The new Batman has been cast, and to the shock and dismay of geekdom, Ben Affleck will me the next man to take up the cowl. To be honest, I thought this announcement was from The Onion. I refused to believe until after I had triple verification from reputable sources. Ben Affleck? Has Zack Snyder seen Daredevil? I know everyone else on the web has, because apparently the internet exploded, fire rained down from the heavens, and the Evians and Dasanis of the world have turned to Tru Blood. Then I started to think about it. I am a fan of Ben Affleck.
I’ve enjoyed his movies. Jersey Girl was universally panned around the same time as Gigli, but I thought he did a pretty good job. Dogma was great. And lest I use only the justification of Kevin Smith movies, I also like him in Paycheck, and Changing Lanes. He’s handsome, he’s smart, and after his fall from unbelievable heights, he’s turned out to be a damn talented actor and director. But Batman?
Here’s the thing though. When a man has reached great heights of success, and fallen to great despair as well, he learns who he is. To be so well loved, and also so well hated, I imagine getting up to start to prove himself was a terrifying experience. He knows where he doesn’t want to be, so I think Ben will work all the harder to prove his worth. Plus, he survived. He didn’t skulk away into the unknown. He succeeded; he failed; he lived. And he made it back to the success side of the aisle.
My last point is part of everyone’s argument. If you’re first thought was “no!” when you heard the news…you are not alone. You are one of many. Zack Snyder and his casting directors probably thought the same thing. What in the world would make us believe Affleck is a good fit for the Dark Knight? I bet Ben answered him. And that is an answer I’d like to know.