A Super showdown
Affleck and Cavill do justice to their roles
The Caped Crusader versus the Man of Steel – the tag promises the greatest gladiator match on earth, or in this case, in the DC Comics universe.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the crossover superhero battle fans have been waiting for. And even though there’s been criticism about the movie from the start (poor choice of cast and cheesy trailers) there’s no doubt both Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill went above and beyond for their alter egos.
Fans groaned ‘Why Ben?’ when he was announced as Bruce Wayne. He bombed as Daredevil back in 2003 and Christian Bale did an awesome job in the Dark Knight trilogy, which Affleck is well aware of: “I wouldn’t have done it if it was just arbitrarily some superhero movie, but this is a very different kind of Batman.” He describes his character as “More broken, not slick. He’s filling the hole in his soul with these increasingly morally questionable night-time excursions – fighting crime as well as by being this playboy.”
Preparing for the part wasn’t easy, because aside from muscle-building workouts to fit the black cowl and suit, the 43-year-old is going through some personal issues too. His 10-year marriage, with Jennifer Garner, ended last year reportedly because of his infidelity and gambling. He has also been busy writing, directing and acting in the upcoming crime flick Live By Night. “The urge of making it good and trying to make sure that it works, that you’ve done the most interesting version you can – it’s like a neurosis that drives me to work every day,” he says of filmmaking.
But at the end of the day, it’s really about the outcome: “Even in the tough spots, if your movies are good, people will see them. And if you’re not good, you can’t get away with it. Eventually it catches up to you. Both ways, good and bad.”
Co-star Cavill, 32, who plays Clark Kent aka the son of Krypton, may already have the enviable physique, but felt he had to do more for this particular film. “I had to work doubly hard in the gym, because I knew I was going up against Ben, and Batman. I had to make sure that I was a fair match.”
Like Affleck, Cavill understands his character’s struggles. “I really think the Superman story is a tale of self-discovery. In some way that journey was quite similar, in discovering my capacity and the confidence that comes with being physically capable and stronger than I’ve ever been before.”
And though he appreciates the female attention, he says he’s uncomfortable with the catcalls, especially when he’s around 19-year-old girlfriend Tara King. “I do think there’s a bit of a double standard, you know. I mean, if a girl shouts something like ‘Oi, love...’ to me as I walk past I do sometimes wonder how she’d feel if a builder said that to her. Although, of course, I wouldn’t feel physically threatened, as she might.”
FACE OFF: Director Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman, starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill,
is out in cinemas today