Last night, the internet exploded when the news was revealed that Ben Affleck was cast as Batman in the upcoming sequel to Man Of Steel. Many people are genuinely hesitant of an actor like Affleck taking on the role of the Dark Knight, including myself, however a vast majority of fans are just outright venomous over the idea, claiming it to be a mistake on the part of DC/WB and stating that Affleck would never be able to portray Batman the way they envisioned.
The thing is...people need to calm down.
Again, I am skeptical about this casting move. I have seen plenty of Ben Affleck movies and though I like a number of them, he hasn't proven to me that he can play a character as intense as Batman. However, I also said the same thing about Heath Ledger when it was revealed he would be playing the Joker. "The guy from 10 Things I Hate About You? There's no way he'll be able to do that part justice. Man, The Dark Knight is gonna be a complete disaster." But here we are, five years later, and I count The Dark Knight as one of my top-five favorite movies.
Most arguments are stemming from Affleck's portrayal of Matt Murdock/Daredevil in the 2003 movie Daredevil. To be quite honest, this is an unfair comparison. Yes, that movie was wildly underwhelming (I won't say bad because I did enjoy it) and Affleck's take on the character seemed more like a snarky high-schooler than a lawyer/crime fighter. But we also have to remember that he filmed that movie ten years ago. Actors can learn new things in their craft. They can adapt. And looking at Affleck's recent track record, it seems like he's done just that. Take Hollywoodland, for example. Affleck played George Reeves, the actor that played Superman in the 1950s. Affleck did a great job in that role, one that required him to play a more dramatic part than he was used to. He also directed and starred in Argo, which helps to reinforce the idea that he's learned how to act dramatically and understands how it can help move a film.
Using a movie that's a decade old as "proof" that an actor can't fulfill a film role is just silly. It would be like calling out Steven Spielberg for casting Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan. "He's got that guy from The Money Pit in it. Yeah, Big was OK but there's no way he'll be able to pull off a serious war movie. He'll probably have a tub fall on him in the middle of Normandy Beach." Or shit, we can even point fingers at Matt Damon in that same movie. Ten years before Saving Private Ryan, Damon just finished his first film role as Steamer in Mystic Pizza. No one ever held that against him, did they? A decade is a long time to go between movies and actors can learn and grow within that time.
Let's also not forget about Chris Evans. Evans played Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, in The Fantastic Four and its sequel. No one would say that Evans did an amazing job as the character. In fact, I would go so far as to say that he was kind of annoying in both films. But he nailed the hell out of Captain America and that was the most important part.
We need to remember that making a movie is not a singular endeavor. It takes a lot of people to make a movie, from the writer to the director, producers and actors. It also takes a lot of people to fuck up a movie. Given that both Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder have proven themselves capable of handling the DC Comics properties, I really can't say that this decision is a bad one.
I am not saying that Affleck will be the definitive Batman but I'm also not saying him taking the role is the end of the world. Really, my point is just that everyone needs to relax. All in all, I just think everyone needs to stop making snap decisions about what could happen and just wait to see what does happen. Ben Affleck may be the best thing that could ever happen to the Batman franchise. You never know.