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