New details on Batman v Superman and the DC Extended Universe
CBM has gotten a hold of the latest issue of Empire magazine featuring their cover story on next year’s Batman v Superman, including new details on Aquaman, Suicide Squad‘s connection to Batman, the state of Wayne Manor, Superman’s relationship with Lois Lane and more!
“Initially I thought, ‘I’m older, it doesn’t seem like the right sort of fit for me,'” says star Ben Affleck of his decision to don the cape and cowl. “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.”
“We are playing him 45 or 46,” director Zack Snyder confirms. “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.”
The rage that has (to paraphrase a famous butler) turned this good man cruel is partly fueled by the many loved ones and heroes he has seen zipped into body bags during his two-decade tenure.
“He has lost those near and dear to him, and not necessarily from old age or disease…” said producer Charles Roven of the state of Batman’s world, which could entail not just the death of Robin but also his friend and Gotham PD ally Jim Gordon.
The darkness inherent in Snyder’s vision is an offshoot of the world established in Christopher Nolan’s stand-alone Dark Knight trilogy, which, while not technically related to the new films, does share its DNA with them. In actuality, much of the motivation for Snyder to pit Henry Cavill’s Supes against Gotham’s protector was because a solo Batman movie would be too much in the shadow of Christian Bale and Nolan right now.
“If it was a Batman movie it would be a much more difficult proposition because of how good Chris’ movies are,” adds Snyder. “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.”
Another big revelation relates to Batman’s appearance in the recent Suicide Squad trailer, which is now confirmed as a prelude to the events of that film in which the Caped Crusader captures The Joker’s right-hand woman Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). Indeed, Batman is responsible for putting all the anti-heroes of Task Force X in Belle Reve Penitentiary for Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to do as she pleases.
“What we are doing is ground up all the way. It is one giant story,” Snyder explains. “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.”
“We call it the sandbox,” adds Roven. “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.”
Indeed, the characters within the DC Extended Universe don’t necessarily reflect the black & white “good guy/bad guy” paradigm of the Marvel movies, with Affleck’s Batman essentially the antagonist of Batman v Superman… depending on your own idea of what makes a hero, that is.
“It’s a point of view thing,” opines Snyder. “That is why ‘Dawn of Justice’ is the full title. What it does is allow us to start this conversation.”
As for Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, don’t expect to see too much of The King of The Seven Seas in Dawn of Justice besides an “elusive cameo.”
“You will understand he exists,” Snyder promises of Aquaman, who will get his own solo film written by Kurt Johnstad (300) and directed by James Wan (Furious 7).
Lastly, production designer Patrick Tatopoulos (Independence Day, 300: Rise of an Empire) helps put to rest rumors of where Bruce Wayne hangs his hat since the trailer revealed a crumbling, decayed Wayne Manor. Is Bruce homeless? When we pick things up in the film, Bruce is actually living comfortably in an idyllic lakeside structure known as the Glasshouse.
“Its footprint is minimal, it is part of nature,” Tatopoulos says of Wayne’s new home. “You are designing a house that would have been designed by van der Rohe, how ballsy is that? Bruce is the Bruce Wayne you know. He’s a playboy, he’s got money. He has this strength, but also an artistic sensibility. He’s got a past, a family who got him where he is today.”
The designer also reveals that Clark Kent and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) have shacked up together in a Metropolis apartment of their own, while all of Lex Luthor’s (Jesse Eisenberg) dwelling was shot in a Detroit museum.
“There are other things happening too,” says Tatopoulos. “Gotham is a very different city from Metropolis. Metropolis is Toronto on Steroids. Gotham is Detroit.”
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. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is set to open worldwide on March 25, 2016.