Ben Affleck is the Next Batman
Alright, so this is going to look/seem a bit strange because tomorrow there will be a lengthy catch-up article that talks about this film and the rumors that accompanied it a couple of weeks ago but I felt compelled to write about it tonight nonetheless. If you’re looking for an explanation for my absence lately, you can read that in the catch-up article tomorrow because tonight, I’m focused on one thing. Well, not really because I’m fairly certain I have ADD but you know what I mean.
So what’s so great that I felt the need to write a specific article about something I’m already covering in another article? Why, the casting of Batman in the oft-speculated to-be-titled Batman vs. Superman film, of course. As you’ll find out tomorrow (or if you’ve been keeping track of the stuff elsewhere), there were a couple of interesting prospects (mostly in the form of Josh Brolin or Ryan Gosling) but Warner Bros. announced earlier this evening that Ben Affleck (Argo) will be the one to put on the cowl!
Yes, you read that right: Ben Affleck. That’s pretty surprising stuff because I don’t think there’d been any mention of Affleck even being on a random internet wish list so at a certain point, you have to hand it to WB for pulling it off in our current age of every big film news story being leaked prior to the actual announcement. All of that said, I think there was a reason that Affleck wasn’t mentioned on any internet wish list and while that has a lot to do with the internet’s hyperbolic hate for the guy, he’s not exactly the greatest actor available. That’s not to say that he can’t act, because he can in the right role, it just remains to be seen if this is one of those roles that.
Perhaps the biggest issue I personally have with it is that it breaks the streak of casting relative unknowns in major superhero roles, one of the few things Hollywood has been getting right as of late. I mentioned in passing on Facebook but I felt the need to re-iterate it because finding quality actors that aren’t household names has helped the actor portraying the character. By casting people aren’t entirely aware of, it allows the actor to lose himself in the role moreso than one the audience knows because at a certain point, the suspension of disbelief from the audience is ruined simply because they recognize the guy playing the superhero. Christian Bale (The Dark Knight trilogy) is obviously a huge star now but that wasn’t the case when Christopher Nolan cast him as Batman. He’d proven himself capable with a couple of cult hits (American Psycho, Equillibrium, The Machinest) but wasn’t known enough for the viewer to be distracted and simply think of him as Christian Bale playing Batman. After that, a trend started in which that’s how studios would cast the superhero roles and like I said, was/is (it’ll likely continue in other franchises) one of the few things Hollywood has been getting right.
Whatever your feelings about the news, it does accomplish one thing and that’s cementing the fact that Affleck’s reputation has, indeed, been rehabbed to the fullest extent possible. There will always be detractors but 10 years ago, no studio would ever dare of touching him for a role of this magnitude. True, a lot of it is owed to his tremendous talent as a director but he’s also been a lot more judicious in the roles he chooses and that has allowed him to live out every little boy’s dream of being Batman.