So did you hear the news? Of course you did. Warner Bros has cast Ben Affleck to portray Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel. As of now, the untitled film is scheduled for release July 17th, 2015. Allegedly, Affleck will be the Caped Crusader for thirteen appearances. Now that doesn’t mean full movies as it could just be cameos (think Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury) in other movies leading up to a Justice League movie. Of course that’s just the rumor as most information right now is top secret.
Now that the news has set in and the nerd rage is all over every social media website, I actually think Affleck will make a great Batman along side Henry Cavill as Superman. Whether you agree or disagree with me, the fact remains that this is the man Warner Bros. has decided to go with. So instead of being negative, I have compiled the following well thought out argument in defense of Mr. Affleck.
And here we go…
10) Nerds Are Not The Experts They Claim To Be.
Let’s wind the clock back for a second. Remember what fan boys said about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker? On a poll over at JoBlo.com in 2006, out of 2015 votes only 9.88% liked the idea of Ledger being the Clown Prince of Crime. People called Christopher Nolan foolish for casting a gay cowboy from Brokeback Mountain. Ledger went on to win an Oscar for his portrayal and fans removed their feet from their mouths and ate platefuls of crow. The crying shame is that Ledger died before the movie was released and never knew how much he was loved. He passed away knowing only hate towards his casting.
That’s just one example. People yelled to the heavens when Michael Keaton was cast in Tim Burton’s Batman. People cried foul when Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark aka Iron Man. No one thought the girl from the Princess Diaries could be Catwoman. Or how about when Daniel Craig was cast as 007? Just like people joining in when there is looting in the streets, it’s easy to jump on the negativity bandwagon and shoot down what potentially could be a great performance.
This statement seems to be getting the most backlash over anything else. But the facts are you can make comparisons to other actors and how they were unpopular choices. People are only now singing the praises after the fact. Can Affleck totally not be effective? Absolutely. But he just signed the contract. The ink is still fresh, let the guy train and get into the character before people just write him off.
9) The Kevin Smith Factor
Whether you are a fan of his movies or not, Kevin Smith has created a small empire with his comic book knowledge. He sold his collection to make Clerks, and references numerous comic characters throughout his filmography. He has a show on AMC called Comic Book Men about his comic book shop in New Jersey. And he is the author of many comic books such as Daredevil, The Green Hornet, but most notably a three issue Batman series called Batman: Cacophony.
So what the hell does this have to do with anything? He is good friends with Affleck. Smith may not have anything to do with the production of the Batman/Superman movie, but don’t you think Ben is going to talk to him about the project? Don’t you think he’ll ask for some guidance and character inspiration? Hell Affleck is an admitted big comic book nerd himself. I respect Smith for his geeky knowledge and filmmaking abilities, and obviously so does Affleck since he’s starred in many of his movies. It would be totally naive to think Kevin Smith won’t be a little voice in Affleck’s ear on how to do justice to the Dark Knight.
8) Affleck Can Easily Pull Off Bruce Wayne
Even with Christian Bale’s great performance of the billionaire playboy, many still consider Michael Keaton to be the best portrayal. This is a guy who was Beetlejuice, Mr. Mom and the guy from Gung Ho. And whether you consider Bruce Wayne to be the true mask of the hero, it still takes an actor to be able to properly perform the duality of the role. Ben Affleck has the ability to be a great Bruce which will make for a believable Batman.
Bruce Wayne needs to look clumsy. Bruce Wayne needs to be clueless yet charming. Bruce Wayne has to work hard to appear to be everything Batman isn’t as to not give away his identity. With his comedic and dramatic acting background, Ben Affleck can accomplish exactly what Keaton did, and that’s a guy who is likable to the Gotham public eye, slightly awkward and yet at any given moment can go a little nuts.
7) This Is Not Christopher Nolan’s Batman…
Of course there is no denying how amazing Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is, but this is not his movie. Nolan’s story is over. Hell, it’s not even really a Batman movie. This is Zack Snyder’s sequel to Man of Steel. At this time, other than someone reading a portion of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns comic, we don’t even know what the movie is about and how much Batman will even be in the film. Bale was perfect for Nolan, but may not have been compatible with Snyder’s vision. This may not be the dark and brooding version of Batman. Batman can exist in a positive world. Just look at the Brave and the Bold cartoon on Cartoon Network. I’m envisioning the character being somewhere in the middle ground between Adam West campy and Nolan’s reality. Remember a lot of parents were warned away from taking their kids to see The Dark Knight because it was too dark. Warner Bros. wants to make a Justice League that the entire family can enjoy. As a parent of four kids myself, I had not problem taking my nine and seven year old to see The Avengers, but they still have not seen The Dark Knight Rises. Their names are even Harley and Ivy (and yes my daughter’s middle name is Quinn). This is something that Warner Bros. noticed that their superhero movie wasn’t reaching a broader audience.
Just like how many different writers and artists have evolved the mythology, so have filmmakers. Between Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder, they must have figured that Affleck will work perfectly to balance Cavill. Because of the powers that Superman has and the eventual tie in with Justice League, the movie will more than likely not be set in reality like the Nolan franchise. For now we can only speculate as to exactly how he wants Affleck to portray Bats, but I am thinking it’s a more family friendly version based more on fantasy than reality in the same manner of Marvel’s The Avengers.
6) Daredevil Was Not Entirely Horrible
OK, before I get a ton of hateful trolling comments on this one, let me explain. I am indeed a huge Batman nerd and I have to admit I know squat about Daredevil. So when I watched the 2003 movie, I didn’t watch it through the eyes of a Marvel fanboy, I watched it as someone who likes Batman. While certain scenes like the playground fight were a bit goofy, there were a ton of elements that totally mimic a Batman movie. In so many instances you could have easily swapped out the red leather costume for a black one with a cape and cowl.
Young Matt Murdock had his father brutally slain and used that pain to become a hero. Daredevil was a regular guy without superpowers who gets hurt, who bleeds, who wears the scars of his battles on his body. He takes medication to numb the pain. The shower scene was evidence of this. To watch Matt Murdock pull out a broken tooth and have blood wash away in the drain was powerful and reminded me so much of the vulnerability of Bruce Wayne. To watch Daredevil jump off of buildings and run across rooftops was just like Batman in the Animated Series. The use of echolocation was just like the sonar device Batman used to take out all of Joker’s henchmen in The Dark Knight. To me, I thought these were aspects in Daredevil that Affleck did great in.
Yes I admit in many areas the movie flopped, but I still left the theater saying that Daredevil was the Batman origin movie I never got. Of course that opinion changed when Batman Begins came out two years later. But let me challenge you to rewatch Daredevil’s bar fight scene and tell me that’s not exactly how Batman uses the dark and the element of surprise to take out bad guys. And let’s not forget one other factor, Daredevil was not Ben’s fault, he was just the actor in the role. The people you should be blaming are the director, screen writer, and producers. The director by the way has only gone on to direct Ghost Rider, When in Rome, and this year’s Killing Season. All of them have been critical flops.
Go to page 2 for reasons 5-1
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