Ben Affleck made his way to Comic-Con Saturday, braving the geek hordes a week after splitting very publicly from Jennifer Garner, who played his leading lady the last time he donned superhero spandex. He revealed how he got the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice gig after director Zack Snyder told him he was “perfect” for the role: “He said, ‘He’s at the end of his rope, he’s older, he’s like a burnout.”
The Dark Knight is a family man out for blood in the upcoming superhero-on-superhero action pic, which pits Affleck’s grumbling Batman against the Superman actor Henry Cavill introduced in Snyder’s Man of Steel.
Warner Bros. unveiled its most revealing look yet at the March 25, 2016 blockbuster in Hall H as the centerpiece to its DC slate, sneaking in a logo for an unannounced new Green Lantern reboot.
Suicide Squad helmer David Ayer and his cast flew down from the Toronto set of their antihero team-up to smile and wave at the 6,000-plus fans at Comic-Con, dropping a grimy, moody teaser of their own that ends with a demented look at Jared Leto’s new Joker.
“All this good vs. evil shit’s kind of played out right now,” said Ayer. “It’s time for bad vs. evil. And who’s got the best bad guys out there? DC Comics. I’m not trying to start no East coast-West coast feud with Marvel, but hey, somebody’s got to say the truth.”
On the flip side of Suicide Squad, then, is Batman v Superman: Good vs. Good. After the events of Man of Steel, Supes has become persona non grata to the fractured public he lives to serve, and the government wants him shut down. So does the mecha-suit wearing Batfleck, who blames Superman for the tragic 9/11-esque toppling of Wayne Tower.
The film sets Warner Bros. DC slate on course by introducing Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Jesse Eisenberg in a nightmare-inducing wig as Lex Luthor (WB’s Comic-Con trailer also teased a shot of a dead General Zod being unzipped from a body bag.)
According to Affleck, Batman’s bat-rage also plays out as a superhero class war. “There are some really interesting ideas of Metropolis being a big, successful city and Gotham being a place where a lot more downtrodden people live,” he said. “There’s a ferry people take across who work in Gotham City… there were a lot of ideas that were a little bit too smart for me to understand that the movie was trafficking in, and I thought made it feel real to me, and smart.”
Snyder put the beef in simpler real-world terms: Metropolis is the San Francisco to Gotham City’s Oakland. “The big rule we broke was we put Gotham and Metropolis right next to each other,” said Snyder, who came up with the original idea with Argo scribe Chris Terrio. “If you dig deep enough you can find a justification for just about anything.”
Affleck also came to Comic-Con equipped with a nerdy anecdote for the comic book crowd. Shopping for Halloween costumes with his son after signing on to play Batman, he ran into The Dark Knight’s Christian Bale in a costume store. What friendly advice did Bale have for donning Batman’s duds?
“Make sure you can piss in that suit.”