Dude, those last three Batman movies were great. Christopher Nolan’s directorial vision and Christian Bale’s acting chops changed the style, perception, and quality of superhero films. Heath Ledger’s Academy Award winning performance in the second part of the trilogy, The Dark Knight, as The Joker, was legendary. It made us forget George Clooney with nipples. Surely, Hollywood will take a break from that franchise, use it as a template for future films, and let us enjoy Batman as cinematic brilliance for years to come.
Wait, what? The Internet says that Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman in the untitled Man of Steel sequel. Screw you movie business. You hate us all.
Nerd rage is a thing, more than ever. In less than twenty-four hours, the reigning Academy Award winning director of Argo has become symbol for everything wrong with entertainment. The five or so people that seem to run show business just can’t leave well enough alone and they’ve tapped a guy for a role that requires acting gravitas who has very little because Man of Steel made money at the box office.
Dazed & Confused’s O’Bannion as the Caped Crusader?
Gigli as The Dark Knight?
DareDevil as Gotham’s Only Hope?
The guy from Armageddon/Pearl Harbor/Reindeer Games as Batman?
Let me spit-polish my comic book nerd credential and explain why this won’t work, at all. Man of Steel follows a composite Superman storyline that needs for it’s main hero to be the emotional center while the villains and supporting players, like Amy Adams’ Lois Lane, carry the story through superior acting. Henry Cavill is fine as Superman, not great, but if I had to compare him to someone from the Batman lineage, I’d say Michael Keaton. This means the guy they line up as Batman, for the so far untitled sequel, needs to be outstanding. For the 1000th time Hollywood, Ben Affleck can direct – see Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo – but he can’t act, much, – see Jersey Girl, Gigli and just about everything else. He’s been nominated SIX times for a Golden Raspeberry Award for Worst Actor, “winning” three of them. Then again, Batman never quits, oh wait, yes he did after the last flick, The Dark Knight Rises, running off to Europe with Cat Woman. See, Ben can’t even follow his character’s storyline. Bane may have broken Batman’s back in the last movie, but Bataffleck could break the back of two franchises with this next one.
It should be a rule, somewhere, that you get one shot at a superhero role. Ben Affleck had his with DareDevil, which was terrible. His wife, Jennifer Garner, was equally awful as Elektra. Ryan Reynolds has failed three times in superhero flicks – Blade, X-Men, and Green Lantern. He broke Green Lantern, like a toddler running through a living room full of priceless antiques high on pixie sticks and Coca-Cola, into 300 million pieces.
Man of Steel made about $650 million dollars not counting a $250 million dollar budget so there’s a lot of risk. Superman & Batman versus The Bearded Guy Who Writes For Sprocket Ink or whatever they call this thing may work, but it will be in spite of the artist formerly known as Bennifer. Unless he directs, doesn’t say much, Matt Damon writes most of the script and lets Bataffleck take half the credit.
Ben Affleck recently visited Lindsay Lohan in rehab. He better not have taken a script for this new Superman and Batman movie. If LiLo turns up as Wonder Woman, we’re canceling show business, forever. Then again, if the tickets are matinee and I don’t get popcorn or a drink, I’ll check it out. The subsequent column should be epic.
Lance Burson is a writer living outside Atlanta, Georgia. He’s the published author of 2 books, The Ballad of Helene Troy and Soul To Body, found on Amazon.com and in paperback from Lulu.com. He has a Green Lantern power ring and a Wonder Woman lasso of truth. Neither of them work.