Last night during Fox’s Batman (Villains)-Centric TV show, Gotham, we were “treated” to the 1st Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice footage for the since the official trailer and the more expansive Comic-Con sizzle reel.Rather than an actual trailer, which will follow tomorrow on Jimmy Kimmel Live (as the trailer for Captain America: Civil War did last week) this Wednesday the 2nd of December, Gotham fans were offered an odd clip that gives some hope that Ben Affleck will crush it as Batman / Bruce Wayne, but also raises serious issues about Superman… and whether or not Batffleck wears black eye makeup of not.
First, the “TV Spot” (It’s really a clip…):
Both actors, Affleck as The Dark Knight and Henry Cavill as The Man of Steel are both looking pretty intense in this short teaser; some may use the clip as evidence that Superman has gotten too dark and intense, not at all resembling the Superman of Action Comics. I’ve always been a fan of his casting, and Affleck still seems perfect as The Caped Crusader and Gotham’s #1 Playboy Billionaire, bringing an intense rage with nuances cementing him as the incredible actor he can be. I almost feel sorry for Cavill having to try to out act the very seasoned Affleck, especially caught in a scene that is sooo not Superman.Superman’s anger and apparent army are one riddle this trailer offers… Is Supes under Lex Luthor’s (Jesse Eisenberg) control (we get that same look of anger as he looks up at Luthor after Lex rests his hand over him in the Comic-Con trailer)? Did Batman accidentally lead to the death of a loved one like Lois Lane (Amy Adams)? Or is Superman just really, really, angry?Screengabs from the Comic-Con Trailer. He looks angry there too!
Whatever the case may be, Superman removes Batman’s mask, leading to an even larger question… where’d that classic Batman black eye makeup dissipate to in seconds?
In order to reproduce the look of the Iris-less white eyes of Batman as he is drawn, all the big screen Batmans have worn black eye makeup under their cowl from Michael Keaton to Christian Bale. It looks like Ben Affleck has it one too… but OOPS! Then it’s gone.Definitely some black eye makeup above…Ta-Da! It’s…. Gone! Just super intense… and pissed… Ben Affleck!
Maybe it’s a trick of the mask!
Hopefully tomorrow’s new trailer puts a few things into perspective… including this puzzling scene. Why would Superman have a prison and soldiers? Why unmask Bruce Wayne when he can see through his mask?
Check back later when I post the Jimmy Kimmel LiveBatman V Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer! Here just in time for placement on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Everyone’s a Super Hero these days… or at least a character based on a comic iteration, be they a powerless vigilante or a supporting character. Playing just “3 Degrees of Marvel” is easier than “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”
There are many memorable superhero performances that have redefined comic book characters. Who can imagine anyone but Hugh Jackman playing Logan / Wolverine? Is it possible to think of the Joker without conquering images of Heath Ledger? Even now that we’ve seen Chris Cooper as Norman Osborne in the failure that was The Amazing Spider-Man 2, who could forget Willam Dafoe from 2002’s original Spider-Man film?
Sure, great performances all, but not exactly accurate depictions of the character. Wolverine is about four feet tall in the comic; Tom Cruise would actually be a more accurate portrayal of the character (not that he would be ideal either).
What I’ve collected, is a list of the most accurate casting choices of comic book characters, not the “best” or most “memorable.” Not the biggest characters or Super Heros, necessarily, but the best characters minor otherwise. These are the castings that can’t keep a Geek from smiling because he couldn’t imagine a better interpretation himself when first reading a comic. And after seeing it, this actor will always become the character’s voice when reading decades of comics to come.
5) Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man
Most people use RDJ as Tony Stark as the industry standard of comic book casting… and they ain’t wrong! I just managed to find 4 other castings that are even more accurate.
It turns out that Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark… both on screen and doing interviews. He has all the charm and brilliance that defines Tony Stark, bringing the darker edge of the character into play in Avengers: Age of Ultron, in which writer/director Joss Whedon labels Stark as the villain in the film’s commentary.
RDJ pulls off both sides of Stark, the hero who regrets his own and companies’ past as “War Mongers” and the man so tortured by his experience bringing a Nuke through a wormhole to outer-space that he creates the greatest villain the Avengers have ever faced, and will further be driven to oppose teammate Captain America (Chris Evans) in Captain America: Civil War.
Donwey Jr. is both the perfect physical rendition of Stark as well as a man who share’s Stark’s darker, “less sober” past.
4) Mark Hamill as The Joker
No silver screen actor can touch Mark Hamill’s interpretation of Batman’s nemesis, The Joker, started in Batman: The Animated Series and lifted to nirvana in the Video Game, Batman: Arkham Knight (as well as the franchises earlier chapters, Arkham Asylum & Arkham City).
Hamill’s joker just has more… fun. Hamill has worked an almost endless versions of the laugh, also bringing the Joker’s voice in and out; letting the madness seep from his performance.
Though Animated, Hamill’s Joker is also the most accurate; a man with a giant grin, but none of those scars the film version of the Joker mysteriously decided to use. With the exception of 1989’s Batman and 2008’s The Dark Knight, The Joker has never had scars (Thankfully it looks as though Jared Leto’s Joker will repair this remedy… though his appearance calls to question how accurate his performance will be).
Hamill offers the most fun interpretation of the unstable Joker, with an animated face that can’t be topped by any of the feature presentations of Batman’s greatest nemesis.
3) JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson
There comes a casting every now and then, that is so legendary that not even a reboot of a franchise can top the original. In the case of The Amazing Spider-Man films, the creative talent realized that J. Jonah Jameson was so well cast by J.J. Simmons, that they didn’t even attempt to offer a new take on the character.
J.K. Simmons timing is so perfect, his look so accurate, that it is impossible to read a Spider-Man comic today without hearing the actor’s voice. He’s Spider-Man’s perfect hater, an actor I would still recommend Marvel Studios use for their 2nd “reboot” of Marvel’s Webslinger.
2) Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock
Fox’s Gotham is really the 1st time I’ve seen Jim Gordon’s partner and eventual right-hand-man portrayed by a live-action actor. Even Christopher Nolan, who used the Dark Knight Trilogy to reintroduce us to lost Detective Comics characters like Lucious Fox, failed to produce Harvey Bolluck, an essential character in the comic realm.
Benjamin McKenzie was a hard sell as Jim Gordon, as his most famous role was from female teen show The O.C., but he’s worked out fine. On the other hand, Donal Logue, best known from an equally “shitty” comedy Grounded For Life, lives and breaths Harvey Bolluck into existence in a way that makes the comic impossible to read without hearing Logue’s voice.
A drunk with a conscience and extreme loyalty to his partner, Logue is incredible as Batman essential Harvey Bolluck.
1) Matt Ryan as John Constantine
Finally, we arrive at the best of the best; Matt Ryan as DC Comic’s (formally Vertigo’s) John Constantine! Forget Keanu Reeves who was terribly cast in the big-screen version of DC’s best “master of the dark arts!” Matt Ryan plays the character with the coy cockiness and James Bond-esque womanizer that perfectly reflect the comic counterpart, right down to his appearance.
This is the prime example of an actor breathing life into a formally written & drawn character with no real voice. I know can’t read Justice League Dark or John Constantine: Hellbazler without hearing… and even picturing Matt Ryan. I’d never enjoyed the aforementioned film… or comic until I saw Matt Ryan play Constantine. And since them, he has become one of my most favorite comic characters of all!
There you have it, the 5 most ACCURATE Comic Book Castings… of all time! It may not be the main characters you expected, but these supporting and less known-“Heroes” could not be better represented on the screen!
Batfleck Vs. Superman (also known by the silly title ‘Batman V. Superman: Justice Begins’) is still over a year away with a scheduled release date of March 25th, 2016. In the meantime, I think we should all take a step back to admire the greatest comic book movie of all time; Christopher Nolan’s 2008 film ‘The Dark Knight.’
I wanted to do the top 5 scenes of the entire ‘Dark Knight Trilogy,’ but that was too limiting as there are too many fantastic scenes in my ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ to cover here. I couldn’t even narrow just ‘The Dark Knight’ down to 5 favorite scenes. I need 6 to do the job!
Without further ado, here are the top 6 scenes from ‘The Dark Knight’ in the order they happen in the film’s narrative.
1. The Heist
The Bank Heist is quite the little scene to open and therefore establish the tone of the 2nd movie in Nolan’s Batman Saga. Inspired heavily by the Michael Mann film ‘Heat,’ the scene twists a classic heist into the Joker’s (Heath Ledger) plot, all while setting you on complete edge using the heights of IMAX and the sharp cords of the Joker’s theme… all screaming “Chaos.”
2. Decent Men In An Indecent Time
The Joker’s heist may kick off the movie, but it is a decision made by three men that really set events in motion.
To defeat Gotham’s biggest recognized problem, the mob, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman), and Batman (Christian Bale) make a pact that will dictate the fate of all three involved, as well as collateral damage of Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal).
“We’re going after the mob’s life savings. Things will get ugly.”
“I knew the risk when I took this job, lieutenant.”
Dent accepts the risk willingly, as do Batman and James Gordon.
It is this pact that will determine the destiny of all three men; destroying them all by the end of the film.
3. Dent’s Dark Side
‘The Dark Knight,’ specifically the scene just covered, is largely based on my favorite graphic novel ‘The Long Halloween’ by Jeph Loeb and by Tim Sale.
In the comic, Dent’s dark side is hinted at early in the story; long before the accident that scars him. Let’s just say he may may have done more than take a henchmen down an alley and flipped a coin to decide his life. But we’ll get to that now.
Dent spends half the movie as Gotham’s “White Knight,” the honest and law-fairing District Attorney bringing hope to Gotham. I would argue that Dent’s dark side is introduced too late in the movie; around the hour mark. Even here, the film form is not as severe as his comic version. Hell, ‘Gotham’ showed Dent’s short fuse in the first episode introducing the young assistant D.A.
The 1st sign something is amiss with Gotham’s White Knight is when he interrogates Joker’s henchmen Shiff Thomas; the man wearing the name tag pegging “Rachel Dawes” as the Joker’s next victim.
Thomas gets the ‘ole coin flip multiple times, gun held to his head, until Batman stops Dent. The Dark Knight warns the D.A. that if anyone saw what Dent was doing, faith in the White Knight and Gotham would fail.
Even going off the cuff, Dent left the fate of Shift Thomas to his double-sided coin. He (likely) meant Shift Thomas no terminal harm.
Still, that Dent darkness has to appear somehow.
4. Batman Interrogates The Joker
Batman’s one rule comes back to bite him in the ass. By a rabid dog chasing cars.
It’s really hard not to love this scene. Though Batman has the Joker in his gauntlets, Joker has all the power.
“You have NOTHING! Nothing to threaten me with. Nothing to do with your strength.”
It really is powerful to watch Batman wail on Joker to no avail. His “one rule” that prevents him from killing leads to the deaths of others in the film. This same number was over 600 by the time the pair face off for the final time in Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns.’
In this case, his one rule kills Rachel and blows Dent halfway to hell. But it is this rule that separates Batman from the masked villains. Even though he may lose to the Joker this scheme, I think he may get him in the end…
5. An Unmovable Object and An Unstoppable Force
‘The Dark Knight’ breaks the superhero’s genre one rule, established in classic films like 1989’s ‘Batman’ and carried on to nearly-modern day ‘Spider-Man’ (2002) and ‘Batman Begins’ (2005): kill off your villain so the end is nice and tidy.
The Caped Crusader does toss the Clown Prince of Crime off the Pruitt building… only to catch him with his grappling hook, much to the Joker’s disappointment.
“Oh, you. You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible, aren’t you? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.”
Boom! That’s comics in a nutshell.
Spider-Man doesn’t kill the Green Goblin in the comics (well he does, several, but some come back… and, you know, crazy Marvel stuff); they clash again and again and again. And there are very few foes that have been clashing longer in the comics than Batman and the Joker.
6. The White Knight Vs. The Dark Knight
The real finale. The one we were promised when Gordon, Dent, and Batman meet on that rooftop in the first act.
Things got dirty. And all three of these decent men in an indecent time were torn to shreds by the joker, but none more than tragic Harvey Dent.
“What happened to Rachel wasn’t chance. We decided to act! We three!”
Batman knows what’s up! Cause he’s the world’s greatest detective.
But Harvey Dent is the apparent loser in the room, having lost his fiance (and scared his face), with no knowledge that Bruce carried similar feelings for Rachel.
In the comics, Bruce Wayne blames himself for not revealing to Harvey Dent who he was. For not showing Dent who fought alongside him for the soul of Gotham. For remaining anonymous and letting Gordon and Dent take the brunt of mob vengeance.
In the movie, even in this immense time of crisis, Batman is able to vocalize the importance of Harvey Dent to Gotham; why he was chosen.
“Because you were the best of us! He wanted to prove that even someone as good as you could fall.”
So rests the soul of Gotham in these three-warriors-torn-asunder’s final moments together. Harvey “Two-Face” Dent deciding each of their fates with a flip of the coin.
This scene completes the movie. Three young men with rose-color glasses are wrung through the shredder as a promise they made destroyed their partnership and their lives. Classic Nolan/Batman tragedy.
Nick and Andrew watched 2004’s ‘Catwoman’ starring the right place, wrong time actress Halle Berry. They discuss. On a more accurate Batman related note, they also discuss TV’s ‘Gotham.’ Somehow the Avengers also come into play… somehow.