No two versions of Batman are completely alike, and we already know a few things about Ben Affleck’s Caped Crusader – due to make his onscreen debut in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – that set him apart from his predecessors. His age (mid-40s) and seasoned warrior mentality have been discussed in the past, but in a new interview Affleck touched on another element of his take on Bruce Wayne – the character’s habit of expressing his anger and frustration in a way that’s perhaps not entirely healthy.
Affleck sat down recently with The Sunday Times to discuss David Fincher’s upcoming film adaptation of the best-selling novel Gone Girl – and how Affleck relates to his character in Fincher’s new movie “even though this guy’s an accused murderer and I’m an actor.” The Oscar-winning actor/filmmaker then acknowledged that he also relates to Bruce Wayne from Batman V Superman, where it concerns how the crime-fighter handles his anger.
Both Bruce Wayne and his own approach to dealing with frustration is a “character flaw,” according to Affleck, but he also feels that bringing that quality to Batman is “a necessity, historically, in the tradition of these films.” Here’s some more insight on the matter from Affleck.
“For me, anger is so deeply buried and contained that when it does kind of come out, it comes out in stronger bursts. I tend to be respectful, polite, get along, put up with, put up with, put up with… then, when it finally emerges, it’s not something I have a ton of control over. I’m not gonna go into a Wolverine berserker rage, but I do have a, I do… I should sit down and say, ‘Listen, I just want to let you know what happened there wasn’t OK’, instead of going, let it go, let it go, let it go … ‘Ah, that’s not a big deal’, until finally you just pop!”
Batman having anger control issues is nothing new for the comic book icon, though that aspect of his personality hasn’t always come across so strongly in past live-action movies featuring the superhero. (Skipping over the raging volcanoes of emotion that were Adam West, Val Kilmer and George Clooney’s Batmans, anyway.)
Michael Keaton’s Caped Crusader in Tim Burton’s Batman films, for instance, generally maintained the appearance of being level-headed and composed, even when he started to get hot under the collar. Meanwhile, Christian Bale’s Batman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy had a number of (in)famous rage-out moments… and yet, the case could be made that when that happened (“Where are they?!!”), Bruce tended to be more invested in projecting the appearance of being out-of-control angry, as opposed to him having actually reached that point.
Point being, if Affleck’s suggesting that Bruce Wayne’s anger control issues in Batman V Superman are going to be similar to the actor’s real-life – a reasonable idea given the influence of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns comic book story on the film – then that quality would only further distinguish his Caped Crusader in director Zack Snyder’s movie, from previous live-action iterations.
Henry Cavill’s Superman in Man of Steel was also a superhero who couldn’t always keep his temper in check (often resulting in severe property damage), so maybe that’s another thing else he and Batman can bond over in the movie. Perhaps they’ll offer one another some much-needed psychological counseling, where Batman teaches Superman about the responsibilities that come with his powers and, in turn, Superman helps Batman to better express himself emotionally. Some face-punching may also be required, during their sessions together.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in U.S. theaters on March 25th, 2016.