Out of all the movies coming out in the next two years, its obvious that one of the most anticipated movies is the untitled sequel to Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, currently dubbed [Batman vs. Superman](movie:711870) Unfortunately, what started off as anticipation for all the right reasons has slowly become anticipation for all the wrong reasons. This has left me with one question, did internet trolls kill this movie before filming even started?
Man of Steel, from a critical side of things, is a cinematic enigma. Critics despise the film but most fans enjoy it greatly. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a 56% rotten from the critics and a 76% fresh from the audience. And despite the fact that the majority of movie goers did enjoy the movie when it came out, still we find people online complaining about how awful it is rather than how good it is.
Now when Batman vs. Superman was announced at San Diego Comic Con 2013, everyone was thrilled. Both those who hated or loved Man of Steel were more than happy to hear that the two most iconic Super Heroes in fictional history were finally going to share a spot on the big screen together. Later, not only did we know that Batman and Superman were sharing the silver screen but also they would be accompanied by Wonder Woman, the most iconic female Comic book Hero! This all sounded too good to be true and we were all ready for it with open arms.... until we got the casting list.
The downturn of opinions began when it was announced that Ben Affleck was announced to play Bruce Wayne/Batman. When I heard the news, I had just recently saw his latest move (at the time), Argo. And he showed me that he can be the dark and brooding hero in it. And while I have not seen the film Runner Runner, I've been told in it he showed he could portray a snobby play boy as well, so my opinion was and still is that I think he will be great. The internet did not share my opinion. Possibly the most common comments you will find on any thread discussing Ben Affleck as Batman is "worst casting choice ever, Batfleck is gonna suck, why didn't they get Christian Bale, this movie will suck", or "doesn't anyone remember how he ruined Dare Devil?!" You may find a few saying he will do good, but they are over shadowed by the bad. I also found it odd that people are saying he cannot play Batman because he was in another super hero movie that tanked, yet when Captain America was announced to be played by Chris Evans, who played the Human Torch in the fan and critically panned Fantastic Four movies, no one did more than a shrug and say "huh, thats weird."
As big as the Ben Affleck freak out was, it slowly died down and was, for the most part, accepted by fans (deny it all you want, he does look like Bruce Wayne). And WB did start regaining our faith when they announced they were doing casting for the female lead who had to be "tall, athletic and exotic in ethnicity." When I first heard what they were looking for, my first thought was "huh..you know if I didn't know better, it sounds like they were looking for an ama...zon... omigod it's Wonder Woman.... Oh my GOD its Wonder Woman.... SWEET JESUS AND HAIL MARY IT'S WONDER WOMAN!!!!" Speculation was true and WB reveal they were casting for Wonder Woman and the strong female lead that would be playing her would be.....Gal Gadot!
There was possibly even more rage over this than the Ben Affleck casting; and what's worse was the reasons for the rage against the casting were even dumber. If you look at forums or videos about her as wonder woman you will find these phrases used for almost every other comment. "She is too skinny. She is too young. Her BOOBS AREN'T BIG ENOUGH." We've begged for years for Hollywood to bring the living embodiment of Pop Culture Feminism to the big screen and when they finally choose to do so, our first complaint is her bra size???
Now I could go on and describe the reactions of Jesse Eisenberg playing Lex Luthor but let's face it... we know where that's gonna go.
How does this all tie in to my question at the beginning of this article? Well most of us are getting our news on this movie off the internet; not magazines or tv shows. My fiancé is majoring in business management and when learning about customer satisfaction, her professor explained to her class that on the internet, for every positive comment or review there are at least 3 complaints or negative criticisms. Because of the responses online to the casting choices of the movie, the fan following went from "how awesome is this movie going to be?" to "how awful is this movie going to be?" Even famous internet personalities like Angry Joe, one of the few big online critics I follow that actually LIKED Man of Steel, have gone from being fully on board for this movie to thinking this movie is going to be a disaster. Because of this, when 2016 comes and the movie comes out, most of us aren't going to go in thinking about how awesome this is gonna be, many of us are going to remember all the negative thoughts and comments that built up to this movie's release date. Clifford Nass, a professor of communication at Stanford University, explains this perfectly:
"Some People do have a more positive outlook, but almost everyone remembers negative things more strongly and in more detail."
If this is truly the case then the internet trolls may have killed this film before the camera even started rolling.
I will choose to be one of the optimists going on the midnight release hoping for the best and I hope you all will as well.