A message to Batman fans: give Ben Affleck a chance
By now, you’ve probably heard that Ben Affleck will play Batman in the upcoming Batman-Superman crossover film. And if you’ve heard about it, even if you’re not much of a Dark Knight fan, you almost certainly have an opinion about it.
The scores of people who took to the Internet protesting the casting certainly did. Almost immediately after it was announced Affleck got the role, social media lit up with comments attacking the actor. Outraged fans questioned his talent, petitioned for his dismissal and predicted the film would turn out to be another “Gigli.” That’s not to mention all the jokes about Matt Damon playing Robin.
But let’s stop, take a deep breath and think for a moment exactly why Affleck is such a horrible choice to wear the famed cape and cowl.
I don’t think he’s such a bad pick. In fact, I think he’s a great one.
The current rumors speculate that the version of the Caped Crusader to be depicted in the tentatively titled “Batman vs. Superman” will be older, rugged and pretty much down on his luck. So how is Affleck not the perfect person to inhabit such a character? After all, in the late ’90s he was poised to be the Next Big Thing of Hollywood until a series of critical flops caused his career to nosedive.
For much of the ’00s, he was trounced by the tabloids more viciously than most other A-list stars. In short, he knows what’s it’s like to be the former Golden Boy turned outcast and can use that pain to capture the essence of the worn-down Batman he’s been chosen to portray.
And just as Batman will undoubtedly do in the movie, Affleck has also emerged from the abyss to recapture former glory.
By turning to directing, he subsequently turned his luck around by proving he had the ability to helm critically acclaimed films such as “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town.” But it was after directing and starring in the Oscar-winning “Argo” that he truly revived his career, letting the world know he can still be the star everyone predicted he’d become.
Playing the Dark Knight is the culmination of his efforts to right his reputation, and I don’t think he’ll blow it.
If that doesn’t convince you, then think about the casting of Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader for 1989’s “Batman.” When it was initially announced, fans were furious that a comedic actor would be taking the coveted part.
But Keaton proved to be one of the comic book icon’s best portrayers, showing you can’t take failure for granted.
Even if you’re absolutely certain Affleck will bomb, you’ll still see the movie anyway, so why bother complaining?
Sean Quinn is a senior journalism major from Cranford, N.J. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.