EDITORIAL: A Bat-fan’s Response to the Casting of Ben Affleck


Being an obvious fan of all things BAT (comics, memorabilia, movies, you name it) I was talked to and sent links from others about the recent casting of Ben Affleck as the new Caped Crusader. People were, and still are upset that Warner Bros. chose him to don the cape and cowl. So, being the known fanboy that I am, people thought I was going to put my two cents in on what a horrible mistake this is and start a picket line outside of Warner Bros. studios. Now mind you, this article is strictly my opinion; if you don’t agree, that’s fine. And if you do, terrific.

When I heard first the news, I was shocked and surprised only because I had never heard Affleck’s name churning in the rumor mill. To be truthful, when I first heard a Justice League film was coming down the pipeline, I thought of Affleck as a director, and possibly portraying Green Lantern / Hal Jordan if things had to change (no offense Ryan Reynolds). Do I think he can portray Batman / Bruce Wayne on the big screen? Yes, I believe he can and this is why:

First off, Affleck has the build and stature to pull it off. It’s already been reported that he has been training two hours a day preparing for the role, so obviously he wants to look the part. Secondly, he has the acting chops; he has range from action, comedy, drama and romance. Sure, he has a few duds on his resume, but name an actor that has none. He’s matured, and his career has definitely been on the upswing directing Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo (the latter won an Oscar for Best Picture). The guy is not going to go into this just to collect a paycheck. This is high profile and could propel his career even further.

Ben Affleck as Daredevil

Ben Affleck as Daredevil

Another gripe I keep hearing is that he already played another superhero in the critically panned, Daredevil. Who cares? That was in 2003; 13 years ago come 2015 and he did what he could with the material he was given. Granted, it was not my favorite superhero film of all time, but it had its moments that make me think Affleck can pull this one off. I specifically enjoyed the grittiness of the bar fight, and the physical repercussions of it once Murdock made it home: taking a handful of pain relievers, we see the scars on his body from what he puts himself through night after night.

I also remember the backlash when Michael Keaton was cast as Batman in the 1989 film. He was a former stand-up comedian that was now in comedy movies. “Mr. Mom” was going to be the Dark Knight…blasphemy! But to this day, he remains one of my favorites (and he didn’t even have the physique for it).

What about all the crying and moaning when Heath Ledger was cast as the Clown Prince of Crime in The Dark Knight? Sad to say, I was one of those people who was upset. How was this pretty boy from A Knight’s Tale and 10 Things I Hate About You going to possibly portray one of the most iconic villains of all time? Then I watched the first teaser trailer with the Joker’s maniacal laugh and spine-tingling voice in the background…I stood corrected then and there, and I had not even seen his mesmerizing performance yet. (The performance that won him a posthumous Oscar, no less).

So what I’m saying is, let’s give Ben Affleck a chance. His performance of the material he is given will be my deciding factor. I’ll be there opening night as I have been for all seven Bat films, and Man of Steel, waiting for Affleck to prove naysayers wrong.

Kort Johnson

Kort Johnson was given his first comic around the tender age of four and has been a passionate fan ever since.He was given the 1960’s ERTL Batmobile and Batboat by his mother and has been collecting Batman memorabilia henceforth. Kort has been interviewed by a newspaper and local magazine that both covered his Bat-Collection and enthusiasm.He makes his home in Allegan, Michigan and shares his love of superheroes with his four boys.

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1 Comment

  1. A. Currie

    August 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Well articulated with great evidence to back up your thoughts. The Town and Argo are especially fantastic movies and demonstrate, by my account, Ben Affleck’s ability to act in dramatic roles, with a mild amount of humour, all while directing which, being on both sides of the camera, most likely does not make his life any easier in either role and in fact shows the breadth of his skills and experience.

    Cannot say I have ever watched Daredevil, but I would rather have an actor who has had a mediocre foray in a superhero movie to be able to breakdown where it went awry in order to improve for a character which many people hold near and dear, as well as be able to match the excellent character that Henry Cavill has formed and embodied.

    For those worried about Mr. Affleck’s appearance and persona, well, there is no Batman mold, he is malleable, from Capullo to Adams to Timm and beyond. From Bale to Keaton to West there is not a Batman for everyone, but it is fairly close. Also if Val Kilmer and George Clooney can play Batman, two people who would never be my first choices based on looks alone, then certainly Ben has a fighting chance and substantially more if I may humbly be so bold.

    The internet and by extension the people who are the net (or at least the outspoken ones), are so quick to judge and lean towards a negative view. This is a completely first-world problem and the fact that time has been taken for a petition to be gathered is simply astounding to me. Instead of being so negative, appreciate that you have been able to enjoy many great Batman and Superman movies, look forward to the fact that there will be a sequel to the wonderful Man Of Steel and get on with it until Batman/Superman hits the theatres. Let us give Mr. Affleck a chance to don the cape and cowl in his own way.

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