Daily Rant: Batman Casting News

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Ben Afleck…

Now that I’m done NERDRAGING…well, I think this might be the eye of the storm…however, I’ve calmed down enough to think about this rationally. I”m posting this to the blog, so I can just link it any time I get into a conversation on the topic of Ben Afleck as Batman.

The geek-o-sphere is exploding. Many a nerd rages and rages hard. Some people are taking it a little better. A rare few are supportive of this idea. At some point, someone’s going to ask me, so here are my thoughts…

I like Afleck. I’m liking Afleck more and more as his career progresses. Argo was brilliant and he was brilliant in it. HOWEVER… I remember Daredevil.

Here’s my issue with Afleck as Batman. Batman is not one character. Some people say he’s two characters, being Bruce Wayne and Batman. Not true. Batman is at least four characters: Bruce Wayne the playboy billionaire, Bruce Wayne the guilt-ridden, angst machine that hangs out with Alfred in Wayne Manor and in the Batcave, Bruce Wayne the detective that runs around Gotham following leads and investigating the criminal underworld while not wearing the batman suit, and then, finally Batman.

I don’t think Afleck has the range. Granted, he’s a better choice than George Clooney. I also remember thinking “Mr. Mom as Batman?” back in the late 80’s, though I didn’t have the same understanding of the depth of possibly the most iconic superhero of all time. Still, and to reiterate, I don’t think Afleck has the chops to pull off the complexity of the role that Batman requires. Sure, they might shave off the detective Bruce Wayne, but any more than that and they are doing the character a HUGE disservice, an even bigger disservice than they did with The Dark Knight Rises.

Plain and simple, in a day when most other comic book movie franchises are upping their game to compete with the Juggernaut (see what I did there) that Marvel has become, it seems that Warner Brothers is making choices, starting with Man of Steel, and now with this casting…it feels like the Yankees giving it over to the Red Sox in 2004…

DC/WB seems to be resting on its laurels/accolades, and making some sloppy choices because of that.

Disney/Marvel…Well…They have yet to miss at anything.

Pardon me, I need to throw on some Avengers and wash this bad taste out of my mouth.

One thought on “Daily Rant: Batman Casting News

  1. The silver screen’s history is peppered with strange casting choices. I honestly don’t believe that casting is going to be what makes or breaks the next Superman movie. It’s going to be directing, and it’s going to be the story.

    If the story of Daredevil hadn’t been quite so poorly executed, or if it wasn’t shot to feel like a strange male Victoria’s Secret commercial, it probably would have been a really good superhero movie.

    As a different example to how much more important directing and casting are, I will point you towards the Star Wars prequels. Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, and Natalie Portman are fantastic actors. They all have careers where they’ve demonstrated the skill of their craft. In the prequels, they didn’t really have a vehicle for demonstrating their strength as actors. And we, as an audience, suffered for it.

    As for Ben Affleck, let’s go through the list of four character traits, and see if there is anything in his past that might suggest he can do it.

    Playboy Billionaire: This is mostly going to require swagger and looking the part. I don’t have any specific movies to point at, but he’s put on the swagger in several parts, and he looks good in a suit. I think he can do the Playboy Billionaire part.

    Guilt-ridden, Angst Machine: For this, he’s going to have to emote, and convince the audience that he’s pissed off. While it’s a different take on the angst, I would like to point at his performance in Dogma. There’s a part where he’s struggling with a crisis of faith as an angel that had me believing him. Based on that performance, I think he can do this part. He may have also demonstrated this in Argo; I don’t know, because I haven’t seen it yet.

    Bruce Wayne, the Detective: I think this aspect of the character depends more on the writer than the actor. However, even though it’s not an amazing movie, I’ll point at the movie Paycheck to suggest that Affleck has demonstrated that he can follow clues, and convincingly act at being clever.

    The Batman: This is mostly a physical part. I think he’s demonstrated that he can do the physical part of the character in several roles, including Daredevil.

    I’m not a Ben Affleck fan-boy. I appreciate the skill he’s demonstrated as an actor and as a director, but he’s not in my list of top 5 favorite actors.

    I just think too much emphasis is being put on the casting, and I think the “Affleck as Batman” hate is a trendy fad that isn’t really founded on analysis of the actor’s actual history.

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