EDITORIAL: Why Comic Book Fans Are 100% WRONG About Ben Affleck As BATMAN
Well, the majority of them anyway! We've had some time to digest Ben Affleck as Batman now, but the response from a lot of comic book fans is still as negative as it was when the press release was issued by Warner Bros. Here's my take on why the former Man Without Fear IS the right man of the job...
Despite rumours - if you can really call them that - which indicated that Christian Bale would be returning to don the cape and cowl, we all knew that Zack Snyder’s Batman/Superman movie would more than likely end up featuring a new actor as the Caped Crusader. When a shortlist of potential candidates were revealed by The Hollywood Reporter, it was hard for even the pickiest of fans to find a name they couldn’t get on board with. Josh Brolin? Ryan Gosling? Richard Armitage? Sold. Perhaps that's why it was so shocking that Warner Bros. (completely out of the blue) decided to name their new Batman via press release, and it was someone familiar with a dark and brooding vigilante; Daredevil star Ben Affleck.
Since then, Affleck has of course gone on to deliver a number of superb performances, as well as directing such fantastic films as Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo (the latter two of which feature those aforementioned superb performances). So why then was the reaction so incredibly negative? While he certainly has his supporters, hours after the announcement was made, petitions were started and mass suicide protests promised. Throw in the fact that “#BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck” was trending worldwide on Twitter for over a day, and it seems fair to say that he’s not a popular choice with comic book fans OR the regular moviegoer. In the couple of weeks or so since, countless celebrities have been asked for their opinions and countless parody videos have been made in order to gauge the reaction from everyone from Germans to Boston natives. It’s been insane.
Regardless, I don’t think it’s in the least bit premature to say that those doubting Affleck are 100% WRONG. While he may forever carry the stigma of “Bennifer” and a string of terrible performances in even more terrible movies, his recent work should be more than enough to ease the minds of any and all doubters. The fact is that in his last two movies, he delivered two very solid and impressive performances which should be more than enough to prove that he has the acting ability to deliver a suitably impressive take on Batman. As much as I loved Christian Bale, his version of both the Bruce Wayne and Batman characters was really not all that faithful to the comic books and with a director like Zack Snyder at the helm, Affleck has the chance to deliver the definitive take on the Caped Crusader we’ve all been waiting for. What’s not to like about that?
Crucially, Affleck also looks the part of an older and experienced Batman. All of the right ingredients are there and now we just have to have faith that Snyder and screenwriter David Goyer are able to deliver the goods. With Affleck’s own impressive resume including the Academy Award winning Argo, it’s hard to imagine that he doesn’t know enough about this movie to not have complete faith in it, and that’s why we need to have faith in Affleck. While we’re all guilty of at one time declaring a casting decision or movie to be the worst idea ever, it’s hard to truly look back and imagine anything quite as controversial and polarising as Ben Affleck being cast as Batman. Either way, rather than taking the wait and see approach with this one (as in those who doubted him being proved wrong, a la Joss Whedon and The Avengers), just accept now that Warner Bros. have made one hell of a smart decision in this instance. Close your eyes for a second and imagine Affleck as Batman – in a costume similar to the one used in the Arkham video games – knocking seven bells out of Henry Cavill’s Superman. Imagine him in an Affleck helmed Batman movie based in Gotham City or even leading the Justice League into battle.
At the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their opinion and it’s hard to imagine many changing their minds about Ben Affleck as Batman until they actually see him in action in July, 2015. However, I’m already confident enough in him at this point that I’m willing to say now that he WILL deliver the best Batman to grace the big screen ever, and if you don’t believe that? Well, you’re just wrong. You can even quote me on that two years from now!
What do you guys think?
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