HOLLYWOOD – With filming of Zack Snyder's Batman vs. Superman now underway, Ben Affleck, the latest actor to don the Dark Knight's armor, is reportedly finding inspiration in the works of his predecessors to the role.
"I'm taking it very seriously," said Affleck, known for such films as Smokin' Aces, Forces of Nature, and Gigli. "I couldn't tell you how many hours I've spent studying the earlier films, really learning from the other actors who have been Batman."
"I'm standing on the shoulders of giants here – true masters of the craft. These guys were not just putting on a show. They were Bruce Wayne, all in their own ways."
Ben Affleck will be the eighth actor to play Batman, following others such as Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney and, most recently, Christian Bale.
"Some people are calling this next film a reboot because, you know, the last few films were a little weak," explained Affleck. "But with Zack [Snyder] at the helm now, we're getting back to basics."
Preparations for the role of Batman are known to be uniquely intense, with some actors having undergone drastic physical transformations and methodic preparations to become Bruce Wayne, whom many argue is one of the most emotionally and psychologically complex figures in the superhero universe.
"I'm mainly drawing my inspiration from Batman's glory days – the sixties and the nineties. In a perfect world, I'd be able to move on-camera like Adam West, channel the sheer gravitas of Val Kilmer, and possess even half of the incredible acting chops of George Clooney."
"We'll see," said Affleck, smiling humbly. "I've been spending a lot of time with Chris O'Donnell lately, just hoping some of that magic from Batman Forever and Batman & Robin will rub off on me."
Affleck also spoke about what it's like to have to embody a character with so much history, cultural iconic status, and deeply passionate fans in his first superhero film.
"While it's an absolute honor and privilege to play Batman, it's unbelievably daunting too. I mean, there will always be comparisons. And I just know that people are going to be judging me against Clooney – the greatest Batman of them all."
"That pressure is enough to keep anybody awake late at night."