Producer Michael Uslan has been involved in getting Batman on the big screen for pretty much longer than anyone - years before the original 1989 Tim Burton film became a phenomenon. He's since served as producer on all the live-action films and animated series/movies in the series.
Out doing promotions for "The Lego Movie" on which he's also a producer, he spoke with EP Daily about Zack Snyder's casting Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader in the upcoming "Batman vs. Superman" project and how it compares to the backlash Michael Keaton faced all those years ago when he scored the role:
"I feel great. First of all, Zack's a fanboy, and he loves these characters as much as any of us do. Everybody grows as filmmakers, as actors, all of us in life, if we don't continue to evolve, something is radically wrong.
It's so interesting to see the evolution for everybody involved and to see the evolution of Batman. It's exciting and everybody is pumped up about it. It's a chance for a new direction, and it's going to be something that people, I think, will be just excited about.
It starts with us. I've lived this in the past before and I'm speaking now really more as a Bat-fan than as the Bat-producer. We went through it all with Michael Keaton. I led the charge from the first time that I heard Tim was thinking of hiring Michael to play Batman.
I'd go, ‘Oh my God, all that work, I've in all these years to do a dark and serious Batman! He's going to hire a comedian!' I could envision the posters: ‘Mr. Mom is Batman!' But then he explained his vision. He had a vision, and he was right. This is all about Bruce Wayne. It's not about Batman; it's all about Bruce Wayne.
If you're trying to do a serious, dark superhero, people have to believe in Bruce Wayne as that obsessed, driven guy, to the point maybe of almost being psychotic. A guy who would get dressed up as a bat and do what he did. So, we went through the hoopla with Michael Keaton.
The fans were the same reaction that I had initially, except I had the benefit of hearing a vision right away. Then when they actually went to see the movie, they never wanted anyone else to play Batman, never.
Source: EP Daily