Brace yourselves movie fans. Warner Bros announced yesterday that they have filled the role that Christian Bale played so iconically in the Dark Knight trilogy, much, much sooner than anyone thought they would even consider it. Ben Affleck will be our new Batman, likely in the upcoming Zack Snyder attempt at a Batman vs. Superman movie.
As soon as the announcement dropped, the internet and social media exploded with opinions and thoughts, most of which were very negative towards the idea of Ben Affleck taking over as Bruce Wayne and Batman. But for me, this isn’t even the issue here. As soon as The Dark Knight Rises was released, and the epic trilogy was complete, most of us decided that there may never even be another Batman film. How could there be? How could anyone follow up on Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece?
We forgot about one thing though. Money.
Of course there was going to be another Batman film. Or at least, as is the case here, a Man of Steel film with Batman in it. Deep down I kind of knew this. However, what I really, really, really didn’t know was that it would be announced this soon. I mean, wow. You know when some tragedy takes place, and the jokes flow in and people say ‘too soon.’ Well this my friends is ‘too soon.’ But, it’s happened, and the movie will likely drop sometime around 2015. Deal with it.
So, that being said, we have Ben Affleck as Batman. It is an interesting choice, sure. But the hate that has flown his way seems a little unjust. I mean, is he really that bad of a choice, or is this some Christian Bale hangover we are going through. Would anybody have been subject to this same reaction. There is even a trend on twitter for the hashtag #BetterBatmanThanAffleck
That seems a little harsh. What I want to talk about is why we SHOULD be excited to have Affleck take over as our caped crusader.
He is a great actor
I mean come on. It’s like we cast Taylor Lautner in the role or something. Affleck has acted and directed in last year’s Oscar winner, as well as great films like The Town. The is not the Ben Affleck of the Gigli days. The guy is actually on fire from a critical acclaim sense. Christian Bale was an interesting choice for Batman when you look back, if we are honest with ourselves. He pretty much nailed it. Even though when you think about it, he was never really the star of the show in the Dark Knight movies. The villains were. He is a great actor, and he made it work. I think the first step here is to select a great actor, and they’ve done that.
He has some Bruce Wayne characteristics
Let’s be honest. Bruce Wayne can be a douche bag. He’s also got charm, so he gets away with it. Ben Affleck has done this before. He has made for a great douchebag in a number of movies. He’s also got some charm. Boiler Room and Shakespeare in love are good examples. In order to nail Batman, it’s almost more important to nail Bruce Wayne and I don’t see why he can’t do that. We all have to accept that the studio was always going to recast in Bale was out, so we need to stop making the comparison. It’s a pointless cry.
He is old enough to fit the aging superhero role
Affleck is certainly not an old man, but he is just old enough that he can portray that veteran superhero that is beginning to lose a step, and young enough that he can still do what needs to be done. He’s got that Boston grit that he exhibited in The Town and Argo, which will be crucial in his portrayal of Batman, especially if this film seeks any kind of realism similar to what The Dark Knight and to an extent Man of Steel put forth.
Who would be better……?
I mean there might be a “Better Batman Than Ben” trend out there, but quite frankly I think it’s bullshit. People can throw out a million names, but if you really stop and think, who would be better? I mean, I’ve established that the Christian Bale comparison needs to disappear. We also know that this Batman needs to be a little older. One problem we have is that we don’t know how old, so we have to assume it’s something around Affleck’s age. So who would be better that fits that criteria. I mean if the age group was a little bit older I could think of plenty, but apparently it isn’t. At this range I can name off maybe….one. Josh Brolin. Other than that, I got nothing. I’ve seen Gerard Butler thrown around. Really? Come on now. THIS IS NOT SPARTA! (sorry).
Batman is NOT Daredevil
The obvious criticism that is flying around out there is that Marvel already tried Affleck as Daredevil back in 2003. It was pretty bad. He wasn’t fantastic in it. But come on now. Daredevil. It isn’t exactly the best superhero franchise out there and it is not nearly as transferable to the big screen. The script was bad. The director wasn’t Christopher Nolan. Neither was the writer. The studio didn’t throw all that money. So many reasons that this is a horrible comparison and quite frankly completely irrelevant to this discussion.
In conclusion, get off of Batfleck’s back! Once you’ve established that there is no hope of preventing this Batman reboot, you’ll begin to see that in the scheme of things, it could be worse.