I Am Batfleck

#Batfleck. Only a Twitter hashtag could somehow turn such an unappealing situation into something that sounds even worse. Say it once or twice. Sounds like you’re trying to cough something up, doesn’t it? Batfleck.

Yep, Ben Affleck is going to be Batman. I thought maybe I was just really sleepy when I read that for the first time. Or I thought this was onexsuperman-vs-batman-ben-affleck-poster.jpg.pagespeed.ic.-aN1FkEMOr of those internet hoaxes that are so popular these days (I think Jackie Chan is still trying to convince people he’s actually alive.). As the days and hours passed, though, the story didn’t change. Ben Affleck had really been cast to play Batman in the upcoming Superman/Batman film.

Ben … Freakin’ … Affleck.

I so want to stop being negative about this. I try to remember how Affleck has been able to turn his career around with sharp directorial efforts such as Gone Baby GoneThe Town, and the Oscar-winning Argo. I try to think about how he seems to be a likable enough fellow, with a nice Hollywood marriage to Jennifer Garner and three cute kids. I try to … um … er…

Aw, screw it: He’s going to suck as Batman.

I’m sorry, I just can’t get around it. When I think of the modern-era (non-shark repellent spray-using) Batman, I think intensity. That word does not come to mind when I think of Ben Affleck. I don’t mean the guy can’t act. I liked him in Argo, but he was sort of a lost soul in that film. In fact, I would probably liken him to a more talented Keanu Reeves – very good at playing laid-back, kind of aimless guys, but not so great at taking charge and saving the day … which is kind of what Batman does.

Plus, this casting doesn’t make much sense. Director Zack Snyder very nearly turned Man of Steel into some kind of art house music video, with a style very different from the Chris Nolan approach of the latest Batman trilogy. Granted, this will be an entirely different Batman in an entirely different movie, but there’s not much distance from The Dark Knight Rises to where we are now. I thought Henry Cavill made a fine Superman, but now he’s only getting one movie to put his stamp on the role. At this point of Affleck’s casting, though, does anyone even remember he’s the new Man of Steel?

Yep, I don’t like this bit of casting at all. Not one bit. Come to think of it, though, there has been a lot of superhero movie casting I haven’t been all that pleased with in recent years. I didn’t think Chris Evans was old enough or authoritative enough to play Captain America. I had no idea who Chris Hemsworth was, so I wasn’t wild about his casting as Thor (Plus, he has a brother, Liam, who looks almost just like him, so I couldn’t figure out who I was supposed to be looking up information about.). I thought Heath Ledger was totally wrong to play the Joker.

And I was wrong about every one of those actors. Evans and Hemsworth worked out just fine, and while I’m still not sure I think of Ledger as the perfect Joker, he did manage to bring a very well-written version of the character to life on the screen. I can at least take comfort in knowing I was not alone in my criticism, as the internet was filled with waves of discontent after each of these roles were cast.

After reading comment upon comment about how Affleck is totally the wrong choice to play the new Dark Knight, though, I began to feel a little guilty. Yeah, I think this particular actor should not have gotten this particular role. I believe he does not have the necessary talent or experience to be able to pull this off. I am of the opinion he will not do a good job, and he should step aside so someone better can be cast. In short, he does not meet my expectations.

How many times, though, have I been on the receiving end of those types of feelings? “He’s too quiet.” “He doesn’t have the right degree or the proper training.” “He won’t ever be what we want.” The only difference is I didn’t have someone broadcasting all those sentiments about me all over the World Wide Web. And if I ever did find out about them, that just made me want to show the people saying all those things that they were dead wrong about me. If they did open the door for me, I wouldn’t refuse to go through it.

Which is why I am Batfleck. And so are you. And you. And you.

BatmanGeorgeClooneyBen Affleck may very well turn out to be the worst Batman ever (Yes, even worse that George “Bat-nipples” Clooney.), but that shouldn’t stop him from wanting to put on the cape and cowl and give it his best shot. To say I’m rooting for him may be a little much. To say I can see why he’s taking his shot … well, let’s say I can #sympathize with that.

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