When Warner Brothers announced that Argo star/director Ben Affleck had been cast as the caped crusader, you would have thought that the studios had hired Pee Wee Herman to don the mask and cape. Apparently the public doesn’t believe that Affleck will make a good batman and quicker than you can say, “Holy Twitter, Batman!” A storm has erupted on the microblogging site.
If you head on over to Twitter right now, you’ll see several trending topics in the US. But if you don’t want to tear yourself away from this article, we’ll show you what you’ll find:
There are no less than four Batman related hashtags trending at the moment. As you can see, the top trending one is #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck. Incredibly, the public have not forgiven Ben for the catastrophe that was Gigli. Even Argo hasn’t gotten audiences to forget the misguided Affleck/Lopez disaster.
But regardless of how the public have reacted, the 41 year-old actor/director/producer will be donning the cape for the sequel to Man of Steel. He’ll be working alongside Henry Cavill in Zack Snyder’s next superhero film. Incredibly some people have opined that Christian Bale’s replacement as the tortured billionaire crime fighter should be a lot younger than the middle aged Affleck.
The age question isn’t really relevant as Gotham’s hero couldn’t be a youngster in the next incarnation of the cave dwelling vigilante. Unless Snyder had gone with the whole “prequel” approach, Bruce Wayne needs to be a guy that shaves more than once-a-week.
But the entire ” Holy anti-Affleck as Batman” outburst on Twitter and in the media is irrational. Some have even pointed to the Mount Rushmore sized cleft in Ben’s chin. Critics have been quick to point out that the Argo star would be easy to point out when not in his caped crusader mask. But surely he would not be any easier than Snyder’s creation of Superman aka Clark Kent? The negative response that has been evoked by the news is so vehement it is almost alarming.
And speaking of cleft chins, what about George Clooney? His chin may have been practically cleft free, but does anyone else have a chin like that? The quick answer is not many.
One can assume that the only thing that would have provoked more outrage would have been the news that Affleck’s real-life buddy and his, often, screen partner Matt Damon had been cast as Robin the boy wonder. It does make a certain amount of sense, they worked so well together as a double act angels in Dogma.
Presumably if Damon were cast as Batman’s sidekick, another four hashtag trends would appear causing the Twitter trends for the US to be dominated by anti Affleck and Damon. Just imagine if Affleck’s wife Jennifer Garner were cast as Catwoman!
The real issue is not Affleck at all, but the fact that Christian Bale isn’t returning. But before fans of Christian Bale’s Batman completely wig out, it should be pointed out that there is no reason that Affleck can’t be a very good Batman. It has to be remembered that his caped crusader will not be in the same dark and twisted verse that Christopher Nolan developed and explored so well. A verse that suited Bale’s tortured performance skills right down to the ground.
It also needs to be pointed out that Zack Snyder’s vision of Superman was pretty humourless if not downright bleak and unfriendly. Snyder’s Superman was not the charismatic fellow in the blue tights and red cape that he used to be.
It stands to reason that Snyder’s vision of Batman will be similar. In which case Affleck, who has already shown he can do dark, shouldn’t have a problem fitting into the verse.
So before you can say “Holy Twitter Batman,” Ben Affleck will be filling the batcave of the caped crusader, and the “bat-mansion,” regardless of whatever response his casting has evoked. Besides it is still early days in the casting process, Matt Damon could still be cast as Robin, then Twitter will really explode.
By Michael Smith