It was announced yesterday that Ben Affleck has been cast as the newest Batman, and the world is not all that psyched about it. Ben will play the role in the as-yet-unnamed Warner Brothers Superman follow-up, to be released in the summer of 2015. In the over 96,000 tweets sent in the first hour after the casting announcement was made, 71 percent of that talk was negative and 14 percent were mixed, leaving a measly 13% that responded positively. There were tons of references to Ben’s previous try at superhero-ism, the flop Daredevil, as well as to the-one-he-wishes-we-would-all-forget, Gigli. Batman fanboys who were taken aback by the decision actually launched a Change.org petition urging Warner Bros. to “Remove Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the Superman/Batman movie.” The petition is up to 12,963 signatures. I am a fan of Mr. Affleck’s: he is talented, handsome, a family man, I don’t really see anything not to like about him. But even I winced when I heard the news. I am sitting here racking my brain to think why.
Maybe it’s because Ben “got his chance” at playing a comic book character? But the failure of Daredevil can be explained by other elements too, you can’t simply blame an actor for a crappy movie. Maybe it’s because Batman is such a dark, brooding character, and most of us picture Ben as smiling, funny, chatty. He’s played guys that were on the darker side, but never quite so gloomy as Batman, and it’s out of our comfort zone to picture him behind that ominous mask. It also has barely been any time since we saw Christian Bale play the role, to a tee, in Christopher Nolan’s incredible Batman trilogy. It’s seems also ballsy or sacrilegious to have anyone play Batman so soon. But it probably won’t feel that way by the time the movie is released halfway through 2015.
But as I let the casting info sink in, I am thinking that he’s most likely going to do an amazing job. Zack Snyder, the director, states in a studio statement, ““Ben provides an interesting counterbalance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne.” The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Calia says “He has it all. The shoulder-heavy jock’s physique, the chiseled facial features set to brood..” I can’t disagree with this.
My gut says that Affleck will represent and have nay-sayers taking back their comments. But for now, the funny tweets cannot be stopped and should be taken with a grain of salt. That’s my advice for you Ben and you seem to have a great sense of humor in general. But you should probably just stay away from Twitter til Monday.
Here are some of the funniest Twitter comments found. They are exerpted from io9.com’s list of the “50+ Greatest Tweets about Ben Affleck Cast as Batman”