OK, first up, this seems like an obvious callback to a shot from Man of Steel, where Superman is in handcuffs while in police custody. But here things are reversed, in every way. He looks like a leader. And not just a leader — those guys are going to one knee, almost genuflecting. And their helmets? Um, those look like WWII German helmets. So that’s freaky.

BUT. The biggest deal is the “S” badge on each guy’s shoulder — what looks like a red “S” to us, but we know is actually Superman’s family crest, and a Kryptonian symbol for “hope.” These guys kneel as the voiceover says “maybe he’s just a guy trying to do the right thing,” and here you might really notice the voices starting to come from specific speaker channels. This guy is on the left. Is that meaningful? Could be.

In all, this is a couple seconds of very complicated symbols and meanings.


The push-in again, getting closer. “We know better now, don’t we,” seems to contradict that question about doing the right thing. And this voice is Jesse Eisenberg, as Lex Luthor. His voice is coming from the right speaker channel — is that an indication of his political leanings?

As we get closer and closer to this statue, it really dominates everything else in the frame, just like… well, give it a second. As the camera gets right up towards the statue, we hear: “Devils don’t come from hell beneath us.”


Another voice says “no, they come from the sky,” but it might not be Luthor. For one, the voice is coming from the left again, and it sounds softer, more awestruck. Appropriate for this image which shows Superman in a very positive godlike light (ahem), one of the only times we see him as such in this footage. We could use a little more of this — more of heroes.


Now we’re right up on the statue, and this thing is threatening. We’re hearing Holly Hunter again, but it’s the voices in the back coming up that really get my attention, chanting “go home!” There’s a percussive beat for each “home!”, and the statue is finally lit.


That’s quite a reveal. Just take it in for a moment.

Just before we go to the shot below we hear the voice of Alfred, played by Jeremy Irons, saying “that’s how it starts.” But how what starts, exactly?


As Alfred talks about feelings of rage and powerlessness, we see Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, light playing on his face as he seethes. We’re going to start to see other hints of of light and dark applied to the same character as the rest of the footage goes on.


We saw this shot in the brief trailer tease a couple days ago, but there’s a tiny detail here we didn’t see — the presence of someone on the left side of frame, disappearing quickly as the shot pushes in. The edit makes it seem like this is the reverse of the shot of Bruce Wayne above. So is he dealing with problems related to powerlessness over Superman, or related to the peoples’ reaction to heroes? Or is the problem with his identity as Batman?


I mean, just look at this mask. The way it is lit — the specific highlights and shadows — make it look like it is scowling at Bruce, almost mocking him. Alfred talks about a feeling of powerlessness that turns good men cruel. But again, where does that feeling come from, in this case?

Or maybe the cowl just wants to sing. “Darkness! No parents!”


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