Ever since I’ve heard a new Superman vs Batman movie would be coming out in 2015, I’ve been pretty much indifferent. I loved all the Batman movies (from Tim Burton to Christopher Nolan, with the one exception of the crappy Batman & Robin in 1997), but while I’ve enjoyed several Superman movies, I’ve never been a huge fan. Superman is not a comic character I get excited over.
The Avengers franchise has managed to do something incredible in the way it has created a series of loosely interconnected solo movies, which then came together in the amazing team movie. I just don’t see that level of dedication with the Justice League team or with this new Superman vs Batman movie.
So, with this level of indifference, I can’t get too upset about the fact that Ben Affleck has been cast as the new Batman. It doesn’t affect my level of indifference one bit.
I do recognize, however, that it is a bad decision on the part of the filmmakers.
This is not because Ben Affleck is a bad actor. In general, I think he’s a decent actor. He’s been in several movies I loved (Argo, Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love), lots of movies that were just okay, and many movies that were bad. I’d say that’s about average for a lot of actors out there.
And, while, yes, Daredevil was a terrible, terrible movie, that fact can’t be entirely blamed on Ben Affleck. Moviemaking is a collaborative form and how good or bad a movie turns out is dependent on not just the actors, but also (and perhaps even more so) on the producer, writers, and director, as well as all the other crew members that make a movie possible.
So, it’s entirely possible that with the right writers, director, producers, cast, crew, and Ben Affleck as Batman, the new Superman vs. Batman movie could be great. (Though I doubt it.)
No, what makes this casting choice a bad decision is that it clearly shows that the moviemakers have no sense of the geek world and who the fan base is — mostly comic geeks, who are very passionate about their superheroes. If a producer came up to me and suggested Ben Affleck as Batman, I would have responded, “You’ve seen Daredevil, right? So, you know the internet is going to explode, right?”
And indeed, the internet has exploded (check out iO9’s 50 Greatest Tweets about Ben Affleck Casting as Batman, for rather humorous examples).
To me this decision represents the first poor decision (that we know of), which will likely preempt more such decisions. This doesn’t bode well for the final outcome of the movie.
Let me know you’re thoughts in the comments, and I’ll just settle back comfortably into my indifference, while I watch another episode of Fringe.*
*Author may not be actually watching said episodes, as author does actually have to work today.