‘Justice League’: Ben Affleck and Zack Snyder on How the Events of ‘BvS’ Changed Batman

     June 22, 2016


With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, audiences were introduced to a very different kind of Batman than had ever before graced the silver screen. Drawing from the classic comic The Dark Knight Returns, Ben Affleck’s Batman was a broken man; an older, grizzled, more cynical version of the Dark Knight with an almost perfunctory thirst for vengeance and a severe hatred of the outsider known as Superman. But when Affleck’s Batman returns in Justice League, audiences will get a taste of yet another new iteration of the Caped Crusader—one with a bit more optimism.

Collider’s own Steve Weintraub visited the London set of Justice League last week along with a group of reporters, and during his conversations with Affleck and director Zack Snyder, he gleaned that the Batman we see in this film has been significantly changed by his brief relationship with Henry Cavill’s Superman, with Snyder specifically speaking about the arc he and Affleck hashed out for the character:

“I talked to Ben about it— of like, how can we not be stuck with this single-note Batman for whatever, if it’s three movies, because he’s making his Batman movie, like what do we do? And we talked long and hard about like, ‘Okay, in Batman v Superman he’s here. He’s at the end of his career, and he’s down here, and he’s seen this thing that now he wonders what his relevance is, and maybe he can do this one thing.’ And then the example of Superman makes him go, ‘No, you know what? I’m not done. I’ve got more to do. I’ve got to persevere and make it right.’ And that’s the Batman you get now at the beginning of Justice League, is that he’s on a mission, and he’s really clearheaded about the mission and about the others that he’ll need to complete it.”


Image via Warner Bros.

In terms of actually putting together this team of superheroes given that Batman is basically the true protagonist of Justice League, Affleck admits that Batman struggles initially:

“That’s sort of the interesting thing about this Batman is that on the one hand, he’s sort of the ultimate loner, but on the other hand, he’s sort of tasked with putting together a group. So is the guy who basically broods in a cave all day really the best person to put together a team of superheroes? And he doesn’t have huge success initially. He rubs some people the wrong way or they rub him the wrong way, he’s got to figure out how to play well with others. He barely knows how to play well with Alfred.”

But the ensemble nature, Affleck says, allows Batman to lessen some of that cynical burden and, frankly, lighten up a bit:

“There’s a little bit more sardonic humor, a little more irony. He’s on a little more man on a mission this time. As opposed to like he was so full of anger because of what happened at the Black Zero Event. That kind of character, that sort of rage that possessed him. And now he’s on a mission to get this group together. To constitute this League. But, more of his, that sort of Bruce Wayne, wry, ironic gallows humor comes out. He’s not like a ‘haha’ jokey, but that sort of stuff comes out a little bit. A bit of, his sort of darker humor stuff is present.”


Image via Warner Bros.

To put it more succinctly:

“It’s not so ‘I’m getting too old for this shit,’ it’s more like, ‘I need help with this shit.’”

Moreover, Affleck says we’ll see much more of the detective aspect of Batman in Justice League:

“It’s definitely, the world’s greatest detective aspect of Batman is more present in this story than it was in the last one, and will probably be expanded upon further in a Batman movie that I would do. I think all the great Batman stories are, at their heart, detective stories. That’s why they feel like noir movies in a way. Somehow feels like it could be The Maltese Falcon. But at their heart good Batman stories are, like I said, detective stories. And with detective stories, there’s a ‘what’s happening’ element, but there’s also a, ‘how do I find these people and bring them together? How are we going to work together successfully?’ Sort of a multilateralist element.”


Image via Warner Bros.

One of the more controversial aspects of Batman v Superman was the brutality with which Batman expended his enemies, namely all the killing. Per Affleck, Justice League gives us a changed and somewhat remorseful Batman:

“Yeah, in the last movie, Batman definitely went to a very dark place that was rooted in trauma that occurred to people that he loved and worked with and what he saw. This movie is not about that issue for him so much anymore, he’s no longer sort of extreme in that way. From the experiences of the last movie, he’s sort of learned and now he’s sort of – I’m trying to say it without giving away any spoilers – but he’s wanting to redeem himself and wanting mankind to be redeemed and he’s wanting to make the world better. Having learned lessons that were important in the last movie.“

For much more of our Justice League set visit coverage, peruse the links below:


Image via Warner Bros.


Image via Warner Bros.

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