If you can be Batman, always be Batman!
Batman fans have been sceptical about Ben Affleck being named next in line to wear the black cowl. Affleck, 42, wasn’t surprised by the doubters. Heck, he started out as one of them! He knew he had big shoes to fill after the success of Christian Bale’s Batman but the Man of Steel director, Zach Snyder, had a vision.
“My first reaction was, ‘Are you sure?’ (…) At the time I was 40, 41, and had just finished Argo, and I felt like ‘This seems like a strange way to get to Batman.’ But Zack convinced me.”
Ben’s has faced some pretty tough personal changes recently – separating from Jennifer Garner after ten years of marriage – but on the plus side his directing and acting career has been on the up and up. He won an Oscar in 2013 for Argo which he both directed and starred in. He also has some promising projects in the works – including Justice League: Part One, Suicide Squad, Live By Night and The Accountant!
Superhero movies are not something new to Affleck. He starred in “Daredevil” in 2003 but was very aware of the poor reception by fans. He said:
“Daredevil didn’t work, at all. If I wanted to go viral I would be less polite. That was before people realized you could make these movies and make them well. There was a cynical sense of ‘Put a red leather outfit on a guy, have him run around, hunt some bad guys, and cash the check.’”
This genre of film has undertaken a huge face lift since then. They are being handled by serious filmmakers that are dedicated to telling an interesting story in an interesting way. The Dark Knight Trilogy and Marvel’s Avengers are evidence of that. Affleck says that filmmakers “really learned how to make this stuff work. Good is the new bad”.
One thing that enticed Affleck to take on Batman in Dawn of Justice is that this will be the oldest that the character has ever been represented in film! He stated:
“He’s at the end of his run and maybe the end of his life. There’s this sort of world-weariness to it. He’s on the verge of being swallowed up by the anger and the rage that we see haunt this character in the other manifestations of it. But this guy is further down the line and has become more embittered and cynical.”
The Bruce Wayne persona was well defined by Christopher Nolan’s team. Snyder, now taking over as director, will continue with the same representation that Nolan has worked so hard to create. Affleck commented on how well rounded the character is. He said:
“He really keeps up the image of the playboy, actively. So you have more of a dichotomy which I thought was really fun, and a little sad, like the aging playboy.”
First was Adam West, then Michael Keaton, then Val Kilmer, then George Clooney, and finally Christian Bale. One after another they showed us their own version of Batman. Affleck said:
“Batman is basically the American version of Hamlet. We accept that he’s played by actors with different interpretations.”
I am sure that fans and movie goers will open their hearts and will head to the box office to support Ben Affleck’s new interpretation.
He may not have the beard that gave him an edge in Argo, but I think even un-bearded Ben Affleck will win us over!