Aug 23 2013
Late last night, I heard the news that Ben Affleck was officially taking over Christian Bale’s cowl, and would be the next Bruce Wayne/Batman in the Superman/Batman team-up film “inspired” by The Dark Knight Returns and directed by Zack Snyder.
My initial reaction? Hysterical laughter. Despite all he’s done since, my mind immediately flashed back to Daredevil, one of the worst superhero films of all time. You can say there were many factors leading to this fact outside of Affleck’s performance, but he certainly wasn’t blameless either.
But now that I’ve had some time to digest, this seems like less of a bad idea that I thought. Affleck has performed quite well in recent years, particularly in his own films, The Town and more recently Argo, which actually won Best Picture last year. It would be silly to dismiss him because of Daredevil when he’s now evolved in a much, much more prolific actor (and director).
Part of me is sad however that Affleck WON’T be directing the film. Nothing against Snyder, but Affleck has simply not made a bad film yet, going 3 for 3 with the aforementioned Town and Argo, and before that, Gone Baby Gone. No, there’s no way to know if that skill would translate into a big budget superhero epic, but damn, would I like to see him try.
As for the role itself, Bruce is meant to be a “an older mentor” to the younger Clark. Affleck is 11 years older than Cavill at 41, but they clearly didn’t want to go full Dark Knight Returns where a retired Batman is 60+.
I guess part of my hesitation here is that it’s odd to have such a recognizable face in the role. Thinking about the casting of superheroes in the modern era, the best results come from casting relative unknowns. Wolverine was Hugh Jackman’s big role. Nobody knew who Chris Hemsworth was before Thor. Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, Cavill as Superman, the list goes on. Even Christian Bale wasn’t well known to the general public before his turn as Batman. But Affleck? Well, we all know him. As much as I like say, Brad Pitt, it would be weird to cast him as Aquaman. And Affleck as Batman just seems similarly strange.
So, what do you think? Is Affleck for Batman an odd, solid, good, bad choice for Warner Bros?
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