Bat­man v Su­per­man

Your check­list of vi­tal info for the hero hitch- up.

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Contents -

1 Bat­man V Su­per­man: Dawn Of Jus­tice unites DC’s heav­i­est hit­ters in live ac­tion for the first time. We could have wit­nessed the spec­ta­cle a whole decade ear­lier: Troy helmer Wolf­gang Petersen nearly teamed the caped titans in 2004, work­ing from a screen­play by Seven’s An­drew Kevin Walker. Re­port­edly tar­get­ing Jude Law as Su­per­man and Christian Bale as Bat­man – now there’s an idea – the project suc­cumbed to de­vel­op­ment hell’s spe­cial brand of Kryp­tonite.

2 In May 2013, mere weeks be­fore the of­fi­cial green­light, Man Of Steel star Henry Cav­ill told SFX he was up for en­coun­ter­ing his Gotham City coun­ter­part in the Su­per- se­quel: “They are two dif­fer­ent sides of the same coin and their meth­ods are en­tirely dif­fer­ent. And I think it would ac­tu­ally make for an in­ter­est­ing story as to why they were go­ing head to head and how. I think that would make a great story.” He knew all along, didn’t he?

3 Brace your­selves for a quantum col­li­sion. Di­rec­tor Zack Sny­der prom­ises the movie “lit­er­ally takes the Man Of Steel and Bat­man uni­verses and ex­plodes them.” Fla­grant mis­use of the Hadron Col­lider, we’re say­ing… 4 Sny­der tells Forbes mag­a­zine: “After Man Of Steel fin­ished and we started talk­ing about what would be in the next movie, I started sub­tly men­tion­ing that it would be cool if he faced Bat­man… Once you say it out loud, then it’s kind of hard to go back, right?”

5 A long­time comics fan, Sny­der re­spects the power of the weapon­s­grade iconog­ra­phy in his hands. “I un­der­stand the canon. I’m not crazy. I know what th­ese char­ac­ters need from a mytho­log­i­cal stand­point.” So rest easy: no disco roller­boo­gie se­quences for our noble he­roes.

6 Frank Miller’s ground­break­ing graphic novel The Dark Knight Re­turns is a ma­jor in­spi­ra­tion for Sny­der – he once dreamt of adapt­ing it for the big screen – but ex­pect its ide­o­log­i­cal clash be­tween a grimly fa­nat­i­cal Bat­man and a gov­ern­mentsanc­tioned Su­per­man to be tem­pered for this tent­pole block­buster.

7 This Bat­man will, how­ever, skew older than tra­di­tional screen in­car­na­tions. He’ll be “tired and weary and sea­soned and been do­ing it for a while,” says Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsu­ji­hara. Spar­ing us another ori­gin tale – how many more slo- mo shots of Martha Wayne’s fly­ing pearls can the world take be­fore armed re­bel­lion? – the movie will bring us an older, more bat­tle- weary take on the Gotham guardian. “It’s cooler to see a crusty old Bat­man beat­ing the snot out of guys,” says Sny­der.

8 Po­ten­tial Bat- men in­cluded Ryan Gosling ( Drive), Joe Man­ganiello ( True

Blood), Richard Ar­mitage ( Spooks) and Max Mar­tini ( Pa­cific Rim). Matthew Goode ( Watch­men) was also a con­tender for Su­per­man in Man Of Steel. Jonah Hex’s Josh Brolin told Ya­hoo, “Me and Zack had a con­ver­sa­tion about it, and there were sev­eral rea­sons why we said it wasn’t the best idea on both sides. I had mine and Zack had his.”

9 Ben Af­fleck proved to have the right jaw of jus­tice. “We wanted a guy who had a cer­tain age and a cer­tain grav­i­tas to what he had done in terms of his re­cent work,” says pro­ducer Charles Roven. “If you take a look at The Town and Argo, he plays a cou­ple of se­ri­ous guys in those movies. He’s a big man. He’s also a ma­ture man. As you see him and Henry to­gether, one def­i­nitely has much more ex­pe­ri­ence just by look­ing at him. That’s what we wanted, par­tic­u­larly jux­ta­posed against our Su­per­man.”

10 Af­fleck’s ap­point­ment to the Bat- cave trig­gered the kind of nerd- storm not seen since the days of Daniel Craig ’s en­list­ment as 007. One pe­ti­tion went up on the White House web­site, beg­ging Pres­i­dent Obama to “de­nounce the se­lec­tion of Ben Af­fleck”. Af­fleck laughed it off. “I un­der­stand I’m at a dis­ad­van­tage with the in­ter­net,” he told Play­boy. “If I thought the re­sult would be another Dare­devil I’d be out there pick­et­ing my­self.”

11 The Argo star con­fesses he ini­tially shared the in­ter­net’s mis­giv­ings. “When they asked if I would be Bat­man, I told them I didn’t see my­self in the role and I was go­ing to have to beg off. They said I’d fit well into how they were go­ing to ap­proach the character and asked me to look at what Zack Sny­der was do­ing. The stuff was in­cred­i­ble… It was a unique take on Bat­man that was still con­sis­tent with the mythol­ogy. All of a sud­den I had a read­ing of the character. The idea for the new Bat­man is to re­de­fine him in a way that doesn’t com­pete with the Bale and Chris Nolan Bat­man but still ex­ists within the Bat­man canon.”

12 Christian Bale is happy for Af­fleck to in­herit the cape and cowl: “Our thing ’s fin­ished, we’ve al­ways de­clared it’s fin­ished and it should be passed on to another ac­tor and it will be again after him. The only thing I said to him is just make sure you can take a piss with­out any­one hav­ing to help.”

13 Plumb­ing is­sues aside, the new Bat­suit “has a logic to it,” says cos­tume de­signer Michael Wilkin­son ( 300,

Watch­men). “It’s very tight. It’s a very gritty, real, con­tem­po­rary world. That’s what I had in the back of my mind when I tried to think of a Bat­man that works for that uni­verse.” The suit’s steel- grey- and- black colour scheme nods to Frank Miller’s dour, camp- re­pelling in­ter­pre­ta­tion in The Dark Knight Re­turns.

14 Nu­tri­tion­ist and fit­ness in­struc­tor Re­han Jalali is en­sur­ing Af­fleck is in crime­bust­ing shape. “Big, mus­cu­lar, yet lean and good body sym­me­try,” he says. “Go­ing for the real- life su­per­hero look!”

15 Dawn Of Jus­tice also sees DC icon Won­der Woman mak­ing her bigscreen bow. GI Joe: Re­tal­i­a­tion’s Elodie Yung and Quantum Of So­lace’s Olga Kurylenko tested for the Ama­zon uber­frau but the role went to Is­rael’s Gal Gadot, best known from the Fast And The Fu­ri­ous fran­chise.

16 While Break­ing Bad’s Bryan Cranston and Lost’s Terry O’Quinn were the pop­ulist faves for Lex Luthor, the sign­ing of Jesse Eisen­berg proved that the film­mak­ers had a fresher, more 21st cen­tury take planned for Su­per­man’s eter­nal neme­sis. Riff­ing on Eisen­berg ’s Os­carnom­i­nated turn in The So­cial Net­work, this Lex is po­si­tioned as a cal­low and am­bi­tious new- tech mogul with more than a pinch of Zucker­berg about him.

17 “I will treat it like it’s my own role,” Eisen­berg tells IGN. “There’s no way to play the his­tory of the character played by other peo­ple, un­less you do some kind of wink, but that doesn’t seem like a re­spon­si­ble way to act… you just kind of treat it like a character, and that’s the best course of ac­tion, I think.” No word on whether this Lex will be chrome of dome or fully fol­lic­u­lar. 18 Jeremy Irons is the lat­est age­ing Brit thesp to find em­ploy­ment in

stately Wayne Manor. The Re­ver­sal

Of For­tune star be­comes the fourth big- screen Al­fred, de­scribed by Zack Sny­der as “Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and men­tor, a noble guardian and fa­ther fig­ure.”

19 Holly Hunter’s also in the mix. Ru­mours are she plays the DCU’s Leslie Thomp­kins, a med­i­cal doc­tor and an old friend of the Waynes who shares Bruce’s dark se­cret and patches him up after par­tic­u­larly vi­o­lent crime- smash­ing ses­sions. Kind of like Bat- BUPA. Other cast

mem­bers in­clude 300’ s Cal­lan Mul­vey and The

Wolver­ine’s Tao Okamoto.

20 Hans Zim­mer re­turns to score this four- colour show­down. He faces the chal­lenge of cre­at­ing a Bat­man theme that’s an equal to his work on the Nolan tril­ogy. “It’s a dif­fer­ent Bat­man,” he says. “I don’t want to go and ap­pro­pri­ate that and put that into the other Bat­man.”

21 Prin­ci­pal pho­tog­ra­phy be­gan in Oc­to­ber 2013 at a foot­ball sta­dium in East LA, dou­bling for one in Gotham City. We’ll see a match be­tween the home side and a ri­val team from Me­trop­o­lis State Univer­sity. Warn­ing: metaphor.

22 Zack Sny­der is aim­ing for the epic with the film’s Detroit shoot. One se­quence re­port­edly calls for 8,500 ex­tras – the cast­ing call in­sisted on peo­ple with a mil­i­tary back­ground. At least they know how to take or­ders…

23 As the ti­tle hints this movie is very much a primer for Zack Sny­der’s Jus­tice League. We’ll fi­nally see the big- screen DC Uni­verse ex­pand, ex­pos­ing a pan­theon of other su­per­heroes in the shad­ows. New York stage ac­tor Ray Fisher plays tech- aug­mented Teen Ti­tan Cy­borg, fore­shad­owed by the throw­away men­tion of STAR Labs in Man Of Steel, while Ja­son Momoa is a cert for Aqua­man, bring­ing the fish of jus­tice to the fists of jus­tice.

24 So what’s the plot? It’s a for­mi­da­bly tight- lipped shoot but one ru­mour has Lex Luthor plun­der­ing DNA from Gen­eral Zod’s corpse to cre­ate the ul­ti­mate threat to his red- and­blue neme­sis… Al­ter­na­tively he cre­ates an app and tri­umphantly cries, “Be­hold, the power of so­cial me­dia shall de­stroy you, Su­per­man!”

25 Bat­man V Su­per­man: Dawn Of Jus­tice opens in the UK on 29 April 2016.

Gal Gadot is Won­der Woman, mi­nus the red and blue span­gles. Look at that chin. Look at that chin! That’s a Bat- chin.

Even Su­per­men can feel a chill… Ben Af­fleck is not Matt Mur­dock.

Teasery, huh?

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