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Producer Michael Uslan talks Batman vs Superman casting and direction

02.07.2014

Although BATMAN VS SUPERMAN has been delayed a year, there's still plenty to ruminate on and one of the film's producers, Michael Uslan, talked recently about the direction that Zack Snyder is taking for the MAN OF STEEL sequel as well as the casting of Ben Affleck and how it relates to Tim Burton's 1989 Batman as well as Christopher Nolan's THE DARK KNIGHT. Uslan has been a producer on the Batman films ever since Burton's original and has a very unique take on the proceedings of translating the famed superhero to the big screen.

On how he feels venturing into Zack Snyder's Batman vision:

"I feel great. First of all, Zack's a fanboy, and he loves these characters as much as any of us do. Everybody grows as filmmakers, as actors, all of us in life, if we don't continue to evolve something is radically wrong, and it's so interesting to see the evolution for everybody involved and to see the evolution of Batman, it's exciting and everybody is pumped up about it. Its a chance for a new direction, and it's going to be something that people I think will just be so excited about."

On his take of Ben Affleck being cast as Batman:

"It starts with this, I've lived this in the past before and I'm speaking now really more as a Bat-fan than as the Bat-producer. 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, he had a 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 quality of 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."

Interesting stuff. There's piles upon piles of vitriol all across the interwebs over BATMAN VS SUPERMAN, but we've heard very little from the actual people working on the project, as they're focused on actually making the film, rather than the perceptions of what it may or may not be. Personally, I have the utmost faith that all involved are working to make a kick ass film. I know there's a huge base of doubters/haters and that's fine. Enjoy that. While I enjoy talking about the possibilities, I'm more looking forward to seeing it all on the big screen, which is the final destination to making up your mind whether or not a movie is good or bad.

BATMAN VS SUPERMAN is slated to hit theaters on May 6, 2016.

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