The Five Things We Want to See from Ben Affleck as Batman
As the resident Batman CinemaNerd (as evidenced here, here, here, and here), it’s been a pretty exciting couple of movie weeks for me. First, Ben Affleck gets cast in the new Superman vs. Batman film; then it’s revealed that the movie will be filmed in the Detroit area – all great news for any Batfan living in Michigan like me. I think the best news is that the production will need about 1,000 extras, so while I prepare for my close-up, I thought it was time to discuss the choice of casting Ben Affleck as Batman.
Warner Bros. didn’t release the Batman casting news until the late evening. It’s almost as if they anticipated the gallons of geek rage that were spewed all over the internet following the announcement. I wasn’t one of those spitting venom though. I actually like the idea of Affleck as the Caped Crusader. I think he’s a good choice for the role. Most of the negativity surrounding his casting seems to point to his earlier career choices as well as his portrayal of Daredevil (which I happened to like – it’s not his fault the film had a garbage script and an incompetent director). What people are neglecting to consider is his work of late, starting with The Town. Aside from his recent acting success, he’s also an Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director, and the rumor is he has final script approval for the Batman/Superman flick. Does thinking about Affleck’s casting in that light make you more confident about his casting? Too bad the movie is still going to be a disaster in spite of itself. Zack Snyder has been handed a goldmine and he’ll fumble it somehow. Sure, he’s a good idea guy, but Snyder isn’t competent enough to handle a movie like this. That being said, for an article about the five things I want to see from Affleck as Batman, my initial thought was get a new director and hire Affleck as screenwriter. I then decided to be a bit more realistic.
5. A Cough Drop
This may sound like a joke, but I’m being completely serious. I appreciated that Christian Bale made the decision of trying to disguise his voice under the cowl. I don’t think it worked though. Sadly, it got pretty distracting and, at times, incomprehensible, which ultimately led to viewers not taking the character as seriously as they should have.
4. A Real Batmobile
One of the things that bothered me the most about the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy was the Tumbler. I understand why it was used. Sure, it fit within the parameters of the Gotham Nolan created, but it didn’t have the “wow” factor that every other Batmobile since Adam West’s TV show had. It’s time to return the Batmobile back to its former glory.
3. Take the Lead
With this movie, Warner Bros. and DC are proving they’re a two-trick pony. Instead of trying to develop new movie franchises (where’s the Wonder Woman flick already?), they go back to the Batman and Superman well. I’m sure they’re working on the set-up for an upcoming JLA (Justice League of America) movie, but when you have your two biggest characters in one movie it’s going to be a lopsided effort. Just look at Freddy vs. Jason, and the AVP franchise. There’s no way Snyder can keep the story fair and balanced between the two characters. One character is ultimately going to take center stage and I want it to be Batman. For one, he’s a more interesting character than Superman. Besides, Affleck can act circles around Henry Cavill. The director needs to play to the character and actors’ strengths and weaknesses.
2. Seein’ Yellow
Is it too much to ask to lighten up some of the darker tones Nolan issued in? Probably so, but if not, I’d love to see a little bit of yellow incorporated into the new Batsuit.
1. Billionaire Bruce
Lately, we’ve seen Ninja Bruce, Crippled Bruce, Devoted Bruce, and Angry Bruce, but we’ve only caught glimpses of the Billionaire Playboy aspect of the character. Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher found ways to incorporate that aspect of the Bruce Wayne character, while Nolan used those qualities as cover for his work as Batman and his revenge fantasies. Based on Affleck’s age, my guess is his portrayal will be a bit more on the mature side, so I have high hopes for the acting decisions made between Snyder and Affleck to tone the brooding down a tad and replace it with a more honest Bruce Wayne.
While writing this piece, I found that my thoughts kept wandering away from worries about Affleck and what I want to see in his portrayal of the Dark Knight, and more towards concerns over Zack Snyder as the film’s director. Sadly, what I want to see most for Affleck’s Batman is for the project to get a new director. I know Snyder did Watchmen and Sucker Punch, but once you get past all the cool visuals and action sequences, those movies just end up falling flat, something I’m afraid will happen with this new Batman/Superman movie.
Why bring this up?
It’s simple really. Warner Bros. supposedly approached Affleck and offered him the director’s chair for the JLA movie. He allegedly turned the job down at the time. Could Affleck be getting final script approval and the role of Batman in Snyder’s picture because the studio hopes he’ll be the one helming the JLA film? Only time will tell, but for now, I think it makes for the beginning of a great conspiracy theory.