"Batfleck" or, Batman & Superman

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"Batfleck" or, Batman & Superman

Post by Ult_Sm86 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:39 am

Fine, I'll start this:

Ben Affleck is Batman (and why this is okay)

Kevin Smith, Michael Keaton, Joss Whedon, Val Kilmer, and even close personal friend Matt Damon have all come out in overwhelming support of Ben Affleck taking on the well-known role of DC's Batman. The role of the Dark Knight has been filled by more men than have filled the shoes of James Bond. Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Kevin Conroy, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Bruce Greenwood, Bruce Thomas, Ben McKenzie, - gasp!- yeah, there have been a few. But the role is as solidified as it is ever-changing. With each incarnation of the character comes a new way of telling his origins, his virtues and putting him against a new vision of his rogues gallery. Thankfully, the last people to have a sincere go at it (Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer) were directly responsible for the hiring of one of the most successful Batman portrayals of all time; Christian Bale's. (As well as the hiring of the most notorious/well-received Joker performances of all time, the post-humorous performance of Heath Ledger -- who you may remember was highly criticized by the internet at initial announcement.)

Combine the fact that celebrated comic-book-adaptation-director Zack Snyder who is the director of the soon-to-be-filmed sequel to this year's summer hit Man of Steel (which he also directed), with the fact that for the first time on the big-screen we are going to see Superman and Batman together… the fans are quite obviously expecting a lot. Henry Calvill's portrayal was indeed a near-perfect one of Clark Kent/K'al-El, the blue-and-red boy scout of the DC comic world. However; the film had mixed reviews, which was nerve-wracking to me being I thought the film was absolutely spot-on. And I'm a SuperFan!

But fans expect something else now, something a little bigger. We are looking forward to the onscreen entrance of Lex Luthor (and many of us are crossing our fingers that Bryan Cranston accepts the role) and possibly an appearance of villains such as Brainiac (who I personally feel Leonard Nimoy would be perfect for voicing) or even Mr. Freeze, a character who could easily be portrayed by the chilling Christoph Waltz.

Above all of the expectations of villains though is the expectation that Batman is going to be someone the fans are excited to see. After three movies of exhaustingly raspy dialogue, Bale is out for the count and refusing to continue to don the cowl. The role has moved on to Ben Affleck, an actor who I feel has continuously proven himself capable of the role. Now don't get me wrong, I firmly believe there are better choices out there -- in fact I think the idea of having Bruce Wayne be a few years older than Clark is a big mistake, but I'm stifle my fears with this choice as we have yet to see anything, let alone a teaser image. But Affleck's career has improved dramatically since his last role in super-tights, Marvel's Daredevil (a box-office disaster). I would hope in 10 years anyone could get better at their job and judging from Affleck's work in acting and directing (such as Gone, Baby, Gone or Argo) I am wiling to roll with Snyder, Goyer, and Nolan's choice here and accept that we may have an actor who understands his job from both sides of the camera.

If nothing else, Affleck fits the role of Bruce Wayne perfectly. Whether he can rough that up and throw in some gruff dialogue as the Caped Crusader is another thing altogether, the dichotomy of the role is notoriously tricky and has created many a misstep (as seen in Clooney's weak performance). However; this Batman needs to be less like Nolan-verse Batman and more like Adam West's 66 Batman. I don't mean campy and hokey, I mean he has to be charming, witty, intellectual and relatable, not just an omnipresence and near unpredictable force over crime. If the requests for a Batman who holds a wider knowledge on combating crime is true, then we need a Batman who is going to work with Superman, not fight him on every decision. Nolan's Batman is gritty, distrusting, and a lone-wolf. (You know, until the final moments of Dark Knight Rises when, completely out of character, he just hands over the keys to the Batcave to some random undercover detective. 'da hell?)

All of this means one thing; Ben Affleck is the right actor for that role. But only if the Bat-role he is filling is explicitly that. He is not capable of being the vengeful force in his early years. If this is the Batman who has accepted his parents' death and kept true to his burdened promise to fight Gotham's crime for years and years, then Affleck is the right role. For a more moody Wayne whose wound from the slaughter of his parents is still fresh, I would have gone with someone much younger and capable of earnestly crying.

That said, Kevin Smith once promised Affleck could play the shark in JAWS if given the right motivation from the right director. Let's hope Snyder has motivated Ben in just the right ways to pull out all the stops and help us get not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need.
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