On Wednesday, Batman co-creator Bob Kane was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder was on hand to honor the late comic-book artist with a speech that touched on Kane’s influence on the Batman he envisioned for his upcoming superhero flick. He shared a moving story about how seeing Ben Affleck wear the Batsuit for the first time called to mind Kane’s legacy:
“We had built a set of an alley, graffiti, barrels with fire, steamy stuff, and it was this very kind of noir-ish setting to film our Batman for the first time. Ben put the suit on and we put him in front of the camera and I was just having him turn and look around, looking Batman-ish. And it was amazing because I felt in that moment that I had achieved this goal that I had set out for myself. When I looked at Ben, he was this perfect personification of the Batman that I had in my mind. But the truth is, he wasn’t really the Batman I had imagined. Because Bob really had put him there in my mind, through years of TV shows, comic books, movies.
I realized that we all — every single one of us — has a Batman, an imaginary Batman, in our minds, lurking in the shadows. In a lot of ways, that’s Bob’s legacy. Seventy-five years of Batman, he’s given this gift to all of us that endures. Because Batman — unlike Superman, or Wonder Woman, or Flash — is a guy without powers. He’s a man. He’s all of us. I think that’s it. We all carry around a hero inside of ourselves every day. It’s that guy. It’s Batman. I thank Bob for that. We all owe him a debt of gratitude. In that hero that we carry around, we realize that the hero is us, because he’s just the man. In truth, we’re all the Batman.”
Following the ceremony, Snyder spoke with Comic Book Resources about how his Batman differs from previous iterations. “I really wanted to do sort of a fabric-based Batman; not what’s become the more normal, armored Batman. That’s how we evolved it,” he explained of the new suit. “I definitely wanted an older Batman. I wanted a war-weary Batman. That’s why, in a lot of ways, Ben was really perfect for me — we kind of aged him a little bit.”
In addition to Kane’s archetype, he also shared how Frank Miller’s work inspired his take on the caped crusader: “I was talking to Frank about it: Dark Knight Returns was such a big influence on me that I wanted to to honor him through imagery in the movie. You could still make Dark Knight Returns into a movie, if you want. That’s what I’m saying, as far as how much we used and how much we didn’t use. The visual elements, there are some that I homage, but I don’t think the movie [is an adaptation].”
You can watch Snyder’s speech from the WOF below, beginning at 20:40.