The biggest news of the last few weeks has to be the casting of two-time Academy Award-winning Argo actor and director Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the recently announced Man of Steel sequel "Batman vs. Superman".
So far the reaction online has been overwhelmingly negative towards Warner Bros. and their choice of actor to play the iconic role only recently played by Christian Bale in the last 3 Batman movies. There's even been a petition created on Change.org, a site set up to provide a voice for those seeking political and social progression, asking for the White House to prevent Affleck from being allowed to play the role... The White House then had to step in and tell everyone that this wasn't the kind of thing they get involved in and basically told everyone to get a hold of themselves. As of writing this post it has 80,750 supporters...
It's true, the reaction, or "over reaction", is absolutely crazy considering Ben's amazing contribution to recent cinema, both in front of and behind the camera, and it would seem that the main reason for this unprecedented backlash is a little Marvel movie called Daredevil. We all know that Daredevil was a bad comic book movie but when you watch it again, as I did just the other day, you do actually come to realise that Ben is the best part of the film by far. It's considered one of the worst comic movies ever, and even Ben himself has distanced himself from it, but it's not THAT bad. Take X-Men: The Last Stand, The Wolverine, or Elektra for instance.
Forget you're reading this post and imagine this: 41 year old Affleck (Cavill is only 30) as the older, battle hardened, non-powered, wiser. more intelligent, billionaire. He's bulking up for filming now so he's going to be physically fit, he's pretty suave and has a strong on-screen presence. Think of him surrounded by shadow in his cowl and wrapped in his cloak in a dark street facing off against Supes. He's perfect, but maybe people just don't have the imagination, or they simply wanted one of the other potential actors like Josh Brolin or Ryan Gosling. But you see you don't get to choose... What about when Heath Ledger was chosen for Joker in The Dark Knight? The epic backlash he got was terrible and it turned into his best role ever before he died. Think of the hate aimed towards Daniel Craig when he was announced for James Bond, or Matt Smith for Doctor Who. You cannot rightfully shoot someone down until you see their body of work in the role they've been chosen for. When Affleck is suited up and we see the first photos I'm pretty damn sure people are going to change their minds, and then he'll be our Batman and everyone will forget why they were moaning in the first place. Give the guy a chance.
So far all we know is that he's signed up for a multi-movie deal so this will probably include the Justice League movie and anything afterwards, which kind of makes you wonder what other heavy hitters we might get in the iconic roles of characters such as Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern etc. I'm quite happy with this choice and until proven otherwise, I'm behind Ben Affleck all the way. I can't wait for his take on The Dark Knight, the new suit, and the epic on screen battle between Bats and Supes that we've been waiting for ever since the 1986 Dark Knight Returns comic by Frank Miller!
This is the official quote from Greg Silverman and Sue Kroll from WB: Silverman stated:“We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.” Snyder also expressed his excitement about the casting of Affleck, noting, “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.”
Sue Kroll added, “We are so thrilled that Ben is continuing Warner Bros.’ remarkable legacy with the character of Batman. He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes.”