So Warner brothers has announced that actor/director/screenwriter/husband of Jennifer Garner/BFF of Matt Damon, Ben Affleck has been cast as the new Batman who will be facing off with Superman in the upcoming MAN OF STEEL sequel. And like any other announcement steeped in geekiness, it has caused the collective Internets to shit themselves in fits of over-exaggerated apoplexy. Twitter is on fire, the message boards are exploding, Facebook is melting, petitions are being started (with over 20, 000 signatures…nerds I am so ashamed of you!), all due to Mr. Affleck being named as the new Dark Knight.
Well I will give four reasons why Affleck’s casting is not the worst thing since GIGLI was foisted upon an unsuspecting populace.
Ben Affleck Is Not A Bad Actor
A lot of the griping tends to be centered around the nonsensical charge that Affleck is a bad actor. Sure he was rreally terrible in the aforementioned GIGLI and there was a period of time in his career where he seemed to not take his craft very seriously but that can be chalked up to one thing…the corrosive effect of being in a relationship with the black hole of suck known as Jennifer Lopez. Affleck has done a masterful job of career resuscitation and not just as a direcotr but as an actor too. His performances in films like HOLLYWOODLAND, THE TOWN, ARGO, and STATE OF PLAY were all very good so the idea that he doesn’t have the acting chops to pull off Bruce Wayne/Batman is just ridiculous.
The other gripe as far as Affleck’s acting has to do with his starring in the disappointing DAREDEVIL movie. While I am not a fan of that film, the blame can’t be realistically laid at Affleck’s feet and most critics tended to agree since his performance was roundly considered one of the movie’s highlights. The script and directing by Mark Steven Johnson as well as studio interference and a badly cast Jennifer Garner as Daredevil’s lady love Elektra are what doomed this film.
None of The Actors To Play Batman In The Movies Have Been Particularly Good At It
OK, let’s be perfectly honest here, as much as you may have liked any of the previous actors to play Batman on the big screen, none of them have been all that great under the cowl. Now they have had varying degrees of success playing Bruce Wayne but as Batman they were all pretty much forgettable except for little quirks that only stand out because they are odd like Christian Bale’s goofy Batman voice or the fact that Michael Keaton moved like his was in a body cast. Even Kilmer and Clooney in those dreadful Joel Schumacher Batman movies were able to convincingly pull of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne but as Batman no one has yet to really stand out in any way that is impressive.
Affleck’s Casting Can Only Have A Positive Effect On Zack Snyder and David Goyer
Even if you have issues with Affleck as an actor, there is very little wiggle room when it comes to his abilities as a writer and director based on his hat trick of awesome in the form of GONE BABY GONE, THE TOWN and ARGO. The man can write his ass off and he is one of the better young director’s making movies today. So with that in mind and considering how beloved he is in the halls of Warner Brothers, it is safe to make the assumption that Ben just might be able to add his considerable input to the directing of Zack Snyder and the writing of David Goyer.
I am not a Snyder hater by any stretch of the imagination. I have either loved or liked everything he has made with the exception of that dismal SUCKER PUNCH. However even at his worst Snyder is a master at creating dynamic visuals and awesomely kinetic action which he achieved masterfully in MAN OF STEEL. He falls short at the quieter moments though and those types of things are where Affleck excels. Goyer on the other hand is great at the big concept but tends to be more iffy when it comes to executing his big ideas especially the interpersonal stuff. Affleck can write fully formed characters in his sleep.
So maybe having an Oscar winning writer/director like Ben on the set will be just the thing to help Snyder and Goyer in the areas they are not the strongest which can only serve to create the best Superman vs Batman movie possible.
And at the end of the day isn’t that what everyone really wants?
Over The Top Internet Outrage Usually Tends To Be Wrong Anyway
Case in point the way fanboys reacted to the news that Heath Ledger was cast as The Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT. Not only did the collective Internet react like a bunch of butthurt troglodytes (Exhibits A and B) they were also incredibly wrong and had to end up eating their words when Ledger proved to be one of the best Joker’s in cinematic history, completely overshadowed Christian Bale and ended up getting a well deserved Oscar nomination and eventual win. So the one takeaway from this little episode is that the majority of people who peruse the Internet are whiny morons whose opinions are almost always wrong.