem very intent on closing it. The Dawn of Justice subtitle is meant to indicate that a Justice League movie is on the way, joining up the two lead characters as well as Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern and others.

DC must have seen the success of Marvel’s The Avengers franchise and got wide-eyed.

I can see why some people enjoyed 2013’s Man of Steel, which rebooted the franchise with Henry Cavill in the lead role, but I thought the film as a whole was too depressing and serious for the subject matter. Nolan’s Batman trilogy certainly changed the game for dark and gritty superhero films, but it seems like DC doesn’t want to shake that habit anytime soon. There’s not a single hopeful or humorous moment in the Batman vs. Superman teaser. It’s just dark and rainy and everyone looks pissed off.

(Clears throat)… The Star Wars teaser, on the other hand, rekindled our nostalgia with familiar sets and images, while also pumping in some darkness and violence and then gave us an amazing shot of two beloved characters. Since these two trailers came out so close together, it’s hard not to compare them. And since I am such a nerd, I have no qualms about picking favorites.

This is just the beginning of the marketing campaigns for both films, so we’ll be sure to see more footage and trailers as the months go on. I can only hope that Batman vs. Superman offers up some more optimistic footage, maybe with a bit more sunlight.

About Andrew Munz

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