After a long and careful search for an actor who can bring to the role the necessary depth of jaw, Warner Bros. has announced that Ben Affleck will play Batman, as you have no doubt already heard through the sustained, mockingly-Boston-accented screams of the Internet tonight. Batfleck will make his debut in the Man Of Steel sequel—tentatively titled Batman Vs. Superman: What’re You Looking At, Queeah?—in 2015, which is rumored to be based on the acclaimed Frank Miller series, The Dark Knight Looks Wicked Pissed Off Tonight, I’d Definitely Give Him Some Space, Charlene.
Still, despite all the hilarious jokes like these and approximately 100,000 others involving Matt Damon playing Robin, Ben Affleck wasn’t a choice made lightly, according to director Zack Snyder, as well as every preemptively defensive article about this decision you will read for the next two years. “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry [Cavill]’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,” said Snyder, whose filmmaking specialty is definitely “layered portrayals,” of the need to cast someone who could seem just slightly more charismatic than Henry Cavill.
And yet, Snyder is right that Affleck is indeed a seasoned crime fighter, with him having played Daredevil in a movie that is being noticeably omitted from most official stories announcing the casting, to the point where it seems really glaringly obvious, and even a version of Superman in Hollywoodland—a movie that finds Affleck mocked so mercilessly for playing Superman, he up and kills himself, so maybe everybody should give him a chance, lest we want blood on our hands. And yet, fans can't help but point out that Batman is obviously a much different character, a brooding soul driven by the sort of masterfully conveyed inner torment that Affleck is so skilled at hiring other people to portray in films that maybe he should be directing instead of playing Batman. But, maybe if he clenches his teeth like so…? Or, let me ask you this: To be a hero, Bruce Wayne must put on the mask, but must Bruce Wayne put on a shirt?
Anyway, for all our delightful late-night japes, it’s important to remember that nearly every actor who has stepped into a Batman film—from Michael Keaton to George Clooney to Heath Ledger—has faced this same sort of knee-jerk ridicule, and only occasionally deserved it. Also, that Ben Affleck is an increasingly mature actor who has by now earned the benefit of the doubt that he may surprise, no matter what’s asked of him. And it's also important to remember that, ultimately, you are powerless before the machine, your voice a mere mewling in the dark that will be inevitably silenced either by acceptance or grudging acquiescence, because you know damn well you want to see what happens when Ben Affleck plays Batman.
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