Friday, September 13, 2013


My apologies for not weighing in on this topic sooner. It's kinda old news by now but I wanted to express my thoughts about the recent announcement that Ben Affleck will play Batman in the next Superman (or is it a Batman?) film.

My first thought is that I have no problems with this casting choice. None at all. There are a lot of fans out there who hated the DAREDEVIL movie in which Affleck starred as the sightless swashbuckler. I don't think DAREDEVIL was a very good film but I don't blame it's failure on Affleck. He was perfectly acceptable to me as Matt Murdock/Daredevil. The failure of the Daredevil film must fall upon the screenwriters and the director, not on Affleck's performance. After all, he could only say what was written in the script and do what the director told him. So, no, a bad Affleck starring Daredevil film doesn't automatically mean he'll be bad as Batman.

You want bad casting choices in comic book superhero films? How about Halle Berry as Catwoman? Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex?  Nicholas Cage starred in not one but two godawful Ghost Rider films (and yes, I do blame Cage for those films being so bad). Keanu Reeves was horribly miscast as John Constantine and the last two schmucks to play the Punisher have paled in comparison to the cheesy magnificence of Dolph Lundgren.

Of course, this isn't the first time there's been a fanboy kerfuffle over an actor chosen to play the Dark Knight. Remember how everyone was so very much up-in-arms back in 1989 when it was announced that Michael (MR. MOM) Keaton would play Batman in Tim Burton's film? You would have thought it was a sign of the apocalypse that an actor known for playing comedy roles could possibly be chosen as the grim and gritty Batman.

Turns out Keaton did a very respectable job as the caped crusader in the two Burton directed films he starred in. He was certainly better than what came after, Val Kilmer and George Clooney, in the cinematic trainwrecks directed by Joel Schumacher.

So, I'm on board for Affleck as Batman. However, what I really want to see in this film is an adversarial relationship between the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight. At the end of this year's MAN OF STEEL film, Superman was positioned as the most dangerously powerful man on the face of the earth. There was no Kryptonite in the film so there is effectively no way to stop him should he ever turn against us puny humans.

It will take one man with the money, the brains and the will to stop him. And I'm not talking about Lex Luthor. Batman should come up with a way to keep Superman in check should the need ever arise. The two should start out as distrusting each other and butting heads before being forced to team-up against a real threat that's bigger than either one of the men could handle alone.

And again, I'm not talking about Lex Luthor. Let's leave him on the shelf for the time being. I suggest Brainiac as the villain in the film. And once he's vanquished, Batman and Superman should have a grudging respect for each other and realize that there may be bigger threats on the horizon that will require some additional super-powered help.

A threat like Darkseid would set the stage nicely for the Justice League of America film.

Of course, I have no idea if this is how the film will be written or not but I can't wait to see it. 

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