Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill Talk BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE; 70mm Release Under Consideration

The cover story for the latest issue of Ciné Live is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The cover features the same Batman and Superman images from the Total Film cover, but it features a new image of Wonder Woman.

More interestingly, however, is the interviews with Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. In the magazine, Affleck talks in detail on his portrayal of Batman and how it compares to others. He also comments on his two suits, why Lex Luthor is the perfect villain for the film, and the challenges of filming. Meanwhile, Cavill discusses how Superman has evolved from Man of Steel to Dawn of Justice, his relationship with Batman, and his portrayal of Clark Kent.

Many thanks to Batman-News for the translation.

Affleck reiterates that his Batman will be older and past his prime, unlike previous film incarnations. “He’ll find meaning in his own life during his conflict with Superman. He really thinks Superman is an existential menace, and he believes destroying him will be his legacy.” Affleck also comments on the portrayal of Bruce Wayne in the movie and how his playboy side relates to his overall persona. “We also play a bit more with the billionaire playboy side of the character. He lives that life at full tilt. He courts many women, owns many cars, and parties a lot. He does that as a way to fill the void in his soul. Moreover, past incarnations dealt with a straightforward search for justice. This time, Batman’s reasoning is clouded by frustration, bitterness and anger.”

Affleck also reaffirms that his Batman is totally different from Christian Bale’s; one way this is apparent is the fact that Affleck’s Batman lives in the same world as other superheroes. He then says that he “really likes” the two Batsuits that he wears in Dawn of Justice. “They’re faithful to Frank Miller’s vision in The Dark Knight Returns comic. In fact the movie borrows a lot from that comic, as noted by our use of the massive and very symbolic battle armor. They’re pretty heavy and cumbersome in the end. The challenge was to create fight scenes where I could move with ease, which is tough. The suits have to look cool and be functional at the same time. One thing that couldn’t be done before but is finally possible now is to wear the suit without the arms. They put motion sensors on my arms to recreate the rest of the suit in post production. And that allowed me to move my arms freely without looking like a robot during fight scenes. I think it was the first time an actor could have all that flexibility and move his head in a Batsuit!”

As for Affleck’s biggest challenge while filming, the actor-filmmaker says, “That filming took so long – 140 days – and that everything was so compartmentalized, fragmented. It was tough to recall where a particular scene fit in the overall story, or to understand those moments that were stuck between SFX heavy shots which would be completed in post. I’m not used to that type of filmmaking, I can’t switch to cruise control, I have to restart the engine every time. For instance today I’ll only be filming shots of about ten seconds or so, which will then be edited to build an entire scene. I’m more used to shooting a whole scene in order to try different things. This time around it’s very technical, and you don’t really have much freedom amid all those visual effects.” 

Affleck goes on to praise Lex Luthor, played by Jesse Eisenberg. So far, this iteration of Lex has been polarizing among fans. However, Affleck has some extremely positive things to say about Luthor in the movie. “Between the character that was written by Chris Terrio and Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal, it’s the meeting of two great minds, on the same wavelength. Luthor is, for me, the most interesting character in the film. He’s radically different from what we’ve seen so far. He’s grounded in reality, and he’s extraordinary. This type of film is only as good as its villain. That’s why The Dark Knight was so brilliant, because of Heath Ledger’s Joker. Jesse improves the film with each scene he’s in. He’s not your usual one-dimensional villain, there’s a whole psychology behind him.” Finally, when asked who will win in the epic fight between Batman and Superman, Affleck says, “Well… When you see the film, you’ll realize it’s more complicated than that! There’s no real winner. I like the idea that Truth is the winner.”

Talk then turns to Superman actor Henry Cavill. He admits that Superman doesn’t undergo an extreme evolution from Man of Steel, saying that Batman v Superman primarily focuses on how the world views the Last Son of Krypton. “Superman himself isn’t that different. He does however have to deal with a new set of problems because he’s now been revealed to the world. This film is more about how the world in general – and Batman in particular – sees this alien, and less about the evolution of Superman.” He then comments on the relationship between Superman and Batman, as well as how they work towards the same goal. “We’re seeing Superman and Batman together for the first time in a movie, with flesh-and-blood actors. They’re two sides of the same coin. They have the same goal, but use very different methods to achieve it. Understandably, that leads them to clash with one another, and their conflict is a historic moment.”

Cavill didn’t get to play the journalist Clark Kent until the ending of Man of Steel, so Batman v Superman will give us our first good idea of how this side of Superman will be portrayed. When asked about this, Cavill says, “Comparisons with Christopher Reeve’s clumsy Clark Kent are inevitable. My Clark Kent is trying to be as small and invisible as possible. If you’re awkward and spilling things constantly, people are going to notice you, and that’s not the best way to go unseen. You have to admit, it’s not a remarkable disguise, just a pair of glasses. He’d like to think that no one will believe he could be Superman. How could such a delicate flower be a living god? Preposterous.” Finally, Cavill says that his tweaked Superman suit is easier to take off than his first one.

In other Batman v Superman news, Warner Bros. may be planning something special for its theatrical release next spring. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio is considering a 70mm release for the film. It was shot partly in 65mm IMAX. The 70mm format is not one often used, as most cinemas do not have the technology to support it. In fact, it hasn’t been used in decades.

However, with Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight set for a 70mm roadshow presentation in some theaters, studios are looking at this format again for other movies. Many more technical details on the 70mm format can be found at the link above. Would you like to see Batman v Superman in this format?

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is scheduled to hit theaters March 25th, 2016. The second installment in the DC Extended Universe stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot. Zack Snyder directs from a script by Chris Terrio and David S Goyer.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WOBAM! Entertainment.

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