On December 17, 2015 a French magazine, Studio Cine Live featured Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman on its cover. This cover gives us a fresh look at Gal Gadot looking good as Wonder Woman.
Inside the magazine actors Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill give brief interviews on their roles as Batman and Superman. Batman News and Reader Baby J who translated the article deserve Full Credit for bringing us this interview. See the full article here.
Studio Ciné Live: If you had to introduce your Batman to somebody who doesn’t know the character, how would you describe him?
Ben Affleck: Usually, the films show Batman starting off, or in the prime of his career. Here, you’re dealing with an older version, a guy at the end of his journey. 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. 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.
SCL: Have you analyzed Christian Bale’s version in order to distinguish yourself?
BA: I don’t want to compete with other incarnations, nor do I want to emulate them. Those versions belong in another universe. Christopher Nolan used his Batman to tell a finite story. My version is different, but remains faithful to the Batman mythology and all the themes associated with it. The other difference is that Nolan’s Batman isn’t part of a universe where other superheroes exist as well. Here – because we’re working towards the Justice League – there’s Superman, and it’s a world populated with super beings. This situation generates an altogether new reality.
SCL: How did you react when you first saw yourself in the Bat suit?
BA: When you’re reading the script, you’re wondering how you’re going to play Batman. Then you put on the suit, you look in the mirror and you tell yourself: “There, that’s it.” The suit does all the work for you. In fact, you’re not playing Batman, but Bruce Wayne. That’s when the character becomes complicated and interesting. Batman himself is already a strong emblematic figure. It would be a mistake to overplay him.
SCL: What do you think of the two suits you get to wear in the movie?
BA: I really like their design. 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!
SCL: What was the biggest challenge for you personally on this film?
BA: 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.
SCL: Why is Luthor the right villain for this film?
BA: 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.
SCL: Does Batman v Superman speak about the current world?
BA: I don’t think this film has any sort of lesson, but it’s more than just entertainment, it’s also trying to show that there are real consequences to violence. When a building collapses, people die, and those are lives lost forever. This film also shows that fear is the enemy of us all. Fear brings out the worst in us. When we fear powerful people because we think they might destroy us, we tend to use that to justify any decision we might be tempted to make. There are some parallels with preemptive strikes, and things like that. It allows us to analyze how we think about what we do, when facing a threat. That’s very relevant to what’s going on in the world right now. The film tackles pertinent themes.
SCL: in conclusion, in a fight between Superman and Batman, who wins?
BA: 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.
Studio Ciné Live: How has Superman evolved since Man of Steel?
Henry Cavill: 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. 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.
SCL: How do you plan to portray Clark Kent, the journalist?
HC: 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.
Superman’s suit will evolve from one film to the next, even if they’re just minor updates.
SCL: How is the one featured in Batman v Superman different?
HC: It’s easier to take it off when I have to relieve myself! Suddenly my life is much less complicated.