DC, SDCC, and Awesome Trailers

DC puts out an amazing show for Comic Con every year. Last year, they managed to put together the special footage for Justice League, a movie that was a year and a half away at the time, while they were in the middle of filming. I had expected a few stills, or maybe a snippet of a scene. Nope! They put together an incredible first look.

Now, we’re only a few months away from the movie, and the trailer was confirmed before SDCC. I was so excited for this trailer, and it didn’t disappoint at all. It’s not that we needed to see it at all – the material we got before this did its job and hyped us up and left us wanting more – but we did want it, and I’m certainly not going to complain about DC giving me exactly what I wanted.

I have a soft spot for last year’s Comic Con footage, because that was the first look we got at the movie, and it looked great, and it started to hit me that this movie is actually happening, but everything we’ve gotten has been amazing. This trailer was no exception.

Going into this, knowing that we’d already gotten a mostly lighthearted official trailer and Comic Con footage that was essentially a trailer, I was hoping for something a little more serious, a little more thoughtful and introspective, like that gorgeous Man of Steel trailer with Jonathan Kent’s voice over, because as great as Snyder’s bombastic action sequences are, he’s at his best with the slow, quiet, beautiful scenes. I’d wanted more Cyborg, because it seemed like we’d gotten less of him than we had anyone else, and perhaps just a hint of Superman – a flash of his cape, a shot of the S, a mention of his name.

What we got was more serious than the others, and it was great. It wasn’t the MoS level, but it was heartfelt and wonderful. There were still a few jokes, and it wasn’t BvS level heavy, but we got references to Clark and how he’s a beacon of hope, Alfred talking to someone that probably was him – there was a flash of red at the bottom that could have been his cape, more Victor, references to the Green Lantern Corps. It was stunning, and I adored it.

Alfred Justice League SDCC trailer
Credit: Warner Bros.

I hate the word fun to describe movies, especially because of how it’s been used as a criticism of Batman v Superman being a serious movie. But I kind of have to use it with this anyway. This movie is going to be fun and entertaining and enjoyable. It’s still going to be a DCEU movie, a Zack Snyder movie – thoughtful, emotional, meticulously made – but it’s going to be lighter and gentler than Batman v Superman. We’ve seen that in the trailers. And that’s great. The varying tones and amount of emotional weight in the DCEU movies mean that I’m always going to have one of them I can watch, no matter my mood.

Justice League is obviously the conclusion to a story arc. It’s the lightness that comes after everyone has hit their lowest, darkest point and worked through it. And to me, that makes it a very satisfying, cathartic concept and a much richer story than had we just gotten this movie without Man of Steel and Batman v Superman preceding it. However, it’s undeniable that this movie is going to be much more in line with what critics and the general audience wants – lighter, more jokes.

I loved Man of Steel and Batman v Superman because every time I rewatch them, I catch something that I missed before. Because they’re layered and gorgeous and wonderful. They’re clever and detailed without ever being pretentious. These are movies that were clearly made by a director that loves movies, loves superheroes, loves stories. Zack Snyder doesn’t take our intelligence for granted at all. In Man of Steel, he gently guided us in the direction he wanted to go. After people apparently thought that was too subtle, he made aspects of BvS very pointed and direct, while never sacrificing the artistry or being overly in your face, and even then, he’s probably giving most viewers too much credit. Like other people have said – it’s probably the world’s most expensive indie movie. How people think his movies are just dumb action flicks where things blow up is beyond me.

I know I’m going to love Justice League. It’s going to have all the heart, emotion, beautifully written characters, and incredibly shot action sequences that the previous DCEU movies had, while never feeling like the same old thing rehashed again. The people involved with making it – Snyder, Terrio, the producers, even DC and WB – are clearly willing to take risks. They make movies that are anything but generic. Even the trailers show that off. When Justice League is great, it’s not going to be because Snyder capitulated to what critics wanted. It’ll be because he stayed true to his vision and carefully guided it through a story arc to create a smooth, elegantly developed, well paced trilogy. He earned his lightness because he went to a dark place with BvS.


You know the “reaction videos” that are always on Youtube? The ones where people watch trailers and sometimes talk about them? I know they’re kind of stupid, and it’s not like most of the people reacting are saying anything interesting or unique, and their reactions are almost always over the top and unnatural, but I find myself watching them anyway, just because I love the sense of companionship stemming from watching a trailer while someone else does and getting excited about it together. It’s such a cozy feeling. I’ve finally found a few people that can talk about how they’re excited for a different DC movie without complaining about Batman v Superman, and it’s amazing. I can’t wait for more of those videos uploaded, I need to watch like ten.

What did you guys think? Let me know!


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