The "Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice" trailer has had an odd road to the movie theater. First director Zack Snyder teased the superhero showdown with a 21-second long teaser. Then, the full trailer -- an international version, mind you -- leaked, along with all the blurry, off-angle phone cam footage that implies. And then later that day, Warner Bros. pushed the official, high quality trailer online.
That's not how things were supposed to go... Or at least if they were, someone has done a masterful job of making a marketing campaign look like a hurried response to a leak. How things were supposed to happen: on April 16, fans were surprised to find out that they could apply for tickets to an exclusive IMAX event showing off the trailer. Then skip everything that happened in the middle, and cut to Monday night, April 20, when we were supposed to be getting our first public view of footage from the movie.
Regardless of leaks, trailers, teasers, whatever, all across the country, fans lined up as early as four hours before the screening time to see what was reported to be a 15 minute long presentation -- some filmed statements from Snyder, and the trailer with a few additional scenes/frames added. Plus, a lucky few would get commemorative posters to celebrate the occasion.
Does that seem like something you would wait out in the rainy New York night for? Maybe not, but superhero fans have been waiting to see Superman and Batman duke it out on the big screen for decades, so the chance to hear Ben Affleck growl, "Can you bleed?" in full IMAX glory is one that couldn't be missed.
The first surprise waiting for fans at the event? Not only would they get to see the trailer on the big screen, they'd get to see the entire movie at a preview screening, a week before anyone else. For free.
Not to editorialize too much, but Warner Bros. and comic company DC have been criticized by some sections of the Internet for their treatment -- or lack of treatment -- of the fanbase. Where rival Marvel Studios has worked their regular Hall H panels at San Diego Comic-Con into near tent revivals for geeks, DC has had a slower start.
But by holding trailer screenings for fans, and then giving said fans the entire movie, first, WB and DC are making a clear shot at rectifying their stance in the fan community.
Also, that's just cool.
Then it was time for the footage screening! Before you get too excited, there really was only one shot beyond the Zack Snyder intro, which we'll get to in a second.
The first takeaway, though? Snyder pronounced the title "Batman VERSUS Superman," so stop saying the "V" if that was a thing you were doing.
Additionally, I now feel super bad that the world's first impression of the trailer was grainy, let alone online. The booming sound, the crisp huge images all need to be seen on the largest screen possible, which was of course the original intent of this event.
In fact, as Snyder emphasized during his short filmed break before the second screening of the trailer, portions of the movie were filmed natively in IMAX. Specifically, if you've seen the teaser a million times, you know when the camera cuts to the shot of Batman in his giant metal suit, eyes glowing. From then on, the shots all filled the entire IMAX screen (and if you see if at a theater like the Lincoln Square IMAX here in NYC, you'll know that's bigger than most houses) and looked gorgeous.
...And then there's that extra scene. After cutting to the logo, we see a close-up of Superman's infuriated face. He starts to run. Batman starts to run towards him. They jump in the air, and as they're about to punch, cut to black.
I kid you not when I say my body turned into nothing but goosebumps.
Snyder assured the crowd that this was an extra scene only for the IMAX event, which is kind of unfortunate, actually. It's a perfect button to the trailer, and gives the fans (almost) what they want.
That said, having been teased, I can't wait to see the rest of the fight go down on the biggest, baddest screen imaginable. Maybe a week earlier than the rest of you? Who knows.
Anyway, on the way out we got two killer posters, and Ben Affleck personally kissed us all on the lips. JK about that last part.
"Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice" hits theaters on March 25, 2016.