The cast of the upcoming film, The Batman, is starting to take shape. Fresh off the news that Ben Affleck will be playing the Caped Crusader, the press are now swarming on the set of the project. Today’s edition of the Hollywood Reporter brings us a new photo of the actor portraying the billionaire vigilante.
While on the surface, the photo doesn’t feature much more than a head and shoulders portrait of Affleck, it’s actually a clever Photoshop trick that hides some surprising details about the actor’s costume and makeup.
A Real Look Into The Batman’s Wardrobe
For a costume-based film, The Batman seems to be taking its inspiration from the 1960s Batman television show, rather than its more famous counterpart. For the most part, the film will follow the same basic structure of the 1966 series, with a strong emphasis on practical effects and stuntwork. Director Matt Reeves has already been active in the industry, having helmed the decent 2007 adaptation of Richard Stanley’s comic book, The Adventures of Tintin.
As someone who has followed Batman’s career for most of his life, I have to say that there are several aspects of the new Batman film that intrigue me. First off, as a devoted comic book reader, I am naturally drawn to the opportunity to see some of my favorite characters on screen. Unfortunately, it appears that The Batman will be a straight adaptation of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, rather than anything new. That being said, the film certainly has the makings of a good popcorn flick.
Still, as a Batman fan who has been following the character’s recent movies, it’s clear that Reeves and screenwriter Justin Theroux have some idea of what makes the character tick. With a basic plot that follows the familiar outline of his story, Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns will serve as a useful guide for the new film. In the story, Batman fights against an overbearing government and a ruthless police force, both of whom want to imprison him for crimes he hasn’t committed.
The Makeup Regimen For The Batman
While I may not be the world’s greatest makeup artist, even I can’t ignore the sheer beauty of Michael Keaton’s Batman makeup. With its flawless application, careful curating of colors, and subtle yet stylish blend of prosthetics and rubber, it’s clear that the makeup team went the extra mile to make their client appear as realistic as possible.
From the moment that image of Keaton’s Batman graced the silver screen, the character became an iconic figure. His portrayal cemented the fact that it was never really about the suit but about the actor’s performance, which pushed the limits of what a costume could do. While Keaton’s status as the definitive Batman probably won’t be challenged in The Batman, it’s interesting to see how much the role could evolve after more than half a century.
A Real Look Into Batman’s Stunts
One of the things that really separates The Batman from other superhero movies is its emphasis on practical effects and stunts. The studio behind the film has already revealed that the bulk of the fighting will be done by stuntmen, with the occasional bit of motion capture work for additional realism. As someone who has followed the industry for a number of years, it was really encouraging to see that Reeves and Co. would go to such great lengths to make sure that the fights feel as authentic as possible.
Inevitably, such a high-profile movie will have more than its fair share of special effects. However, instead of just using the standard, cookie-cutter green screen technology that has become all too commonplace in films, the creators behind The Batman have opted for a more unique approach, which involved enlisting the help of several Hollywood makeup artists; myself among them. It turns out that the more complex the special effects get, the more complex the makeup will have to be.
Even then, I can’t help but feel that what we have here is more than enough to pull off the effects that they are after. As someone who has watched the franchise grow over the years, it’s clear that they have put a lot of care into making sure that the stunts and effects look as good as possible, without being too distracting from the actors’ performances.
For the most part, the effects will be handled by Simbionix, a company that has previously worked on the films Tron: Legacy and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, as well as the TV series Game of Thrones. The effects team has been hard at work for months, training with real bats and other melee weapons to ensure that they are as realistic as possible. Even then, they won’t be entirely able to capture everything, so some CGI will still be required.
It’s All About The Ben Affleck Effect
One of the things that really makes this picture stand out is its lead actor. Affleck, previously best known for his work in the acclaimed 2003 drama, Out of Sight, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor, will be playing a considerably different character in The Batman. For the most part, his Batman will be cold and calculating, using cunning and strategizing to take down his enemies. This is in stark contrast to the more traditional Batman, who is usually depicted as a man of action, leaping into battle without warning or preparation.
While I won’t deny that there is some interesting material behind the scenes, this new Batman will require a lot of psychological preparation from Affleck. Like many other big-name Hollywood stars, such as Tom Hanks and Morgan Freeman, Affleck will be taking on a huge role in a movie that is arguably among the most anticipated film adaptations ever made. With production on the project set to begin this Summer, it’s clear that Hollywood will not miss out on the opportunity to cash in on this year’s biggest blockbuster.