People eh? What would you do with them?
News that Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman in Zack Snyder’s 2015 sequel to Man of Steel has been met with the kind of negativity not seen since Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker. And we all know how that turned out. The online community – usually known for its level-headed pragmatism – has reacted to the news with what can only be described as a disproportionate response. Once the news got out, 71% of tweets on the subject were negative, and so far 73,000 people have petitioned the White House to have Affleck sacked. Given the current situation in Syria, I wouldn’t imagine that this will be high on Obama’s priorities, but what would I know?
What surprises me most about all this hoo-ha isn’t Affleck getting the part. After all, the primary requisite for playing Batman is having a good chin (granted, that didn’t help George Clooney much, but you see what I’m getting at). But what I can’t fathom is why he’d be interested in the first place. Since 2006, Affleck has worked hard to distance himself from the widespread derision that marred his early career, and he’s largely succeeded. With Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo, he has proven to be a first-class director and seemed to be moving into a more reflective phase of his career. Accepting a role in what is likely to be a lacklustre sequel to a disappointing remake seems to be a step backwards.