Whedon, West, Kilmer and More react to Ben Affleck as Batman

Mon, August 26th, 2013 at 12:05pm PDT

TV/Film
Steve Sunu, Staff Writer/Reviews Editor

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Ben Affleck's casting as Batman in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" sequel continues to provoke reaction online.

Although Twitter reacted to Ben Affleck's casting as Batman quickly following the announcement that the actor would portray Batman in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" sequel, the reactions continued over the weekend as new details came to light about the nature of the deal that Warner Bros. made with the actor.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the process to cast Affleck began after Zack Snyder wrapped "Man of Steel," though it's unclear as to when the talks officially began. Affleck is reportedly signed for multiple films as the Dark Knight should sequels become a reality. While knowledge of Affleck's casting is currently widespread knowledge, the talks were apparently so shrouded in mystery that "many Warners execs and most WME agents" were unaware they were even taking place.

Two former Batman actors added their opinions to the Twitter fray, including "Batman Forever's" Val Kilmer and original "Batman" actor Adam West.


"The Avengers: Age of Ultron" director Joss Whedon also came out in support of Affleck's casting via Twitter, saying he thought Affleck would "crush it."

Although much of the public reaction to Affleck's casting has been largely negative, with THR reporting analysis of 71% of Twitter reaction being negative and fans even going so far as to start petitions online demanding Affleck's removal from the role, comedian and all-around geek Patton Oswalt (whose incredible pitch for "Star Wars: Episode VII" went viral earlier this year) has also posted a reaction to his Facebook page in support of Affleck as Batman.

No matter how many times you post your stupid "Fire Ben Affleck from Playing Batman" petition, I'm going to delete it and block you. Take a deep breath, and think for a second:

Yeah, the dude's made some bad films. Every actor has. Every actor does. Every actor will. It's a huge, arcing career and NO ONE has control over where it goes. Movie to movie, year to year, you're collaborating and trying and risking and, sometimes, yes -- failing.

Plus, everyone seems to forget that he had the world dropped in his lap when he was YOUNG. And, judging by how other suddenly-famous youngsters do in the same situation, he fared pretty well. Even when it went wrong, he seemed to keep a self-deprecating, long-view philosophy about the burning freak carousel he'd found himself on.

And then what happened? I mean, he'd fallen from a HEIGHT. You know what happens to 95% of people who weather a descent that steep? They come apart, fray at all of their sanity nodes, and give up.

But then there's the 5% who embrace crushing defeat and see it for the gift it is. And here's the gift: when you fail, and fail UTTERLY, you wake up the next morning and see that the world didn't end. And then the fear of failure is gone. And you're free. You're free to proceed on your own terms and pace -- if you have the ego that permits you to.

Ben brushed himself off, realized he'd kept his eyes open on the movies he'd done, and started directing. And he's become a damn good one.

A Batman portrayed by someone who's tasted humiliation and a reversal of all personal valences -- kind of like Grant Morrison's "Zen warrior" version of Batman, post-ARKHAM ASYLUM, who was, in the words of Superman, "...the most dangerous man on the planet"? Think for a second and admit that Ben Affleck is closer to THAT top-shelf iteration of The Dark Knight than pretty much anyone in Hollywood right now.

I'd write more, but I have to go work on my post about how an overweight 44 year-old comedian with bad feet and insomnia would be a bold choice for The Joker.

CBR ran its own poll asking what you thought of Affleck as Batman, and we're happy to see that most seem to be adopting a wait-and-see attitude. Time will tell if Affleck is the right actor to take on the Dark Knight, but no one will know for sure until the "Man of Steel" sequel's 2015 release.

TAGS:  ben affleck, batman v superman, batman superman, zack snyder, batman, superman, val kilmer, adam west, patton oswalt, joss whedon

 
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