After the recent announcement that Ben Affleck is to be the newest Batman in Batman vs. Superman the internet exploded with extreme outrage. The assertion by detractors of this casting decision is that the worst choice for Batman is unequivocally Ben Affleck and that he will do a terrible job in his new role. True to typical form on the internet, very little rationalization is given to such sentiments, only intense “vitriol.”
A flurry of angry tweets have been reported from many different sources, with a variety of different hashtags trending, including #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck which features suggestions of alternatives for the role, ranging from serious options, such as Hugh Jackman, to mock suggestions like Joan Rivers.
People have even gone so far as to start dozens of petitions on Change.org to have him removed from the part and there are thousands of people who have signed them.
Affleck’s questionable acting career has been cited as reason for the backlash, but one has to question whether this is really a valid excuse for the level of frenzy that has been reached. Daredevil was not good, therefore neither is Affleck’s track record with superhero portrayal. The problems with that movie do not fall solely on Affleck’s shoulders, however. Obviously, overlooked in that travesty of a movie was the poor script and direction. It could never have been a good movie. The problems were too many and the redeeming features were too few.
Remember when Zack Snyder, the director of Batman vs. Superman, made Sucker Punch? To this day no one knows what the plot was supposed to be and yet he got to take another stab at a superhero flick with little controversy, probably because he had shown he could direct in the past. Ben Affleck’s most recent work has shown his ability to resuscitate his career in a credible way, so where is his second chance?
Ben Affleck possesses attributes that serve as evidence that he will not be the worst incarnation of Batman ever seen. He has a strong chin and the ability to clench his jaw to look stern, so he can handle acting as Batman. He can be arrogant and charming, so he can be Bruce Wayne.
Even if he messes it up, it will still be exciting, as far as the internet is concerned. Because really what all of this is about is that people like drama and Ben Affleck is the latest scapegoat. Do not be fooled by the negativity. It is a safe bet that the vast majority of those balking defenders of Batman’s honor will be in line to see the movie, if only to prove themselves right about how awful Ben Affleck will be.
On the internet, people love to hate, and right now their hate-worship idol is Ben Affleck. If he succeeds, the trolls will move on to the next poor soul. If he fails, then a second feast will gleefully be held on his image.
Obviously The Dark Knight trilogy was amazing and for the first time, the big screen let Batman be a serious, brooding, brilliant character, as he was always intended to be. With the exception of an animated series and movies from the 90s, past treatments of Batman has always portrayed him as at least a little campy, and fans of Batman seem to like him being taken seriously.
We all recall with horror Batman and Robin. Remember the “batnips?” That element was so ludicrous that no one could possibly forget. It even inspired a colloquialism, “as useless as nipples on a breastplate,” in George R. R. Martin’s increasingly popular series A Song of Ice and Fire.
Are we really that worried that Ben Affleck will be terrible as Batman when we’ve already seen the worst that Hollywood has to offer our beloved hero? Maybe we could practice some objectivity about the topic and stop clogging up websites meant to help solve real problems with frivolous petitions about stuff that does not matter.
Written By: Vanessa Blanchard