In the modern world of superhero blockbusters, expanding budgets means nearly every unbelievable or memorable shot is fueled by millions of dollars of CGI. Or, in the case of Batman V Superman, an old Hollywood trick was to thank for one of the most unforgettable shots of Ben Affleck's Batman. Not one of the biggest, most expensive, most iconic, or thematically resonant - so those hoping for a massive reveal should check their expectations. No, this is a case of a small moment in Bruce Wayne's life being brought to life by two actors... likely trying to keep from grinning like schoolboys while they pulled it off.
The inside scoop comes from actor Richard Cetrone, a frequent stunt collaborator of director Zack Snyder's, and a just as frequent stunt double for Ben Affleck - who has also lent his talents to doubling the likes of Iron Man, Civil War's Vision, Wonder Woman's Ares... you get the idea. But for all the complicated fight sequences both in and out of Batman's massive armor in Batman V Superman, the insight offered by Cetrone of a blink-and-you-miss-it moment is one guaranteed to please fans of the film (or old school cinematic trickery).
Cetrone made the revelation while speaking with the Holy Batcast, revealing all there is to know about bringing Zack Snyder's Batman to life (when the Dark Knight's combat or acrobatics take over). We would recommend fans give the entire episode a listen, but one anecdote in particular offers the kind of glimpse behind the superhero curtain that reminds us why we love these films in the first place:
"I can share this story with you, I think it's okay. We had a really fun time on set one time, we did-- Do you guys know what a 'Texas Switch' is?... Do you remember the scene where the Batmobile pulls into the Batcave, Batman hops out of it, rips the cowl off, and goes up the steps?... We were having a lot of fun with that because we hadn't had any shots in the film where we were both in the same shot, as Batman. So I jump out of the Batmobile, rip off the cowl, walk behind a wall to start walking up the steps - Ben's standing there, and he takes the rest of the way up to the Batcave.
"We had a ball doing that. It sounds like a little thing, but he's a really good guy, Ben. And I told him, you know, 'This is so cool we get to do this together' and it was sincere. It was really fun to do that. And things like that touch his heart, you know? He's a good dude, he really is."
The most devoted fans of the Dark Knight, and Ben Affleck's version in particular will know the exact shot being referenced, since it's one of the only shots of its kind in the film - and a voyeuristic glimpse of Bruce Wayne rarely seen. With the demands of Hollywood costuming, hair, makeup, rubber cowls, and the obvious reliance on doubles, seeing a superhero hop from their car and get down to work is absolutely unheard of. We've embedded the scene Cetrone details below - see if you can spot the switch from one actor to the other:
Once fans know to look for it, the 'Texas Switch' may not even be hard to spot - which actually makes it more charming, not less. As more and more comic book blockbusters leave Earth behind for cosmic, green-screen-ed backdrops, the opportunities to even pull old fashioned stunts like these will get less likely. There's already evidence to suggest that a practical approach, with a sense of humor isn't just serviceable, but in some cases preferable to audiences.
If the respected commitment to realism means getting an Oscar winning actor pressed against a wall in tights and cape, waiting for his cue to fool the camera and the audience along with it, stifling giggles all the way... that's the kind of billion-dollar movie making we can certainly get behind.
Source: Holy Batcast