Ben Affleck explains how ‘Batman v Superman’ reflects current politics

What happens when one person has just too much power and there is no one checking that power?

That’s a question you might expect to associate with this year’s presidential election, but it’s the central theme of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the superhero smackdown opening in theaters on Friday.

It’s hard when watching the movie, which has a major political storyline involving senate hearings questioning Superman’s actions and a senator played by Holly Hunter, not to think about the current political landscape and the 2016 presidential election. And audience members aren’t the only ones with the political in mind.

“One of the things that I say in this movie is, ‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely,'” Hunter told USA TODAY on the red carpet for the film’s NYC premiere. “Thomas Jefferson was talking about. We’re talking about that today, very much so. It’s serendipitous that it happens to be so acute right now in current events, but there you have it.”

Ben Affleck, who is making his big debut as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the movie, doesn’t see it quite that simply.

“I don’t see this movie as overtly political. I think that would be a mistake. I don’t think you want to get pedantic with a movie like this. I think that’s dangerous.”

But he did note that while it’s a not a “political movie,” it does bring up very thought-provoking political themes.

“(The screenwriters) had many conversations about politics and the nature of politics in movies,” he said. “This is a movie that has a substance to it … and is provocative. I don’t think it’s strident, I don’t think it’s preachy, but I think it does raise the question of, ‘What happens to us when we become afraid of one another?’ which is a very current theme. It doesn’t mean to lecture at you or to hector you, but I do think that it’s a ballsy movie and evocative, and a movie that isn’t just about two cartoon characters slugging it out.”

Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill talk fight scenes, the ‘M’ word and lubing up

At last they meet. Not Batman and Superman, but Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck on the pages of ShortList. Andrew Dickens sits them down for a chat.

Actors, they say, always seem to be smaller than you think in real life. It’s usually true. Unless, of course, you’re more of a theatre-goer, where they tend to be exactly the same size.

Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck are exceptions to the rule. They are a big pair of lads. Cavill, you expect, would be an ounce of will and a tin of fake tan from winning Mr Universe; Affleck – taller, but still solid – looks every inch the retired NFL quarter-back.

A bit of physical presence is a start, of course, when you’re playing the world’s two most iconic superheroes. Batman vs Superman: The Dawn of Justice sees Cavill’s Man of Steel confronted by Affleck’s a none-too-impressed Dark Knight. An unforgettable clash of titans, you’d think, wouldn’t you? Think again.

[nifty_toggle title=”What was it like shooting your first day together?” start=”open”]HC: I’ve been asked this, I don’t remember. Were we Clark and Bruce?
BA: Obviously it was really meaningful to both of us [laughs]! We passed a lot, we didn’t work together all that much.
HC: There’s a lot of build up towards the conflict but we’re not sort of hanging out. That’s next [laughs].
BA: It was just you and my stuntman in a metal suit [laughs].
HC: Ok. I’m going go with this answer: absolute amazing
BA: It’s seared into my memory. He was more masculine even than he appears in photographs [laughs].
HC: In all honesty, it must have been pretty cool. You’re focusing on the task at hand. If you step outside it, you look at it and go, “Wow! It’s Batman and Superman standing right next to each other!” but we don’t see it like that. It’s Henry and Ben about to do a job.
BA: It’s all so deconstructed, particularly the fighting. It’s all done bit by bit. Broken down into moment by moment. So you never get a sense of how cool, flashy and sexy it all is when it’s all put together with the visual effects and everything else. It’s inevitably some ignominious moment when you’re half-dressed and you’re wet, getting hoisted by wires. It’s never really as cool as it looks.[/nifty_toggle]
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“Live by Night” Gets 2017 Release Date

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has dated a quartet of films including Ben’s Live by Night. That film, which Ben directed and adapted from a Dennis Lehane best-seller, will bow Oct. 20, 2017 (Ben also stars). There are currently no films in that slot, though Universal will open the Michael Fassbender starrer The Snowman — another gritty adult-skewing drama based on a best-seller — the week before.

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” London Premiere

After yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels, Warner Bros. canceled the red carpet press line for the screening in light of the heightened security concerns and in deference to the victims of the bombings but the premiere went on as planned at Odeon Leicester Square.

“Our hearts go out to the victims of recent terrorist attacks, their families and the communities impacted around the world. Rather than yield to terror, we’ve decided to join the film’s fans and move forward with the London premiere of Batman V Superman this evening.” – Warner Bros.

Ben walked the red carpet with his “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” co-stars, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Holly Hunter and more. We have more than 350 pictures of Ben from the event at our gallery and be sure to watch some red carpet arrival and interview videos below.

[nifty_tabs][nifty_tab title=”Gallery Link”]Public Appearances > 2016 > Mar 22 | “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” London Premiere[/nifty_tab][/nifty_tabs]

[nifty_accordions][nifty_accordion_panel title=”Official Premiere Live Coverage”]

Ben arrives at around 25:55 and his interview comes at 50:27

[/nifty_accordion_panel][nifty_accordion_panel title=”Interview with Associated Press”]
[/nifty_accordion_panel][nifty_accordion_panel title=”Interview with HeyUGuys”]
[/nifty_accordion_panel][nifty_accordion_panel title=”HeyUGuys Red Carpet Arrivals”]

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” New York Premiere

Ben attended the New York premiere of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” on March 20 and over 1,000 high quality pictures have been added to the gallery, including photos from the after party. More interview clips can be found below.

[nifty_tabs][nifty_tab title=”Gallery Links”]Public Appearances > 2016 > Mar 20 | “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” New York Premiere
Public Appearances > 2016 > Mar 20 | “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” New York Premiere (After Party)[/nifty_tab][/nifty_tabs]

[nifty_accordions][nifty_accordion_panel title=”Interview with Associated Press”]

[/nifty_accordion_panel][nifty_accordion_panel title=”Interview with ExtraTV”]
[/nifty_accordion_panel][nifty_accordion_panel title=”Interview with AFP”]
[/nifty_accordion_panel][nifty_accordion_panel title=”Interview with Access Hollywood”]
[/nifty_accordion_panel][nifty_accordion_panel title=”Interview with Entertainment Tonight”]
[/nifty_accordion_panel][nifty_accordion_panel title=”Interview with Variety”]

[/nifty_accordion_panel][nifty_accordion_panel title=”Jesse Eisenberg on Affleck as Batman”]


“Dawn of Justice” Batman-Focused Featurettes

The first featurette above is the shorter of the two, and has Ben describing the magnitude of having two “iconic characters of comic mythology” starring in the same film. He also goes into more detail as to where Bruce is when the film begins, stating it’s a new take on the character, one that the many Batman films haven’t seen before. Though the way he’s describing Bruce isn’t new to anyone who has been tracking the progression of BvS since it was announced, it is interesting to hear Ben double down on descriptors like “older, darker” and “world-weary,” while Henry Cavill also chimes in, calling his adversary/future super BFF “brutal” and “unforgiving.” The second featurette below is a little more involved, as it brings in nearly everyone from the primary cast to discuss their characters.

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