Ben Affleck has just been announced as the new Batman, who is set to debut in the sequel to this summer's MAN OF STEEL.
Needless to say, the internet has exploded. Forums and comments sections far and wide are brimming over with heated debate over whether this is the right move.
In one corner you have fanboys, frothing at the mouth with rage, screaming out things in all caps like, "F**K YOU WARNER BROTHERS. YOU HAVE DESTROYED MY REASON FOR EXISTENCE. BATMAN IS MY JESUS, AND YOU'RE TURNING HIM INTO F**KIN' BEN AFFLECK. DAREDEVIL IS THE WORST. PEARL HARBOR! GIGLI! JERSEY GIRL! I WILL NEVER SEE ANOTHER WB MOVIE. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER DC COMIC. YOU ARE TEH SUK!".
In the other corner you have the hyperbole spouting Affleck cheerleaders who are already predicting that Affleck will win an Oscar as Bats, and that the choice is the biggest superhero casting coup since Christopher Reeve.
And, in the middle of the ring, you have my people - the "wait and sees". We're the ones who have seen so many surprisingly good role/actor combos over the years that we remain cautiously optimistic about Batfleck.
Why are we so calm about such a casting news bomb being dropped on the geek community. Well, we remember when Michael Keaton was announced, and how everyone was in a tizzy about Mr. Mom wearing the cowl. Then we think about how well that worked out, and how Keaton owned that role and became an entire generations One True Batman.
The first thing I thought about when the nerdrage started flowing was a more recent casting choice that had everyone all panicked. In August 2006, Heath Ledger was announced as Joker, and the fans were pissed. There were Brokeback Joker jokes aplenty, and most of the geek world seemed pretty upset. However, that, too, wound up being one of the greatest screen roles of the 21st century. The debate still persists over whether it would be as fondly looked upon had Ledger not suddenly died shortly before release, but I like to think it would.
Sure, Affleck seems like an odd choice to those of us that can't wipe the GIGLI and J-Lo days from our mind. And, yeah, the dude did totally stink IN Daredevil, but I don't think he truly stank AS Daredevil. And, sure, he did take a lot of "paycheck" roles for a few years (PAYCHECK, for example), but, in the last few years he has really remade himself into a serious artist. His film, ARGO, was sensational, and he was really good in it (and was totally robbed of the Director Oscar Nom).
So, I say, let's all see how it plays out. I think he could be really good in the role. I loved Bale as much as the next guy, and I never really had as much of an issue with "The Bat Voice" as some, but I look forward to seeing the torch pass to someone new in the cowl.
What I'm not so thrilled about are the "Vs." titles that are being thrown around as possibilities. Way too AvP for my tastes.