In Defence of: BAT-FLECK

Luke Miksa's: The Negative Space Bar

The biggest movie news story this past week — as well as perhaps the biggest casting news of the year — was  Warner Bros. deciding on their newest man to don Batman’s iconic cape and cowl in the sequel to this year’s Superman flick, Man of Steel. That man is of course Ben Affleck, and the casting became a huge talking point for anyone with an interest in the subject. By talking point, I am referring to the shockingly negative backlash from superhero fans, film fans, and the internet in general.

Within days — hours, even — of the news breaking, message boards and comment sections were overflowing with people spewing their hate-filled vitriol at the decision. Let me repeat: people were genuinely angry and upset at this decision. There was a lot of this:

If you don’t have the time to watch that video (you don’t), that is a TEN MINUTE rant over — and I can’t stress this enough — an actor simply being cast as a fictional character.

How is it possible to cast judgement over something that doesn’t even exist yet?

Are people actually angry because they don’t think Affleck is a good enough actor to play Batman? Batman is a character that essentially dresses up as a giant bat to punch bad guys. Granted, the character has a level of gravitas that most of his superhero peers lack, but it’s not much more than a bunch of angst with dose of glowering. Add in the flip-side which is the Bruce Wayne billionaire playboy alter-ego and you have a character that is little nuance, and all surface level bombast. You don’t need to be Lawrence Olivier to play Batman.

This is actually available on Red Bubble.

This is actually available on Red Bubble.

The Batman franchise is filled with obsessed fans rejecting actors before they are ready to be judged: both Michael Keaton and Heath Ledger were completely rejected en-masse before their respective movies had been released. Now, look how they are both retrospectively immortalised after the realisation that they totally nailed their respective parts.

Don’t even get me started on the “Affleck ruined Daredevil” argument. Affleck did an okay job in a terrible movie. If you want someone to blame for Daredevil, try the studio or the producers. Also keep in mind that the director’s cut of Daredevil is actually pretty good.

Affleck has the potential to be a fine Batman, and despite his acting chops being merely decent at best, Batman — whether you care to admit it or not — is not the most complex character going around. Let’s not forget that this man is a two-time Oscar winner, so let’s all calm down and reserve judgement until it’s time to do so.

If you want to talk about aesthetics, the guy has a massive head, which offers a large canvas for a pretty sweet Bat-costume. Here’s a professional artist’s rendition of what the final product may look like:

The Terror That Flaps in the Night (Yeah?)

The Terror That Flaps in the Night (Yeah?)

In summary: if you are one of those getting upset at a simple casting choice, before any of those involved can actually prove their worth, you are a chump supreme. I would actually be more upset that Zack Snyder is directing Batman vs. Superman, after the hack job that was Man of Steel. But if this sequel fails, you can always just blame Ben Affleck, right?

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