Unless you have been living under a rock, you will be aware that Phantoms star Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel follow-up, currently titled Batman Vs. Superman. The internet has been up in arms about the casting, and so far the man himself has remained relatively tight-lipped. However, Ben Affleck appeared last night on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to promote his upcoming movie Runner Runner, co-starring Justin Timberlake, and the subject of Affleck playing Batman inevitably came up:
Affleck talks about how he was warned about the internet backlash following previous casting choices. “They said, ‘Just don’t use the Internet for a couple of days,'” the actor told Fallon. “And I said … ‘I handle shit!'” Ben fAffleck’s curiosity couldn’t prevent him from having a little peek when the news was made official. “I saw the announcement, I look down the thing. The first comment? … ‘Nooooooooooooo. And I was done! We’re going to be Luddites for a while.'”
Affleck still seems very pleased with his casting and told Fallon:
[quote]It’s so awesome, man. I’m so excited. They called me up and asked me if I wanted to do this. And I said, ‘I’m not 25, man, are you sure about this?’ And they said, ‘Come down, we wanna show you what we’re doing.’ Zack Snyder’s directing it and he has this amazing take on it. Obviously you can’t do what Christian [Bale] did, those movies were amazing. But Zack wants to something different but still in keeping with that.[/quote]
There is mixed feeling over here at Grizzly Bomb over Affleck’s casting, I for one am on team Affleck. He is a solid actor and in recent years has proved his salt both in front of and behind the camera. At least the rumor that pop star Justin Bieber being in the running to play Robin in the movie has now been quashed. The Wrap reported on Sunday that the whole thing was potentially set up for an upcoming Funny or Die sketch.
Affleck will next be seen on the big screen alongside of Justin Timberlake in gambling thriller Runner Runner on September 27. Batman Vs. Superman is aiming for a July 15, 2015 release.
Since Batman vs Superman(one of the the rumored titles) was announced at San Diego Comic Con last month, the internet has been awash with rumors and speculation about the Caped Crusader. Who will play Batman? Are Warner and DC going for someone young or someone more established? When in Batman’s career will the story be set? Could it be set after Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises after all, despite all claims to a reboot? Based on certain recent rumors, it certainly is a possibility, which we will take a look at below.
Zack Snyder was keen to point out that the quote taken from Frank Millers ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ (which was read by Harry Lennix at the SDCC announcement) was more to establish tone rather than it being a sign of Superman vs. Batman being a direct adaptation of Millers TDKR. Seeing as they have recently touched on that source material already with the awesome DC Animated Feature Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, it makes sense they wouldn’t be looking to dive into that territory again so soon.
[box_dark]”I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come, in all your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.”[/box_dark]
However, the Independent recently reported that Snyder will be meeting up with Frank Miller to discuss Batman vs Superman, so it remains to be seen what kind of connection the film will have to the hit graphic novel.
Personally, I feel the tone of ‘TDKR’ would fit neatly into the world that Snyder and writer David Goyer created for Man of Steel. It might also slip in seamlessly into the Nolan verse, despite Christian Bale no longer being onboard as the Dark Knight.We already know that this isn’t going to be another Batman origin story, which we don’t really need to see again. One of the failings of TheAmazing Spider-Man in my opinion is that it tried to spin a new origin story out of one we had already seen recently.
With Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy so embedded in people minds, we certainly don’t need to see another Year One style project. Heck, if Goyer and Snyder wanted to, the sudden appearance of Superman could be what initially brings Batman out of his early retirement we saw at the end of The Dark Knight Rises. That would also neatly fit this movie into the world that Nolan created with his Dark Knight trilogy. Now that would be interesting.
If Snyder and Goyer do go with a completely new universe as they have said before, than they will of course need to establish a new character. Within the comics Batman is perpetually in his 30’s, which has allowed for the character to be played by a revolving door of actors over the years, like in the Burton and Schumacher days. This generally negates the need to ever revisit the origin story, and would open many doors for more Batman adaptations in the future if that same mold is followed.
What initially bothered me about the announcement was the possibility that Batman would just be a glorified cameo. Hopefully this won’t be the case, as I feel there is plenty of fertile ground from the comic book history for Snyder and Goyer to really explore the relationship between Batman and Superman. They need to look no further than Jeph Loeb’s brilliant ‘Public Enemies’ storyline for inspiration.
Man of Steel sets up a great opportunity to put Batman and Superman at odds, while setting up the potentially great friendship they have. Having seen the destruction that is happening in Metropolis caused by these extra terrestrial beings, it seems only natural that Batman would want to investigate the events that occurred, which must have caused hundreds, if not thousands, of deaths. Initially it would be interesting to see Batman and Luthor working together, or at least sharing a vested interest as they rebuilt Metropolis into the futuristic city it’s known as in the comics.
This could lead to a fantastic mid film showdown between Batman and Superman, referring back to the quote read by Lennix and the rumored ‘vs.’ of the title. Once convinced of Superman’s good intentions, Batman could be put at ease. Here is where Luthor’s malevolence could really take over, as he is driven mad with the idea of defeating Superman and Batman, who has seen through Luthor’s veneer. It would make an amazing final act to see Batman and Superman team up against Luthor decked out in his battle suit.
It’s unlikely that Warner and DC will cast Batman too old, as they will want to churn out a few more Batman themed films. Not to mention the ever promised Justice League film that was recently confirmed. Even if it does continue with the continuity established within Nolan’s world, Batman is only roughly mid 40’s. Of course, age isn’t really an issue if they pick the right person, much like Marvel did when they cast Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man. So who would make a great Batman?
If they were to establish a completely new Batman then my choice of these would be Ryan Gosling (which was also Grizzly Bomb’s choice when we cast the Justice League movie). At 32 he seems the perfect age to carry the mantle of the Bat for a little while, and he has the acting chops, gravitas, and physique to make an imposing Batman. Brolin and Hamm however, would be perfect for a Batman around the age and point in his life that we find Bruce Wayne in during Miller’s ‘TDKR’. So we will have to wait and see a bit more from the film’s development before we can further speculate.
What are your thoughts on the casting rumors for Batman? Excited to see Batman in the Man of Steel sequel or do you want to wait until he appears in a Justice League film? Sound off in the comments section below!