Didn’t Ben Affleck Ruin One Comic Book Movie Already?

Ben AffleckWarner Bros. have announced that Ben Affleck will be playing Batman in the upcoming “Man of Steel” sequel. Now, I am a DC comic fanboy. I rarely read anything Marvel produces, and have almost always preferred DC superheroes to Marvel superheroes. That being said, I’m beginning to think that the brass at DC are mentally deficient, as they keep trusting their intellectual property to studios, writers, and directors that seem intent on making sure that their movies fail.

Before I go on a nerd tirade here I am going to say that the one thing that has gone right for DC in the past couple of years (besides the commercial success of Christopher Nolan’s grimdark Batman series) is the casting of Superman. I haven’t seen “Man of Steel” myself, as I’m generally bored to tears by any Superman storyline, but I’ve read the reviews and heard the stories of people who have gone to see it. Henry Cavill was a smart choice for the role. I loved his work in the Tudors, and he was relatively unknown by most of the mainstream Hollywood audience. He didn’t really have a large body of work going in, so most people went into the movie with an open mind and were pleasantly surprised by Cavill’s acting ability.

Ben Affleck, on the other hand, has quite a body of work to pre-judge. I could list his successes, but his failures are what I really am here to write about. I think Wil Wheaton may have the best quote on this one, and I hate Wil Wheaton almost as much as I hate Ben Affleck as Batman.

Instead of going with a relatively unknown actor, or a known actor that has a reputation for being reliable, they went with Ben Affleck. The same Ben Affleck from “Pearl Harbor”, “Smokin’ Aces”, and “He’s Just Not That Into You”. That Ben Affleck.

Affleck will make a very passable Bruce Wayne. That is definitely not a concern I have. The issue there is that EVERY actor that ever played Batman did a pretty decent Bruce Wayne. I hate, hate, HATED Christian Bale as Batman, but he was most likely the best Bruce Wayne I’d ever seen. George Clooney was also a good Bruce Wayne. Most Hollywood-type leading men are good at playing a rich asshole.

Nice nipple, George.

Nice nipple, George.

The hard part is once you get the Bat suit on. This is where Christian Bale’s gravelly Batman voice failed, where Clooney couldn’t cut it, and where Affleck most certainly failed in Daredevil. Val Kilmer and Michael Keaton are traditionally considered the best when it came to this part, but they had to deal with really bulky suits that hindered their acting ability.

It has now gotten to the point where you can rank Batman actors just as you could rank Bond actors. This was partially true a few years ago, when George Clooney was largely considered the George Lazenby of the Batman franchise. Most would put Michael Keaton as the equivalent of Sean Connery, with some debate there. All that said, WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE A MAN WHO YOU KNOW IS GOING TO MAKE THIS AN UPHILL PUBLIC RELATIONS BATTLE FROM EVEN BEFORE THE MOVIE STARTS SHOOTING?

Even if you like the idea of Affleck being Batman, you have to admit there has been an awful lot of public outcry from people who think he will be the worst of the lot. Is there no other “safer” actors out there available? Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Gerard Butler, Daniel Craig: not all of them are a great fit, BUT ALL OF THEM ARE BETTER THAN AFFLECK! Hell, get an unknown. I don’t care.  I’m just going to resign myself to the fact that the new line of DC movies are going to be passable action flicks, and that the Justice League movie will never be able to hold a candle to the Avengers.

I’m thinking I may be shooting too high hoping for it to be just passable, though.

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Posted in Books, Movies

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