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In the Gotham City of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ben Affleck’s nighttime crime fighter is as much Judge Dredd as Dark Knight, with one of the movie’s producers revealing that he’ll take a much harder stance in his war on crime than is traditional.
As producer Charles Roven told Empire, Affleck’s Batman “is not giving people a chance” in the new movie. “He is more than a vigilante,” he explained. “He has become not only the cop, if you will, he has also become the jury and executioner.”
Executioner? That’s a significant change from the regular Batman mythos where Bruce Wayne’s caped alter-ego is sworn to protect all life, even if it’d make more sense to let some villains die. That’s not to say that the comic book Batman has never killed — in his earliest appearances, especially, the character was surprisingly eager to help foes meet grisly ends — but his unwillingness to cross the line in general has allowed for characters such as the Joker and Ra’s Al Ghul to return in multiple storylines.
Roven said that the change in Affleck’s Batman comes from bitter experience. “He’s seen the worst of what man can do,” he said. “He’s been darkened by it, he’s tougher, he’s angrier, I guess.” While he wouldn’t go into details about what, exactly, defines “the worst of what man can do,” Roven did tease that this Batman has “lost those that are near and dear to him, and not necessarily from old age or disease.”
Empire had another tease for BvS to share: a distant image of “a new threat … with Balrog-like bulk and Hulk-esque power” who’ll appear in the movie, described by director Zack Snyder as “one of the DC Universe’s most iconic and powerful villains.” It’s possible this is a reference to Doomsday, who’s already showed up in a trailer for the movie, but if not … could this be confirmation of the oft-speculated appearance by Darkseid?
(The seeming giveaway would be the omega symbol the character stands in front of. It’s iconography that’s been connected with Darkseid for many years; one of his superpowers even has the name “omega beams.”)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, starring Affleck, Henry Cavill and Jesse Eisenberg, will be released on March 25, answering all manner of questions when it arrives — and likely asking even more.
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