As the world recently found out, Ben Affleck was announced as the new Batman for the upcoming Man of Steel sequel. The internet decided to take a break from cat videos and reposting memes to unite in their unrest about the situation. It seems that Ben Affleck can be compared to Marmite, either you absolutely love it or the mere thought of it makes you turn green in rage. The internet has done what it is so good at and united over 70,000 people who have signed a petition calling for Ben Affleck to be dropped as the Dark Knight and showing that even in our modern world, people still can’t deal with change.
Remember when Facebook changed its layout for the first time and everyone threw their toys out of their cot? Remember after some time when Facebook changed their layout for a second time and everyone complained about wanting it to go back to the look that they complained about in the first place? That is pretty much what this debacle boils down to, people’s fear of something different. I am by no means an Affleck soldier, although I have enough faith in Man of Steel director, Zack Snyder, that the greatness of Batman will not be compromised. Throughout history there have been many casting announcements that left fans up in arms, but were later left pleasantly surprised. Here are two perfect examples, both from the Batman franchise.
Michael Keaton as Batman
Who is your favourite Batman? This is a debate that could go on for eternity, although for many, Michael Keaton is that man. People seem to forget that Keaton was also met with great negativity by the Dark Night diehards of his time. In fact, 50 000 protest letters flooded the Warner Bros. office (none of this easy online petitioning). Keaton was a comedy star, starring in films such as Night Shift and Beetlejuice. Although, when he threw on that cape and cowl, he didn’t step out of the Batmobile croaking, “Let's turn on the juice and see what shakes loose.” Instead he was transformed into one of the greatest Dark Knights of all time.
Heath Ledger as the Joker
Heath Ledger performed arguably one of the most memorable portrayals of any villain in any motion picture to date. He managed to become one with the psychological minefield that is the Joker. Although he too was initially met with great negativity once he was cast in the role. If this was a mobile casino, no one would have put any money on Ledger. How dare an actor renowned for his romantic roles attempt to fill the shoes of such a villain? People were quick to pull out the Brokeback Mountain references and even past Joker, Jack Nicholson, was against the casting of Ledger.
So before you are too quick to shun the idea of Affleck filling the large shoes that Christian Bale left behind, perhaps we should have a little faith and give those in charge the benefit of the doubt.
Posted by Jason Swindon