On The Ben Affleck/Batman Controversy

The long-awaited casting news for the Batman and Superman mash-up finally broke, and the answer has sent shock waves through the fan community. Zack Snyder, in the controversial press release, announced that Ben Affleck would take over the role, saying that, “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.”

Fan reaction has been less than overjoyed, to say the least.

I’m also worried, but not for the immediate reasons that fans seem to be splashing across the internet. I’m not concerned about the failures of Gigli, Jersey Girl, or even Daredevil. He’s proved to be a reasonably talented actor despite those flops. The uneven past of his career and his previous appearances in the gossip rags don’t bother me either. What does? The fact that Ben Affleck has turned into one of the best directors Hollywood currently has to offer.

While I have my doubts as to whether Affleck is the right stylistic fit for the current DC cinematic universe, I’m willing (and hoping) to be proved wrong. It doesn’t make much sense to me, but then again neither did Christian Bale’s leap to a mainstream comic movie world at first.

However, my main hang-up about Affleck is that this could be a potential long-term commitment. If this movie goes well – and possibly even if it doesn’t – he could end up being tied to a franchise. While great for fans, franchises take a huge amount of time from the creative teams and actors behind them. This potentially means that the next Argo, the next The Town, could be put on hold indefinitely. I for one have been extremely pleased to see Affleck turn his career around and produce some fantastic films – and quite frankly, it’s a path I want to see him continue down.

So where do I land on this decision? Dubiously hopeful is a good phrase for it. To Zack Snyder and the studio, I hope you know what you’re doing. To the fans, I hope you give Ben Affleck the chance he deserves. And to Ben – please don’t keep us waiting too long for your return to the director’s chair.

What are your thoughts?

Caitlin Orr

Caitlin Orr

A southern native, I graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in Media Arts. Over the past several years I've had the opportunity to write and shoot a number of short films. My biggest passions are writing and talking about movies with anyone who will sit still long enough to listen - something my family and friends can attest to! Some of my favorite filmmakers include Christopher Nolan, Stanley Kubrick, and Wes Anderson. Now located in Nashville, you can usually find me in my off hours hiking, baking, or watching more movies.

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  • BrianLeeMartin

    Nail on the head, Caitlin. I have no problem with Affleck playing Batman (although my feelings about the project as a whole aren’t very optimistic), but pulling Affleck away from what is CLEARLY his destiny (directing spectacular movies) is the real crime here.

  • BrianLeeMartin

    Nail on the head, Caitlin. I have no problem with Affleck playing Batman (although my feelings about the project as a whole aren’t very optimistic), but pulling Affleck away from what is CLEARLY his destiny (directing spectacular movies) is the real crime here.

    • http://www.rachelhelie.com Rachel Helie

      Agreed. Ben Affleck had proven that he has chops as a director and it would be a shame to lock him in a role that may or may not hinder that. I want to see him directing more for sure. But I didn’t hate Daredevil for his sake. That’s a bold thing to say but it’s true. I liked him in it.

  • Drvobradi

    I think they should have sign on an actor that is not a complete unknown, but a minor star.
    For example – Karl Urban.
    His age is right, his acting is not bad, he’s been in some blockbusters, and when people look at him playing Bruce Wayne/Batman, they will not say: ”Hey, it’s Karl Urban!”, unlike Ben Affleck, who will have to give us a damn good performance, in order for us to ”forget” that he is playing the role, as opposed of being the role.

    And as Caitlin said, I am surprised that he took on the job because he has really returned (positively) in the public as a director.

    My personal picks would be either Richard Armitage or Karl Urban.

  • Korabljenik

    I think they should have sign on an actor that is not a complete unknown, but a minor star.
    For example – Karl Urban.
    His age is right, his acting is not bad, he’s been in some blockbusters, and when people look at him playing Bruce Wayne/Batman, they will not say: ”Hey, it’s Karl Urban!”, unlike Ben Affleck, who will have to give us a damn good performance, in order for us to ”forget” that he is playing the role, as opposed of being the role.

    And as Caitlin said, I am surprised that he took on the job because he has really returned (positively) in the public as a director.

    My personal picks would be either Richard Armitage or Karl Urban.

  • DoigtDuPeuple

    WOW! Finally an article that as concerns about Affleck being Batman, with an actual reason to be concerns. The fact that his next great movie may be postponed because of his commitment to the role. Thank you for not being a critic without a point and giving the Gigli movie as a reason.

    And you actually made me realized that yes that could be a reason to worry a bit, but in a way I like this casting and I’m pretty sure Affleck signed for some big money in order to not go down with the ship if the movie fails and be able to live out of the limelight for a couple of years.

    In the end, I know Affleck was a good casting choice, and I also hope he gets time off from DC/Warner to make another movie.

  • DoigtDuPeuple

    WOW! Finally an article that as concerns about Affleck being Batman, with an actual reason to be concerns. The fact that his next great movie may be postponed because of his commitment to the role. Thank you for not being a critic without a point and giving the Gigli movie as a reason.

    And you actually made me realized that yes that could be a reason to worry a bit, but in a way I like this casting and I’m pretty sure Affleck signed for some big money in order to not go down with the ship if the movie fails and be able to live out of the limelight for a couple of years.

    In the end, I know Affleck was a good casting choice, and I also hope he gets time off from DC/Warner to make another movie.

  • Mrteapot

    Grumpy Cat ~ NO!

  • Mrteapot

    Grumpy Cat ~ NO!