If you have not heard the big comic related movies news lately, let me give you a quick recap. Last month, at the San Diego Comic Convention, it was announced that DC and Warner Brothers wold be releasing a movie in 2015 starring both Batman and Superman together.
Batman and Superman have a long history of teaming up together in various comic books published by DC Comics, and fans of these comics have always enjoyed seeing the two heroes, that also happen to be good friends, team up together for some truly classic stories. As you can imagine, we fans were very excited about the potential of this movie. This past Thursday, an announcement made regarding Batman set the internet on fire with fan reaction. The announcement, that actor/director Ben Affleck would be playing the role of Batman in the movie, angered many fans who were immediately reminded of Affleck’s role in the less than stellar Marvel movie Daredevil.
The Daredevil movie, which opened in 2003, is widely considered a complete failure by Marvel fans, and moviegoers in general. Despite the fact that I personally have never been a huge Daredevil fan myself, I did not like the movie at all, and did not care for Ben Affleck’s portrayal of the character. I would not, however, consider his role as Daredevil the worst interpretation of a comic book character either. I would say that Affleck’s portrayal of Daredevil was barely adequate at best. With that in mind, my first intinct upon hearing the news on Thursday was to scream out no like Darth Vader at the end of Revenge of The Sith.
However, I immediately calmed myself down and tried to look at the news from another perspective. I thought back to the original Batman movie from 1989 and how I had a similar reaction when it was announced that Michael Keaton would play Batman. My first thought upon hearing that news was why would they get Mr. Mom to play Batman? I was upset, as many fans are now, about the mess Michael Keaton would make of the character of both Batman and Bruce Wayne. I might have even considered boycotting the movie if it had not been for the casting of Jack Nicholson as the Joker. As it turns out, Michael Keaton was easily one of the best Batman actors out of all the actors that have portrayed the Caped Crusader. I would certainly put Keaton in my top three choices for favorite Batman actors. I enjoyed Keaton’s dual portrayal of Bruce Wayne, and Batman as well, and overall I thought he did an excellent job in both roles.
Years later, that Batman franchise ended thanks to a horrible movie, and a new Batman franchise started with Christan Bale playing Batman. I enjoyed Bale’s performance as Batman and Bruce Wayne very much, although I did find his Batman voice a little too over the top at times. I loved Batman Begins, and was very eager to see more from this franchise. Then came the annoncement about The Dark Knight rises, which would have the Joker as the main villain. The Joker is my single favorite comic villain of all time, so as you can imagine, I was quite excited about this next movie. My excitement quickly faded when it was announced that Heath Ledger would be playing the Joker.
Now, all I really knew about Heath Ledger at the time was that he was a “pretty boy” actor who had starred in A Knight’s Tale, and Brokeback Mountain, neither movie I had particularly cared for. I was furious when I heard the news, and I instantly thought the movie would be ruined by what seemed at the time to be an odd casting choice. I can say now, after seeing the movie several times mind you, that Heath Ledger was absolutely perfect as the Joker. I can’t see another actor ever coming close to the amazing skill that Heath Ledger showed portraying the Joker. Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker is so perfect, that even the subtlest facial expressions or movements of his body were dead on for how I would picture the Joker in real life. In my mind, Heath Ledger was the Joker, and always will be. I am actually embarrassed that I was so angry about him playing the Joker before actually seeing his performance and giving him a chance. After being stunned and amazed at Heath Ledger’s masterful perfomance as the Joker, I made a promise to myself that I would never make another judgement about another actor cast as another comic book character ever again until after I had watched the movie and given the actor a chance.
With that oath in mind, I will say that even though my gut instinct was to cry out in horror when I found out about Ben Affleck playing one of my favorite superheroes, I will be fair and reserve my judgement until after I have seen him perform as Batman. Another factor to consider is the fact that Ben Affleck has actually had some very good acting roles in his career. Mr. Affleck has truly excelled acting in movies such as Argo, The Town, and of course Good Will Hunting. Sure, these were more serious roles and not superhero roles like Batman, and he did have more of a role in these movies than just actor, but these movies have proven to me that Ben Affleck does have it in him to be a good actor, and that is enough for me to quit whining and give the man a chance to prove that he can be Batman. He certainly couln’t be a worse Batman than Val Kilmer! Sorry, I had to say that.
On a side note, the New Englander in me loves the idea of Batman having a Boston accent.
Now, I’m not trying to tell anyone how to feel about Ben Affleck playing Batman, I’m just giving my opinion in the hopes that maybe, some people might read this and agree that we should reserve judgement until after we see the Batman Vs. Superman movie. Who knows, we might just be pleasantly surprised. We might even say that Ben Affleck is the best Batman ever. Personally, I’ll be happy as long as he’s not the worst Batman ever.
Of course, upon hearing the news, the interenet spewed forth an avalanche of memes in response. Some of them are actually pretty funny. Here are a few of my favorites.