Late Thursday night, Warner Bros dropped a bombshell onto the internet when they announced, in a press release, that Ben Affleck is Batman. Specifically, he is Batman in the sequel to Man of Steel, currently titled Batman vs Superman. I thought Man of Steel was the best blockbuster of the summer but am not too excited about this casting announcement.
What made Man of Steel great was the fact that the star was relatively unknown. Henry Cavill has been around the biz for a few years, but this was his first lead, blockbuster role. Having an unknown play Superman proved to be a great decision because the expectations were low, meaning his surprise amazing performance really was a surprise.
Ben Affleck on the other hand, is an A-list celebrity. He has two Academy Awards, is best friends with Matt Damon and is married to Jennifer Garner. Simply put, the dude draws a lot of eyes, whether intentional or not. And while he has certainly earned this status (Argo was awesome), he might be too famous for this movie world.
What I’m afraid will happen is Cavill will be pushed to the side. I know stars like Amy Adams and Russell Crowe supported Cavill well in Man of Steel but Affleck’s role is different. He is Batman. He is just as much the lead as Cavill is.
I don’t necessarily think it will be Affleck’s fault though. He is an Oscar winning director who knows how to command ensemble casts. However, because Affleck sells, Warner Bros will certainly put him front and center in ways that might hinder the film. For instance, I am almost certain they will spend too much time giving a Batman origin story, just to get Affleck on screen. We got Batman’s origin 10 years ago (by the time this movie comes out), why do we need it again? We don’t.
I’m starting to rant so I’ll wrap up. Regardless of what happens, Warner Bros has dropped a bomb and we have 23 months to dissect it. While Affleck is a talented actor, the threat of him taking too much screen time away from Cavill’s Superman makes me nervous. We have literally no idea what Zach Synder and Warner Bros have planned for Batman vs Superman but they certainly have drawn attention to that film now.
Note 1: I haven’t seen Affleck as Daredevil so I can’t comment on his performance.
Note 2: This photo comes from Zap2it.com’s article about Oscar snubs. Strange coincidence eh?