“You read for a part, you feel good about it, you feel confident, then they cast Ben Affleck.”
“Really looking forward to seeing Affleck bring the depth and gravitas to Batman that he brought to Daredevil and Gigli.”
These were just two of the many instantaneous twitter responses to the news late last night that Ben Affleck has been cast to portray Batman in the “Man of Steel” sequel.
(insert the sound of air being let out of a tire)
The task of finding a suitable replacement in the post-Christian Bale era was going to be difficult and nearly impossible. But still, this decision is shockingly bad. There had to be a handful of other actors (it’s difficult to name names because the role should probably go to more of an unknown, like Henry Cavill) who could have at least filled the role enough to be believable on-screen and received the polite golf clap with a nod complemented with a, “not bad…” audible response.
Now, it’s just bad.
On one side, you have Henry Cavill who had the similarly impossible task of trying to be the, “man of steel” post-Christopher Reeve (Superman is always in the post-Reeve era by the way) and he did an amazing job. He escaped into the world of a new kind of Superman with a new kind of story and did a fantastic job.
He made everyone believe he was the, “man of steel.” Cavill embodied everything you’d want from a modern day Kal-El, Clark Kent and Superman (“that’s what they’re calling him”). Hopefully, there will be more jokes and flirting from Clark Kent to Lois Lane à la Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder in the sequel…
Cavill was quietly super with moments of familiar charm.
Conversely, Ben Affleck is not dark, edgy or conflicted. These are somewhat important characteristics for Bruce Wayne/Batman. When you watch Affleck on-screen on most occasions, you can see he’s acting and not escaping into the role. It’s going to be difficult to watch him convincingly embrace the persona of a willing billionaire playboy who has a dangerous night job fueled by raw and convoluted emotions.
Here’s a clip that shows the future Batman in action while in a suit.
Unfortunately, we all know this is just the tip of the iceberg for Affleck.
Movies involving superheroes are not simply about star power, but they hinge on character power as portrayed by great actors.
It’s a small, prestigious club. Many have tried, but only a few actors have truly “fit” their roles to give lasting, iconic performances.
Only time will tell, but when the bat signal lights up in a couple years, it may look a little different…it just may project “S.O.S.”