by Brett White
With a summer 2015 release date getting closer and closer, production on “Superman vs. Batman” is revving into high gear. They’ve got a filming location, they’ve got a Batman (Ben Affleck, or did you miss that news?), and now director Zack Snyder and company are looking for Batman’s leading lady.
According to Latino Review, the woman in question will be in her late 20s with no specified ethnicity. Additionally they’re looking for good actresses who are tall and “possesses physicality.” Latino Review points out that vague-yet-oddly-specific casting breakdowns were how the female parts in the Christopher Nolan trilogy were cast as well, with actresses auditioning for roles without knowing exactly which role they were up for.
So Batman is going to have a love interest. Yes, that’s something we didn’t know for sure yesterday, but it’s not ground-breaking or surprising that they’re looking for someone for Bats to smooch with. After seeing so many female characters in comic book movies saddled with the role of “love interest,” it’s starting to become even more of a loaded term. I’m not interested in seeing Batman with another love interest. We’ve already seen a lot of women in that role. I’m more interested in seeing a woman in Batman’s life that isn’t a love interest, particularly one who doesn’t die in order to give Bruce Wayne motivation.
There is hope, though, because Anne Hathaway was initially reported as up for a “love interest” role, and we know how that turned out—we got Catwoman. If this new “love interest” is as independently motivated, capable, flawed, and captivating as Hathaway’s Catwoman, then this is a good sign. The Batman films have been sorely lacking in female characters since pretty much the beginning, and I can think of only two prominent female characters in any Batman film that haven’t been romantically attached to Bruce Wayne: Batgirl and his dead mother.
So while the “love interest” part may be a bit of a trick and the ethnic inclusiveness is awesome, the “late 20s” thing is a bit of an eye-roll inducer. It’s long been a Hollywood trope that only leading men are allowed to age onscreen while women get cycled out as soon as they pass 30. Affleck will be almost 43 years old when “Superman vs. Batman” hits theaters, why should his love interest be almost fifteen years younger than him? If they’re open to all ethnicities, why not all ages as well?
This age difference doesn’t even compare to the ones we’ve seen in previous Batfilms—it blows it out of the water. On average, the Batmen have been about 5 years older than their love interest and leading ladies. “Batman’s” Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger were closest in age with a 2 year difference, and George Clooney is nearly 9 years older than his “Batman and Robin” co-star Uma Thurman (alternatively if you don’t count Poison Ivy as a love interest despite Batman’s poison-induced desire to hook up with her, Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway’s near-decade age difference is just two months shy of Clooney and Thurman’s). So maybe the age difference is a plot point, or maybe they’ll cast someone closer to Affleck’s age anyway. At this point, it’s too soon to tell.
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