Pillbox

Superhero movies had a big week

Now that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has burst into theaters, attention has turned to the future of the DC Cinematic Universe. One consistent remark about the film is the strength of Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman as a rugged, beaten down, seasoned vigilante who uses his past to fuel his anger. Most notable is a short scene depicting Bruce Wayne staring at the vandalized costume of his fallen partner, Robin. Director Zack Snyder commented to IGN on why he felt it necessary to include such a visual:

“In my mind, it was that Robin had died 10 years earlier, during some run in with a young Joker ... In a weird way, he sacrificed everything to be Batman, right? He doesn’t really have a life outside of the cave. I thought by including a dead Robin it would help us understand he’s been on quite a little journey.”

Snyder’s comments reinforce his commitment to give Affleck’s Batman the strongest possible motivation to be as brutal as he is. His comments also reinforce the mission of Batman v Superman to setup the films to follow.

On August 5, Suicide Squad comes to theaters and viewers will be introduced to Jared Leto as The Joker. Leto is an Academy Award-winning actor (Dallas Buyers Club) who chooses his roles very deliberately. He has spoken before about his approach to his characters and his effort to give moviegoers a different experience with each one. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Leto expanded on his approach to differentiate his Joker from the others who came before:

“You just knew you had to do something different. You had to make it your own. That happens all the time. Whether you’re a composer working on a piece of music that was written a century ago, or you’re an actor on stage, reinterpreting a play, it’s very common these days. Directors take on great works of cinema, actors reinterpret roles, that’s been going on for a great deal of time. From Scarface to Hamlet. In some ways it’s really interesting to reinterpret, redefine. It's a weighty thing to do. But it’s exciting. The Joker is one of those roles.”

It becomes obvious Leto is the purest form of an artist. He injects himself into his work and refuses to ignore past artists who have done the same. The first reveal of Leto as the Clown Prince of Crime was met with plenty of harsh criticism, but I anticipate his acting prowess to bring a fresh menacing Joker to the screen.