Unless you have been living under a rock or been out of range of any Wi-Fi connections, it’s safe to assume you’ve heard the news that Ben Affleck will be playing Batman in The Man of Steel sequel, tentatively titled Batman vs. Superman. We knew that Warner Brothers was looking for a man over 40 to don the cowl that Christian Bale recently retired, and Affleck’s name has been in the running since February, but it still comes as a surprise that Affleck is actually the one to beat out names like Josh Brolin, Richard Armitage, and even Ryan Gosling. I’m even more surprised about how I am trying to process the fact that the man who once destroyed a genre with Daredevil will be playing my all time favorite superhero, but completely floored that I am absolutely in love with the idea. To help settle my excitement, I list five reasons why Affleck as Batman is a spectacular idea.
The Dude Can Act
Ben Affleck has been on a tear in the past decade, completely turning his acting career around while at the same time, taking on duties behind the camera as a director. In some magical combination of the two, Affleck has found his place in Hollywood and has solidified himself as one of the best filmmakers and actors working today. It’s a great story, especially for those of us who never gave up on the man when his career seemed to be nothing more than a sub-par string of performances in bloated, unnecessary movies. And, with this new energy and excitement surrounding the man, he’s been able to appear in other flicks that are not his own like State of Play, The Company Men, and To the Wonder, in which he delivers an outstanding performance in each film.
Affleck fits the role of Batman, especially considering that the film will focus on an older, more worn Batman, whose fighting over the years have made him a veteran in the war against crime. This is a hero who has seen some shit and is one mad motherf**ker you’d hate to have a run in with on the streets of Gotham. Affleck, assuming he puts on some pounds for the role, can play that slightly unhinged character who is ready to snap. But, an older Batman isn’t all about the rage as more time fighting criminals has made the hero even wiser. Besides a few of his past career choices, I have never looked at Affleck and thought he was dumb. In fact, I think he’s one of the smartest people in the business and seeing him bring some of that hard earned street cred to a role like Batman is very exciting.
Plus, Affleck would have a blast as the billionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne.
The Backlash is Similar to What We Have Seen Before
Remember when Heath Ledger was announced as The Joker? Big studios put so much of their money into these superhero flicks that they are not just going to cast anyone in these big roles. There’s a reason for everything and in the end, it almost always pays off. In Warner Brothers we trust?
Warner Brothers and DC Have Secured One Hell of a Talent
While it’s never been pointed out specifically, I think there’s a big casting war going on behind the scenes at Marvel/Disney and DC/Warner Brothers. There are a handful of talents that I’m sure each house are looking to snag as their own, as you can’t have the same person playing major characters in each universe. It’s just wrong.
With Warner Brothers securing Affleck, they not only have a great man to play Batman, but they also get to keep him in house for any future projects they may need him for. A while ago, it was rumored that WB offered Affleck the chance to direct The Justice League, but unfortunately he turned it down. Now I don’t see Affleck changing his mind on directing, but I can see him taking on a smaller DC property in the long run, just as Marvel is planning on doing with phase three of their universe building.
I also hope that having Affleck on board of Batman vs. Superman will allow a collaboration between him and director Zach Snyder that helps each other out. Affleck did a fine job with action sequences in The Town, but I don’t think he has the eye (quite yet) to do a big scale fight sequence with destruction left and right, something Snyder is very comfortable with. On the other end of the spectrum, Snyder is almost entirely style over substance and I hope that the two’s relationship will make the other one stronger as a filmmaker. I mentioned earlier that Affleck is one of the smartest people in the industry, and I don’t expect him to sit by and let a “meh” film be made around him.
He’s a Two Time Oscar Winner
Yes, yes, I know that neither one of his Oscar wins were in an acting category, but it still has Affleck demanding a lot more respect than most actors. It’s also worth pointing out that Affleck has won in the two times he has been nominated, setting his track record at a whopping 100%. And now he’s Batman.
Superhero movies usually make an actor a household name. Rarely do we see someone everyone is already so familiar with choose to take that “step back” and don a mask, cape, and utility belt. Very few people knew who Christian Bale was before Batman Begins and Robert Downey Jr’s career was pretty much resurrected with Iron Man. But everyone knows who Ben Affleck is and it leaves him with even more to surprise us.
Why Do We Fall, Master Wayne?
The best news stories in the movie world are the ones that receive the most backlash and spark the most conversation. These are some of the best times to write about film and seeing how the world reacted to the news of Affleck’s casting only makes the story more exciting. Polarizing ideas are usually the best when it comes to energizing those involved to prove the naysayers wrong. Affleck is fully aware of the pressures of taking on the role and I think him seeing the criticism that’s popping up left and right will only turn his performance into something even better.
It’s also worth mentioning that we will be getting a Batman that we have never seen before. He’s old, he’s tired, and has a lot less shits to give. Don’t you think with this new Batman we should have someone we’d never expect to take on the role? Also with Affleck, he has even more pressure with having to live with the fact he starred in Daredevil, a superhero movie most consider to be one of the worst ever made. The fact that Affleck is willing to turn to a genre that killed his career has a lot of weight to it and should be considered before you start criticizing the casting decision. Affleck auditioned for the role; it wasn’t just handed to him. He wanted this.
Call me optimistic. Call me a fanboy. Call me whatever you like. This news is spectacular and I cannot wait to see how it all turns out.
What do you think of the news? Have any of my points been able to change your opinion on the casting? Leave your thoughts below.