Ben Affleck as Batman: The Debate

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Ben Affleck as Batman. The announcement that has divided the internet, including those of us here at KK&T. So we’re hosting our very own Mass Debate (teehee, couldn’t resist). – T.

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Ben Affleck should not be Batman

In the affirmative: iamevilcupcake

My first thought after hearing the news was a hearty “Noooooooo” followed closely by a “WTF are they thinking?”

It’s not because I don’t like Ben Affleck. I do believe that he is a brilliant actor, and director. Plus, I’ve seen him host Saturday Night Live and he’s absolutely hilarious. His comedic timing is spot on. But Batman?? I just don’t see it.

Batman has been my superhero of choice since I was a little girl. I’m FIERCELY protective of him, so much so that when George Clooney was cast in Batman and Robin, I refused to watch it. I mean really??? Clooney? And they put Elle Macpherson in it as well who has the acting ability of a gnat. *shudder*

I was so thankful when there was a reboot and Christian Bale was cast. Because I could see it. I could see him as Bruce Wayne, and I could see him as Batman. He has a quality about him that just works. And it did! In my opinion he is the best Batman ever (sorry, Adam West) and when there were rumours of ANOTHER reboot without Bale I was dubious to say the least.

Melissa mentions (below) the uproar among nerds when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker. I remember it vividly, however I was always team Ledger. I could SEE him as the Joker. It was his face. His smile. I just knew he could bring the manic needed for the role. Because let’s face it, the Joker is (and should be portrayed as) a psychopath.

But I just don’t see it with Affleck. It’s not just that Daredevil was terrible, it’s that Affleck is too nice, and while Batman is a superhero, Bruce Wayne is a narcissistic asshole who uses his looks and fortune to gain a bevy of women and fool people, trying to deflect the fact that he leads this double life. He has these inner-demons that he wrestles with that affect his judgement.

Can you picture Affleck decked out in the Batsuit, holding someone upside down, yelling “SWEAR TO ME” and being convincing? Can you?

Having said all that, I will watch the movie as I do love superheroes, but I still seriously doubt the casting of Affleck. I am OK with being proved wrong, and in a way I hope I am. I would hate after all the good that was done with Bale’s trilogy, that Affleck’s Batman ruins it for me again.

I’m looking at you Kilmer and Clooney.

And, risking the derision of most of the internet, Melissa Savage goes in to bat for Team Affleck

Affleck-BatmanI freely admit that when I saw the first tweet announcing that Ben Affleck had been cast as Batman in the upcoming Zack Snyder Batman/Superman movie, I thought it was a joke. We’ve gotten used to these big superhero roles being played by relatively little-known up-and-comers, not people who made some questionable choices after showing early promise and then reinvented themselves as auteur directors. However, I’m standing up for the unpopular position that this could be a good idea.

He’s a fan

Yes, this is the guy who was Daredevil, the most universally-panned of all of the comic book movies of the last decade. But why did he do Daredevil? Because he was a fan. He grew up reading comics and he’s friends with the best-known comic book guy around, Kevin Smith, a man who is such a big Batman fan that he named his daughter Harley Quinn. Affleck is well known for being a fan not just of comics, but of other nerd stuff like Star Wars. He understands what it feels like to be disappointed when you’re a fan, and, importantly, what it feels like to disappoint fans, which leads me to my next point.

This is not the same guy who did Daredevil

Director Zack Snyder has said that the Batman they were looking for was ‘older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter’. At 41 (nearly 43 by the time the film is released), Affleck will meet the ‘older’ part of the brief with no problem. As for ‘seasoned’, well this is a guy who has been through it all: from Oscar-winning screenwriter in his twenties to the lows of the first Bennifer, and a trip to rehab and a series of flops, he has worked hard to reinvent himself as a serious director and family man.

He’s done many things since then, pulling himself out of the Daredevil/Gigli/Jersey Girl funk with a highly acclaimed performance as George Reeves (the first guy to play Superman on television) in Hollywoodland. Not long after that he got behind the camera to make Gone Baby Gone and we all started taking him seriously again. He’s the first to admit that there were some serious issues with Daredevil (not all of them his fault), and I believe that 20 years in the business and a few hard knocks have taught him some lessons.

Trust the process

This is not your childhood Batman movie. It exists in the post-Dark Knight world, and those movies rewrote our expectations of how to do a superhero movie. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can well remember the nerd rage that accompanied the announcement of Heath Ledger’s casting as the Joker in The Dark Knight. And we all know how that turned out. In the pre-internet era, the casting of comic Michael Keaton as Batman in 1989 inspired some serious hate too.

The forerunner to this film, Man of Steel, went against superhero movie convention cast some seriously big name actors in some of the most famous comic book roles going around – Russell Crowe as Superman’s father Jor-El, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Jonathan and Martha Kent and Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White – and they gave sterling performances in an ambitious but problematic film.

So I’m withholding judgement until I see what they do with this film. I just hope Zack Snyder keeps the camera still for long enough that we can see what’s going on.

Where do you stand? Are you pro-Affleck or anti-Affleck? 

  • http://johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

    I think I’m one of the few people who hated Christian Bale as Batman… in fact, I have this theory that if you cut nearly all the Batman/Bruce Wayne scenes from The Dark Knight and just focussed on the relationship between The Joker and Commissioner Gordon, The Dark Knight could have been a near perfect film…

    I also have to admit that neither Batman or Superman are my favourite super heroes… but then again, the comics I read growing up were all pre-The Dark Knight and pre this whole Batman/Superman cross-over genre. Plus I was always a Marvel fan, not a DC fan. My favourites were The Fantastic Four, The Hulk, and Dr Strange. So I’m kind of not that fussed about this new movie anyway.

    I can kind of see both points of view… I can understand Cuppy’s reservations about Ben Affleck… I’m not anti-Affleck, but I can’t picture him as Batman (although he is perfect for Bruce Wayne) – But I also agree with Mel, because I know how talented Ben Affleck is, and I have some faith in his abilities… he could surprise us all…

    Of course, for someone my age, there is only one Batman… and he is and always will be ALL WEST!!

    :)

    • http://www.jfgibson.com.au/ Jodi Gibson

      I’m with John – I hated Christian Bale as Batman. Close to appalling. I loved Michael Keaton as Batman, but that may have something to do with me being 13 and loving the soundtrack. I do think Ben is a great choice. He is a great actor, can do dark and light and has the right cheekbone facial structure to fit the mask.

  • Maryann

    I always though Christian Bale was too young to play Batman. I think that if the script is good and the director is capable Ben Affleck will be a good Batman. What let George Clooney down was a terrible script and poor acting by some of his co stars. But like JJ I will always love the TV series with Adam West.

  • Mazi

    AM not sure if Daredevil is more hated than the Green Lantern movie.

    • http://iamevilcupcake.com/ iamevilcupcake

      Oh Green Lantern. That was an abomination. Almost as bad as Eric Bana’s Hulk.

      • http://johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

        I kind of liked both of those…

        *ducks*

        They’re not Citizen Kane, but I enjoyed them… 😉

        But, yes, Daredevil was awful!

      • SonjaLouise

        What was wrong with Green Lantern? I enjoyed it!

  • fender4eva

    In this day and age of political correctness, should they not be called Batperson ? In that case, anyone could play the part. Rebel Wilson, anyone ?…. 😉

  • Kris

    I can definitely see Ben Affleck as Batman. I think he can do suave and he’ll step up for action. I’m not big into comic movies, I do love the X Men movies though, and I think for me it feels a bit like the casting of X-Men:First Class. Same but different.

  • Mitchell Osmond

    Like many others, I thought this was a joke. My problem is not necessarily that Affleck would not be a good Batman. My concern is that Affleck would have been better had he appeared directly after Michael Keaton, as fans would not have had to suspend disbelief too far to see a transition from Keaton to Affleck. But to come directly after Christian Bale’s portrayal is what I’m having trouble with.

    The franchise managed to pick itself up and reboot in a way that had never been done before. It was darker, grittier, grounded in a real world, not the neon comic book that it had descended to. I’m having real trouble picturing Affleck in this gritty reality. Maybe this is a good play by WB – I’ll be going into this movie with low expectations and I may actually be pleasantly surprised by it.

    Reserving final judgment, but it’s off to a shaky start.

    • http://iamevilcupcake.com/ iamevilcupcake

      This comment right here! Exactly!! Even if you take Affleck out of the equation, I think more thought should have been taken to casting after Bale’s reboot as it’s much closer to canon compared to the Joel Schumacher ca-ca. Bleurgh.