If you were on the internet yesterday, you might have seen some images from the set of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice leak on to your computer screens. Part of the problem that comes with shooting on location in a real city — as opposed to in front of a blue screen inside a giant soundstage — is that there are real people with real cameraphones lurking around every corner.
BvS:DoJ has had its share of set leaks in the past, and this one isn’t all that revealing, honestly. But for me, it reveals something that I assumed we had moved past in a Batman movie. I won’t reveal anymore until after the cut, but if you’ve read the headline, you’ve already been spoiled. Sorry.
In Part One of our conversation with Michael Uslan, the Batman movie uber-producer recounted his decades-long journey to bring a “dark and serious” version of the Dark Knight from the comic pages to the movie screen, a journey that is the foundation of his memoir, The Boy Who Loved Batman. After a string of Hollywood studios and financiers initially rejected the idea, the Batman film franchise has gone on to earn billions of dollars in box office and merchandising and solidify Batman as a cinematic legend, with even more big screen adventures on the way.
After the jump, Michael and I continue our discussion of what makes the Batman such an iconic — and enduring — character.
Originally posted at WilliamBruceWest.com
Confused by the title? That’s really just me using a bunch of words to say “Batman’s a badass.” More appropriately, he’s a dangerous badass. In recent years, especially due to his many cartoons and animated appearances, two things have become prevalent about Batman: he doesn’t use guns AND he doesn’t kill. That’s all well and good, but this had led somewhat to what you might call “the Pussification of the Bat.” People seem to forget that there are fates worse than death, and Batman has dealt out this kind of justice time and time again. After all, why else would criminals be afraid of him? Anyway, this is just my way of saying that Chris Sims isn’t the only one devoting more thought that necessary to the legacy of Batman.
Unless you were living under a rock (or fell down a well and got trapped inside a cave) yesterday, you’re probably aware that Zack Snyder officially revealed the first look at Ben Affleck in the Batsuit. And of course, I — along with everyone else on the internet — went a little nuts over it. In my write up about the Batmobile/Batsuit reveal, I mentioned how it’s already a little more than ten years since the last time my anticipation for a Batman movie was at this kind of a fever pitch.
Coincidentally, the same day that Snyder tweeted out his Batmobile tease, Cinemax happened to be airing Batman Begins. It had been a while since I sat down with the movie, so I quickly got sucked in. An hour into it, I remembered I had a twitter feed.
This week on Hard N.O.C. Life, I’ll be interviewing our buddies Stephen and Patrick from the National Film Society. They just premiered their Kickstarted webseries Awesome Asian Bad Guys to packed houses last week during CAAMFest in San Francisco, and I was lucky enough to have them on to talk about the series. In addition to the NFS guys, I’ll also be speaking with Yuji Okumoto, aka Chozen from The Karate Kid II.
All this talk about Awesome Asian Bad Guys got me thinking about which iconic Asian villains are most beloved by the NOCs. So we assembled around the old roundtable and shared our own Awesome Asian Bad Guys.
Let me start by saying that this post is not intended to be a rant against Batfleck. I’m actually on board with the idea of Ben as Batman, so his fitness to be the new Dark Knight Detective is not what the headline of this article is implying. Instead, as the rumors continue to swirl about the Man of Steel sequel (I refuse to call it Batman vs. Superman because that’s just a dumb title — though these are even dumber), I keep feeling less and less inclined to be happy with the movie. It’s not the sequel we deserve, but it’s the one we’re getting right now. And this from someone who actually
really sort of liked Man of Steel.
Of course, all of the leaks and rumors that are currently flooding the tubes right now could all turn out to be massively wrong. But there was one report that surfaced last week that really made me reevaluate just what DC and Warner Bros. are trying to accomplish with this new, shared cinematic universe.
Earlier I wrote about the endless narrative possibilities available in the superhero comics genre. Of course, comics are not the only medium to enjoy the fractal narrative. Philip Marlowe, the Continental Op, and Sherlock Holmes are ageless detectives forever solving crimes in short stories and novels. If Jet Li had so desired it, Tsui Hark would probably have made fifty more Wong Fei-Hong movies. And the Brits have the idea down with James Bond and Doctor Who.
But while the fractals can expand forever, artists given to make their own new stories and interpretations can sometimes make changes that are so drastic that they change the nature of the character the audience has come to know. Artists should of course be able to bend and experiment with characters to find new avenues, but there must be limits, no? Because the danger in the course of bending a character is the potential of breaking it.