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Will Batman And Superman Smile In 'Dawn Of Justice'? An In Depth Analysis

Why don't you smile, Batman? You have such a pretty smile.

With the debut of the brand new "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" trailer last night (December 3) came so many burning questions about the upcoming superhero throwdown... But none more pressing than this: are Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) going to crack a smile at any point during the movie? At all? Even for a second?

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm all for serious explorations of superheroes and how the idea of how a man with nearly unlimited power would be treated in real life society. But at the same time... It's Superman. He can fly. He saves people. He's a symbol of hope, a beacon that lets the world know they can be better and do better. He's the hero that the world deserves, and the one it needs right now.

Instead, we're getting a Man of Steel who -- at least in promo footage -- seems moodier than a barrel of goths.

Batman, whatever, his parents died, we're used to it. But even Bruce Wayne smiles sometimes. That's the mask he wears, pretending to be a joyous playboy so that no one will suspect that he's the Dark Knight. Here, Affleck looks like someone told him "Gigli 2" just got greenlit.

Look, we're still months away from the March 25, 2016 debut of the film, so who knows what will happen when we finally see the full movie? But in order to speculate a bit more about whether we might see a grin, or maybe just the corner of one of their mouths turn up just a little, we took a look not just at the footage from the new trailer, but every piece of footage released so far, 112 shots and scenes in total -- in order to determine, once and for all, if Batman and Superman smile in "Batman V Superman."

Updated January 9, 2016: I've added in four additional stills from the recently released first TV spot, bringing the total to 116 scenes/shots.

Updated January 14, 2016: Conan O'Brien released an extended version of the Batmobile ripping open/"Do you bleed?" scene, so added those screengrabs in, too!

  • The first image from the teaser trailer...
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    ...And not a smile to be seen. Even the skeleton people aren't smiling, and skulls are usually pretty happy.

  • Superman, grimacing under the weight of a space capsule.
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  • People are bowing to him...
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    ...which should be nice, but pretty sure Superman isn't smiling here.

  • Is Superman smiling in this picture?
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    Can't see his face, so we don't know. But he's flying, which is fun, and someone is reaching out for his help, which is nice, so maybe? Unless the person is like, "no, don't save me, I want to die in this tornado instead," and it reminds him of his dead adoptive dad.

  • Even the statue of Superman isn't smiling.
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    They really captured his lack of smiling.

  • Batman, pictured here not smiling.
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    He's probably remembering that time his parents died.

  • Batman's costume, possibly smiling?
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    The Bat-cowl almost looks like a smile. This is probably the closest we're going to get to a grin, folks.

  • Hard to tell, but...
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    ...Batman immediately bows his head sadly after this shot, so we're gonna guess he's not smiling.

  • Still sad, still Batman.
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  • He's facing away from the camera, so maybe he's smiling?
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    Though he's holding a gun and looking into the sunset, so maybe not. Either way, unclear.

  • Definitely not happy here.
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  • Very blurry and far away, but...
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    ...Superman is PROBABLY not that happy in this shot, unless he's like, "hey it's my sad friend, Batman! Hooray!"

  • Let's just assume...
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    ...Batman isn't suddenly smiling in the rain in his electric, heavy metal Bat-suit.

  • Superman, definitely not smiling.
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    Instead, he's angrily landing on the ground. As I recall from the extended, IMAX version of this scene, Superman and Batman then both snarl at each other, and jump to punch each other in the face. They're not smiling while that happens.

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    And sure, Comic-Con is a fun time! But we can tell you Superman isn't smiling here. Why? Check out the next, continuous shot.

  • That's not a happy Superman.
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  • Still not happy.
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  • Like, kind of pissed off, actually.
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  • Batman, also not happy.
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  • Hard to tell, is Batman hap-- just kidding he's screaming in anger.
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  • Hugging a child is nice, but Batman sure isn't smiling about it.
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  • Here's a wide shot, where he's smiling even less than in the close-up.
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  • Maybe because he's Batman, all these shots are upside down like a bat and he's really smiling.
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  • Or maybe Affleck's actually playing a character called The Frowner?
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  • No idea what's going on here, but it definitely doesn't involve smiling.
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  • Superman's being told off by his boss...
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    ...So of course he's not smiling.

  • Also not smiling here.
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  • Not clear here due to smallness, but...
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    ...I'm gonna assume no on the whole smiling thing.

  • The corners of his mouth are turned up, yet somehow Superman still isn't smiling.
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    I'm actually kind of impressed, this is really hard to do. It's like the opposite of smizing. Frowzing, maybe?

  • Probably not smiling.
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  • In over three minutes of footage, this is the first time someone has smiled.
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    And it's Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), the bad guy. Does that tell you anything about this movie?

  • "I'm really not happy you're smiling, Lex."
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  • Batman, not happy the Joker killed Robin.
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    I'm assuming. About the "Joker killing Robin" thing, not the "not happy" thing. Batman is definitely not happy here.

  • Hey look, here's Wonder Woman, also not smiling.
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  • Tough call on this one, but it's definitely not a smile.
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    But it's also sort of not a frown! Maybe it was Batman's birthday in this shot, and he was like, "yay, cake," and then remembered his parents weren't going to get him any presents, because they're dead.

  • Superman not smiling in a nightmare sequence.
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    The nightmare sequence is this entire movie.

  • Batman smile count, still at zero.
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  • "I took a bat as my symbol of sadness."
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  • An entirely different shot of Batman looking into the sky, not smiling in his metal glowing-eyes Bat-suit while rain pours down.
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  • This is the actual shot where Batman sees his parents die, so no, he's not smiling.
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  • Some serious frowzing in this shot.
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  • Hey, Wonder Woman is smiling! So she's the fun one, always goofing off and--
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  • JUST KIDDING.
  • Batman, not smiling in his adorable coat and goggles.
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  • A little hard to tell, but Batman isn't smiling in this picture.
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  • "Wait, you want me to WHAT for the camera? No thanks."
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  • Superman is surprisingly not smiling about his friend Batman jumping on him.
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  • Batman is also not smiling about jumping on his friend Superman.
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  • This is another shot of Wonder Woman not smiling.
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  • It's like Superman is holding his breath like a baby and shooting fire from his eyes at the same time.
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    Also not smiling, of course.

  • You're dressed as a bat and get to use a cool zipline, for the love of god, crack a smile. Please.
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  • "Kissing you makes me so... What's the word? Concerned."
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  • Tell me that isn't the face of a pissed-off baby holding their breath. Just try and tell me.
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  • Again, hard to tell on this one with the motion blur, but probably no smile.
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  • Not smiling.
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  • Look, it's both of them not smiling at the same time.
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  • Now, on to the footage from the teaser released earlier this week!
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    "Oh no, did I smile in my sleep? Please tell me I didn't smile in my sleep."

  • Batman is surprisingly not happy about being chained up.
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  • Still no smile.
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  • "Welcome to Frowntown, population, me."
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  • "Make that, population two, Batman."
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  • Not smiling.
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  • What has two thumbs and loves frowning?
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    Superman!

  • Batman also has two thumbs and loves frowning.
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  • Come on down to Frowntown.
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  • Still kind of think the Bat-cowl is smiling.
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    Superman, however, is not.

  • And finally, we get into the trailer that dropped last night...
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    Batman is pulling up to a charity event for orphans without smiles.

  • Superman, not smiling on the red carpet.
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  • "You say it's a... Happy expression?"
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  • Oh man this is SO CLOSE to a smile.
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    Like, if Batman was 10% less annoyed we could call it. But he's not. He's annoyed.

  • Superman, here confused that Batman might smile before he does.
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  • Kidding, Batman's still super bummed out.
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  • Wait, is that--
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    I... I think Superman might actually be pleased to see Batman!

  • ...Or maybe he's just tricking him.
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    Gotcha, I wasn't smiling. F--k you, Batman.

  • Batman is not pleased by this turn of events.
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  • Spoiler: this half smirk is the most smiling you're going to get out of both of them, in any of the footage.
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    I guess you can stop reading this article now.

  • "Reporters don't smile, Batman. We are serious."
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  • "Oh, I'm serious too, Superman. So serious."
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  • "I'm... I'm way more serious. Way more."
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    (Superman starts crying a little to prove how serious he is.)

  • Here's a close-up of that earlier shot with the rocket, to prove Superman wasn't smiling.
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  • Serious amount of frowzing in this one.
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  • This is just straight up frowning.
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  • Batman is talking about how he doesn't like clowns in this shot.
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    "I also do not like fluffy puppies or rainbows." (NOTE: Yes, I know he's talking about The Joker, leave me alone.)

  • This is just a silent shot of Superman frowning.
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    I'm not even making things up at this point.

  • Same, but for Batman. No dialogue, just frowning.
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  • Even Lex Luthor's goofball dorkwad dialogue can't cheer these sourpusses up.
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  • Hard to tell, but... You know the drill.
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  • This is like those shots of no smiling in the rain, but with fire this time.
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    All we need is wind and earth and we're GTG.

  • Batman's like, "Oh god, no Superman, please, I'll smile."
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  • "Just give me a second to figure how a human mouth works so I can--"
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  • Batman, not smiling despite having a cool plane named after him.
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  • Not smiling.
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  • Can't see his face, but Batman is shooting Superman with guns so I'm gonna go out on a limb and say there's no smile here.
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  • Nope.
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  • Nah.
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  • Are you kidding?
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    He's being attacked by bug monsters (probably actually parademons), of course he's not smiling.

  • No smiles here!
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  • Superman's smiling!
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    Just kidding, no idea but probably not.

  • Uh-uh.
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  • No way.
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  • Blurry background Superman, probably not smiling.
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  • In focus foreground Superman, definitely not smiling.
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  • Batman's just seen Doomsday, which he's not smiling about.
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  • Same.
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  • Is Superman hiding his head so we can't see that he's secretly enjoying this?
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    Probably not.

  • Not a smile.
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  • Surprise, it's Wonder Woman!
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    Not a surprise, she's not smiling either.

  • She just saved their lives, and they still don't look that happy to see her.
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  • Nope, mainly just surprised, but not in a happy way.
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    Batman doesn't like surprises because one time his parents surprised him with a trip to the theater and then they died.

  • Scowl Squadron Assemble!
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    Who am I kidding, this shot is badass. But they're still not smiling.

  • Look, they even zoom in on Wonder Woman's angry expression for the final shot!
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  • On to the first TV spot, in which Superman is nonplussed about getting hit by the Batmobile.
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  • After getting out of the Batmobile, Batman doesn't smile when he asks Superman about whether or not he can bleed.
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  • Superman is also not smiling when he basically flashes Batman a, "b--ch, please" look.
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  • Batman is not smiling about that look he just got from Superman, though he is looking a shocking amount like George Clooney.
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  • ...And we get more of that TV spot scene via "Conan," starting with a shot that may have been shown before but honestly I can't tell at this point.
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    Batman is definitely not smiling, though.

  • Superman is pissed off he doesn't know how to properly open car doors.
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  • "I am doubtful about my ability to smile at this point, tbh."
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  • "I am also doubtful and that makes me mad."
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  • Bonus: here they are not smiling in real life.
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    Except for Gal Gadot, who seems like a pleasant human being.

Verdict: no, they probably won't smile a whole lot in the actual movie. And I get what the objections to this will be... It's called "Batman V Superman," not "Batman Loves Superman!" The stakes are world threatening! It's a SERIOUS movie for SERIOUS people.

...But I don't want that. I absolutely want to see superheroes in life-threatening situations, using their insane powers to save the world. But at the same time, I want to see more than one thing in the movie. To be fair, the new trailer does exhibit at least some sense of humor, mostly through Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor.

But it's the Superman of it all that sticks in my craw. The creators of "Man of Steel" have discussed how that movie was his origin -- and if "Dawn of Justice" is his transition into being the inspirational, hopeful Superman known all over the world, I'm all for that; I just wish we didn't have to wait two whole overly grim movies to see it happen.

Oh, and let's not get into Batman using guns. That's a whole other thing entirely.