Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder has used his Twitter account to post a couple of monochrome shots taken on the set of his upcoming DC Comics flick, ahem, epic. One, posted yesterday (May 12, 2014), shows a half-covered Batmobile, featuring the accompanying tweet: “Could be time to pull the tarp … Tomorrow?” Oh, the suspense! The Internet is on fire. Comic book nerds are having Twitter orgasms.
Since yesterday morning, Snyder's Batmobile tweet has been retweeted 16,150 times and favorited another 9,733 times. For comparison's sake: In the last four hours, the New York Times' tweet linking to a report about the Syrian government using chlorine gas in attacks has been retweeted all of 47 times. Even more pressing news such as “Alec Baldwin Arrested After Biking the Wrong Way in Manhattan” was retweeted a mere 235 times (total for two NYT tweets focusing on the momentous event) in the last five hours.
Now, on to Zack Snyder's other Batman vs. Superman photo: Please sit down and take a few deep breaths so you won't suffer a bat-seizure, as that image features none other than Academy Award winner Ben Affleck as Batman (Affleck, alongside former Batman George Clooney, was one of the producers of 2012 Best Picture Argo). And really, Affleck as Batman, the Caped Crusader, looks just like Christian Bale as Batman, the Caped Crusader, in Christopher Nolan's trilogy that ended on a somewhat disappointing note with The Dark Knight Rises in 2012 (following the almost universally acclaimed The Dark Knight in 2008 and Batman Begins in 2005).
Ben Affleck is Batman
Anyhow, the change.org petition against Ben Affleck as Batman – which, as per the website, garnered 97,198 signatures – was for naught, as Affleck is Batman. Snyder's pic offers concrete bat-proof. And here's another curious aside, just to place people's priorities a bit in perspective: a petition demanding that the White House save Net Neutrality – i.e., the issue of democracy, freedom, and openness on the Internet – received less than 10,000 more signatures (did you follow that?) than the “Say No to Ben Affleck as Batman” petition; 105,572 names to be exact.
But, as Heath Ledger would ask regarding the new Batman, Why so sad? Don't feel sorry … and don't be at all surprised if Affleck's Batman ends up not only looking, but also acting and sounding just like Christian Bale's. After all, how different could a reasonably fit, at least passably attractive grown man and moderately talented actor look like in a batsuit for 11 year olds? Not to mention the fact that the fast-paced editing and darkly hued cinematography currently used for those types of movies invariably make the action (and the actor's faces and bodies) look all murky anyways.
'Batman v Superman' cast
Besides Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman, Batman v Superman will also bring back Man of Steel's Henry Cavill as Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman. Man of Steel wasn't exactly considered one of the better movies derived from comic books – 53 percent approval rating and 6.2/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics – but who at Warner Bros. gives a damn? The Superman reboot earned $668.04 million worldwide (not including global ancillary revenues), and that makes it a great movie as far as studio suits are concerned.
Hence the return of Man of Steel director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer for Batman v Superman. (I should add that Goyer's movie credits also include Nolan's Batman movies, in addition to stuff like the Blade movies, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and Kickboxer 2.) Additionally, Batman v Superman will also bring back several previously seen performers / characters, plus a handful of new ones:
- Five-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams (Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, The Master, American Hustle) as Lois Lane (Margot Kidder in the Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve; Kate Bosworth in the 2006 Bryan Singer reboot Superman Returns, starring Brandon Routh);
- Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune) as Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine in the Christopher Nolan movies; Michael Gough in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman starring Michael Keaton, and its sequels);
- Academy Award nominee Laurence Fishburne (What's Love Got to Do with It) as Perry White (Jackie Cooper in Christopher Reeve's Superman movies; Frank Langella in Superman Returns);
- Academy Award nominee Diane Lane (Unfaithful) as Martha Kent (Phyllis Thaxter in Christopher Reeve's Superman movies; Eva Marie Saint in Superman Returns);
- Academy Award nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) as Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman in Christopher Reeve's Superman movies; Kevin Spacey in Superman Returns);
- Stage actor Ray Fisher (with one previous movie role, in the short comedy The Good, the Bad, and the Confused.) as Victor Stone a.k.a. Cyborg (absolutely no connection to Park Chan-wook's 2006 Korean movie I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK);
- Gal Gadot (Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6) as Diane Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman, later to be seen in some sort of Justice League movie or other, and in her own solo Wonder Woman movie. Now, c'mon, shouldn't Lynda Carter have at least a cameo in Batman v Superman?
Why 'Batman v Superman'?
Like the plot of many Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick, Terrence Malick, and Luis Buñuel films – not to mention Orson Welles' Citizen Kane and Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City – the Batman v Superman plot (or Superman v Batman plot, as the case may be) remains a mystery while the movie is getting made.
For instance, why the “v”? Who the hell knows? Perhaps Batman and Superman will be competing for the same Wonder Woman (or the same Cyborg)? Or a Gotham tabloid (the The Gotham Post, owned by Gotham City's Rupert Murdoch doppelgänger?) may have come up with some trumped-up story pitting one superhero against the other so as to sell more papers in these dire economic – and wilfully, eagerly misinformed – times? Or maybe dedicated journalist Clark Kent is seriously concerned about the upcoming climate cataclysm, whereas billionaire Bruce Wayne is a climate change denier? Or it could be that they're merely videogame archrivals.
'Batman v Superman' release date
Anyhow, we should find out at least some of the earth-shattering plot details soon enough, as Batman v Superman is expected to hit movie screens in late April / early May, 2016 (May 6, 2016, in North America). That's less than two years away. And, in Superman parlance, time flies faster than a speeding bullet.
Ben Affleck as Batman in Batman v Superman image via Zack Snyder / DC Comics / Warner Bros.