Pity the actor who lands the role of a much respected and widely known superhero. While this might seem like an absurd statement to make, the fact of the matter is that aside from the wealth and prestige that can come an actor’s way as the result of portraying a superhero, there is a tremendous amount of pressure, risk and commitment involved in taking on such a task.
Cinematic history has proven that sometimes actors don’t hit the mark in their portrayal of certain superheroes. When that happens, the public doesn’t easily forgive and forget. Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern, Ben Affleck as Daredevil, George Clooney as Batman – these were not easy roles to play and carried with them no small amount of history – particularly in the case of Batman.
No other superhero has appeared on the big screen more than the Dark Knight, which ups the ante considerably on how the character can be portrayed. In the case of Ben Affleck’s return to superhero form as Batman in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck shed some light during this past weekend’s NBA All-Star game pre-show on exactly where his version of Batman finds the character (h/t Comic Book):
“He’s a little over the hill–broken. He’s kind of given up. And when Superman shows up he’s like so powerful that he threatens everything that Batman kind of believes in, and it leads to this conflict. So it wasn’t like I had to play Batman in his prime, so that was at least the excuse that I told myself.”
Both Affleck and Henry Cavill appeared on the pre-game show to promote Batman V Superman (which they both confirmed they’ve seen the film in its entirety) and chat about their characters. While the two actors agreed that the intimidation factor was high when it came to portraying either of these roles, Affleck also admitted that after seeing Cavill as Superman in 2013’s Man of Steel, he was unnerved by the actor’s physical shape.
“For me the hardest part of this movie and movies like this is the amount of training you have to go into – I saw the first movie, Man of Steel that he [Cavill] was in and the kind of shape he was in and it was kind of intimidating… I was like, oh, do I have to look like that? That’s gonna be a lot of work.”
Affleck’s admission that his Batman is “over the hill” when we find him speaks to the reality that Cavill is 11 years younger and as such, adds credibility to the belief that any battle involving Superman and Batman couldn’t possibly end in Batman’s favour. It’s one thing to stage a battle between two superhero titans, but it’s quite another to stage said battle between two physically mismatched titans.
Of course, Affleck’s casting as an older, more broken down Batman is no accident and this portrayal of an aged hero is perhaps intended as a personification of mankind. Given that Superman represents a physically superior being with the ability to bully humanity if need be, Affleck’s Batman could be representative of exactly the sort of hardline perseverance that humanity typically reflects. And who better to represent the human spirit than Batman?
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016, which is followed by Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19, 2020.
Source: Comic Book