The Dark Knight Returns

Talk about, part of the Batman stories, The Dark Knight Returns was a big influence on BvS, but that’s sort of an end of the Batman story, Batman quits at the end. But you’re how do you bring Batman back from the edge where he was sort of maybe more violent, more harsh than ever before and bring him back? 

This is not exactly, and you bring up a very good point, Batman v Superman was very heavily influenced by The Dark Knight Returns, and this has other influences that I don’t want to name because then it will give away story elements and stuff like that, because then you’ll go, “well, in that story, this happens.” But working with Terry O. and Geoff Johns and obviously Zack, we’ve culled, what any smart person would do, steal the best stuff you can from all the great material that’s out there. But one of the things obviously, is you can’t go past the end. This is now not a guy at the end of his rope but kind of a guy at the beginning. Starting over, reborn and believing. Finding hope. The thing that he’s hopeful for he’s holding onto desperately. And he really believes in this idea of forming this group. I can definitely say that. That starts him off and that’s his core mission here. Obviously that’s something different because that’s a guy who’s not nihilistic, he hasn’t given up. He deeply believes that this is something that needs to happen and he’s in the awkward position of being kind of out there with a cup in his hand like, you know, “believe in this, this is a good idea.”

BvS is very dark and gritty and we’re seeing this scene it looks like we’re already bringing some humor to it. What would you say are the biggest changes by comparison to those two movies?

There’s definitely room for more humor. It’s not going to be – DC movies I think, by their nature are a little more – gothic, or mythic rather, excuse me, than some comic book movies are. But that movie was very dark and heavy because it was really rooted in Dark Knight Returns which is a heavy, dark book. And this is not that. This is a step in evolution in that to bring together all of these characters who have had their origins. It’s about multilateralism, and it’s about hope and about working together and the kind of conflicts of trying to work together with others. It’s a world where superheroes exist, so there’s comedy in that necessarily, trying to work with other people and people trying to accomplish goals together is the root of all great comedy in my view. So there’s definitely, hopefully some fun in it. But it’s not unrecognizably these characters or these stories. It’s not turning it upside down.

parademons in Batman v superman

We know there’s Steppenwolf, we’ve heard Mother Boxes, we’ve seen concept art for parademons, is there an element for Batman now, like, “I’m getting too old for this shit, like this universe is just, it’s not just one Kryptonian or one monster.” 

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

[Laughs.]

It’s like, guys, we’re getting way out of his league. It’s definitely stepping up to the level you know, in the comic books when you have a lot of things from other planets, other supervillains that are way more powerful than your average human being who’s got a batarang and a grappling hook is equipped to deal with. So we’re able to explore the powers of these other heroes and what they can do. Which is pretty exceptional too. If you want to be able to use the powers of Flash and Wonder Woman and Cyborg, you have to have bad guys who are up to snuff and give them what they can really kind of get their cars out on the track and open up the accelerator a little bit.

Justice League Concept Art

Well, Batman is sort of the leader of the group. Is there any kind of challenge from the other members to his leadership? I mean, Aquaman’s a king, I can’t imagine him taking orders from another character would go over very well, 

You know, Aquaman’s a very strong character, played by a very strong actor with a very strong personality, so I don’t think he’s the sort of guy who at any point in his life takes orders from people. Jason Momoa, he’s got a very strong, stubborn, independent, powerful energy. So it’s not like any of these characters show up and immediately go like, “yes sir, what should I do, Mr. Wayne?” It’s about like trying to get a lot of disparate people who are used to being very powerful and independent to try to work together. And it’s about how hard it is for them to all get along. And there are some characters who really hit it off with each other, some that don’t hit it off with each other, almost come to blows, and it’s about trying to contain that. So it’s not an easy ride trying to get this group to come together.

Is there any conflict in this one regarding Batman’s tactics? Because one of the conflicts of the last movie was that Batman was, I wouldn’t want to say sadistic, but he was very violent and he killed if he had to. 

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.

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A lot of people are looking forward to your perspective in a solo Batman movie. Do you have a timeframe as to when you might want to see it in theaters?

I think they have a date for it. Although, I don’t know if I would necessarily be able to make that date because I don’t have a script that’s ready yet. So that’s my, my timetable is I’m not going to make a movie until there’s a script that I think is good because I’ve been on the end of the things when you make movies when you have a script that’s not good yet and it doesn’t pan out. [Laughs.]

Can I ask where you are in the scripting process? Do you have a draft that you’re really happy with or a story that you’re really happy with but you just need to flesh it out further?

AFFLECK: I have a script, we’re still working on it, and I’m not happy enough with it yet to actually go out there and make a Batman movie, for which I have the highest of standards, I would say. That’s something that would have to pass a very high bar for me. It’s not just like, “yeah, that might be fun, let’s go try this out.”

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