My qualms with the Batman Vs. Superman movie are almost entirely personal. I love Batman movies, more than most things in life, but I just want a break. I like the anticipation. I was excited by the prospect of waiting. But that’s just not how the movie business works when it comes to this kind of stuff.
I don’t actually think it’s that big of a deal that Affleck is going to be Batman. Despite some of his film choices, he’s a pretty good actor. It’s kind of an odd choice, but it’s still less outrageous than when Keaton was cast in the ’80s. Besides, I have a hard time believing Affleck didn’t have his reservations about taking the part. He’s been around a while, and has had his fair share of negative press, so I’m sure he wouldn’t take it if he thought it would be embarrassing. They must have said something that convinced him it would be worth it (“worst case scenario, everyone still forgets completely about Daredevil”)
No, the real issue is what the heck is the batsuit going to look like? They’re running out of options. They’ve already done the “practical approach” in TDK and TDKR. They’ve already done the Steam Punk industrial look (’89) statuesque (Returns) MTV Bad-A (Forever) MTV toy ready (Last 20 minutes of Forever) and whatever the heck they were going for in B&R.
Will his head turn? Will he be black? Grey? Or even blue? Are they going to do the yellow oval? Are they going with the classic batsign? A redesign? How tall are the ears going to be (someday we will all recognize the greatness of Kelley Jones)? What’s the cape going to be like? It can’t be a cool fabric that turns into a glider, because they already did that. Will it just be an unnecessarily heavy annoyance like it was in the old movies? Will they bring back the BatNike boots?
After all is said and done, these are the things that worry me the most. I’m not worried about Zach Snider, he has a great eye for stylized action. I’m worried about the script, but lets face it, there are three movies in the history of Batdom that actually have decent scripts. This may not beat The Dark Knight Trilogy, but I doubt it will make less sense than the others. Fidelity to the comic book? Meh. Batman Returns has almost nothing to do with the Batman of the comic books, but its still a cool movie.
In short, lets all just calm down about Ben, and worry about the batsuit.
This is how I imagine the board meeting that decided all this went down:
[David Goyer and Zach Snyder sitting at the far end of an obscenely large boardroom style table, opposite a young perky exec at Warner Bros. with blinding cuff links and a cigar]
YPE: So, David, Zach, we really loved Man of Steel. It made a lot of money for us, which is, you know, super [zing] important.
ZS: We’re really excited to get to work on the sequel.
YPE: About that. So here’s the thing guys. You see, Man of Steel made a lot of money, but there was one thing the studio isn’t terribly happy about.
ZS: I know, the ending was a little over the top—
YPE: No. No that’s not the problem at all. You see the Rotten Tomatoes numbers are in and they aren’t great.
ZS: What’s Rotten Tomatoes?
DG: Like, how not great?
YPE: Like, 56% not great.
DG : Only 56%?!?! [A woman in the hallway outside faints, a small child in Brundi begins to weep.]
YPE: Yeah. That just can’t happen. The Avengers took in a solid 92%.
DG: Well what do we need to change for the sequel?
YPE: I’m glad you asked. The fact of the matter is, the Batman franchise has always managed to pull in great reviews. Collectively they average out at 83.4% fresh.
DG: Really? even with the Schumacher films?
YPE: The what?
DG: Schumacher. You know, the films he directed. Critics hated them.
YPE: Who directed what? Can someone tell me what the heck David Goyer is talking about?
ZS: Joel Schumacher. He directed Batman Forever and Batm—
YPE: Moving on. So the higher ups at the studio think the best way to handle this problem is by having Batman be in the next Superman movie.
DG: But, I mean, doesn’t that not make sense?
ZS: Yeah, it’s like, if Superman exists why would Gotham even need Batman. It works in the comics as a novelty thing but I feel like in a movie the audience just wouldn’t buy into it.
YPE: The audience isn’t important.
DG: And plus, I just wrote three Batman movies. How do you expect me to write that character again and not just have it be an imitation of what Chris Nolan and I were doing?
YPE: I’m sorry, were you guys saying something? Anyways, we need to boost our RT score up at least 30% this next go around, so we’ve decided on two potential actors to play Iron-Man
DG: You mean Batman…
YPE: Both of them have great track records on Rotten Tomatoes recently: George Clooney and Ben Affleck.
ZS: I would stay away from Clooney.
DG: Don’t worry about it. Lets go with Affleck.