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People looking to take a break from the non-stop coverage of the presidential race by heading to the movies this weekend are in for a wake-up call: Even Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has political undertones.

“[The screenwriters] had many conversations about politics and the nature of politics in movies,” Ben Affleck told USA Today on the red carpet at the film’s New York premiere. “This is a movie that has a substance to it … and is provocative. I don’t think it’s strident, I don’t think it’s preachy, but I think it does raise the question of, ‘What happens to us when we become afraid of one another?’ which is a very current theme. It doesn’t mean to lecture at you or to hector you, but I do think that it’s a ballsy movie and evocative, and a movie that isn’t just about two cartoon characters slugging it out.”

His costar, Holly Hunter, who plays a senator in the movie, takes that sentiment one step further. “One of the things I say in this movie is, ‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely,’” she said. “Thomas Jefferson was talking about [that]. We’re talking about that today, very much so. It’s serendipitous that it happens to be so acute right now in current events, but there you have it.”

Still, Affleck — whom many have speculated over the years would someday run for office himself — notes that he doesn’t see the film as “overtly political.”

“I think that would be a mistake,” he said. “I don’t think you want to get pedantic with a movie like this. I think that’s dangerous.”

See for yourself when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters on Friday.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • Movie
  • 151 minutes