Sunday, 19 July 2015

Comic Con 2015: Batman V Superman panel

The big reveal for Zack Snyder's (Man Of Steel) Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice at this years San Diego Comic Con was a brand new trailer, showing off the first big screen meeting of Gotham City's own formidable vigilante and Metropolis' modern day saviour. But there was also a whole panel for fans to soak up where some interesting tidbits were revealed.

Ben Affleck (Gone Girl), Henry Cavill (Man Of Steel), Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious 6), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Amy Adams (American Hustle), Jeremy Irons (Beautiful Creatures) and Holly Hunter (Paradise) were all on hand for the panel, each with some interesting things to say about their characters, the legacy that comes with them, and much more.

Director Zack Snyder clarified his use of elements from Frank Miller's iconic The Dark Knight Returns, and says that while they lifted parts of the fan favourite Batman story, they are meant as a homage, rather than a straight adaption.

Even though Batman and Superman have a slew of mythology and "rules" for how to portray these characters and their world, Snyder showed in Man Of Steel (2013) that he is not always going to adhere to them. And Batman V Superman is no different.

In the movie, they decided to put Metropolis and Gotham City right next to each other, making them sister cities like Oakland and San Francisco (the example Snyder used). Ben Affleck elaborated on that particular detail, and gave us some context as to why it matters in the scheme of the story:

"There's this interesting idea of Metropolis being this successful, wealthy city and Gotham being where downtrodden people live. Gotham people take the ferry to Metropolis, and there's this idea of wealth and power, power engenders fear, which made it feel real and smart."

That is certainly a great way to create more conflict between Batman and Superman, making them each of them fight for their own city. Speaking of that conflict, Snyder clarified how Batman uses the metal suit we have seen in the various images and trailers. They call it the "mech suit", with the director describing it as a self-preservation concept, "It's not really enhancing his strength more than protecting him or buying him time. And he's just gonna get pummelled like a piñata."

Each of the actors was asked how their version of the character compares to the previous iterations we have seen in the comics and on the big screen. Jeremy Irons kicked it off by praising Michael Caine (The Dark Knight Rises), but explained that his version of Alfred is a little different, and aims to keep Bruce Wayne happy, safe and hopefully make him grow up a little.

Jesse Eisenberg addressed the campy nature of Lex Luthor in the past, but also said that this version is more emotional grounded, which he attributes to screenwriter Chris Terrio (Argo), who gave each character a real emotional core despite heightened situations.

Both Amy Adams and Gal Gadot were excited to be playing two strong women in the DC Comics universe. Gadot called playing Wonder Woman an opportunity to show this strong, beautiful side of women with someone who is sophisticated, loving, and full of emotional intelligence. Adams, who wanted to play Lois since she was five years old, added that she also loves playing a strong woman with emotional intelligence, but also vulnerability and strength. Will Lois Lane and Diana Prince meet? We will have to wait and see.

Finally, Ben Affleck said that if he thought too hard about the actors who played Batman before him, he probably wouldn't have taken the job. He asked Snyder if he was sure about casting him in the role, and the director said it was perfect for Affleck, because Bruce Wayne is at the end of his rope, an older burnout. But in all seriousness, Affleck ended up discovering a version of the character that was astonishing to him.

Even though this new version of Batman has no ties to Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, that doesn't mean Affleck isn't linked to the former Batman star. Affleck told a story about how he ran into Christian Bale at a costume shop around Halloween, they were both getting costumes for their sons. And the one piece of advice Bale had for Affleck was, "Make sure you can piss in that suit..."

We have already heard that Ben Affleck will be directing a solo Batman movie for sometime in 2018, and it sounds as though he is picking up some tricks from Snyder while working on Batman V Superman. Affleck explained that he would look at the script and the cast, and once that is all in place, there is only so much you can tweak. He would start to envision how a scene would be shot, and then he would see how Snyder moved the camera around for coverage, grabbing dialogue scenes, action, weaving in and out of the scene and thought, "Fuck, I would never have thought to do that." We will have to wait and see if some of Syder has rubbed off on Affleck behind the camera.

Finally, Zack Snyder told fans how he felt taking on a project like this, "It's cool for me because it's really a dream come true type of project. I've always been into the big icon superheroes, and with Batman and Superman, after that I don't know what you do. Getting a chance to make this particular movie with this particular cast, I don't know how it gets better than that. It's a pleasure and an honor to be working with this group."

But this is just the beginning. Man Of Steel not only kicked off this conflict between two of the most iconic superheroes of all time, but Snyder says it might end up being the catalyst for creating conflicts with other superheroes. Did Superman's fight with General Zod somehow mess up the ocean?

You can watch the full Comic Con 2015: Batman Vs. Superman panel below.

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice will hit screens on 25 March next year.

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