Well, some time back I offered some ramblings on Warner Bros. contemplating forking over $50 million big ones to Christian Bale to play Batman in the planned Batman/Superman film project.
Since then, of course, the decision has come down from on high that the role of the Caped Crusader has been turned over to Ben Affleck.
(As Kipling once wrote: "Cornet -- Toot! Toot!")
Here I must offer no small amount of applause to the publicity department at Warner Bros. They couldn't have energized attention on the project more if Christopher Nolan had been kidnapped by Somali pirates. The announcement could not have been an hour old before the brickbats and howlings from the fannish mob arose.
My people . . . my people . . .
The Internet is something of a mixed blessing. On the one hand it has connected the world in ways previous generations could not have possibly conceived. On the down side, however, it has brought forth a seemingly insurmountable License to Bitch. Let a cartoonist try to develop a storyline*, or an auto manufacturer make an alteration to a pickup truck concept, and people will scream and wail as if their scalps are being lifted or their children are being violated.
(*And a personal aside to you people I see commenting daily on Tom Batiuk's "Funky Winkerbean" comic strip. A lot of you are really pathetic.)
So the same thing is happening with the decision to have Affleck play Batman. Ah, but wait! Is this an echo I'm hearing? Didn't we go through all of this mishegas before back when it was announced that Michael Keaton was going to be Batman in the Tim Burton film? Don't the "Doctor Who" fans scream and moan whenever a new actor steps up to the plate to play the title character?
And how soon we forget (or choose to ignore) that Affleck did very well with "Argo" last year. Not to mention "The Town" and "Hollywoodland". Perhaps not recognized all the time for acting, but how many of us have been considered for a Golden Globe?
Let me state right now that I stand next to no one in my love for SF fandom. But I will also be the first to state that SF fandom can be the most anal group of people in the world. Yes, we all know how Affleck failed to impress a lot of people when he played the title character in the 2003 film "Daredevil".
Let us consider a few things here, pumpkins. First: a lot of the blame for "Daredevil" could well be laid at the feet of director Mark Steven Johnson.
Second: I'll concede that Affleck isn't exactly the ghost of Barrymore. But how do you people feel about Val Kilmer or George Clooney. Good actors? Admittedly? Do you still hold that opinion in spite of the fact that they absolutely STUNK in their respective outings as Batman? Do we put all the blame on the actors, or should some of the mud be slung at Joel Schumacher (as well as Akiva Goldsman, who wrote both those turkeys)?
Young Son has recently opined to This Correspondent that it doesn't matter who puts on the Batman costume (although he privately looks forward to any actor who doesn't feel obligated to deliver dialogue in a low growl). I'll grant him a fair portion of that only because I feel the Director must shoulder a good part of the praise for a film's success (as well as the blame for a film's failure). Burton managed to make it work with Keaton, and I feel Nolan managed to make it work with Bale. I'm willing to wait to see who is picked to direct the film before feeling either joy or dread.
In other words: yes, pumpkins, I'll go on record here as saying I'm willing to give Affleck a chance.
Your raise or call.