Producer Michael Uslan Talks Batman vs. Superman, Casting Ben Affleck
February 7, 2014
Producer Michael Uslan leads an enviable life. He's been the producer on every "Batman" film starting with Tim Burton's classic in 1989. Since then he's been with the character through good times (The Dark Knight) and bad times (Batman & Robin). Uslan is already hard at work on the next big screen version of the character that we'll get to see in Zack Snyder's upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie. Speaking with EP Daily, Uslan talked about the the anticipation for the new project saying:
"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 be just so excited about."
The subject then turned to Ben Affleck's casting as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and having been present for a number of Batman casting sessions, Uslan has a great perspective on the matter.
"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."
You can check out the full video interview with Uslan below.
Written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer, the Zack Snyder directed film will star Henry Cavill, reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent, Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Alfred. Set to open worldwide on May 6, 2016, the film also reunites Man of Steel stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.