OP ED: Why ‘Batman v Superman’ had to show Doomsday



Finally, after many months of waiting, speculating and wondering when the next Batman v Superman trailer would make its way online it happened. Many folks were overjoyed that this new trailer showed some new footage. However, there was a good fraction of the crowd that truly believe the footage went overboard and showed far too much. Maybe Zack Snyder and the WB Marketing team did overstretch and give us too much this time around. That aside, the other major complaint which was much louder online than the too much footage issue was the reveal of Doomsday. Many fans were quite frustrated that this new trailer revealed the big baddy in the film, which was Doomsday. Personally, I think that it was a great idea to show that Doomsday was in the film during the trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and there are plenty of reasons to WHY he had to be shown during the final moments of the trailer.

Back in May, Umbero “El Mayimbe” Gonzalzez came on Shanlian on Batman (Episode 31) and shared to the world that Doomsday was in fact the big baddie in the film, and last weeks trailer confirmed El Mayimbe scoop that indeed Doomsday was in the film. Last week’s trailer finally gave us our first glimpse of that villain who many believe is one of Superman’s better villains in the DC universe. It seemed that people were pretty split along the lines 50/50 on the overall look, but the overall look of a character is ultimately subjective. Social Media’s knee jerk reaction of this reveal in the trailer was overwhelmingly negative. It could probably be safe to say that over 90% of the online community thought that Snyder and the Marketing Department over at Warner Bros. should have waited until the film actually came out in March. However, I strongly believe that Warner Bros. played it smart by actually showing that villain in the trailer.

This latest trailer was more or less a ‘hype’ video for this film. It has been well documented that the Civil War teaser trailer that was just released which actually last  was checked bested this Batman v Superman trailer almost 2:1. Do trailer views lead to more money at the box office? Perhaps. But, at the end of the day WB and this new DCEU has an uphill battle that they are facing when it comes to getting their shared universe into the stratosphere like the MCU has. Perhaps the overall thinking over at WB was it should show the villain to get more people excited over him squaring off with our DC heroes. Could it possibly be that WB was afraid that a leaked photo of Doomsday would either make it online or a toy would find its way out on Amazon, and would actually spoil the look of him in the film? We did just see that Aquaman toy leak all over the internet highway. But lets not forget that the potential real reason why WB decided to show Doomsday off (complete speculation) was that they know they need to put their best foot forward with this new DCEU franchise since Marvel has been making great films since 2008.

Lets not forget that there have been 12 Marvel films so far and total ticket sales of those films reach over 9 Billion dollars. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been crushing it since its inception 7 years ago, and it doesn’t seem like that money train of success is slowing down anytime soon. Even Ant-Man produced half a billion dollars at the box office. 2016 will be no slouch for the MCU either, not only is Captain America: Civil War coming out, but they will also have Doctor Strange ready in the latter half of the year.

So this new DC Extended Universe has a lot of catching up to do. Like it was said previously the new trailer shouldn’t be thought of as only a trailer, but a hype video for the film. The reason it had to show so much and had to show the ‘big baddie’ was it has to compete  not only against Civil War, but Deadpool as well. That film comes out a few months before BvS and that film is going to make tons of money for Fox.

Doomsday HAD to be shown this early in the marketing of the BvS film. Sure, maybe there could have been another way to do it, maybe just have Lex in the trailer say the words “Doomsday” and the comic book fans would get that reference, but the fact remains these films are not made for comic book fans anymore. Comic book fans that love the source material and read comics regularly are the minority. This superhero genre is now for the general movie audience, not just the die hard fans of the original comic book source material. Sure that statement might rub a few people the wrong way, but lets face facts. Comic book fans are just a small fraction of the audience of who actually go and view these films at the theatre. These films are made for mass consumption, and appeal to so many to different genders, ethnicities etc… Batman v Superman has appeal to a very wide mass of audience to make its money back and to not be seen as a colossal failure. Only saying that one very cryptic word would probably not bait the everyday movie to seeing that film anymore. But seeing that villain on the big screen might tantalize their pallet just enough to buy tickets opening day.

The fans of the MCU have always complained that those MCU films really don’t have a strong villain presence throughout their franchise. Their really hasn’t been a good villain presented on screen, unless you consider the Fake Mandarin in Iron Man 3 the best of all the Marvel films. Many were disappointed when it was revealed at the end that twist that made many people scratch their heads in disappointment over that reveal. The Robert Redford character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier might actually be the best villain that the MCU has had thus far. For having so many films already completed none of those villains really stick out. In the Iron Man franchise, Iron Man usually fights his own technology even through the Avengers films. Now don’t get me wrong me wrong I’m not trying to disparage those Iron Man movies those films are really enjoyable especially the first one, didn’t care for Iron Man 2 as much but those films are not giant lumps of dog crap. Loki is a great villain, but when you think of him in the MCU you see him tow the line of being an anti-hero maybe just a little bit more than you should. Maybe this is the way you really jump start this new DCEU franchise by giving a great follow-up villain to General Zod and raising those stakes with Doomsday. Doomsday is a formable foe to our DC heroes, and he is one of the few who can stand toe to toe in a battle with the Man of Steel. Doomsday killed Superman back in the 90’s in The Death of Superman comic book arc.

Showing Doomsday won’t hurt the overall viewing experience of this film, it was the natural progression of who the next villain would be in the next DC film. After Doomsday was finally revealed most people were thrilled with it so much, that they started talking about who the next villain would be in the Justice League film. Perhaps Darkseid might make an appearance  since there were Parademons in this latest trailer. Nonetheless, this film will not fail at the box office or even be looked down upon by the critics just because they showed who the villain was of this film in a trailer months prior. Don’t they always show villains in every single comic book film trailer anyway? The only one that I can think of that wasn’t revealed recently was Two-Face in The Dark Knight. Nolan and company kept a lid on that one for the most part until that film was finally released in summer 2008. Villain talk aside, the only thing that should really matter should be if Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is great and lives up to our expectations. Was it worth the extra year that the filmmakers needed to create this new world? With that being said we should be looking forward to seeing Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the DC heroes facing off against Doomsday come March of 2016.



Justin E. Shanlian

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