In a rare late night news story, Ben Affleck as been confirmed to be taking on one of the hottest roles in Hollywood right now, the role of Batman in Zack Snyder’s follow up to 2013’s Man of Steel which is set to film next year and debut in 2015.
A statement has been released by Warner Bros.’ Greg Silverman regarding the decision. “We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.”
The news has come as a huge shock to fans, and has already set the internet ablaze, mainly with people vowing to never see the film or questioning the decision. Originally it was reported that Affleck was approached by Warner to direct multiple projects, most notably the Justice League of America film that they have planned to piggyback off of this summers Superman reboot. Personally, I’m thrilled at the decision to have Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, as his recent career should be indicative to most what kind of films he wants to be a part of.
However, fan backlash will always be present until it’s been proven wrong. Fans have always been very reactionary to news regarding their favorite characters, most will remember the huge internet backlash over the casting of Heath Ledger as The Joker for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, Ryan Reynolds was thought to be a perfect fit for the merc with the mouth, Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and fans refused to get past the height of Hugh Jackman when he was cast as Wolverine for X-Men.
However, looking back, Jackman has played the role admirably for 7 movies once next years Days of Future Past has been released, Deadpool was, much like the rest of Origins, a complete mess and Heath Ledger redefined what fans think of when they picture the Joker, so much so that he earned (and deserved) a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Is it possible that we see an Affleck that is far out of his element as the Caped Crusader? Sure, it’s always possible. But looking at how guarded he has been with the projects he associates himself since taking to the role of director, I personally choose to give him the benefit of the doubt, I don’t believe he would take a role that could hurt his painfully rebuilt image, now regarded as one of the best filmmakers in the industry today.