New ‘Suicide Squad’ Trailer Takes More Shots at Superman
It would be an exaggeration to call Batman v Superman a box office bomb, but to say it performed well under Warner Bros.’ expectations is just about right. The film paired two of the most recognizable superheroes in the world, and promised to set up an whole new interconnected, multi-film franchise, and now it looks like it’s not going to crack $1 billion at the international box office, and might not even make as much money as Deadpool did in the United States.
Fortunately for Warner Bros., the buzz is substantially more positive for Suicide Squad. The upcoming film from tough guy director David Ayer (End of Watch) teams up a whole group of DC supervillains, including pop culture icon Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie. The first official trailer (after the Comic-Con presentation footage was leaked) set the action to the tune of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The second trailer, which premiered earlier tonight, is set to the tune of Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz.” Someone on the film’s marketing team is a big fan of Wayne’s World, obviously.
And indeed, like the first (official) Suicide Squad trailer, the new trailer is clearly establishing itself as an entertaining time at the movies. Dark, certainly, and as visually heightened as DC’s other recent superhero outings, but more freewheeling than Batman v Superman, which was all doom and gloom and portent from a tonal perspective.
But listen to how this trailer begins and tell me it doesn’t sound like Warner Bros. isn’t doubling down on its Batman v Superman rhetoric:
Here, let me transcribe that for you:
“Gentlemen, ladies, what if Superman had decided to fly down, rip off the roof of the White House, grab the President right out of the Oval Office. Who would have stopped him?”
While conventional wisdom is so far suggesting that Warner Bros. is trying to separate Suicide Squad from Batman v Superman in the eyes of the public, their new trailer suggests otherwise. It opens with the exact same anti-Superman sentiment that formed the basis of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And granted, it’s not an unreasonable sentiment within the world of these movies, and it certainly makes a lot of sense from the cynical perspective of people who deal with superpowered criminals, but it just seems to reinforce the suggestion that the people who are responsible for Warner Bros.’ comic book franchise don’t really seem to have much affection for one of their flagship characters.
Or, to our reaction to this anti-Superman rhetoric another way:
Now the rest of this trailer looks absolutely kick-ass. More kick-ass, quite frankly, than the movie Kick-Ass. We’re looking forward to this one, based on what we’ve seen so far. Of course, as with all encouraging trailers (see also: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), the movie might end up sucking from beginning to end. But for now, we’re interested, if a little bummed out that Warner Bros. seems eager to take any excuse to take potshots at Superman, even when he’s not actually in the film they’re promoting.
Suicide Squad hits theaters with a big ol’ mallet on August 5, 2016.
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.