A credible rumor arose the other day that Warner Bros. decided to skew the running time for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in favor of the Caped Crusader over the Last Son of Krypton. Essentially, instead of getting more screentime than Batman or at least be on equal footing with him, Superman’s presence was being scaled back a bit in the film. Rumor turns to fact, as director Zack Snyder has finally confirmed this decision…
“Because it’s a different Batman than the Batman that was in the Chris Nolan movies, … we have a little bit more explaining to do and you just had a whole Superman movie,” he said. “But I think only in that way, because you need to understand where Batman is with everything. And that’s more toward the beginning, but it evens back out as it goes on.”
On the one hand, he is right. This is a new Batman for the silver screen and one that needs to make his own mark on the brand if we are to spend the next decade or so with him. Ben Affleck absolutely needs some breathing room in the role. On the other hand? We’re also getting a bit of him in Suicide Squad next August and then plenty more in Justice League: Part One (2017), Untitled Batman Solo Film (2018), and Justice League: Part Two (2019).
That’s five films containing Batman across a timespan of 3 years and only one of them is an extended cameo. The rest are all main roles. That’s more than enough time to be introduced to Ben Affleck’s incarnation of the Dark Knight and for audiences to get used to him. There’s also the fact that Affleck is our fifth onscreen Batman since 1989, across eight films now (not counting Squad through JL2). We might not know this Batman, but we sure as hell know Batman in general. Hell, we’re also getting a LEGO Batman movie in a few years time. Paired with Fox’s “Gotham“, the current animated series, video games, and the constant DTV animated films, we are about to have more Batman than ever!
Yes, I’m looking forward to Affleck’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne and his dark alter-ego. Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing how he interacts with his own new version of Gotham and its citizens. Yes, I am excited to see Batman finally interact with Superman in live action form on the big screen next year. I am not, however, happy to see Superman scaled back in his own movie just to get some more time with Batman. There’s no need for it. Not when we still have 3 more Batman-filled films headed our way in as many years, along with a featured cameo in Suicide Squad.
As always, WB will stick with what they know and despite having tons of interesting characters at their disposal from the DC back catalog, they only seem to give a damn about Batman. I’d laugh about the following fan-created joke image becoming fact, but it’s really not all that funny anymore. Stare and despair, because I have no doubt that at least one of WB’s execs thinks such a thing is a good idea…
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