People like to predict that Ben Affleck will fail as the Batfleck. But what this blog post presupposes is, maybe he won’t?
The fact is, Ben Affleck is a good actor who is actually positioned better than any of his predecessors in terms of his ability to play Batman. Here are some of the reasons why.
It’s easy to forget that Ben Affleck was in comic book movies when no one cared about comic books. He starred in several Kevin Smith films during the ’90s and ’00s in which the characters were either readers or writers of comics.
This includes Affleck as Holden McNeil, a New Jersey comic book writer in Chasing Amy. It’s not a great movie, but it’s a good reference point if you want to see that Affleck knows a thing or two about the comic book world. He also plays the villain in Mallrats, another comic-centric movie by Kevin Smith.
People are still complaining about the idea of Ben Affleck as Batman. But, based on the trailers alone, and a few released still images, it’s already obvious that, even at its worst, the new Batman and Superman movie can’t be worse than what has come before it. Batman has bottomed out plenty of times before, but nothing is worse than the 1989 feature film adaptation, directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton. It does not matter what Ben Affleck does or does not do. Nothing is worse than what has already happened.
On the first page of The Great Gatsby, narrator Nick Carraway tells us about a piece of advice his father gave him: “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” Carraway goes on to tell us that he attempts to reserve all judgments but that, unfortunately, “reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope.”
It seems that infinite hope is what the world needs now, at least the world of fans who worry about their sacred heroes. In a previous post, I complained about the legions of fans who cry out in either joy or dismay every time they hear a piece of news about a favorite franchise. These days, much of the focus in on two upcoming projects: Suicide Squad and Batman vs Superman, both films that take place in the new DC Cinematic Universe. Suicide Squad features Jared Leto as the Joker, while BVS has Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, who, as we all know, is Batman (and is now known as Batfleck).
Naturally, some people are very excited about these things, and others are upset. You can see the reddit comments in the /r/batman subreddit, where apparently people can’t handle the idea of The Joker having tattoos.