When we first saw Ben Affleck as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he was anything but happy. The Dark Knight was a pessimistic curmudgeon who believed that Superman presented a danger to the world. However, Supes’ sacrifice made him change his ways. And we’ve seen a little bit of that change in some of the trailers for Justice League. He certainly had a fun time recruiting Barry Allen (Ezra Miller). But I can’t say the same for Aquaman (Jason Momoa). But these changes in tone signify that the DCEU is walking away from the dark tones the franchise has started off with. Wonder Woman was a nice way to start off, and bringing in Joss Whedon to direct Justice League will help tone down the darkness.
Now Affleck says audiences will see a different kind of Batman in Justice League. According to him, it will be a “more traditional Batman.” More on the story below.
Speaking to EW, Affleck talks about the evolution of the Dark Knight. Going from a rage-fueled vigilante to a somewhat softer hero:
BvS departed a little bit from the traditional Batman. He started out with all this rage directed at Superman, because of his coworkers who had died in the fight Superman had with Zod. He was holding on to a lot of anger, in a little bit of an irrational way. Whereas this is a much more traditional Batman. Heâ€™s heroic. He does things in his own way, but he wants to save people, help people.
Since Batman saw his fellow Justice Leaguer give up his own life to save the world, it only makes sense that Batman would follow the same path and be just as heroic. Trouble is, he knows the impending threat that is coming, and it will be up to him to keep the heroes together as a unified squad:
Heâ€™s put in this position of having to reach out, find other people, convincing them to do something. Part of the drama of the movie is the question of whether or not the team is going to come together. Itâ€™s very different from the tenor of the last movie.
But what does all of this mean for the Batman, himself? According to Affleck, it means that we will be seeing a more traditional Batman. He is still an independent agent, but one that recognizes he has to serve the greater good:
[T]his is a much more traditional Batman. Heâ€™s heroic. He does things in his own way, but he wants to save people, help people â€¦ This is more in keeping with the canon of how Batmanâ€™s usually been portrayed, and how heâ€™s portrayed vis a vis the Justice League in the comics. This is more the Batman you would find if you opened up your average Batman comic book â€¦ not that itâ€™s average. I think itâ€™s a really cool story.
The Batman that we saw in Dawn of Justice was a demoralized hero who has given up any and all hope of his city being saved. And while it was a nice change of pace for the Dark Knight, seeing a slightly more optimistic Batman in future films is a bit disappointing. I would have loved to have seen more of the disheartened hero bring his own sense of justice to Gotham City. But I guess that won’t be happening anytime soon.
Justice League hits theaters on November 17, 2017.