Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is the 161st episode of Screen Junkies comedy series Honest Trailers. It was written by Spencer Gilbert, Dan Murrell, Joe Starr, Andy Signore, Max Landis & Brett Weiner. It was narrated by Jon Bailey as Epic Voice Guy. It parodies the 2016 DC superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. It was published on July 19, 2016, to coincide with the film's release on home video and Blu-ray. It is 7 minutes 43 seconds long, the second longest Honest Trailer ever. It has been viewed over 8.9 million times.
"Get ready for the battle of the century between critics and fans." ~ Honest Trailers - Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
From Zack Snyder and his accurately-named production company (Cruel and Unusual Films) comes the blockbuster that united the world's two biggest superheroes, and divided everyone else:
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Get ready for the battle of the century between critics and fans that had the movie's most rabid supporters sending out death threats, while its harshest critics refused to admit that anything about it was cool, even though you'd be lying if you thought this wasn't awesome (shows Batman fighting several armed men) and this wasn't ridiculous:
Superman: Save Martha!
Batman: Why did you say that name?!
Warner Bros. needed a surefire megahit to keep pace with the MCU. Now, they're pairing a screenwriter who once said "'Batman vs. Superman' is where you go when you admit to yourself that you've exhausted all possibilities." (David S. Goyer) and a director who once said "Batman could get...raped in prison. That could happen in my movie." (Zack Snyder)...? Really strange choices in retrospect.
You were promised the dawn of the Justice League, and they delivered...an email attachment, as the DC Extended Universe kicks off with a folder of lo-res QuickTime videos -- who designed the logos? -- leaving audiences with a cool new Batman movie trapped inside a boring, convoluted Superman sequel trapped inside whatever cartoon Lex Luthor is from (shows clips of Lex Luthor acting crazy).
The Man of Steel you know and fear has returned, and even he's not sold on the whole Superman gig (Superman: Superman was never real.). Witness the hero who once stood for truth, justice, and the American way stand for brooding, moping, and wondering why he even bothers, as the film's main character has nothing to do but silently look constipated, get horrible pep talks from his parents (Martha Kent: Be anything they need you to be, or be none of it.), suck at his job, and refuse to fight back against his toughest opponent yet: cable news. (shows clips of people denigrating Superman on TV) Stop scowling and book an interview! Smile! Go do carpool karaoke and sing that Five for Fighting song. (singing) I'm more than a bird, I'm more than a plane. (speaking normally) My God, he's still a beefcake. Those abs are so good, you won't even notice how fake those eggs are (shows Clark Kent frying fake-looking eggs).
Watch Zack Snyder prove once and for all that the hero he really wanted to make movies about is this guy (Batman), or at least his weird, murdery fan-fic version. Ben Affleck shines as Batman, who's one part CrossFit pro, one part Superman, one part Tony Stark, one part Arkham video game, and one part...actual bat? (shows Batman hanging from the ceiling) Thrill while the world's greatest detective finally gets to do some actual detective work, as the actor we all assumed would be the worst part of this movie is, by far, the best part of this movie. Also, everything Wonder Woman did was really cool. Sorry if that seems kind of tacked-on and out of place, but, you know, so was she.
Superman: She with you?
Batman: I thought she was with you.
Of course she's with you! You sent her an email, like, half an hour ago, remember?
Watch the Dark Knight grow to hate Superman for clear, obvious reasons, while Superman grows to hate Batman back because Lex Luthor hired someone to kill a criminal Batman branded before he put him in prison, so that when Clark Kent refused to cover the local football team and investigated the Gotham vigilante instead, he would conclude that... (sighs) Look, I don't have time to explain the whole thing. Can we just roll Lex's plan real quick? (scrolling text appears - see Lex's plan below for full text)
Okay, let's see here, umm......okay, right......CIA, yeah......let's see, okay, lemme......I don't even remember that part......oh, yeah, there it is......okay, uh, Step 9a......um, I forgot about that part......pee in a jar?... ...man, this is complicated. You don't have to throw everything but the kitchen sink into your evil plan! (Batman picks up a sink and hits Superman with it) And there's the sink.
You've been waiting since you were a kid to see these two icons go toe-to-toe. Well, keep waiting for two f***ing hours, through boring Congressional hearings, so much journalism, and a semester's worth of Intro to Philosophy lectures, to finally get the awesome fight you were promised in the title, that ends after just eight minutes because their moms have the same name. (shows clips of characters saying "Martha") I know Batman's hung up on his dead parents, but come on!
Bruce Wayne: He has the power to wipe out the entire human race, and if we believe there is even a one percent chance that he is our enemy, we have to take it as an absolute certainty.
Having a mom changes none of that motivation, no matter what her name is! You can write all the essays you want convincing yourself this was brilliant. Then again, "dumb" is a one-syllable word that covers it pretty well.
So suit up for a film that was so highly anticipated, it could never have lived up to the hype, that had to deliver the fight fans have wanted to see on the big screen for decades; address the controversy around Man of Steel; make enough money to compete with Marvel; be a sequel to Man of Steel and a Batman solo movie; pander to jar-of-pee enthusiasts; form the Justice League; introduce Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, Lex Luthor, Parademons, Doomsday, Steppenwolf, the death of Superman...? Whose idea was it to cram all this into one movie? They just burned through, like, six movies' worth of good material! Ugh. But at least Suicide Squad looks pretty cool, though, right?
Starring: Batfleck Forever (Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman), Last Son of Crapped On (Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman), Lady in the Water (Amy Adams as Lois Lane), Jeremy's Iron (Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth), Hector Salamanca (Scoot McNairy as Wallace Keefe), Teenage Mutant Abomination Lord of the Rings Cave Troll (Robin Atkin Downes as Doomsday), Max Landis (Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor), Worst. Product Placement. Ever. (Jolly Ranchers), What the Hell is Even Happening Here? I Had to Ask, Like, Ten Hardcore DC Fans, And Even Some of Them Didn't Know (Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash), Xena: Warrior Cameo (Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman), A Democratic Senator From Kentucky? Pfft, Sure, Why Not? (Holly Hunter as June Finch), Tonight, A Comedian Died in Gotham (Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Thomas Wayne), Martha Wayne (Lauren Cohan), and Martha Kent (Diane Lane). Oh! Now I get it! Nope, still dumb.
Fans v. Batman v. Superman v. Critics v. Other Fans v. Executives v. Zack Snyder v. Expectations: Can't Do Them All Justice.
Clark Kent: How come Dad never left Kansas?
You let him die in a tornado, remember?
Lex's Plan Edit
1. Find out Superman and Batman's secret identities
2. Lure Lois Lane to Africa to interview a rebel general
3. Out CIA operative "Jimmy Olsen" to get the general to capture Lois Lane and ensure Superman's arrival
4. Murder the rebels and burn the bodies so Superman can be blamed
a. If any evidence gets left behind, I'm screwed
5. Bribe/coerce African villager to give false testimony to Congress so they will call Superman to testify
6. Gather information on metahumans
a. Make sure to give each one a superhero name and comic book-y logo design
7. Ask Congress for an import license to acquire a huge kryptonite rock so I can make a weapon in exchange for access to General Zod's body
a. Don't forget, creepily feed a Congressman a Jolly Rancher
b. Batman will steal this kryptonite later to kill Superman -- is this part of my plan?
8. Remove General Zod's fingerprints with a kryptonite scalpel
9. Hire inmates to kill criminals in jail with the Batman brand
a. This will totally piss Clark Kent off if he investigates this instead of covering the football game
10. Mail photos and newspaper clippings to Clark Kent with crazy writing
11. Intercept disability checks of former WayneCorp employee
12. Mail the checks back to Bruce Wayne with crazy writing
a. This will totally piss Bruce Wayne off, too
13. Invite Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent to the same charity event
14. Introduce them to each other, make it as awkward as possible
15. Give disgruntled WayneCorp employee a lead-lined wheelchair
16. Pee in a jar
17. Blow up the Capitol Building with Superman present
a. If Superman hears the bomb or somehow stops the explosion, I'm screwed...
18. Assume that this will push Batman over the edge
19. Use stolen Zod fingerprints to access crashed Kryptonian spaceship
20. Combine DNA with Zod's dead body to create a deformity
a. POSSIBLE NAME -- DOOMSDAY?
21. Kidnap Superman's mom
22. Reveal to Lois Lane that I'm an evil genius. Hopefully, she dies or something
23. Blackmail Superman into fighting Batman
a. This negates earlier work to turn Clark Kent against Batman -- don't worry about it
24. Hopefully, Batman kills Superman
25. If Batman doesn't kill Superman, hopefully Doomsday kills Superman
26. Sit back and run the company until Daddy comes back
a. If Superman survives, I'm screwed
b. If Lois Lane survives, I'm screwed
c. If Doomsday survives, I'm screwed, and so is the planet
d. If any one thing in this impossibly intricate plan over which I have almost no control over anyone's actions goes wrong, I'm screwed
e. DON'T FORGET THE JOLLY RANCHERS!!!
- Dan Murrell wrote Lex's plan.
- Brett Weiner came back especially to write this episode because he had such passionate feelings about the film. Brett Weiner created the series along with Andy Signore, and was one of the original writers.
- Screen Junkies made an even longer extended edition of this Honest Trailer which was available to Screen Junkies Plus subscribers. The video is no longer available.
- Screen Junkies also made an Honest Teaser for the teaser trailer for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- Honest Trailers have been produced for virtually every other Batman movie, including Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Batman: The Animated Series, The Killing Joke, Suicide Squad and Justice League. The most obvious omission thus far is the lack of a Batman Returns Honest Trailer.
- Honest Trailers have been produced for several other Superman movies, including Superman (1978), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Superman Returns, Man of Steel and Justice League. See list of Honest Trailers for more.
- An Honest Trailer Commentary for this episode was recorded and was available on the Screen Junkies Plus until the website/app was discontinued. Screen Junkies don't currently have any way of releasing the video.
Honest Trailers - Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has a 97.4% approval rating from YouTube viewers. Media sites were positive about the Honest Trailer and commended it for calling attention to the fans vs. critics divide, and for being even-handed in its approach. Time wrote that the Honest Trailer's alternate title was the "perfect summary" of the film. Screen Rant praised the Honest Trailer for focusing on the fans vs. critics divide, and wrote that "the trailer does a pretty equal job of bashing both those who unconditionally loved BVS despite its flaws and those who ignored everything entertaining about the film in favor of labeling Snyder's entire enterprise an abject failure." Slash Film agreed with this sentiment, writing that "Honest Trailers can be downright scathing when a film really calls for it, but this video is actually more evenhanded than most of the conversation that has surrounded this movie." In the same article, Slash Film said the Honest Trailer's main criticism ("that this film tries to do way too much") was fair. Slash Film also said Screen Junkies' attempt to map out Lex's plan was "the best job I’ve seen yet." IndieWire also found the Honest Trailer notable for calling out how much plot was crammed into one movie and for acknowledging that Ben Affleck was much better than expected.
Production credits Edit
Voiceover Narration by Jon Bailey
Title design by Robert Holtby
Series Created by Andy Signore & Brett Weiner
Edited by Dan Murrell, TJ Nordaker, & Anthony Falleroni
- Honest Trailers: Batman V Superman V Critics - Screen Rant article
- ‘Batman v Superman’ Honest Trailer Pokes Fun At The Film That Didn’t Bring ‘Justice’ to Either Hero - IndieWire article
- ‘Batman v Superman’ Honest Trailer: “What the Hell Is Even Happening Here?” - Slash Film article
- The Honest Trailer For ‘Batman V Superman’ Takes No Prisoners And Trashes Anyone And Everyone Who Watched It - BroBible article
- The Honest Trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Shows Why It Was Never Going to Make Fans Happy - Time article
- HONEST TRAILERS GETS REAL WITH BATMAN V SUPERMAN - Nerdist article