Ben Affleck IS Batman IN “Batman Presents Man of Steel 2″
August 22, 2013 1 Comment
It is written! Hollywood Reporter and other official sources have confirmed the Bat-hunt is over: Academy Award Winner Ben Affleck will be following in the footsteps of Christian Bale as the new Batman in the still-untitled DC film, allegedly a Man of Steel sequel even though Batman has more box-office clout, sells more comics, and inspires funnier memes.
The news broke within the past hour (when I began typing this, I mean), but numerous corners of the internet are already sharpening their pitchforks, lighting their torches, and preparing to storm the Warner Bros. castle as if their threats and snipes will somehow change the mind of anyone who could nullify the deal. To be honest, my response is neither vitriol nor zeal. I survived the casting of comedian Michael Keaton as Batman, the Human Torch as Captain America, Princess Diaries as Catwoman, some Australian rookie as Wolverine, and Mister Knight’s Tale as the Joker. Actors have a way of surprising us, regardless of how many flops they have on their permanent record. Even if every other aspect of the production looks shaky to me so far in advance (despite the long distance between us and the announced release date of July 17, 2015), Affleck is the least of my worries. I’m willing to wait and see.
Other immediate thoughts:
* Did Affleck give the producers a really fierce audition, or did high-level execs insist on a name-brand actor?
* How large a dumptruck will Affleck need to carry his paycheck to the bank?
* Can we have Jennifer Garner as Vicki Vale, Poison Ivy, Silver St. Cloud, or at least Lana Lang?
* Online jesters not unlike me are already cracking jokes about adding Matt Damon as Robin. This joke might’ve clicked fifteen years ago, but Affleck and Damon haven’t made a film together since Dogma. If they announced George Clooney returning as Batman, then you could’ve had your Damon/Robin joke, assuming the planet hadn’t cracked in half first from the overreaction.
* So, no Argo 2 yet, I guess?
* Five…four…three…two…and cue the Twitter jokes about Phantoms and Gigli, as if Argo and The Town never happened. (While I’m at it, I’d also propose some much-deserved praise for Affleck as George Reeves in Hollywoodland.) Seriously, when Christian Bale was cast, where were you guys with your timely cracks about Empire of the Sun and Swing Kids?
* I’m more curious to watch the behind-the-scenes struggle over the film’s naming rights. I already shared thoughts on that situation previously, but here’s my newest proposal for a name: Two-Man Justice League: the Movie. It’s not as though DC is being coy about wanting some of that sweet, precious Avengers supergroup money. If they have to wait for the other heroes to leap the yawning chasm between DC’s New 52 and today’s DC film universe, they’ll never have the chance to build their own Scrooge McDuck money bins before they die from old age. As far as the rest of the League is concerned, I remain unconvinced I’ll ever see a worthwhile film version of Wonder Woman in my lifetime, and the other guys would be, at best, the screen equivalent of Supes’ and Bats’ superfluous best friends and neighbors.
* All told, this still has a 90% chance of being classier than Daredevil. (Yep, I’m still bitter. And maybe a little hypocritical.)