It's been an odd internal tussle between Warner Bros.' dual superhero properties, Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad.
The enticing, little morsels of deranged fun promised by the latter's left field take seem to have enchanted fans in a far more striking manner that Batman vs. Superman's big budgeted blowout. The momentum of Zack Snyder's proceeding Man of Steel doesn't seem to have carried the hype for more films quite as well as some may have hoped, and there's a certain weariness in the air at the thought of ol' Kal-El blasting his laser eyes through another set of skyscrapers.
Batman vs Superman's promise seems now to lie in fresh blood; in cinema's first ever appearance of one of comics' most legendary characters, Wonder Woman. And on the Batfleck. Sure, Batman's been a Hollywood icon ever since his first foray to screen in 1966; and we're still very much living in the shadows of Christopher Nolan's intensely revered trilogy.
However, Ben Affleck's take on the character does promise new territory for fans. Fresh enough, at least, that the actor himself felt comfortable in approaching the role without being swallowed whole by phantoms past. He admitted just so while appearing on the NBA All-Star Game Pre-Show; that such an "intimidating" part could only be palatable in the knowledge it diverted so radically from what had come before.
"He's a little over the hill. Broken," Affleck explained. "He's kind of given up. And when Superman shows up he's like so powerful that he threatens everything that Batman kind of believes in, and it leads to this conflict. So it wasn't like I had to play Batman in his prime, so that was at least the excuse that I told myself."
It's an approach which certainly embellishes the film's central conflict in an interesting way; pitching the fresh-faced, eternally youthful saviour against one so burdened under the weight of his own legacy.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits UK theatres 25 March.
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