Photo: Wire Images/ Getty | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013
If you felt a strange rumbling last night, it was probably the nerd-quake that hit when it was announced that Ben Affleck has been cast as Bruce Wayne in the upcoming movie pairing the Dark Night with the Man of Steel. The response...well, the response has been mixed, ranging from fury to bafflement to exasperation. Granted, Affleck has been on a tear recently, with Argo winning last year's Oscar for Best Picture. The problem is that Affleck won't be directing this new Batman-Superman flick, he'll be acting in it. And as far acting goes, he was the worst thing in Argo. So there's that. The studio, at least, seems psyched.
“We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some,” WB president Greg Silverman said in a statement.
Yes, Affleck is tall, and dark haired, and has a reasonably strong jaw line. And, sure, fans were aghast when Michael Keaton was cast in Tim Burton's Batman in 1989, and that worked out great. But Affleck isn't exactly an action star, and his previous foray into the world of comic book heroes in 2003's Daredevil is best forgotten. To be fair, Affleck gave a great performance playing the guy who played Superman — George Reeves — in 2007’s Hollywoodland. But he was an actor playing an actor playing a superhero, not an actor playing a superhero. Finally, director Zack Snyder isn't really known for getting the most out of his performers. . . though this summer's Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill, has earned $650 million so far.
"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,” Snyder said in a statement. “I can’t wait to work with him.”
Fans would seem to disagree, if the voting on Variety.com is any indication. Currently, nearly 80% of voters think Affleck is a bad choice. The general reaction seems to be, "WTF?!? Was Jon Hamm not available?!?"
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