By Ben Lane
Since the announcement of Batman v Superman, the nerd world, and I especially, have been in a state of perpetual excitement. I am a Batman fanboy. I love everything about Batman. He is my favorite comic book hero for a vast majority of reasons. Since the announcement that the follow up to Man of Steel would co-star the Dark Knight, there have been quite a few other announcements that have shocked us all. The biggest shocker, of course, was the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman when he wasn’t even in the running. Josh Brolin would have been good. So would have John Hamm. But Affleck was announced out of nowhere and what a craze it was with the fans. I won’t lie. I was nervous when I first heard about Batfleck solely due to the fact that when I think of Ben Affleck as a superhero I think of Daredevil. Personally, I don’t think that film is quite as bad as people make it out to be, but it certainly isn’t a great movie. And Affleck wasn’t very good at all. However, even though I was nervous, I wasn’t a hater. I knew that the casting of Affleck was probably wise, due to his startling career turnaround after he started directing with Gone Baby Gone. Eventually winning the Best Picture Oscar for Argo, Affleck is a favorite at Warner Bros. Which is why the casting of him is no surprise when you think about it.
Since that announcement, we have had announcements such as the casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and the biggest shock of all: Jesse Eisenberg as… Lex Luthor? What is this becoming? Why are all these characters needed? What is DC trying to do? Well, since the movie is titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s not specifically a movie about Batman and Superman, even though they are certainly going to be the focus of the film. And if the rumored slate of DC’s upcoming is true, then Man of Steel 2 is coming in 2018, meaning Batman v Superman is not a Superman movie. With the title Dawn of Justice, this is the dawning of the Justice League. Batman and Superman will be the main characters headlining the feature, but Wonder Woman and Aquaman will be there too, however insignificant their roles may be. Also, let’s not forget about the perfect casting of Jeremy Irons as Alfred. That is just excellent.
But the big story today is the revealed footage that director Zack Snyder premiered at Comic-Con. And boy, oh boy, every doubt I have about this movie (and the doubts are there, mind you) seemed to fade away for a minute as this epic footage rolled on. My God, how great this looks. If you haven’t seen the footage and want to know what happens, here it is. It opens to Batman standing on the rooftop of Gotham City Police Headquarters. He is wearing an armored suit (much, much like the one in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns) and then, fulfilling every fanboy’s wet dream, his eyes light up white. (This is where I got chills.) He then unveils a tarp and underneath is the Bat Signal, which lights up the night sky with what Kevin Smith calls the “big, fat, black, bat.” Batman’s emblem looks incredible, an exact transfer from The Dark Knight Returns. Descending from the sky and into the light of the Bat signal comes Superman, eyes red, ready to fight. They look at each other, and the title appears. It’s epic. Truly, incredibly epic. This is the first time we have ever seen Batman and Superman together in a movie, and from this footage it looks like it will be fantastically fulfilling. I had tears in my eyes while watching this footage and the nostalgia factor was through the roof.
If you couldn’t tell already, I love Affleck’s costume. When Snyder tweeted the first picture of him standing in front of the Batmobile, I knew that it was the best costume I’ve ever seen in a Batman movie. The Batmobile may not be as great as the Tumbler, but I am sold on Affleck’s suit. The short ears, the fat bat, the gloves. And now the armored suit with white eyes, which proves that Batman will alternate costumes in the film just like in The Dark Knight Returns, one of the greatest graphic novels ever written. Also, the image of Affleck released the other day from the side, showing his face up close… fantastic. I mean his chin says it all. He is going to be perfect as the Dark Knight. I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.
Also released at Comic-Con was the first official image of Gal Godat as Wonder Woman, which I have to say looks pretty cool. I’m still not sold on Gadot as she doesn’t look quite as big as the character may require, but the suit does look good and it doesn’t look like they are treating Wonder Woman as a sex object.
But what do you guys think? Did you like the footage from Comic-Con? Do you think this movie will be style over substance? What do you think of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman? I have my doubts about the final product of the film, but I know that as an enormous fan of Batman and Superman both, this is shaping up to be a truly epic film.