The new “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” movie is getting slammed in early reviews, and the contours might sound just a little familiar to Washington types: According to our colleague Ann Hornaday, it’s “turgid and unsmilingly sober” and preoccupied with “such hot-button issues as terrorism, drones and immigration.”
Could we be talking not about the latest superhero blockbuster wannabe, but … a Senate hearing?
It wouldn’t be fair, though, to blame the influence of two of the movie’s extras, senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who oh-so-briefly make their way across the screen. Leahy is a veteran of the “Batman” franchise, having appeared in five caped crusader flicks. He appears as a senator (Method acting, we assume) alongside Holly Hunter, who plays fictional senator June Finch, at a congressional hearing to which Superman was summoned. No “Batman” flick would be complete without him. (Plus, star Ben Affleck is a known fanboy of all things Congress.)
Stabenow is the newcomer to the party — she plays an attendee at a fundraiser hosted by villain Lex Luthor (again, a senator at a fundraiser: not much of a stretch). The Michigan Dem does get a moment of significant screen time. Her reaction to Luthor’s speech “is probably the same baffled one she might have at a Donald Trump speech,” the Detroit Free Press reports.
Stabenow scored the appearance, the Free Press notes, because the movie filmed in her home state, and after she joked to the producers about Leahy getting a role, they promptly offered her one.
The senators aren’t the only non-actor A-listers in the flick — amid all the action, you’ll also spy CNN anchors Soledad O’Brien and Anderson Cooper, and noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.