And right on cue, people on Twitter began to complain. “Ben Affleck ruined Daredevil, how can be the lead in the new Batman film?”, “Ben Affleck can’t play a gritty badass, why did Christian Bale have to turn down the 50m? (a fee Warner Bros. allegedly offered Bale to reprise his role)”. #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck began to trend - We’re beginning to see a brand new internet law to go along with Godwin’s (the longer an argument goes the increasing certainty that a comparison will be made to Hitler and the Nazis) and Lewis’ (the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism) – The Newton Twitter Law; “For every action, you will be able to find an ill thought out overreaction on Twitter.” Here’s why you need to chill out about Ben Affleck becoming the new Batman.
Ben Affleck Is A Good Actor
Daredevil was a decade ago (and actually pretty good if you watch the director’s cut with a Coolio subplot). “Bennifer” is so long a distant memory the only reminder we have of Ben Affleck’s relationship with Jennifer Lopez is that hilarious South Park episode. Stop thinking of this as “The Girl From Jersey Girl and Gigli is going to become the Dark Knight” and start thinking of this as “The current holder of Best Picture at the Oscars and the guy who gave us a modern day version of “Heat” is donning the cowl and cape.” Between Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo, Ben Affleck has put to be any notion that he was just costing off Matt Damon’s talent when they first broke onto the scene with Good Will Hunting. The guy has some chops. It’s not Michael Fassbender/Bryan Cranston or bust.
This Was Never Going To Be Another Nolan Batman Film
There’s a Big Blue Boyscout by the name of Superman sharing equal billing in this film. This is Superman AND Batman, not just a Batman reboot/retread. The Nolan story is done; let it go. If Warner Bros do look to adapt a comic book as a framework for this film then we could see a cinematic version of “World’s Finest” – eagle eyed viewers of “Man Of Steel” would have caught glimpses of both a “Wayne Enterprises” satellite as well as a “Lexcorp” gas tanker. So imagine, Ben Affleck, as a more of a detective Batman taking the fight to Lex Luthor while Henry Cavill does more of the punching; sounds pretty good to me.
Batman Is Flexible
For some people, the Christopher Nolan films was their first interaction with the character of Batman, they see that version of the character as “true” and any deviation from that brooding gritty hero as false representation. The problem with that is that Batman is one of the most flexible and adaptable pop culture icons we have. A combination of Sherlock Holmes, Zorro and a number of other pop culture icons, one of the joys of Batman is that he can pop up as a character in a number of worlds and scenarios and still be Batman.
Want to stick him in a near future Neo-Gotham with a sci-fi tinge? We’ve got that in Batman Beyond. Have him track down Jack The Ripper in Victorian London? We’ve got that in Gotham by Gaslight. There is more than one version. In the wonderful children’s cartoon series Batman Brave & The Bold, Bat-Mite (as in a small imp figure that only Batman can see, Gazoo from The Flintstones style) directly addressed the audience in regards to the nature of Batman and his ever changing nature. “Batman's rich history allows him to be interpreted in a multitude of ways. To be sure, this is a lighter incarnation, but it's certainly no less valid and true to the character's roots than the tortured avenger crying out for mommy and daddy.” Ben Affleck’s Batman is going to be different to Christian Bale’s; it won’t make him any less of a Batman.
Those are just my two cents however; I think the fact that we are one day going to see Superman and Batman share the big screen is something that should be a cause for celebration. It’s a golden age to be a nerd right now and Ben Affleck becoming the next Batman isn’t going to be the cause of the crash of this wave.
Enjoy, comment, criticise and have fun.
And if you want to be meaner than the comments below will allow, my Twitter.