This is my first blog post and what a topic to start on!
So, we all know what has happened in the last few months.
Man of Steel got a sequel. The sequel would have Batman. Ben Affleck will play Batman. Gal Gadot got cast as Wonder Woman. Jeremy Irons will play Alfred Pennyworth. Jesse Eisenberg will play Lex Luthor.
And, just yesterday, director Zack Snyder shared a small first glimpse of what the project would look like by revealing the new Batsuit on Twitter, demonstrated below.
Now, a lot of the reception towards this upcoming project has been negative, to say the least. And it is understandable.
Being a comic book fan, hell, being a Superman fan, I have quite a lot to get off my chest about the project and I decided that now, I just might do that.
Anyone expecting a full on nerdy rant, you have been forewarned. Yes. It will be nerdy. But no. This is not a rant. This instead, is a much more impartial view on the project. So here goes…
In terms of casting, I understand some of the preconceived fears, but, with the possible exception of the Eisenberg/Lex Luthor casting, it isn’t all that disastrous. I personally think that Ben Affleck was a smart, nay, very safe choice.
Considering who else was in the running for the role, this wasn’t by any means a bad choice. No disrespect to the following actors, but would you rather have had Orlando Bloom or Armie Hammer play Batman? I get that a lot of fans wanted Josh Brolin, and sure he looks the part, but I wouldn’t have been entirely confident if he was chosen. And I know Affleck has it within him to pull off the billionaire playboy side to Batman. Plus, from yesterday’s picture, he sure looks the part as Bruce Wayne’s alter ego.
The other casting for me is this: Gal Gadot was another sensible choice. I personally would have picked Gemma Arterton for Wonder Woman but Gadot remains a good choice. My only gripe is that Wonder Woman is even in the movie.
I’m on the fence with Jeremy Irons, but like Affleck, I think in time we’ll see him show us what he’s made of.
Of course, the casting of Lex Luthor is the one that throws me off slightly.
I’m not saying Jesse Eisenberg is a bad actor. On the contrary, he’s one of the best young actors out there. In every film I’ve seen him in, I’ve found him to be highly like-able and he always delivers a terrific performance, especially in The Social Network. Also, he, alongside Mark Ruffalo, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson made Now You See Me, slightly more watchable.
Unfortunately, I just don’t see him as one of the greatest and most fearsome super-villain in comic book history.
Casting aside, my gripes with this film are not necessarily with the casting and characters, but with what they plan to do with the movie. From seeing yesterday’s picture of Affleck in the Batsuit it is evidently clear how much Snyder wants to subtly bring Frank Miller’s iconic graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns to life. And we all know what happens in that comic:
And that’s where I have a problem…
Yes, I did say earlier that I am a Superman fan. He is my favourite of all the comic book characters. And, not to be biased here, but if, (for the sake of this post) in Man of Steel 2, Batman, having just met Superman, defeats him in the manner he does in Miller’s book, or in any other manner whatsoever, I will walk the hell out of that movie.
When someone asks me; “Who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman?”. I always think of one of my favourite scenes in another Snyder associated project, Watchmen. During the climactic confrontation between Dr Manhattan and Ozymandias, Manhattan says to Ozymandias:
“The world’s smartest man poses no more threat to me, than does it’s smartest termite”.
And I feel that quote applies to a confrontation between Batman and Superman. Especially as Snyder intends to have the two characters face off against each other at some point in the movie.
There is no way Batman stands a chance against a man who is bulletproof. Against a man who can move quicker than Batman can blink. Against a man who could punch him into orbit. You thought Bane’s breaking of the Bat was brutal? When Batman’s going up against Superman not only could it end up being brutal, but the fight would reach an abrupt resolution.
And believe me.
It will be quick.
If Batman manages to beat Superman in their first ever on-screen bout, it’ll be like saying Michael Cera will win in a straight up fist fight against Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (once again, I mean no disrespect).
To reiterate, Superman can’t be taken down by ordinary weapons, so how in the hell will Batman beat Superman? Especially as Snyder has yet to introduce Kryptonite to his cinematic universe. In fact, in the Snyderverse, even Superman himself doesn’t yet know that he is vulnerable to krptonite. So how is Batman going to find that one out?
It’s not just the fact that a Batman victory would make no logical sense, but I feel a Batman victory is ultimately playing up to the mass crowd of worlwide Batman fanboys, which, today, seems to be every single person you and I know.
Post Batman & Robin (yes, you know the film I speak of), no one would proudly admit to being a Batman fan. Since Nolan’s brilliant Dark Knight trilogy, everyone and their 86 year old Grandma now claims that they have been a Batman fan for all of their existence.
Unless he’s been living under a rock, Snyder probably knows that Batman has a bigger appeal and fan base than Superman has at this current moment of time, and what will Batman fans love most? To see broody Bruce Wayne knock the stuffing out of goody two shoes super-alien Clark Kent.
In the context of The Dark Knight Returns, I can grudgingly admit that Batman’s victory was well deserved for a few reasons.
Frank Miller was smart in making both Bruce and Clark older men. What this did was that with age Batman had become wiser, not to mention, due to the fact that he knows Superman on a personal level, he knows how Clark would think in combat. He knows Clark’s vulnerabilities. Bruce, with age, has become more experienced in confrontations against everyone’s favourite Kryptonian.
Therefore, with all that, Bruce would know exactly what he needs to do to take Clark down.
The Dark Knight Returns was not just a brilliant study of Batman, but what made it a great graphic novel was that it also understood Superman as a character. And I’m not just talking his monologue within the tale.
Miller knows Superman still sees Batman as an ally, not an enemy. Miller knew that if it came to it, Clark Kent would still hold back in a duel against his friend; Bruce Wayne. Before the showdown ever took place, Miller had Clark, in typical heroic manner, warn Bruce that:
“It’s like this Bruce — sooner or later, somebody’s going to order me to bring you in. Somebody with authority. When that happens…”
And that’s why I’m not totally angry with Batman’s TDKR victory. Because, at the root of all the tension there was a just reason for why they had to throw down. And I don’t see why they would have to face off when they just met each other on-screen.
Like I said earlier, if the scuffle goes down, and Batman wins, I’m done, because the film becomes an ultimate pledge to the Batboys everywhere when it really is supposed to be a Superman sequel.
However, I will say this to anyone who has their doubts:
Wait to see more production news and or photos. More costume unveilings and eventually a trailer. And still, I would implore that if you truly love comics, you should at least go and see this film when it is eventually released.
We have finally been given the opportunity to see two of the most iconic and important comic book characters of all time share the screen together for the first time, and I think it’ll be a shame to pass it up.
This has been my first post. I hope I didn’t bore you to death with my fanboyism. There’s a lot more I want to say but I think this is a fair amount. Hope you become interested in what I write and read my next posts…