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The Secret Origins of Ben Affleck's Batman

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

By Ben Wan

Tell you know Batfleck? You will! Find out: Why isn’t Bruce living in Wayne Manor? How come Jeremy Irons’s Alfred doesn't seem that butler-like? How did Robin die (and which Robin was it?)? We dive into ALL the little known facts about the DCEU Batman, from Ben Affleck’s own Batman fandom and transformation into the role to our own chronology of this Dark Knight’s career to answering questions that weren’t answered onscreen. A must-listen for Batfleck fans! CHAPTERS: 0:04 Matt Herring GoFund Me Bumper Please donate what you can to our friend and fan of the podcast Matt Herring, who is battling Stage 4 colon cancer. Click here for Matt Herring's GoFundMe 1:45 Opening Sketch: "Riddler Solves the Anti-Life Equation" Featuring our guest Zachary Jackson Brown as the Jesse Eisenberg Lex Luthor with co-hosts Andrew Bush as The Riddler and Ben Wan as Batman This is based on Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio’s plans for Justice League 2 in which Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor hires Riddler to solve it. Check out our coverage of that script treatment here. 3:59 Opening of Episode: Introduction If you’re unfamiliar with our show, we first dove into the Ben Affleck Batman in our series Batman V Superman: Snyder vs. Critics 5:56 Where Does Batfleck Rank Among The Batmans To You? Ben went into why, in his eyes, Adam West is the greatest Batman in our coverage of Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders here. 11:24 Ben Affleck's Batman Fandom Kevin Smith’s quote on Ben Affleck only taking the role of Daredevil because he thought it was the closest he could get to playing Batman in 2003: “This dude has loved Batman going as far back as I can remember. He only did fucking Daredevil because he loved Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. He’s like, ‘They’re never going to make another Batman,’ because this was after Batman had nipples and shit like that. So he was like, ‘Daredevil’s cool, and Miller wrote him as well.’ So he liked the character, but it was always rooted in Batman.” Kevin Smith’s story on Ben Affleck’s house containing its own Batcave is explored here. 15:04 Ben Affleck's Casting Zack Snyder on casting Ben Affleck: “I wanted to make sure the actor who played Batman was physically larger than the actor who played Superman. Visually, the irony of that was just fun. And to me, Ben really is a perfect Batman. He understands Bruce’s world. He’s got a lot of the qualities of Bruce Wayne and Batman, in the best way.” Ben Affleck on being Batman: ”What I liked about Zack’s vision for it is that it’s sort of an existential Batman. He’s a guy who’s not actually in the throes of being Batman but looking back and asking himself, ‘Was it worth it?’ He’s a graying Batman and more of a slugger and more of a man because he’s more vulnerable...He’s a haunted and broken guy.” Source: Batman: The Definitive History of the Dark Knight in Comics, Film, and Beyond by Andrew Farago and Gina McIntyre 17:38 Was Christian Bale Considered to Return for BvS? Zack Snyder on considering Christian Bale in this interview: “This is a total and opposite reality from the Chris Nolan movies. It’s another universe, so we couldn’t hire Christian Bale if we wanted to, because he doesn’t exist in our world. Maybe we could hire him to play another part. We did talk about that briefly. I just wanted to hire Christian to play another part to make that obvious. Christian could play, like, Alfred with age makeup. No! Of course not. But you know what I mean. Even people at the studio would say, ‘Who are you getting from the other movies?’ And I was like, ‘Hey, come on guys, let’s all understand, it’s a different world.’ In the Batman universe that Chris Nolan created, Superman would have a hard time existing. That that’s why we did a reboot on the universe, so we could allow these characters to exist together. We needed to do that to have Batman exist in this world.” 19:45 Ben Affleck's Physical Transformation for Batman- Fitness & Comparing His Look To The Comics Trainer Walter Norton Jr. on Ben Affleck’s transformation: “We wanted him to look like a thick MMA heavyweight puncher. This is a Bruce Wayne who’s been lifting for 20 years, hitting that heavyweight bag, and working out every day in the manor. I’ll just say that if you lined up all the Batmans before Ben and stood them next to each other, they’re not 6’4”, and they don’t weigh 225 pounds. He’s in a whole other class.” Quick Corrections Department: 225lbs is actually Superman's weight in comic book canon, not Batman's, who's at 210lbs, so Ben Affleck definitely overachieved! 23:19 Batfleck Milestones & How Batfleck Was Almost In Wonder Woman 2017 Screenwriter Allen Heinberg, in an interview, discussed Bruce Wayne’s original role for Wonder Woman here. 27:30 The Batfleck Timeline: Bruce Wayne's Childhood 28:42 Jeremy Irons's Alfred & Why He Might NOT Be A Butler The companion tie-in book details Alfred Pennyworth is actually Bruce Wayne’s head of security in the DCEU. Click here to check out the scan. Jeremy Irons on the real life inspiration behind his Alfred: “I remember an evening with Paul Getty, who was a neighbor of mine, now sadly dead. We drove up to his lovely house. A very nice gentleman opened up the car door. Then another very nice gentleman took the car and parked it somewhere. Another nice gentleman took my coat. And then another nice gentleman gave me a glass of champagne. And all those nice gentleman were SAS. I thought, that's Alfred. He's a man who will take care of his boss, whether he's making coffee or pouring champagne or flying his airplane.” 30:25 1981: The Wayne Murders & the Aftermath 32:30 Batfleck Begins: Where Did He Train in Martial Arts? Michael Wilkinson, costume designer on Justice League, discussed the samurai influences on Batman’s gauntlets in the Snyder Cut in this interview: “One big new detail is that Zack wanted the idea that there’s a little more sense of armor and deflection on his gauntlets when he is shot at. So I designed this thing based on a Samurai. We borrowed it from Bruce Wayne’s history too, so it has a connection with Asian martial arts in Japan. So I thought that would be perfect.” Batman stunt double Richard Cetrone revealed the martial arts that he and Damon Caro (who played Joe Chill and was the second unit director on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) used for coordinating the warehouse fight scene in BvS in this interview: “Damon Caro is a long time friend and training partner of mine so I was very familiar with the martial arts used to construct Batman’s fighting style. They were Western Boxing, Jun Fun Gung Fu, Kali, Judo, Thai Kickboxing, and even a professional wrestling move.” Joe Manganiello revealed in an interview that Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne was also trained in the League of Assassins and that his Slade Wilson/Deathstroke has the same training. He did not clarify whether they met during training or were part of the League separately: "The idea that they were both trained in the League of Assassins, and that one went one way and one went the other. And I just really thought that that was gonna be a really cool dichotomy to see." 40:27 What Happened to Wayne Manor? Why Does He Live in the Lake House? Zack Snyder on the Lake House: “I think his father commissioned the Lake house as a gift to his mother a place built by her favorite architect and she loved it when Bruce turned 18 he moved in he ordered Wayne Manor be left to decompose.” Bruce Wayne’s house was inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, which you can check out here. 46:27 Break: Spirit Hunters Podcast Promo, "Dr. Doom In the Source Wall" Sketch, Patreon promo, and KookieNomz bumper The Spirit Hunters is another podcast in the Greenlit Podcast Network. Check them out here. “Dr. Doom in the Source Wall” is in reference to the fact that Dr. Doom is apparently in the Source Wall, as revealed in our Patreon deep dive on Apokolips and the Source Wall. KookieNomz provides the bumper in this episode, speaking in French. You can check out her amazing work on her Instagram page here. 51:20 Return from the Break- Batman and Catwoman- What Zack Snyder REALLY Said About The Fancasting of Carla Gugino as Selina Kyle It’s been widely (mis)reported that Zack Snyder had “cast” Carla Gugino as Catwoman, but in reality, it was Zack agreeing with a fan idea presented in a podcast with the Nerd Queens. Here is the direct quote of Snyder reacting to one of the co-host’s ideas of bringing in Carla Gugino as Selina Kyle: "Probably I would say Carla's Catwoman [is perfect]. You would have to say, there's a flashback to ten years ago, where they were a thing. And then he had to arrest her, I don't know what happened, or he had to let her go, and it tweaked him. And now, who knows what she's doing now, she's running some sort of international antiquities or something, and he needs to retire, and they find each other. Yeah, I do think Carla is --- yeah, she is good." 53:22 The Death of Robin & How It's Darker than The Comics Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice costume designer Douglas J. Stewart said on Instagram that Robin “was brutally murdered and then set ablaze by the Joker.” Robin was not the only one set on fire. According to Snyder, Joker burned down Wayne Manor as well, which is why it’s in an even worse state in Batman V Superman. The Robin suit in the Batcave was meant to be what was LEFT of the costume as well as explains why it’s not in the traditional colors. Behind the scenes, the Robin suit was made from a stunt Batsuit. Robin’s suit is on display in the Batcave with a halberd. This is actually a weapon that Dick Grayson wields in Frank Miller and Jim Lee’s All Star Batman and Robin, where he chooses not to use it to kill the murderer of his parents. There was a Dick Grayson tombstone on the set of the Wayne Manor grounds during batman v Superman as well as shown in the Secrets of the Mother Box trailer. 1:00:11 Aftermath: The Origin of the Joker’s Metal Teeth and Damaged Tattoo...& How the Theatrical Cut of Suicide Squad Ruined It Suicide Squad director David Ayer revealed that the Joker’s look in his film was meant to tie into the death of Robin. “This is sort of my personal thing and maybe less about a larger connection. But Joker killed Robin and Batman basically smashes his teeth out and locks him up in Arkham Asylum. It's in the asylum where Joker would have done the 'damaged' tattoo as a message to Batman saying, 'You've damaged me. I was so beautiful before and now you've destroyed my face.' That's where the grill comes from." 1:04:42 Batman's Mental State in BvS and How It Relates to the Source Material While Ben Affleck’s Batman is commonly associated with Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, his mental state in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is closer to the Post-Crisis Batman in 1988, around the time of Robin’s death, who was more brutal. This version was explored in Ten Nights of the Beast, A Death in the Family, Year Three, and A Lonely Place of Dying. Quick Corrections Department: To clarify, the KGBeast storyline, Ten Nights of the Beast, took place when Jason Todd was still alive and a few months before A Death in the Family, but was cited by Nightwing in Year Three (set after Jason's death) as an example of Batman becoming more brutal in recent times. Zack Snyder discussed the Mapplethorpe in Bruce’s bedroom as a symbol of Bruce’s sex addiction here. 1:07:27 Batfleck’s Future: Post-Justice League, Future Bat Family Members, & Thoughts In a Vero post, Zack Snyder confirmed that in his eyes, Dick Grayson would stay dead and Bruce wouldn’t get another Robin until Carrie Kelley, the Robin from The Dark Knight Returns. 1:16:23 Easter Eggs of the Batcave, The Batsuit, and the Batfleck Voice The Batman v Superman featurette, “Batman: Austerity and Rage” explores the Batcave and production designer Patrick Tatopoulos’s intentions, including having everything hang from the ceiling, like a bat:

1:21:06 Bruce Wayne’s Different Cars Zack Snyder’s Aston Martin is explored here. While Bruce Wayne’s Mercedes in Justice League is explored here. 1:23:06 The Batmobiles Patrick Tatopoulos on the Batmobile: “Our car was the biggest Batmobile ever because of that. It’s the width of a bus.” The Batmobile is twenty feet long, twelve feet wide, and 8,500 pounds. Source: Batman: The Definitive History of the Dark Knight in Comics, Film, and Beyond by Andrew Farago and Gina McIntyre 1:24:05 The Flying Fox- Who Built It & Who's It Named After? & Closing Thoughts Zack Snyder discussed how he saw the Flying Fox as a creation of Thomas Wayne’s: “The idea of the Flying Fox is his father's, that he developed for a military purpose. One of them was almost partially built, almost finished, and he just had to adjust and fix it. But the idea is between the two movies Batman has decided he knows what's coming his way, and he's starting to reactivate things. Part of his world that he hasn't used, because there was no need for him.” The name of the Flying Fox may come from two DC superheroes:

  • The Flying Fox, who first appeared in Young All-Stars #1 in June, 1987 by Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, and Michael Bair.

  • The Flying Fox aka Bruce Wayne! This was the persona that a young Bruce Wayne took on when crimefighting and working with Superboy in Smallville in Adventure Comics #275 (Aug. 1960)

1:33:00 Closing: Fan Comments and Social Media Promotion As teased in this episode, our $5 Patreon members got an extra episode diving into the Rogues Gallery that Batfleck fought in the DCEU:

We covered Batfleck in the main let’s talk about the villains! We go into the possible thematic reasons why Snyder put KGBeast in BvS, the reference to Robin’s death that was cut from Suicide Squad, the secret backstory of the DCEU Killer Croc that was hidden in the movie props, where we could have seen Scarecrow in this universe, and the Batman villains featured in...the BvS PREQUEL comics?! Check out the episode and join our $5 tier here. THANKS TO OUR GUEST: ZacharyJacksonBrownArt (who also did the art/thumbnail) IG: @zacharyjacksonbrownart Please record us a “bumper” saying “You’re listening to Superhero Stuff You Should Know” and send it over to Also to any animators- we’d love to see our sketches animated. Please include #SuperheroStuffYouShould Know IN the video Become a part of the Shasta Army on our Patreon page: SuperHouse on iTunes: Please leave us a review in iTunes! SuperHouse on Spotify: INSTAGRAM: @superherostuffpod TWITTER: FACEBOOK: Please join our Facebook group where you can interact with us and other fans! YOUTUBE: Please email us at: ANDREW’S CHANNEL/WEBSITE: IG: ThunderWolfDrew Twitter: ThunderWolfDrew YouTube: Website: BEN'S CHANNEL/WEBSITE: IG: BenWanWriter My Cat’s IG: AlfiePennyworthCat Earl E. Bird- upcoming children’s comic: YouTube: Website: SUPERHOUSE MERCH: Teepublic Threadless

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