A few days ago the people of the internet lost their fucking minds and it really felt like the world was ending. Why, you ask? Well friends, we now have ourselves a new Batman in Ben Affleck.
As a devoted Batman fan you'd think I'd be up in arms, raging along with my fellow comrades on this outrageous decision that will ruin the lives of many, wouldn't you? Well, after a lot of deep, concentrated meditative thought on this topic, I'd answer that with a solid no. I do not really care. I was lost on the fact that a Batman VS. (I put vs. in capitalised italics because the idea in itself is so silly I can't even think of it anymore) Superman film is the follow up to the misunderstood Man of Steel, so why should I give a shit now?
With all the hate (and completely undeserved may I add) Affleck has been getting this past week or so, I've decided to man the fuck up and have a say on this universally important issue if no one else will. Keep the pitchforks and burning stakes away for now, calm yo' shit down, and wait two more years until the film is released, okay? And here I present to you some reasons why you should do all of those things I mentioned above.
People would have gone into a mass meltdown whoever the fuck they cast
Bruce Wayne and Matt Murdock are two different people, guys
Daredevil is one of my favourite characters in all forms of art, with Batman not far behind. I've read a lot of shit with both of these dudes and my Batman comic collection is frighteningly huge. To say the least, I have an idea of who these people are both as their masked vigilantes and real life personas.
Despite having one of the best comic arcs that I've ever read, Daredevil isn't a very well-known or liked Marvel character. He's had plenty of rough times when it comes to the writing department, and his first (and only outing to date) on the big screen was a massive kick in the teeth. Daredevil is an inexcusable film and I put my hand on my heart to say I would never, ever recommend it to a fan of the Man With No Fear. Never.
Should the blame be put solely on the shoulders of Affleck, though? No. And why? Because he is not the main issue with the film. There are so many other things going on - the story, the music, the direction and the choreography standing out as my main ones - that Affleck is somehow pushed to the side in why I dislike it. All I'm saying is it isn't entirely his fault.
With that out of the way let's get to the main point. While I can agree that Batman and Daredevil have some similarities (loss of family, going out to avenge them, over time turned into very broody mysterious characters, etc.) Bruce Wayne and Matt Murdock are not one in the same and that is the most important thing to consider with these two. Bruce acts like the hot shot, the typical playboy with a sea of women at his beck and call but there is a lot more going on under the surface. He is a great actor to the general public, better than most of his counterparts. Bruce also has a core group of members in his Bat Family. He's not alone, unlike Matt who does his thing solo. He's not in the company of Alfred, Robin, Nightwing or Bat Girl to help him out. A big part of his character, too, is his profession - he is a lawyer. Even when he is fighting crime in a costume he is still kicking ass, more so than can be said for the multi-billionaire Wayne. Matt 1 - Bruce 0.
Its got a lot to do with Christopher Nolan, right?
When Tobey Maguire was cast as Spider-man there was a similar reaction to that of Affleck's, albeit not social media heavy (this is the early 2000's we're talking about) but it was the Spidey comic fans that weren't happy. A decade or so later, Andrew Garfield was cast in the role and there were quite a few arguing the decision for a brief moment in time. But why not as much publicised internet hatred for Everyone's Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-man? One name - Christopher Nolan. If the The Dark Knight Trilogy (or at least the last two films) weren't as financially and critically successful and high-profiled as they were with Nolan's name written all over it, you'd only have people outside of the film world of Batman (i.e comic fans) who would have a say-so on Affleck and that doesn't account to most of the population.
Don't get me wrong, I think Nolan did a decent job on Batman Begins (I like it), an awesome job on The Dark Knight (I love it) and then, well, that last one we won't talk about. The problem I have is that these films are now cited as the best comic book films of all time, the pillar that needs to be reached for anyone tackling a story from that medium. Truth be told, they're not the greatest comic book films ever made. In fact the trilogy has nothing to do with Batman or the fundamentals of the character's extensive history. Nolan's version was adored by the masses because they're not comics book films, it's an accessible noir-style adventure for people that don't like comics, and that is fine by me. I enjoyed what I saw and it was nice to see a different take on a character I have grown up with, even if I disagreed with a lot of the writing decisions.
Thanks to The Dark Knight trilogy and Nolan's popular vision, there is a ridiculously high expectation of who Batman is supposed to be and what is true to that particular version of the character. Agree to disagree, but Zack Snyder knows his shit about comics. He is faithful and caring to the source material he has worked on and clearly has an understanding of the the books he has brought to the screen. While I don't think it was a wise decision to go to Frank Miller for guidance on Batman (Jeph Loeb or Darwyn Cooke would have been far better choices) I have no doubt in my mind that he has pretty good DC knowledge and will get Batsy a lot more than Nolan did.
With the #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck hashtag came some stupid, mostly not funny, suggestions to play Batman. The most frustrating of all was the Christian Bale memes. I get it guys, Christian Bale is your Batman. You dig Christopher Nolan's vision (as mentioned). My generation's Batman is Christian Bale. I liked him in the role, maybe more so as Bruce Wayne, but he did well in the The Dark Knight. Does that mean he is the best Batman of all time? Of course not. He is just the one who is remembered the most because he is the recent incarnation of the Bat who didn't do a ballsed-arse job like George Clooney or Val Kilmer. Didn't any of you think that Michael Keaton was good? I did. What about the definite voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy? Nope? Okay, I'll crawl back into my hole now.
Ben Affleck isn’t a bad actor
Kudos to Affleck for turning his shit around. He came onto the scene with a tirade of Kevin Smith films and an Oscar win, then he went into a succubus-like black hole of acting that no one thought he'd be able to scramble his way out of. But, he did and he did it in style. There is no question that he has been in some absolute tripe but to bring up films that he did ten years ago seems irrelevant. He has progressed, clearly, as an actor and has been knocking out some pretty good performances and films for a while now. Cut that shit out, please.
As I type this, the White House has had some common sense to remove the petition above yet the good folks at Change are still happy to keep their Anti-Affleck campaign going which has reached over 80,000 signatures. Yes, this is actually happening. I'm still completely lost for words and slightly disappointed at the human race right now that they'd be abusing resourceful means to profile a decision made in the film industry, something that is so obviously vital to us all to be able to function in life and as a society.
I think Joker got the gist of what I was trying to say.
I think Joker got the gist of what I was trying to say.