In August, Warner Bros. announced that Ben Affleck would be the next Batman. That day, the Internet exploded in outcry of nerd rage and memes.
Twitter users questions it.
Reddit forums came alive.
Many asked: “How did this happen?”
To answer that question, viewers need to step back and look at the larger narrative. If they do, they might find out that, god willing, Affleck might end up being a solid choice for the caped crusader.
Last year, Christopher Nolan finished his Batman trilogy with “The Dark Knight Rises.” Christian Bale, who took up the cape with 2005’s “Batman Begins” metaphorically and literally ended his role so another actor could take up the mantle.
But who would it be? And what does that mean for the larger DC Comics film universe?
Sure, Nolan’s Batman films made tons of dough, but in the post-“Avengers” age, fans and general movie-goers want to see a shared universe where super heroes exist in a universe together.
This summer’s success with “Man of Steel” was a first step in establishing that sort of shared universe. That’s why it was fitting, if not hysteria inducing, when the sequel was announced with a summer 2015 release date.
For the non-comic nerd, that means a Batman/Superman movie to further set up the inevitable “Justice League” film that looms ever close to reality.
Early rumors threw out names such as Ryan Gosling or Josh Brolin to don the tights. So when Affleck was announced, it took many by surprise. Others were downright flabbergasted.
Personally, I don’t find anything wrong with the casting choice.
But the Internet was soon bloated enough “Daredevil” and “Gigli” memes to last a lifetime. A particular highlight was the insinuation that if Affleck is Batman, that means Matt Damon will co-star as Robin.
As this fanboy hurricane continues, and likely will continue all the way until the film’s release two years from now, I would like to bring up a few reasons that “Batfleck” could work.
First, this kind of rabid negative reaction is nothing new. In fact it seems that most times, particularly with the Batman series, when there’s an uproar over a bit of casting the masses are always wrong.
Hate letters flooded Warner Bros. offices back in 1988 when Michael Keaton was cast to play the character.
It happened again when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker and Anne Hathaway became the new Catwoman.
The list goes on.
The complaining was completely unfounded and each of these three actors ended being great for the roles.
Also, while it’s true that 10 years ago Affleck was known for making very poor choices in films, he has fought tooth and nail to bring himself back to respectability with his directorial and acting roles in films such as “The Town” and “Argo.”
The later recently earning him a second Academy Award. He has become a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.
Lastly, and while more superficial than others, Affleck is a huge Batman fan who looks like the comic version of Bruce Wayne.
He actually fits the bill better than anyone who’s played him so far being 6’4, built like an ox and having an honest to god super-hero chin.
This is a man who built a panic room in his house just so he could have a Batcave entrance complete with the bookcase where you push a small button and the whole thing slides back.
So don’t get too worried just yet.
Reserve judgment until the actual movie comes out.
And hey, if anything, at least we don’t have to deal with Bale’s cancer-throat voice anymore.