Patton Oswalt was among those making jokes about Ben Affleck playing Batman, referring to it as a #wickedpissah. Now we can also count him among those defending Warner’s decision. Oswalt posted an impassioned plea in favor of Ben Affleck (and the virtues of persevering after failure) on his Facebook page.
It’s worth the price of admission for the comparison of Hollywood to a “burning freak carousel” alone.
No matter how many times you post your stupid “Fire Ben Affleck from Playing Batman” petition, I’m going to delete it and block you. Take a deep breath, and think for a second:
Yeah, the dude’s made some bad films. Every actor has. Every actor does. Every actor will. It’s a huge, arcing career and NO ONE has control over where it goes. Movie to movie, year to year, you’re collaborating and trying and risking and, sometimes, yes — failing.
Plus, everyone seems to forget that he had the world dropped in his lap when he was YOUNG. And, judging by how other suddenly-famous youngsters do in the same situation, he fared pretty well. Even when it went wrong, he seemed to keep a self-deprecating, long-view philosophy about the burning freak carousel he’d found himself on.
And then what happened? I mean, he’d fallen from a HEIGHT. You know what happens to 95% of people who weather a descent that steep? They come apart, fray at all of their sanity nodes, and give up.
But then there’s the 5% who embrace crushing defeat and see it for the gift it is. And here’s the gift: when you fail, and fail UTTERLY, you wake up the next morning and see that the world didn’t end. And then the fear of failure is gone. And you’re free. You’re free to proceed on your own terms and pace — if you have the ego that permits you to.
Ben brushed himself off, realized he’d kept his eyes open on the movies he’d done, and started directing. And he’s become a damn good one.
A Batman portrayed by someone who’s tasted humiliation and a reversal of all personal valences — kind of like Grant Morrison’s “Zen warrior” version of Batman, post-ARKHAM ASYLUM, who was, in the words of Superman, “…the most dangerous man on the planet”? Think for a second and admit that Ben Affleck is closer to THAT top-shelf iteration of The Dark Knight than pretty much anyone in Hollywood right now.
I’d write more, but I have to go work on my post about how an overweight 44 year-old comedian with bad feet and insomnia would be a bold choice for The Joker.
We pictured Patton Oswalt more as The Penguin than The Joker. Anyway, he makes some good points. Ben Affleck might have more in common with an “established and rugged” Batman than we realized. And he was the bomb in Phantoms.