That weird rumbling you may have heard on Thursday night wasn’t due to anything spooky coming your way, it was a collective group of people on the Internet getting absolutely outraged that director/actor Ben Affleck is the latest man to become Bruce Wayne/Batman. In a way Ben Affleck’s sudden involvement with Zack Snyder‘s Batman vs. Superman shouldn’t come off as too surprising, given the fact that he was originally one of the top guys to take a crack at Man of Steel. Ben Affleck is just getting a second chance, this time in front of the camera as our new Dark Knight. Fanboys and fangirls have every right to be outraged over this news, but let’s take a deep breath and really analyze the situation first, asking the question of whether or not Ben Affleck’s casting as Bruce Wayne/Batman is the right move for Warner Bros to make.
First, let’s get the Daredevil talk out of the way. Shortly after the Batman news broke out, it was the first piece of Affleck’s career that fanboys and fangirls were more than happy to throw in his face. In Affleck’s defense, it takes more than one person to make a movie, so the blame shouldn’t fall solely on Affleck’s shoulders. If you talk to the general public about his role in Daredevil, a lot of people aren’t going to remember it. The movie came out a decade ago and nobody really cares about it at this point. It had its time in the spotlight and now it’s faded away from their minds.
Adding to that, Affleck did make up for his past “sins” due largely to his directing work on Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo. Now he’s sitting pretty comfortably on the Warner Bros throne with some Oscars under his belt. Affleck has never been seen as the greatest actor, he’s best noted for his directing at this point, so perhaps he’s trying to prove his acting skill to others. It’s already been reported that he’s been working out like crazy at the gym, bulking up to become out Batman, but it takes a lot more than that to transform into this tormented hero. Let us not forget that Affleck is a comic book fan just like most of us, so his sudden creative input into Batman vs. Superman is something to get excited about. Perhaps he will give us a new interpretation of Bruce Wayne/Batman on film than we could ever imagine.
But before we start getting super excited about the prospect of a fantastic Batman vs. Superman film, let’s examine the bad side of this project. Snyder and company are hoping to chuck this out into cinemas in 2015. Now last we checked, Man of Steel was in post-production for roughly a year. Mind you, there was a lot of crazy CG that they had to put into that picture. There is the possibility that Warner Bros is not giving them enough time to go ahead and properly piece together this sequel of sorts just so they can take advantage of the superhero crossover movie craze. The last thing anybody wants is a rushed Batman vs. Superman movie. Some fans have been [im]patiently waiting for years so this could become a reality. Let’s not botch the job, please?
When they first announced that Christian Bale was going to be the new Batman in the Christopher Nolan-directed movies, fans were incredibly pleased with the news. Why wouldn’t they? You look back at his film work up until that point and he’s acted in a number of amazing movies like American Psycho and Equilibrium, among many others. Yes, Ben Affleck has directed some fantastic films in the past five years, but acting-wise? He’s been adequate but hasn’t exactly wowed audiences with his on-screen performances in recent years. Affleck is definitely perceived more as a director than an actor, which is great but bad for him at the same time, which is where the Daredevil remarks started coming in once the casting news was unleashed onto the Internet. There is always the uncertainty that he may not be able to deliver acting-wise on his end as strongly as he would behind the camera, which terrifies some big-time Batman fans.
Also, there is another part of Batman vs. Superman that has been bothering me for some time, and that’s where it sits in the DC movie universe. Is it a Batman sequel? Well if Zack Snyder, the same man who directed Man of Steel, is back to take on another Superman-based film then we have to treat this as a sequel. Superman barely got rejuvenated on the big screen again and now they want to shove him next to Batman? Does Warner Bros really think that this new incarnation of Superman can’t hold up well on his own? If so then that’s just sad, but that’s probably not the case. What is more than likely going on here is that Warner Bros is trying to play catch-up with Marvel Studios over how they handle their own comic book properties, which is a really silly thing to do. Instead of taking their time, just building up more of their universe, WB is just lumping some of their most popular characters together and hoping it makes money. In a sense they may automatically be blinded by the possible money signs in their eyes with creating Batman vs. Superman and casting Ben Affleck in the lead role.
The only aspect of this that will prove the nay-sayers wrong is a well done superhero movie. Could Ben Affleck end up becoming an incredible Batman, re-sculpting the character on the big screen into a cool new incarnation that audiences around the world will fall in love with? Perhaps. There is a lot of factors that go for or against this big casting decision, but my best advice is to sit back and see it all unfold in front of us. Who knows? Maybe when the movie comes out it will dazzle us all.
Affleck: Yay or Nay?