Empire Magazine‘s big Batman V Superman issue hits the shops tomorrow and it’s going to be loaded with details on the movie that finally sees comics’ biggest two heroes clashing… and we have a roundup of the details that have been learned so far.
Now, we reckon there’s going to be more good stuff in the actual issue but there’s soooooo much good stuff in here too.
Shall we begin? Let’s…
Firstly, Ben Affleck talks about his take on Batman, especially since he’s older this time out than we’ve ever seen him onscreen before: “Initially I thought, ‘I’m older, it doesn’t seem like the right sort of fit for me,’” he says.
“Then Zack pitched me his concept for this older, more broken, kind of f**ked up Batman. It was something we haven’t seen. We have seen that Batman is willing to cross the line to protect people. That vigilantism has been a part of his character all along, and we are tapping into that mentality when faced by something as potentially as deadly as Superman.”
Director Zack Snyder confirms what Affleck is saying and adds to it: “We are playing him 45 or 46. He has been Batman for 20 years. All the history is there. Was there a Robin at one time? Possibly. We want to assume that Batman has reached this point in his life and career as a superhero, and Superman represents a sort of philosophical change. He is a paradigm shift for Batman: ‘I’ve been fighting criminals all my life, trying to find justice, and now I am confronted with a concept that is transcendent to me.’ In the face of Superman, a man robbing a bank doesn’t matter. He’s having a crisis of conscience. ‘Am I really just a vigilante who stalks the alleys of Gotham?’ It is rich stuff that he deals with. Ben does an amazing job.”
As a life-long Batman fan, I love that all that stuff is in there before we even meet him. Batman has been done really, really well twice before onscreen by Tim Burton and then Christopher Nolan; but they focused on why he became Batman; how he became Batman; Nolan touched on the end of his career in The Dark Knight Rises, but he never really got the history of the character – his Batman fought Ra’s, Scarecrow, Two-Face and Joker and then went straight to the endgame with Bane… but this Batman, Snyder’s Batman, he’s been doing this for 20 years… Joker, Croc, Harley, we know they are out there but I believe that maybe Riddler, Clayface, Freeze, Catwoman, Bane, Two-Face, Poinson Ivy, Mad Hatter are out there too. And it really excites the fan boy in me.
Producer Charles Roven hints at the history of Batman and the pain of what he has lost and of what has made him the man he is when we meet him this time out: “He has lost those near and dear to him, and not necessarily from old age or disease…” does this imply the Robin that we see in the trailer and the Jim Gordon whose death we’ve heard hinted at for ages?
Snyder says that, while this isn’t Christian Bale’s Batman from Nolan’s movies, it really is where this adventure started because it set the tone and feel and, indeed, it’s the success of Nolan’s vision that led to Batman appearing in the crossover movie: “If it was a Batman movie it would be a much more difficult proposition because of how good Chris’ movies are. We live in gratitude to those movies. Chris set a tone for the DC Universe, and separated us from Marvel in a great way. We are the legacy of those movies.”
Interestingly, we also learn that, while we know Batman is the one who put Harley and Joker (and, I assumed, Killer Croc) in Amanda Waller’s Belle Reve Penetentiary in the Suicide Squad movie, he is also responsible for the whole of Team X – Suicide Squad – being there. Well, Batman IS the ultimate badass…
But how does it all connect? We’ve had Man of Steel, we are getting BvS and Suicide Squad with Justice League, Green Lantern Corp, Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman – Justice League Dark? – and more coming, but is there a common thread holding them all together? “What we are doing is ground up all the way. It is one giant story,” Snyder says.
“The first thing we had was the Justice League concept. The other movies, in a way, have to support that. That is our Wonder Woman, our Aquaman. They have their own creative concepts that supports them, but they do serve Justice League in the coming together of those heroes. I want all the other directors of the other films to be able to stretch their legs and do what they want, but at the same time there is a big interconnected universe. I have given everyone amazing access to our story, to me, and what we are doing. All the films have like-minded conceptual jumping on points.”
Charles Roven calls it their Sandbox, saying: “It has borders around it, but everybody gets to play in the sandbox. On ‘Suicide Squad,’ David Ayer has a lot of specific control over his area of the sandbox. Even if he crosses the line a little bit, we see if we can push our boundaries back a little bit.”
Interestingly, Snyder points out that the DC Universe is more layered than Marvel’s, with many more ‘grey areas’ with the characters – we reckon the existence of the Suicide Squad movie proves this, especially so early on, as does all we’re hearing about Batman, in fact Snyder goes so far as to say that Batman is the antagonist in BvS: “It’s a point of view thing. That is why ‘Dawn of Justice’ is the full title. What it does is allow us to start this conversation.”
A few other interesting things that we gleamed: Jason Momoa is in the movie but it’s a cameo at best.
Bruce Wayne lives in a lakeside house, as we reported some time ago, called The Glass House because bad things happened Wayne Manor.
Lex and Clark have an apartment in Metropolis.
Luthor’s home was actually filmed in a Detroit Museaum.
Finally, production designer Patrick Tatopoulos says: “Gotham is a very different city from Metropolis. Metropolis is Toronto on Steroids. Gotham is Detroit.”
And that’s why we love and fear Gotham…
Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice stars Henry Cavill in the role of Clark Kent/Superman, and Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, with Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane returning from Man of Steel, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and Holly Hunter in a role newly created for the film. Jason Momoa will also be making an appearance as Aquaman.
Directed by Zack Snyder, written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer, the film is produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.
Here’s a few images from Empire… check out the face on Superman!