Batman Vs. Superman Producer Michael Uslan On Bruce Wayne's Importance
Michael Uslan knows more about Batman than you do. Alongside Benjamin Melniker, he's been a producer on every Batman movie since Tim Burton brought a becowled Michael Keaton to the world in 1989. His autobiography is called The Boy Who Loved Batman. He was the first person to teach comic-books as a university course. He's also, as you'd expect, hard at work on Batman Vs. Superman, and he recently spoke to EP about his plans for the film.
You can watch the interview in full below, but just to wet your whistle here are some choice quotes about the casting controversy surrounding Ben Affleck:
"We went through it all with Michael Keaton. I lead the charge from the first time I heard Tim [Burton] was thinking of hiring Michael Keaton to play Batman. I'd go, 'Oh my god, all the work, I've put in all these years to do a dark and serious Batman, he's going to hire a comedian!' I could envision the posters: 'Mr. Mom is Batman,' but then he explained his vision, and he was right.
"This is all about Bruce Wayne, it's not about Batman, it's all about Bruce Wayne. If you're trying to do a serious, dark superhero, people have to believe in Bruce Wayne as that obsessed, driven guy, to the point maybe of almost being psychotic. A guy who would get dressed up as a bat and do what he did. So we went through the hoopla with Michael Keaton. The fans were the same reaction that I had initially, except I had the benefit of hearing a vision right away. Then when they actually went to see the movie they never wanted to anyone else to play Batman, never."
"A number of years go by, and then all of a sudden the torches and the pitchforks go up. 'Oh my god, the guy that played the gay cowboy is going to be The Joker? They're going to destroy the greatest super villain in history!' And then after Heath Ledger's performance, when they actually went to see it, nobody ever wanted The Joker played by another actor again.
"So here we are, with an Academy Award-winning filmmaker. You look at his last bunch of movies... Hollywoodland he had me convinced he was George Reeves. The Town, Argo, just really, really great work. Again, I'll go back to what Tim said in the beginning, it's all about Bruce Wayne, and when you focus on it, Bruce Wayne, maybe in his mid-forties, what's he going to be feeling? What's he going to be thinking? What does he have on his plate to deal with? I just couldn't be more excited about it."
Considering a similarly "obsessed, driven" billionaire in the form of Lex Luthor is also part of the picture - as played by Jesse Eisenberg - it makes sense to concentrate on the other "obsessed, driven" billionaire in the room, rather than Batman. Perhaps these two business magnates could butt heads in a boardroom before any actual costumed headbutting happens?
Have a look at the video interview below, and remember that it's a good two years before anyone will see Zack Snyder's Batman Vs. Superman, with the release date still pencilled in for April 29, 2016. Amy Adams' Lois Lane, Henry Cavill's Superman and Laurence Fishburne's Perry White are all set to return, joining newcomers Eisenberg, Affleck, Gal Gadot (as Wonder Woman) and Jeremy Irons (as Alfred).