Bat­man v Su­per­man: Dawn Of Jus­tice: The Art Of The Film

BAT­TLE STO­RIES

Empire (UK) - - THE VIEWING GUIDE - NICK DE SEMLYEN

AU­THOR PETER APERLO / OUT MARCH 22

ZACK SNY­DER’S up­com­ing tent­pole is heav­ily in­spired by graphic nov­els, so there’s some­thing sat­is­fy­ing about see­ing shots from it ren­dered as inky con­cept art. This cof­fee-ta­ble com­pen­dium is stuffed with moody, beau­ti­ful vis­tas — a gi­ant statue of Su­per­man kneel­ing in Me­trop­o­lis’ He­roes Park, Bruce Wayne’s De-niro’spad-from-heat-es­que glass lake­house, a crum­bling Bat­cave in which ev­ery­thing dan­gles from the ceil­ing via wires. Stark and ul­tra-se­ri­ous, the art­work con­firms what we all sus­pected: the dark­est hour is just be­fore the dawn. Of jus­tice.

Though it’s half a cel­e­bra­tion of the film’s aes­thetic and half a stroll through its story, there’s a cer­tain cagi­ness here, per­haps be­cause the book is out three days be­fore the movie. There’s pre­cious lit­tle about Won­der Woman, while cape-hat­ing hel­lion Dooms­day doesn’t get much more of a show­ing than he did in the trail­ers. On the plus side, we learn that Jeremy Irons’ Al­fred will wear an apron at one point. There’s some be­hindthe-scenes juice: Jesse Eisen­berg had his hair shaved off on cam­era, Amy Adams mod­elled her Lois Lane on Nora Ephron, Sny­der him­self got down on the car­pet and posed as ref­er­ence for the Su­per­man statue. And a sat­is­fy­ing page-count is de­voted to the rum­ble in the con­crete jun­gle be­tween Bats and Su­pes. Two words: lead grenades. Judg­ing by one evoca­tive im­age of the two su­per­heroes ex­hausted and drenched in su­per­sweat, it’s go­ing to be an 11-round af­fair.

It’s a hand­some tome, but where it falls down is in the lack of speci­ficity. There’s a reliance on hazy sound­bites — “The first movie was about fa­thers. This movie is about moth­ers” — and not enough nitty-gritty. For real mi­cro-de­tail, you’ll want to check out the Dark Knight-cen­tric com­pan­ion book Bat­man v Su­per­man: Dawn Of Jus­tice: Tech Man­ual (also pub­lished by Ti­tan), which veers so far in the other di­rec­tion that it in­cludes 31 re­jected Bat lo­gos and a schematic of the new Bat­mo­bile. For the record, the ve­hi­cle has “In­fused Kryp­tonite Skin Coat­ing”, but no Bat-nav.

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