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Ben Affleck & Henry Cavill Beg No Comparison for Batman v Superman. Please, No Comparisons

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Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck will endure a lot of comparisons to previous iterations of their characters; in Henry Cavill’s case, it’s Christopher Reeve’s Superman, whereas Affleck will have to stand out from comparisons to a much more recent iteration in Christian Bale. Both actors have recently been articulating the ways in which their own performances will stand out, starting with Cavill (via Batman News):

Comparisons with Christopher Reeve’s clumsy Clark Kent are inevitable. My Clark Kent is trying to be as small and invisible as possible. If you’re awkward and spilling things constantly, people are going to notice you, and that’s not the best way to go unseen. You have to admit, it’s not a remarkable disguise, just a pair of glasses. He’d like to think that no one will believe he could be Superman. How could such a delicate flower be a living god? Preposterous.

This makes sense to me, given the difference in tone of Reeve’s Superman, which was more light-hearted fare. Although arguably Batman v Superman might have some campy moments, it’s clear from much of it’s marketing that they’re going for something darker … something more like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, perhaps?

Of course, Affleck wouldn’t want us to make that comparison …

I don’t want to compete with other incarnations, nor do I want to emulate them. Those versions belong in another universe. Christopher Nolan used his Batman to tell a finite story. My version is different, but remains faithful to the Batman mythology and all the themes associated with it. The other difference is that Nolan’s Batman isn’t part of a universe where other superheroes exist as well. Here—because we’re working towards the Justice League—there’s Superman, and it’s a world populated with super beings. This situation generates an altogether new reality.

Cavill’s attitude about how comparisons are “inevitable” seems a lot more realistic than Affleck’s assertion that he doesn’t want to “compete with other incarnations.” Even if these two don’t want to be compared to every other iteration of these characters before them, it’ll happen. They’re playing Batman and Superman, after all.

(via Comic Book Resources, image via Cosmic Book News)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).