The next man to wear the pointy hat of the Batman has been chosen, and the internet has responded with its usual tact and restraint (which is to say that any and all open forums have been flooded with profanity, sarcasm, and jokes about Boston accents.)  I can’t help but remember 1988 and the utter despair of the fanbase at learning that their beloved Dark Knight would be played by Mr. Mom.  That film, you might recall, was a box-office smash and the beginnings of the modern multi-media resurgence of Batsy, which might serve as an object lesson for nay-sayers.  (I am not, however, holding my breath on that front…)

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) thinks that name-recognition was a big factor in this decision, asking: Regardless of one’s feelings about Mr. Jennifer Garner, would you rather Warner Brothers had gone with a star or a lesser-known/unknown actor as the Caped Crusader?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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14 Comments

  1. August 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm — Reply

    I’d like a lesser known or unknown actor. When it’s a marquee star, they bring too much baggage and make it easier to dismiss the whole film as “oh, it’s just So-and-So doing his/her schtick”.

    • gary
      August 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm — Reply

      Seconded!

    • Damascus
      August 23, 2013 at 9:53 pm — Reply

      I really only hoped for a relative unknown partly for longevity of a single run of a character so we don’t have a Val Kilmer swap in the second or third movie. A relative unknown seems like they might be less likely to tire of the role and want to quit. I liked the idea of Tyler Hoechlin from Teen Wolf, he’s got the build I think, but I don’t quite think the acting is quite up there but I don’t know, brooding may be easier than it looks.

    • B.V.K.
      August 23, 2013 at 10:28 pm — Reply

      Yup!

  2. SpiderLover
    August 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm — Reply

    I think the problem with a known entity is where people go into two camps. This is going to be great because it’s so and so or this is awful because its so and so. Now on this site most people are in the camp of wait and see.

    However the extremes of both camps are some what annoying. Great actor doesn’t equate to great movie. That makes no sense, actors have good movies and bad. That goes vice versa for the other extreme. Let’s wait and see how the movie is before we go on and call it amazing or awful.

    Which leads to the point that unknowns are best because there isn’t an expectation of success or failure due to casting.

  3. August 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm — Reply

    Of course, we all have the wait and see attitude aside from the usual comic boy kidding and ribbing. I read one scribe say that Affleck could bring some “humor” to the role. Humor?? To the 21rst Century Dark Knight? In his first movie paring with Superman and with an actor that, in my opinion, NAILED the role of Kal-El/Clark Kent? The guy that completely FLUBBED Daredevil with his bad acting and terrible haircuts? I was hoping for younger, lesser known as well. However, many of us when it was announced Heath Ledger was going to be the Joker said “WTF???” And he completely redefined the character in his last role. So we’ll see but I have the sneaking suspicion that I’m going to be as disappointed with Affeck as Bruce Wayne as I was George Clooney and Batgirl’s blonde hair and mustache in “Batman Forever”.

  4. Oldcomicfan
    August 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm — Reply

    My opinion is that they need to cast the role of Batman according to physique. One of the problems with past Batmans is that they either cast some pudge (Adam West) whose only exercise was lifting cigarettes and martinis, or some famous wimp they had to put in a rubber muscle suit to bulk up enough to play the role (all the other Batmen). Christian Bales at least had the build to pull it off, even though he was a trifle on the slim side. Batman spent nearly every night engaging in severe physical exertion, and also practicing martial arts. You don’t end up with a build like Caspar Miquetoast when you do that. Please, no more stunt casting for Batman, WB. Do like you did for Man of Steel and find some relative unknown who fits the role, and spend the budget on making a good movie, not on hiring some overinflated Ego hoping it may provide box office draw.

  5. Jim Lahey
    August 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm — Reply

    Adam West would play a far superior batman than Afflek. I mean “Phantoms” WAS the bomb, but c’mon. Afflek is known for (pseudo)intellectual snark. He’s had some serious roles in movies like “Saving Private Ryan” but he’s got the wrong face AND body type to be a superhero, unless he starts lifting like he’s in prison.

    • gary
      August 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm — Reply

      I don’t disagree, but it is of note that modern Hollywood does this all the time. I remember an interview with Jackman re training for Wolverine and Brad Pitt re training for Troy, and the stuff they went through to get the physique was just ridiculous. Affleck could get the body but he’ll have to pay for it.

  6. August 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm — Reply

    I am going to keep a wait and see. I think that a relative unknown would have been a better choice, but look what that got us in the Star Wars prequels….

  7. AllenBT
    August 23, 2013 at 6:47 pm — Reply

    Ben Affleck may or may not make a good Bruce Wayne/Batman. He certainly has the requisite star power, seems to be in decent enough physical conditioning to look the part and he’s a fairly decent actor, at least within his limited range.

    My greater concern is that they missed a chance to do a really interesting story by casting him.

    Henry Cavill’s a relatively young Superman. One who’s extremely powerful, new and maybe a little naïve to heroing, idealistic, functionally immortal, but one who’s killed. A Batman that was a complete counterpoint to this Superman would make for an interesting plot. By that I mean an older hero, somewhat broken down, but a veteran, ruthless and effective but feeling his own mortality and above all adamantly against killing.

    Their conflict and hopefully eventual discovery of common ground for the common good should have been more emphasized by the casting choice. Affleck’s not enough of a counter type. For me Jeffrey Dean Morgan would have made for a better story.

  8. Firefox
    August 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm — Reply

    anyone but BatFfleck

  9. Oldcomicfan
    August 24, 2013 at 10:42 am — Reply

    Ben Aflac would make an excellent duck – I mean Bruce Wayne, but not a good Batman in my opinion. He already proved he didn’t have the chops to play a superhero when he botched the role of Daredevil. For Pete’s sake, the director could go down to Venice Beach and in ten minutes find a dozen guys who are better suited, physically, to play the role. And as for acting ability, who cares? The lack of acting ability never stopped Arnold Schwartzenegger.

  10. Ricco
    August 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm — Reply

    Stunt casting at it’s finest! Now even those who weren’t going to see the film will, just to see how bad Affleck is as the Dark Knight, genius!

    *Casting crew for the upcoming Batman movie*: We need an actor to play Batman, one that is good enough an actor to play the type of Caped Crusader we want, has super hero experience in a movie and will bring controversy to make sure all see this movie!

    They will *not* try to make a Nolan Batman, it is impossible, my guess is they’ll go for a holier then thou, sarcastic, intellectual jerk Batman for which Affleck is perfect.

    Some point out the horrible Dare Devil movie, in which the script, dialogue, story, costumes and pacing where bad but not Affleck’s acting. If you think back, his acting is about the only decent thing in there…

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