So let’s just get it out the way: Warner Bros. has chosen Ben “He was the bomb in Phantoms” Affleck to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in their upcoming superhero film Superman/Batman film. Now, let’s cue the fanboy outrage, casual Batman fan shock, and Internet dudes vitriol.
*Waits 5 minutes*
Okay, now let’s talk about why this might not be such a bad idea.
The last series of Batman films, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale as the titular character, were phenomenal and there’s no denying that. The world that Nolan created was full of moral quandary, captivating psychopaths, and a “realistic” super-world. Sure, the last film was full of more irrational leaps of logic than a conservative radio show, but overall, the Nolan trilogy gave us a distinct and thought-provoking Batman films. The problem is, this Batman cannot possibly exist in the same world that DC Comics and Warner Bros. are trying to create with their recent Superman reboot, Man of Steel.
Very little is known about the Superman/Batman film, except that it will feature the same creative teams behind the camera and crafting the script. So, we can expect, with certainty, that this film will feel similar to Man of Steel. That means superpowers, costumes (outside of Batman in his Batman armor, Nolan’s world was devoid of this superhero trappings), and general aesthetics that differ from the previous Bat-film world. So using the previous Batman, Christian Bale, wouldn’t work because his character doesn’t belong here. Plus, I think we all have had our fill of his Batman voice at this point.
And this is where Affleck comes in.
I know Daredevil still leaves a poor taste in most people’s mouth (although the director’s cut isn’t half bad), but in the decade since it came out, Affleck has made a complete transformation. The guy who was once in Gigli has grown up to be a top-tier actor. To deny the acting ability of Ben Affleck at this point, after films like Argo and The Town, is just as silly as Shyne claiming to be K.O.N.Y.
In particular, his performance as CIA agent Tony Mendez in Argo showed us Affleck can really deliver a commanding performance and this is an incredibly important attribute for a guy who is going to command or face-off with a living demigod like Superman, armed just with his wits and a bad-ass utility belt. And for those worried about his accent, do I need to remind you that the last Batman was Welsh (and really did a terrible job as the Caped Crusader)?
If we can live in a world where a guy on Broadway is Wolverine or the guy who dated Ally McBeal is Tony Stark, I think we can give ol’ Ben another shot.
The studio has slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.
Previously: ‘Batman & Superman’ Movie Announced At Comic-Con