In 2013, Zack Snyder, with the help of producer Christopher Nolan, screenwriter David S. Goyer, and the people over at DC Entertainment, Legendary Pictures, and Warner Bros. Pictures, launched the DC Cinematic Universe with Man of Steel, and I thought it was a great start to their universe. Some love it, some hate it, some are in the middle. Man of Steel isn't a perfect film by any means, but it was a well-told, action-packed, excellently performed re-invention of the Last Son of Krypton.
Not even a month after it came out, Warner Bros. and DC announced a follow-up, [Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870), which will feature both Superman and Batman. Zack Snyder returns to the director's chair and penned the story with David S. Goyer. It was also announced that [Daredevil](movie:47230) himself, Ben Affleck, will portray the Dark Knight. This is where all the backlash began. Fans thought that Affleck wasn't intimidating enough to play the Caped Crusader and there were even online petitions to get Affleck out of the role.
I have absolutely no idea why people are against Affleck as Batman. In fact, Affleck is quite possibly one of the top ten best casting choices for the role. I'm a big fan of Ben Affleck, not only as an actor, but also as a writer and as a director. I will defend Daredevil until the day I die. Daredevil is one of the most criminally underrated films I've ever seen. It was faithful to the source material, it had a good story, the characters were fleshed out, it was well-acted, and the action sequences were top-notch. Ben Affleck was fantastic as Daredevil and as Matt Murdock. Affleck not only looked the part, but got the character down to a pat.
Affleck is also an excellent director and writer. He showed immense potential as a filmmaker with the release of his directorial debut, the 2007 film Gone Baby Gone, which starred Ben's brother Casey Affleck and was based on the novel by Dennis Lehane. In 2010, Affleck wrote, directed, and starred in The Town, which was one of the best films of 2010. Affleck's performance was excellent and he had a clear vision of how he wanted tell the story, and it paid off beautifully.
2012 was the big one. That year gave us the release of Argo, which Affleck directed and starred in. Argo was one of the best films of 2012, with sharp writing, fantastic direction, and amazing performances. Argo took home the Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Adapted Screenplay awards at the Oscars, and also received nominations for Best Sound Editing, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Sound Mixing.
Even with all of those tremendous accomplishments, people still bashed Affleck being cast as Batman. This year, Affleck starred as Nick Dunne in David Fincher's Gone Girl and he absolutely destroyed it in the role. So, I personally recommend the Affleck doubters to watch Daredevil, Argo, The Town, and Gone Girl, and eat their words.
You can also say that Affleck may have served as a creative consultant of sorts on Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. His screenwriter for Argo, Chris Terrio, was hired to re-write the script originally penned by David S. Goyer. One of Affleck's Argo co-stars, Scoot McNairy, was cast in an undisclosed role, rumored to be Jimmy Olsen of the Daily Planet. Goyer didn't do a bad job with Man of Steel, but Terrio is unarguably the superior screenwriter.
Another casting choice that has been getting a lot of flak is Gal Gadot, best known for co-starring in the fourth, fifth, and sixth installments of the Fast and the Furious franchise, as [Wonder Woman](movie:45787), who will be making her live-action film debut. I'll be perfectly honest, I was skeptical of Gadot being cast as the Amazon Princess, but then at Comic-Con, her costume was revealed and it looked absolutely awesome.
As evidenced by the reveal of the costume, Gadot and the film's costume designer Michael Wilkinson got the look of the superheroine down to a tee. Gadot looks tough, ferociously sexy, and incredibly bad-ass as Wonder Woman. In a way, it reminds me of Wonder Woman from DC's New 52 comics.
The eagle breastplate, the tiara and bracelets, the tall boots, the Greek warrior goddess-esque skirt, the leather-ribbed armor, the lasso and sword... they all look awesome. There's a lot of detail put into this costume. As far as acting goes, Gadot isn't bad, but not that good, in the Fast & Furious movies, but we can all hope she will kill it as Wonder Woman. Let's all try to remain optimistic.
The third and final casting choice that has been hated by many is Jesse Eisenberg as Superman's arch-nemesis Lex Luthor. To be honest, I don't get why Luthor is considered to be the Man of Tomorrow's greatest threat. He's just a generic, bald, bad guy. However, with Terrio penning the script, we can all hope Lex Luthor will be more fleshed out as a character.
Now, to be fair, Eisenberg isn't necessarily my first pick for the role either. I would've gotten someone like Bryan Cranston or Mark Strong or Clancy Brown to play the character. But I'm still looking forward to Eisenberg's take on Luthor. Eisenberg is a fantastic actor, having impressed me with his performances in The Social Network, Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less, Now You See Me, and To Rome with Love.
My favorite performance from him has to be his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. In fact, Eisenberg in that movie had a few moments where he reminded me of Lex Luthor. Fans criticized him for not being physically imposing enough to play the character. Given the casting choice, I have a feeling Lex in the film will be more of an intellectual threat rather than a physical one. Think about that a second. That might be the reason why Eisenberg was cast of Lex Luthor. Once again, let's all remain open-minded about this.
Now, regarding Man of Steel, the action scenes and visual effects were praised by critics and audiences, although many complained about the zoom-in shots and shaky-cam. Man of Steel was lensed by cinematographer Amir Mokri, who was best known for working on films such as Lord of War, Bad Boys II, and the third and fourth Transformers films. The latter three films were directed by Michael Bay, who isn't a stranger to including shaky-cam and quick-zooms into his action sequences.
For Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Mokri was replaced by Larry Fong, who shot 300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch for Zack Snyder, and also shot J.J. Abrams' Super 8. Those films were beautifully shot and had excellently filmed action, special effects, and visuals, so with Fong onboard as the film's cinematographer, BvS: DoJ would be much more coherent in terms of action as well as more colorful.
Another thing this film is getting a lot of criticism over is the number of characters. This film has Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, Perry White, Ma Kent, Lex Luthor, Aquaman, Cyborg, Mercy Graves, and Alfred Pennyworth among others, and is rumored to feature Doomsday, Red Hood, Carrie Kelley's Robin, and KGBeast. I'm gonna defend this. The subtitle of the film is Dawn of Justice.
While this is still a Man of Steel sequel, it is also a prequel to the Justice League movies. Aquaman will most likely have a mere cameo and Cyborg will probably have a small supporting role. Keep in mind, Chris Terrio, once again, wrote Argo, a film that has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. With a rating like that, then Terrio and Snyder must know what they're doing.
Overall, I'm looking forward to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. It's one of my most anticipated films of 2016 and I'm very much eager to witness how the other films in the DC Cinematic Universe will turn out, which will include a solo Man of Steel sequel, Suicide Squad (directed by David Ayer), Wonder Woman (directed by Michelle MacLaren), Aquaman, The Flash, the two-part Justice League movie (directed by Snyder), Shazam (with Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam), Cyborg, a Green Lantern reboot, Dark Universe (written and directed by Guillermo del Toro), and a solo Batman film (rumored to be directed by Affleck).
I'm going to give this film a chance when it comes out on March 25, 2016, and I hope all of you will do the same. Just give the film a fair shake. Maybe it will turn out good. After all, a film you think might turn out bad could surprise you (I thought White House Down and Pain & Gain looked sub-par, but then I saw both films and I enjoyed them).