We’re not here to sign off on Kevin Smith altogether. Sure, we enjoyed his cult classics in the heat of the anguished period of counter-cinema that was the mid-’90s, but the meandering dialogues of Clerks and Dogma haven’t exaclty aged with grace. And for every passable title, there’s been a Jersey Girl, a Zack and Miri, and a whatever that last one was with Melissa Leo. But in his View Askew pictures and his AMC production Comic Book Men, Smith has showcased his devotion to superhero fandom. He wrangled Stan Lee for the all-knowing god figure in Mallrats, framed his “something personal to say” story Chasing Amy around the comic book industry, and created an entire reality show as a venue for him and his pals to geek out about the art of fandoms. On top of this, many know that Smith even penned his own script for a Superman feature for Warner Bros. at one point. As such, like him or not, we can dub him an efficacious authority on the genre. So it’s good news that he’s essentially signing off on Zack Snyder’s Batman Vs. Superman movie. Or at least one part of it.
Smith got a gander at the new Batsuit that Snyder has opted to use for his incarnation of the character, and he more than digs it — he credits the outfit as a triumph for all fans of the Batman comics. “I saw the Batman costume. More than that I saw a picture of [Ben Affleck] in the costume,” Smith says on the latest episode of his podcast, courtesy of Cinemablend. “Now, I don’t want to give anything away ’cause that is up to them and stuff, but I am going to say this: I instantly bear hugged [Snyder]. You have not seen this costume in a movie on film before. And for a comic book fan, it was mind bending.”
That’s a promise that is bound to whet the appetites of all those who subscribe to said community. Smith, though perhaps not entirely successful in his delivery of comic book-related cinema, is certainly deserving of our reverence for his stature as a genuine and knowledgeable comic book fan. Granted, Smith has kind of a bias when it comes to Warner Bros’ upcoming film: Snyder’s Batman will be played by Ben Affleck, a frequent collaborator and close friend of the Jersey-born writer/director. Smith’s connection to Affleck is likely how he got to sneak a peek at the Batman costume in the first place, but we shouldn’t discount his assessment of the movie or any of its elements as such. Yes, they’re pals, but Smith has never been shy about tossing Affleck a few jabs here and there.
The filmmaker continues on his effusive praise of Snyder’s design: “I was like [to Snyder], ‘Get out of here, only you have enough power to pull this off.’ Because everyone always like does this Matrix/X-men black armor. … It was fantastic. I’m already a flag waver for this movie, but the costume, it blew my mind. I think everyone is just gonna be like ‘Holy ****!’ It’s its own thing, man. It’s like we haven’t been down this path at all. I was so elated. … Even the hardest core “**** all this” person will be like ‘alright, I’m ready.'”
Those are some pretty convicted words. Considering the lukewarm reception Snyder earned with Man of Steel and the half-hearted response to the news of Affleck taking the Batman role, Batman Vs. Superman hasn’t yet set itself up to be a project of promise. But they’ve at least got one established fanboy in their corner, and perhaps his words will sway the rest of us.