EDITORIAL: Why The World Always Responds Strongly To The Casting Of DC Characters
Ben Affleck is Batman, Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman and Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor. What do these have in common? The utter rage of fans all over the world. Why does this happen to DC Castings? Hit the jump to read my take on this!
The casting of DC characters tend to generate a lot of reaction from people all over the world regardless of whether these people are comic book fans or not. From Michael Keaton all the way to more recent ones like Adrienne Palicki, Heath Ledger, Anne Hathaway, Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and in the most recent case, Jesse Eisenberg.
In one way or another, the world reacted strongly to these caating announcements, be it positively or negatively. Internet boards blow up with millions of apprehension and or support for all these things. In fact, in the case of Adrienne Palicki's wonder woman failed tv pilot, fans were so vocal that the costume had to be changed on the character to sooth the backlash, which ultimately didn't help the show in the long run anyway. The question is, why is this the case for DC Characters in particular? Marvel has cast iconic characters and still continue to do so to little to no fan back lash. Not to say there isn't a reaction to those castings as well. Yet it hardly ever gets to the heights that fans take with Dc Characters castings. News outlets take it on, you hear about it on the entertainment/other news sections of your evening news bulletin, petitions get put up and generate thousands of signatures. Even a little prank like the one that Justin Beiber pulled were not well received by the public. It stayed in pop culture discussions for days.
Is it the distrust in Warner Bros. and their treatment of these characters? The acting ability of these actors? The general direction the characters are being taken? It's neither of the above. And even if it is, one thing becomes clear- The world cares about these characters deeply. Why? Because they are pop culture icons. They are ingrained in the collective minds of the masses mostly due to their massive history.
It's as simple as that. I had this epiphany a couple of months back while I was deployed to South East Asia (I'm a proud serving United States Airman). i was embedded with a few locals and during a conversation Comic Book Movies came up and all these locals lit up in passionate discourse. The Affleck situation arose naturally and these people who have never read one comic book in their lives were telling me about their concerns about that casting. It had nothing to do with acting chops, looks or anything. They just didn't want there to be a failed Batman movie because they want to have more Batman and cited (In their ignorance they didn't realize this was an entirely new take. They thought it was a continuation of the Nolan series) that every time Batman was recast it wasn't as good and they had to wait years before it was restarted. They just wanted more Batman and are very excited they are going to see him next to Superman (which devolved into an argument about who would win in a fight and their simple view that Superman would win in a fight because he has powers. All attempts to tell them how Batman has won before in the comics didn't make any sense to them. But that's another story).
The simple fact is that people just love these characters (The big 7 especially).Everyone has heard of them and can tell you the origin stories of at least 3 of them. Even the ones that have not made it to the big screen yet. People love these characters so much because they have come be a staple and archetypes for all that follow. Self professed die-hard Marvel Fans swarm these boards with all sorts of hate and ridicule and yet one thing is puzzling. Psychology ascertains that one does not generally invest much or any attention to things that they don't care about. For instance, I grew up in Germany. Now the reaction you gave to my last statement is exactly the point I am trying to make. You read it and go about your life. You don't come back and start dissecting why my family chose Germany or why I am telling you about it. Because you don't care that much about where I grew up. Now say, they announce that Mehki Pfifer has been cast as John Stewart. Now you're obviously thinking about that hypothetical casting and you're reacting to it. Because you care about these characters. Clear and simple. Whether you want to admit it or not. Regardless of your hate for DC or Marvel, yours and the worlds general love for Superheroes always brings you here. And in the case of the world, they have just been exposed to DC characters more. Now that they(the world) have made Iron Man theirs much like they seem to have adopted the DC characters, Expect this same uproar when the role is inevitably recast in the near future. No matter who is put in the position, petitions and such will follow.
Once the world has accepted something and loved it for being a certain way, whatever happens to it afterwards will always be met with such reactions initially. Even from people who supposedly don't care about them. Because a population, there are certain things we take for our own and DC Characters (Mostly the Super Friends and supporting characters), Iron-Man ( Mostly because of RDJ's Fantastic portrayal), Freddie Kruger and Michael Myers are a few on the long list of such things. And every time new versions are accepted, the reaction following that become stronger. Nolan's Bat flicks have proved this. Christian Bale and Ledger's portrayals of Batman and Joker are the standing standards for how Affleck's Batman and anyone who is ever cast in the role of The Joker will be judged by as Keaton and Nicholson were before 2008.
In conclusion, I would venture to say that it's not that people hate Warner Bros. (Not entirely)or the actors or directors (even though we like to try and rationalize by using such arguments) but rather it's because people feel a sense of ownership of these cultural staples in their own individual ways and no one wants to see them ruined.
Do you agree or disagree? Comment at the usual place! and follow me on twitter @ the link provided.
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