First off, before you start freaking out on me and telling me that I don't know anything, I need you to go ahead and watch the following trailer to give you some context of what I'm about to tell you. So go ahead. Watch it. Stop reading this for a second and watch the final Batman vs Superman trailer.
Finished? Pretty great, huh? I actually watched this trailer about 15 times before finishing this post. It's that good! It's nuts to think that we only have a little over a month more to wait for this movie. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this. This is a movie I have been waiting for since I was a little dude watching Michael Keaton do his thing. Batman has always been a love of mine, and continues to be even in my 20's.
Today we're going to talk about why I think Ben Affleck's Batman will be the best Batman we've ever seen on film, and bring up the question of whether this will alter the way we feel about Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy and Christian Bale's Batman. So let's get started...
Batfleck Is Much More Physical Than Any Other Incarnation
After watching that trailer, it is very obvious that Zack Snyder has given us a Batman who is as lethal as he is terrifying to criminals. The fight choreography is VERY reminiscent of what we have seen in the Batman Arkham series games, where he swiftly moves from enemy to enemy in one fluid motion. In Nolan's trilogy, we saw a very grounded Batman whose fighting style was a bit more technical and calculated, defeating about anybody he takes one on one, except Bane initially. Take a gander here...
Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed these fight scenes, but they always did feel a bit limited to the universe they were in. We've already seen that Batfleck can pick a grown man up and throw him across the room, and it doesn't look ridiculous. We are about to see a Batman who can keep up with a god. Nolan's Batman was not that Batman.
Nolan's Trilogy Was A Reflection Of Its Time
I think we will see that the difference between Snyder and Nolan's universes is that Nolan's is much more sensitive to domestic threats. The Dark Knight is the best example of this universe being very aware of its post-9/11 environment. The Dark Knight deals with these themes through both Batman and the Joker. The Joker represents our enemy who we know nothing about who, as the movie goes on, goes from fairly small time to a very real threat to the entire city. The Joker brings with him the fear of the unknown as he is absolutely unpredictable.
This unpredictability creates a fear in Gotham City that is so present that Batman has to put into question his own morals by using controversial methods (surveillance, continuing to break the law, now in foreign countries) to defeat a great evil. Nolan flourishes telling this story as it even makes us question our own morals. The ferry scene is one of the great suspenseful scenes in film history and always will be, and puts the audience in the victims' shoes asking us what we would do in the same situation. Considering that the Joker is completely unpredictable, would we be willing to murder a ferry full of people for the off chance that he would spare us, or would we take the chance that the other ferry might not actually pull the trigger on us. It's an incredible piece of filmmaking that sticks in the viewers' minds.
Snyder's universe doesn't exactly have room for this type of storytelling. Considering that Superman is the first hero that we've been introduced to in this universe, the threat level is already extraterrestrial which means that with multiple heroes, the threat can almost be nothing less than that. Bruce Wayne has already stated that Superman has the power to wipe out the entire human race, it would seem that the threat is on a worldwide scale.
Snyder Seems To Be Giving Us What We've Asked For
I'm sure you remember the outcry when Ben Affleck was originally cast as Batman. It was comical. The majority of people thought it was a joke and treated it as such. People seemed to have forgotten that this is a different Ben Affleck that we're getting now. This is an Oscar winner. A well deserving one at that. Take a look at an interview with Affleck shortly after the casting announcement... (skip to 1:44 for Batman talk)
Now fast forward to today. How much negativity have you heard about Ben Affleck as Batman now that we have some dialogue and footage of him? None. The trailer I attached up top should have silenced any doubters of Ben Affleck and rightly so. Every little bit that we've been getting of him has been pure gold. I remember when I first heard that Batman would appear in the Man of Steel sequel I couldn't believe it. Then the rumors started surfacing that WB was looking for an actor who was older, and obvious by then everybody knew that Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns would be a huge influence on the film, and now we know that it is. We've now seen some Alfred and Bruce banter which is very reminiscent of the Animated Series, and even little facial characteristics like the little smirk he gives as well as the widow's peak are just little things that are making him look better and better. I think it's safe to say that even if this movie doesn't turn out as good as we hope, Ben Affleck will not be the cause.
So there you have it. This is less bringing up an argument than it is a question. Do you guys think that more comic booky Batfleck will surpass Christian Bale's performance as our favorite Batman as of yet? Let me know your take on the situation in the comments! Here's a link to an article I wrote on Batfleck after his casting was announced.