New BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE Stills; Cast & Crew Talk Details

Empire for this month will have an in-depth look at the upcoming DC film, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and to kick off their coverage they showcase both Batfleck and Cav-El in their alter ego attire, which you can see above, Empire has some stills both from the film and behind-the-scenes, they showcase another look at some of the shots seen in the most recent trailer. Not only are there stills but also some intriguing details from Zack Snyder (Director), Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne), and more!

In the Comic-Con trailer for Batman v Superman, we saw Wayne Manor in ruins. The Batcave however could still be seen in good condition, but where Bruce Wayne actually calls home is hard to say. Well, those reports about him living in a house away from the mansion were correct as production designer Patrick Tatopoulos has confirmed that his new premises is set next to an idyllic lakeside and known as the Glasshouse. "Its footprint is minimal, it is part of nature," he says. "You are designing a house that would have been designed by van der Rohe, how ballsy is that?" 

So, there go stupid fan theories that Bruce is going to be living either in the Batcave or like some sort of hobo in the ruins of his old home. "Bruce is the Bruce Wayne you know. He's a playboy, he's got money," Tatopoulos confirms. "He has this strength, but also an artistic sensibility. He's got a past, a family who got him where he is today." Empire also has details on where Clark Kent and Lex Luthor will be calling home in this movie too. Clark is now living with Lois Lane in their own apartment (clearly their relationship has progressed a fair bit since Man of Steel then), while the interior of Lex's house was shot in a Detroit museum, but we never get to see his bedroom. Why is that significant? "Everything is a facade. You have no access to what is inside Lex."

Oh, and it sounds like we should definitely expect very stylised versions of both Metropolis and Gotham in Batman v Superman as the sister cities will be portrayed in very different ways. "There are other things happening too. Gotham is a very different city from Metropolis. Metropolis is Toronto on Steroids. Gotham is Detroit."

Warner Bros. are taking a very different approach to their Cinematic Universe (or "Extended Universe" as they're calling it) than Marvel, with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League introducing the heroes before their origin stories are presumably told in solo outings which are going to follow those movies. It all begins with Batman v Superman next year though. "What we are doing is ground up all the way. It is one giant story," director Zack Snyder explains. "The first thing we had was the Justice League concept. The other movies, in a way, have to support that. That is our Wonder Woman, our Aquaman. They have their own creative concepts that supports them, but they do serve Justice League in the coming together of those heroes."

That won't restrict those in charge of the other heroes too much as the director goes on to explain that the other filmmakers contributing to the DC Extended Universe will have complete creative freedom, albeit with him keeping a very close eye on them. "I want all the other directors of the other films to be able to stretch their legs and do what they want, but at the same time there is a big interconnected universe. I have given everyone amazing access to our story, to me, and what we are doing. All the films have like minded conceptual jumping on points." Snyder wasn't willing to get into specifics, but he did tease what the magazine describes as an "elusive" cameo for Aquaman in Dawn of Justice by promising only that, "You will understand he exists."

Now, many fans have accused Warner Bros. of not having any sort of plan, but the magazine was lucky enough to see a board which maps out how and where the movies take place in the DC Extended Universe and how they all link up to each other. Producer Deborah Snyder describes that as, "Kind of a timeline of what every movie is, where it is going, and where the films fit in relation to each other." Fellow producer Charles Roven meanwhile went into even further details about how they're ensuring that these movies all exist in the same world while not restricting their directors and writers too much. "We call it the sandbox. It has borders around it, but everybody gets to play in the sandbox. On Suicide Squad, David Ayer has a lot of specific control over his area of the sandbox. Even if he crosses the line a little bit, we see if we can push our boundaries back a little bit." With Justice League set to start shooting next Spring, expect to hear more soon!

Time to talk about the Batmobile. Production designer Patrick Tatopoulos describes the process of bringing that vehicle back to the big screen as, "[Truly] an emotional process - it's about what feels right. I showed Zack and Zack said, 'Cool.' Sometimes it just clicks. These films are very grounded. THere will be tons of CG, but also a lot of real stuff - especially with Batman. Of course, building a car from scratch is challenging. The car drives, jumps, pretty much does everything. We got the best people."

"He is not driving a Formula 1 car, he's driving a tank that is very sexy looking," he adds. "Batman is rougher, tougher, and grungier. So everything is rough: the weapons, the suit and the car. There are machine guns mounted on the front. When you first see the Batmobile, it is being fixed. It is not - boom! - coming out of the garage brand new. It is scratched, damaged." That sounds like a very cool scene, and if anything should be a much cooler introduction for the Batmobile than the almost clichéd shot of it in action; Bruce (maybe Alfred) working on it is like something you'd see in the comics after all! It was also important to Tatopoulos to make sure this version of the vehicle differed to what we saw in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. "Batmobiles are often designed very low to the ground, something classical. That didn't feel fully comfortable for us. I thought the Tumbler was a revolutionary design, with the suspension very high up. I wanted to combine the two vehicles. I wanted something of a motorcycle, too: big wheels, suspension, exhausts."

There's been a lot of speculation about whether or not the Batwing is in Batman v Superman as we got a glimpse of that flying vehicle in both the teaser trailer and leaked concept art. Well, the production designer confirms that we'll see it, and even reveals that the designs for this movie were thought up with what we'll see in Justice League in mind. "With The Justice League coming, it influences my designs of the Batcave, the Batmobile, the Batwing. We are creating a world for Batman - every set, every prop, is real. We have to be ready for what's next."

Ever since Affleck was cast, many assumed that we would be getting an older and seasoned Batman than we're used to seeing, and now that is being confirmed. "We are playing him 45 or 46," director Zack Snyder confirms. "He has been Batman for 20 years. All the history is there. Was there a Robin at one time? Possibly." This interview obviously took place before the trailer was released as producer Charles Roven also teased the fate of a certain Boy Wonder. "He has lost those near and dear to him, and not necessarily from old age of disease..." That could of course also refer to Batman's other allies, especially as Jim Gordon's fate in the DC Extended Universe isn't all that clear at this point.

"Initially I thought, 'I'm older, it doesn't seem like the right sort of fit for me,'" adds star Ben Affleck. "Then Zack pitched me his concept for this older, more broken, kind of f**ked up Batman. It was something we haven't seen. We have seen that Batman is willing to cross the line to protect people. That vigilantism has been a part of his character all along, and we are tapping into that mentality when faced by something as potentially as deadly a Superman." It's Superman's arrival which is really going to shake up the life of Batman by the sound of it, as Snyder went on to explain how the Man of Steel changes the vigilante's perceptions. "We want to assume that Batman has reached this point in his life and career as a superhero, and Superman represents a sort of philiophical change. He is a paradigm shift for Batman: 'I've been fighting criminals all my life, trying to find justice, and now I am confronted with a concept that is transcendent to me.' In the face of Superman, a man robbing a bank doesn't matter." 

"He's having a crisis of conscience. 'Am I really just a vigilante who stalks the alleys of Gotham?'" asks Snyder. "It is rich stuff that he deals with. Ben does an amazing job." Early on in their feature, the director indicates that Batman is in some ways the villain of this movie, but later clarifies that by stating that who fans side with when the heroes meet in battle will ultimately come down to their own perceptions. "It's a point of view thing. That is why Dawn of Justice is the full title. What it does is allow us to start this conversation." Don't go thinking that the Dark Knight isn't a hero though. The magazine reveals that Batman does indeed have history with The Joker and Harley Quinn, and indeed all of the criminals in Belle Reve who will ultimately make up Task Force X in Suicide Squad. Batman is responsible for putting them all in there.

Zack Snyder could have done anything he wanted in the DC Extended Universe after Man of Steel was released. With Warner Bros. turning to him for assistance in creating this world, the filmmaker could have jumped straight into a Superman sequel, the Justice League, or even a Batman movie for that matter. However, it turns out that he's quite relieved to just have the Caped Crusader as a co-star in next year's Dawn of Justice. "If it was a Batman movie it would be a much more difficult proposition because of how good Chris' movies are. We live in gratitude to those movies. Chris set a tone for the DC Universe, and separated us from Marvel in a great way. We are the legacy pf those movies." The pressure is obviously on Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns to deliver now then.

As for the rivalry between Marvel and DC, it turns out that it doesn't really exist. Snyder says that's down to just how different they ultimately are. "Right from the beginning it is different tonally from where those movies are. You know, DC is an ancient world in a lot of ways." That's a point reiterated by producer Deborah Snyder, as she praised Marvel but emphasised the fact that these worlds are tonally very, very different. "I can see how people would want to make it this big, intense rivalry. Listen, they are so great. I loved Guardians of the Galaxy...our films are a bit more serious. They deal with things that are a little darker. Things that place them in our world."

Fearing the actions of a god-like super hero left unchecked, Gotham’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.

Starring Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman, Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, with Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane returning from Man of Steel, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and Holly Hunter in a role newly created for the film. Jason Momoa will also be making an appearance as Aquaman. Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is set to open in theaters on March 25th, 2016.

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