For better or worse, we’re going to be seeing some real change in the DC Extended Universe. As reported extensively here at LRM, the brass over at Warner Bros. have seemingly mis-diagnosed the problem with Batman v Superman as a “tonal one.” When the film hit theaters last year, and failed to live up to the name (at least in a lot of fans’ minds), the studio seemed to be in a mad scramble to fix the situation.
They went and re-cut Suicide Squad so that it displayed a lighter, more audience-friendly tone, and they spouted the lighter take on the superheroes that would be evident in the 2017 film, Justice League. They even went so far as to fly out a whole bunch of press to changed the entire narrative surrounding the DCEU. It wouldn’t be all doom and gloom anymore.
It’s been several months, and in that time, Suicide Squad has come and gone, proving that the issues go a bit deeper than tone. But that’s not to say we aren’t still cautiously optimistic about what Justice League will have to offer us. Based on what we’ve seen so far, both it and Wonder Woman look like promising prospects for DC fans.
Now, in a recent interview with Cineplex Magazine, Batman himself, Ben Affleck, reiterated some of the major differences us fans will see when Justice League hits the theaters later this year.
“Justice League, you probably saw the teaser that came out of Comic-Con; I thought it is nicely emblematic of the kind of minor tone shift and segue in storytelling. It’s a little bit lighter, the characters are a little bit more comfortable in themselves, so they can express a wider array of emotions. And there are just more people in it, so it’s more fun. It’s all of these different characters bumping up against each other and the team dynamic offers a lot of dramatic possibility.”
Affleck didn’t just talk about the difference in the movies, but also went into detail as to who different his Batman is from all the others who came before him, including Christian Bale, George Clooney, Val Kilmer, and Michael Keaton. He also expressed his opinion as to what makes Batman different in Justice League from how he was in Batman v Superman.
“It’s different in terms of tone and, obviously, just a different actor. I think the most profound difference is that I’m playing the part at an older age than those guys were when they played it, and it’s about a guy who’s had a long life of this experience, rather than someone who’s just setting out on the journey to become this guy. He’s older and wiser, I guess. And he was pretty pissed off in Batman v Superman, but now it’s not about finding revenge in Justice League, it’s about protecting the Earth. So the feel is different.”
We’ve said this time and again: the problem with Batman v Superman wasn’t necessarily the tone, but more the disparity between ambition and overall execution (the vastly inferior theatrical cut didn’t help things, either). Hopefully, in lightening the tone, they’ve also taken the extra attempts to simplify the story into something less ephemeral than what we experienced in Batman v Superman (admittedly, the recent rumors that the film is a “mess” aren’t promising).
What do you make of Affleck’s comments? Are you optimistic that Zack Snyder and WB have learned from their previous outing? Sound off down below!