*If you’ve been counting down the days and hours until the arrival of “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” or are married or dating someone who already has their ticket to the highly anticipated film, you can thank Harry Lennix.
Since uttering the following lines from Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” graphic novel at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, Lennix essentially lit the fuse for the big screen showdown between two of DC Comics’ most iconic comic book superheroes:
“I want you to remember Clark…In all the years to come…In your most private moments…I want you to remember my hand at your throat… I want you to remember the one man who beat you.”
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For Lennix, the moment was priceless as he fully experienced the level of excitement that came when fans realized who Superman would face in the follow up to 2013’s “Man of Steel” as well as comic book film history in the making with Batman and Superman appearing together onscreen in a live action setting for the first time.
“It was great,” “The Blacklist” star told EURweb associate Chris Richburg while detailing the secrecy behind his momentous appearance. “I had never been to Comic-Con. I haven’t been since, but I can tell you that I got there under, you know, the shade of night, stopped in San Diego on a private jet from LA.”
“They whisked me in and we did like this midnight rehearsal in the hall where that announcement was made,” continued Lennix, who is General Swanwick in “Man of Steel.” “And there were people already lined up. I think it was Hall H and there were people already out there, waiting to see what was going on. Nobody recognized me. I slipped in and slipped out.”
As he approached the podium to read the excerpt, Lennix noticed a dark room that gave way to a spotlight on him. In an instant, the entertainer was swept up in the moment, despite not being able to see anything or anyone. But the reaction was priceless.
“I felt like a rock star for the first time in my life. I couldn’t see anything. So I’m walking out there and these lights are in my face. They start to dim them and there’s a spotlight,” said Lennix. “When you’re on stage, you can feel people sometimes better than you can see people. And so I literally couldn’t see anything and I’m reading the stuff. I have my lighted reading glasses. I’m trying to be dramatic without being a ham.
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“And as soon as I started. I think after the first sentence, people were like, ‘Oh. Oh man. Oh shit. What is this’ [laughs] … and then they bumped the lights down. It was like ‘Boom!’ and the place erupted.”
Three years after he ignited the crowd into a frenzy, movie fans will see how much of an impact Lennix’s monologue had as “Batman v. Superman” finally invades movie theaters on Friday (Mar. 25).
Picking up after the events of “Man of Steel,” the film pits Batman (Ben Affleck) against Superman (Henry Cavill) under the fear that Superman’s actions are left unchecked while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat is created by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) that puts mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before. As a result, the do-gooders have to set aside their differences to save the day. Helping Superman and Batman is Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), marking another first, as the three comic book icons appear on film together to fight alongside each other against the new threat.
In addition to Cavil, Laurence Fishburne (Perry White), Diane Lane (Martha Kent) and Amy Adams (Lois Lane) and Lennix’s Gen. Swanwick return to the world of Superman in the Zack Snyder-directed action-packed sequel. In Lennix’s eyes, Snyder was the perfect choice to helm “Batman v. Superman” as well as usher in the DC Extended Universe for movie fans.
“Zack Snyder is a tremendous director, very easy to work with from an acting point of view. Nice man, exceptional talent, “ said Lennix. “I don’t think, for example, that anybody else would be able to give the sense of gravity and the sense of artistic scale and tone that Zack Snyder does. I think that the DC template that this is establishing, it makes it as much an art house movie as it makes it a graphic novel type movie.”
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Although Gen. Swanwick’s trust in Superman was shaky in “Man of Steel,” Lennix fells that Superman’s good intentions and noble heart in being on the side of good is a plus that his character can’t ignore.
“I think Superman is kind of infectious. He begins to wear you down, whatever cynicism one might have about Superman.” Lennix stated. “ He’s such a good dude that I think the Swanwick is on his side because Superman is on the side of the American way and I think that they have that in common.”
Reminiscing over his Comic-Con experience, Lennix can’t help but revel in how Snyder had the perfect “drop the mic” follow-up to his speech.
“It was fantastic. I never ever was a part of anything like that before. I don’t know that I will ever will be (again), but I tell you, that’s the only time I get to experience it. It was an exciting moment. It was pretty great. You can’t really put the toothpaste back in the tube on that kind of thing,” Lennix said as he cherished how priceless the moment was for him while referencing another classic film franchise he is attached to.
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“It’s kinda like doing ‘The Matrix.’ Once you did the first one, you’re not gonna be able to recreate it. How many times can they reinvent the wheel on that, you know, with the whole bullet time thing and all the new stuff? How many times can you announce [laughs] that Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman and all that stuff are gonna be part of a new, if you will, a new way of telling these stories. So it was great.”
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