When you think of Batman, what's the first thing that usually springs to mind? Bruce Wayne, obviously, and/or darkness, ass beatings, powerful weaponry and the ceaseless emotional torture The Dark Knight must endure every day of his waking life. Am I right?
But what your mind probably wouldn't instantly make the immediate link between is Bob Gale and Shakespeare, which Ben Affleck recently pulled off in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, besides finally opening up a bit about his stint as The Man With No Fear and offering us some new Batman v Superman story details.
"Batman is basically the American version of Hamlet," said Affleck as he discussed the ritualistic passing of the cowl from actor to actor. “We accept that he’s played by actors with different interpretations.”
And Affleck's Batman, heavily influenced by Frank Miller's Bat-epic The Dark Knight Returns, will be the first time we see an aged, weary and slightly greying Bruce Wayne reentering the Batsuit after 20 years of protecting his city:
"He’s at the end of his run and maybe the end of his life. There’s this sort of world-weariness to it."
The supposed "world-weariness" sounds as if it will be, in some part, highlighted by the decay of Wayne Manor. Wayne's stately home has been rendered a shade of its former self with water-stained walls and weeds sprouting out of various spots around the compound.
But despite the dilapidation of his home, we can't for a second fathom the thought of underestimating the Caped Crusader. Though he may be older and sore, he's still as vicious as he'll ever be, as discussed by BvS director Zack Snyder:
"I liked the fact that Ben was 6’ 4” and taller than Henry. I wanted Superman to have to feel like he was looking up to Batman despite being so much stronger."
Taking on a suitably pissed-off Bat will surely be no easy feat for Superman.
Dancing with the Devil
I think it's fair to say not many people have forgotten Affleck's last outing in a cowl. 12 years after Daredevil released, the derided and fandom splitting feature is still a focus of heavy debate, even more so now that Netflix managed to win the hearts of nearly everyone and their bandwidths, with their incredible incarnation of the Devil of Hell's Kitchen.
The Nolanization of the superhero feature hasn't gone unnoticed by Affleck:
"Daredevil didn’t work, at all. If I wanted to go viral I would be less polite. That was before people realized you could make these movies and make them well.
There was a cynical sense of ‘Put a red leather outfit on a guy, have him run around, hunt some bad guys, and cash the check."
But the Academy Award winning writer and director believes that his second heroic outing couldn't have come at a better time:
"They really learned how to make this stuff work,” he says. “Good is the new bad."
Here's hoping Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is just pure good. Like, totally good. I really hope it is!
Here's the trailer again for your perusal: