Saturday, August 31, 2013

Batfleck or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Accept a New Batman

This is my first step into the blogging world and so to kick things off I decided to write about something that I'm truly passionate about. There aren't too many things I'm more passionate about than Batman, so let's get started!

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a die-hard Batman fan. I’ve been a fan since I discovered the Adam West show as a kid (and even met him when I was 5) and I’ve remained a fan through each new incarnation of the character through the good and bad times.

I wore my Roger Rabbit shirt for this special occasion
So when news of Ben Affleck’s casting as the new Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel hit, I was flooded with texts from friends reacting to the news and wanting to know what I thought. Pretty much the knee jerk reaction was this was the worst choice they could have possibly made and that WB is killing their chances of competing with Marvel’s movie domination by betraying us loyal fans.

Despite Affleck having made strides behind the camera in recent years, the stigma of such failings as Daredevil and for me personally, Pearl Harbor, (I knew better than to waste time on Gigli), are still fresh in memory. That’s not to say that I despise Affleck as an actor entirely. The Town was a step in the right direction and he was good in State of Play. I’ll even go as far to say that his scenes in Boiler Room was the best part of that movie.

With this unexpected announcement, Affleck joins the club of actors who have portrayed more than one super hero onscreen. Some have had great success at pulling double superhero duty (see Chris Evans who made the smooth transition from Human Torch to another Marvel hero, Captain America) and then there’s Ryan Reynolds who went from bad (Deadpool) to worse (Green Lantern) when he should have been playing The Flash all along and now will never get the chance (probably). The less said about Halle Berry's superhero turns the better. Now it’s Affleck’s turn to leap from a Marvel to a DC vigilante. The only question is, will round two be the charm when it comes to portraying another superhero (I’m not counting Hollywoodland for the record)?

I’ve had a week to process the news. In that time the backlash took Twitter by storm and many journalists who write about this stuff for a living have denounced the decision while a fair amount have come to his defense. Even former Batmen, Adam West, Val Kilmer and Michael Keaton have given Affleck their blessing. So far Clooney has yet to break his silence on the matter, which I don’t blame him as I’m sure he doesn’t want to remind everybody about his ill-fated turn as the Caped Crusader, although having picked up an Oscar for producing Argo, I’d be shocked if he’s anything but pro-Affleck. Hopefully he can pass on some lessons on how NOT to do it. I know I'd sure like to erase that movie from my memory.

Batman & Robin never happened. And I was never Two-Face!
I'm slowly becoming convinced that Kevin Smith is moonlighting as Affleck’s agent as he’s probably been the most vocal about the whole thing. Or maybe he just wants to remind everyone that he and Affleck are BFFs. Smith has said in the past that he thinks Affleck could play anything, but he has yet to convince the rest of us. Either way, as much as there was a lot of negative reaction, I’ve been seeing just as much from the pro-Batfleck camp as well.

We get it Silent Bob. You and Affleck are buddies.
As for me, I’m still on the fence. While there are so many other fine actors that I would have chosen in his place, I think Affleck has come a long way since he wore out his welcome as a blockbuster draw and he seems like he’s at the top of his game currently. I’m not rooting against him because I genuinely want it to work and for him to succeed in this role because it’s my favorite superhero, but I also can’t conceive of him disappearing into the role where Bruce Wayne is concerned. That’s the risk you run when you cast a big name, something they avoided with Henry Cavill’s casting as Superman, but whether that will work for or against Affleck remains to be seen. 

So far now, I’ll get on with life knowing it could have been better, but it could have been a LOT worse and will save my final judgment for when I see it in theaters because there’s no way I would miss it.

Until then, I leave you with the exclusive first promo poster for the upcoming Superman/Batman movie. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment