Friday, August 23, 2013

Ben Affleck Named as Batman

When I first heard about the sequel to Man of Steel including Batman, I was excited. I thought DC was making the right move rebooting the Dark Knight in what sounded like a storyline that would be loosely based around Frank Miller's work, where I'd see the Bat and Superman go toe to toe, possibly witness kryptonite gloves, and an epic showdown; it initially appeared a Justice League movie was not only a possibility but a foregone conclusion.

Then I began speculating who would be Batman. Would Snyder bring in new blood? Would he find a lesser known actor similar to the way he did with Cavill, who I really had no clue about until I saw Man of Steel. Would he use Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which a lot of fans of Nolan's Batman were rooting for?

Well, I received my answer this morning as I woke with a hangover from a birthday celebration. Part of me wanted to believe that I was still drunk from the night before and imagining Ben Affleck was named Batman. The disaster that was Daredevil is still fresh on my mind, and I have to wonder about this project, because Affleck has portrayed a masked superhero before and I was not impressed.

Keep in mind, I do not blame Affleck for the Daredevil movie. That blame rests upon an awful script and an equally awful director, both the work of Mark Steven Johnson. There wasn't a single actor in Daredevil that gave a compelling performance, and Colin Farrell's Bullseye was the worst of the film, including Garner as Elektra and Michael Duncan Clarke as the Kingpin. The sets and even the soundtrack were bad, so, unjustly, Affleck, who starred as The Man With No Fear and was essentially the face of the film, takes the blame from all the rabid fans.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't apprehensive of Affleck as Batman due to what I saw in Daredevil. I'm not sure he can pull off Bruce Wayne, but I was also one of the people left scratching my head when I heard Heath Ledger would be the Joker. The big difference between the two is that I had not seen Ledger in a movie as either a superhero or villain, so I had nothing to base an opinion on, and until I started seeing stills from the set, I was uneasy. Nolan and Ledger, of course, proved all the naysayers wrong. Ledger had the best performance of his life, in my opinion.

Can lightning strike twice? Did Nolan, who is producing the Man of Steel sequel, and Snyder see something in Affleck the rest of us aren't capable of? Will our outrage be thrown back in our faces, when stills and clips and trailers start to release? I will say this much, Affleck at least has the rugged qualities similar to how Batman is depicted in the comics, especially the jaw.

The concern rests in his ability to portray Bruce Wayne for me. As I saw another fan write, "I always thought it best if they casted for Bruce Wayne, not Batman." Affleck has been in movies I enjoyed, such as Good Will Hunting, Phantoms, and The Town, so I can only hope he surprises us all. Otherwise, if Batman/Bruce Wayne is not portrayed to the level of Bale or Keaton and is more like Clooney's version, this film is already dead in the water.

3 comments:

  1. I am also on the fence here. He HAS acting chops, which should be all you need to act, but he is not a character actor. Only time will tell.

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  2. I'm fascinated how much hate this choice has garnered.

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    1. I think it's interesting as well; I read an article yesterday that said a group even petitioned the White House to ban Affleck from making a superhero movie for the next 200 years, but I'm not surprised because Daredevil is considered by the fans as one of the worst Marvel movies ever made.

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