No “Batfleck Begins” after all?
Recently, MoviePilot conducted a huge analysis of all the known information about the upcoming Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and came to an incredible theory: Ben Affleck is not playing Bruce Wayne, but instead Deathstroke the Terminator! After scouring through all of the points of interest and evidence surrounding MoviePilot’s Batman theory, myself, I’d definitely have to agree with them.
(For an argument against MoviePilot’s Batman theory, check over here.)
What about the Dark Knight Trilogy?
It’s been said by Nolan himself that his successful trilogy based on the Batman is just that – a trilogy. Nothing more. Nothing less. However, at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, it definitely leaves a lot of questions to be answered. How will Robin protect Gotham? Will Bruce stay retired? How will the “death of Batman” affect the crime rate of the city? Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not simply believing the theory because I want some sort of closure on these films. I believe the theory because I think there might be a little more than Nolan is telling us.
For example, I agree with Nolan. The Dark Knight Trilogy is complete and over. But that doesn’t mean Nolan’s version of Wayne no longer exists. Many times have the produces and Snyder himself referred to Batman V. Superman as “Man of Steel 2.” That goes to show that they’re not thinking about the upcoming film as a Batman film. They’re looking at it as a Superman film.
Other skeptics say that the trailers and promotional topics have treated Batman as a new player – somebody who hasn’t really been heard of until now. Well that could be a result of Bruce Wayne’s “death” at the end of the trilogy. He’s just now beginning to return as the Batman once more to bring down the destruction of Superman.
There’s also the issue of the Daily Planet. If Nolan’s films are set in the same universe, the Planet should already be aware of who Batman is correct? Well that is true, I’ll admit, but if Bruce Wayne is just now showing up after years of being M.I.A., a lot of the people in the press would be unfamiliar with him. After many years of working, you get new faces, new people: people who don’t know much about what happened with Ra’s al Ghul, Joker, and Bane.
His name is never mentioned
In every single trailer for BvS that Affleck has appeared in, not once was he ever referred to as Bruce Wayne. On that note, the press’s info and official sites like IMDb list him as playing Wayne. However, these resources have misled us before. Back before Iron Man 3 dropped, Ben Kingsley was listed as the Mandarin, despite his underwhelming reveal that he was actually playing a guy named Trevor. Liam Neeson for Batman Begins as Ducard when he was actually the infamous Ra’s al Ghul. Case and point: press information and movie sites don’t list these kinds of plot twists. Sure Affleck is listed for several more Batman movies as Bruce Wayne, but I’d tell you again that IMDb wouldn’t give away the twist. I mean, if BvS has Affleck listed for Wayne, but is listed for his future movies as Deathstroke, that would definitely give it away. More so than that, who’s to say Slade Wilson wouldn’t make an appearance in Batman’s later outings if he has such a prominent role in this film?
What about the Man of Steel?
Well since this is Batman V. Superman, the Man of Steel has to fit into this theory somewhere. MoviePilot says that Kal-El will be cloned via the body of Zod (this is why Luthor in the trailer says “the Red Capes are coming”) and it will introduce Bizarro as a result. This is plausible because it would tie in to the actual fight between Batman and Superman. If Affleck is playing Deathstroke, then he could possibly be trading punches with Bizarro as opposed to Superman.
This may seem a bit of a stretch because of how complex it is, but this would be a great tactic to set the DCEU apart from the MCU. By introducing a plot twist and a cloning element, Snyder could potentially have a much greater hit than an Avengers film.
Are there other signs that point to this?
You may be wondering if there is any other evidence that could support this theory. Well I’m glad you asked! One of the biggest pieces of evidence comes the controversial DC cartoon, Teen Titans Go!. Along with some references to BvS within the show, there is a gratuitous promotional image of the show itself that holds most of the connections. Not only does Jarod Leto’s inked Joker appear in this image, but so does Slade Wilson himself standing next to Ben Affleck. On top of that, Superman is also shown with his head coming loose. The real Superman would never be that fragile, but a clone on the other hand, now we’re getting somewhere. To add to this, a lot of people think that BvS is a loose adaptation of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight run. While Snyder himself has admitted that he took inspiration from that series, it’s by no means an adaptation. Keeping this in mind with the idea of Affleck playing Deathstroke, it’s very likely that the film takes more inspiration from the Outsiders comic, a story in which, wait for it, Deathstroke dons the bat suit himself. From the color scheme down to the physique of the character himself, this seems feasible.
Another point of evidence comes from Batman Begins. The Wayne enterprises logo in that movie is identical to the one seen in the second BvS trailer. Coincidence? I think not.
You may be thinking that this is great and all, but big budget movies never completely adapt comic books because it would seem ridiculous. Comic books are much more outlandish than movies will ever be, correct? Well, if we were talking in the early 2000s, I would agree with you. But we are in a superhero movie renaissance. More and more comic movies are taking notes from their roots and putting them on the big screen. Take a look at X-Men Apocalypse. The costumes those characters wear were ripped straight from the pages of the old Marvel comics. Don’t even get me started on the complexity of Days of Future Past either. If other films can start doing brave and crazy things like this, why shouldn’t BvS?
Batfleck or Benstroke?
After some careful analysis, the case can easily be made for Affleck playing Deathstroke instead of Batman. With the subtle nods and the ambiguous trailers, who knows what we could really end up seeing when the movie releases in March?
Whether you believe the theory or not, it’s definitely no question that there has been a lot of speculation and inhibition regarding this film. Will this incarnation of Batman be able to dethrone Christian Bale? Will the movie blow Man of Steel out of the water? There are a lot of expectations BvS needs to meet and it definitely has some big shoes to fill. DC is trying their hand at Marvel’s connected movie universe and Batman V. Superman will really kick it off. If they succeed, we’ll see a whole slew of new movies related to the DC universe. If they screw up, we may end up seeing another reboot in five years.
Whether we end up seeing Batfleck or Benstroke, here’s to hoping the movie will be able to live up to the buzz that it’s stirred.