Aug. 22, 2013 is the day Batman died. At least that is what some people claimed after the announcement that Ben Affleck would be the actor to don the cowl for the currently untitled “Man of Steel 2.”
For those against Ben Affleck’s casting, the reasons are very simple. He is a “pretty boy” actor. He was in “Daredevil.” Batman should be someone older. And did I mention he was in “Daredevil?”
Personally, I wish everyone would be quiet and give him a chance for a few reasons. First and foremost, let him actually play the role before judging him in it. When Michael Keaton was cast as Batman, fans were furious. After seeing him, that disdain quickly turned to joy as he is now considered by many to be the best Batman actor. More recently, Heath Ledger’s casting as Joker came under fire because he did romantic comedies (much like Affleck did over a decade ago). Ledger became the quintessential Joker and won an Oscar. Besides, for all we know the film may never get made. Remember the Superman film starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Tim Burton? Just because a studio announces a film with actors and a script (something “Man of Steel 2” doesn’t even have yet), that does not guarantee the film will be made.
Regardless of the “wait and see” approach, do over zealous fans have a point that Affleck is a poor choice? Comic legend Stan Lee and geek culture king Kevin Smith don’t seem to think so. Yes, Affleck made a lot of bad romantic comedies, but that was a decade ago. He has truly grown as an actor and filmmaker, giving great performances in “The Town” and “Argo,” the latter of which won him an Oscar for Best Picture. “Daredevil” will always be a blemish on his filmography, but that movie was doomed from the start. Ben Affleck was not even the original star, replacing his friend Matt Damon before production began. Even then, Affleck is not the same actor he was ten years ago when that was made. Besides, most people complaining wanted Josh Brolin to play Batman and he was in “Jonah Hex,” which was only three years ago and far worse than “Daredevil” in my opinion.
Does all of that mean Ben Affleck will make a great Batman and Man of Steel 2/Batman vs. Superman/Superman vs. Batman will be the best movie ever? Of course not, there are tons of things that could go wrong and make the movie terrible, including Ben Affleck. Even if the film is terrible, Affleck has proven to be a great director and if rumors are true that he might direct the eventual Justice League movie Warner Brothers has been trying to get off the ground, it could actually give “The Avengers” and Marvel a run for their money. But can we please not act like he will ruin Batman and actually see how he does before we judge him? If George Clooney couldn’t kill the Caped Crusader, I don’t see how Affleck can.