The White House has a lot on its plate right now. There’s the dangerous situation that is continuing over in Egypt, a very large unemployment rate, and an upcoming budget debate going on in a largely divided congress. Last week, the White House was called upon to deal with an issue that is apparently near and dear to many Americans hearts, they were asked to make it illegal for Ben Affleck to be cast as Batman in “Man of Steel 2”.
Ever since the news broke last week that two time Oscar winner Ben Affleck would be the next actor to don the cape and cowl in the anticipated Superman sequel ,that was revealed earlier this summer at Comic-Con, the fan reaction has been largely negative. Many petitions, including the one submitted to the White House, which was taken down shortly after, popped up all over the Internet asking for Mr. Affleck’s removal from the upcoming movie. Keep in mind similar fan outrage took place when Michael Keaton was cast as Batman in Tim Burton’s “Batman” and when Heath Ledger was cast as The Joker in “The Dark Knight”.
Bravo to these fans who have carved out such fantastic, fulfilling lives for themselves that they have nothing better to do than to complain about a movie casting. It would have been beneficial; however, given the amount of free time these people have, if they would have sat back and thought this news through instead of just reacting to it. If they did, they might have realized that there is nothing wrong with Ben Affleck being Batman and there is nothing wrong with Ben Affleck either.
Some of the recent online complaints when the Ben Affleck being Batman news broke were that he wasn’t a good actor and they brought up a number of his past roles, including his turn as Daredevil in 2003. People seem to forget that was ten years ago. At that time Ben Affleck was making a number of bad movies. Ben Affleck not only directed the Oscar winning movie, “Argo”, he starred in it too and no one was complaining about his performance in that movie. In fact, no one has really said “boo” about any of his recent performances on film and his next movie, “Runner Runner” looks like it will be a pretty good movie to catch in the fall. So the actor all these people are complaining about has not existed in some time.
Let’s also remember that “Man of Steel 2” has not gone before the cameras yet. There is no footage out there or even a still from the movie that people can make snap judgments about. Also, as mentioned earlier, these “protests” are nothing new and they go on to become completely unfounded. Heath Ledger won a Oscar posthumously for his portrayal of the Joker and fans were disheartened when they learned Michael Keaton would not be returning to do a third Batman movie. The filmmakers are not interested in making a bad movie and if they thought for a minute that Affleck would bring their movie down, they would not have cast him.
This does not mean fans have nothing to worry about. The fact that Batman was going to appear in the next Superman movie could be a cause of some concern. Obviously the folks at Warner Brothers would love to have the same success with their upcoming Justice League movie that Marvel had with The Avengers last year. As much as they would like to follow the formula of that success, making four individual stand-alone superhero movies before bringing all these characters together, they don’t want to take that kind of time, nor are sure if all those movies can be successful.
Perhaps a reason for that is that one member of the Justice League team already had their own movie, “Green Lantern”. When “Justice League” happens, it is unknown right now if Ryan Reynolds will reprise his role as the superhero, but given the box office performance of his movie, it is doubtful. That’s too bad because the reason for that movie’s shortcomings had nothing to do with Reynolds performance. In fact, he was pretty good in the role and it is not difficult to imagine him acting alongside Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck. Plus, you already have one other member of the team established so that would be one less member of the team you have to worry about introducing.
In “Iron Man 2”, Black Widow was introduced and in “Thor”, Hawkeye made an appearance. So introducing multiple heroes in a movie has been done before, but Batman is in another category in the world of superheroes than Black Widow and Hawkeye. The excitement about “Marvel’s The Avengers” was seeing all the other members of the team, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Hulk appear on screen together for the first time. If Christian Bale were to appear as Batman in the Justice League movie then fans would get to see Batman and Superman team up for the first time when they came together with the other heroes for the ultimate DC Comics universe team up. Instead, that team up will be diluted in a way, since they will already get to know one another in “Man of Steel 2”.
One now must begin to wonder what the plot of “Man of Steel 2” will be about. Early word out of Comic-Con was this would be more of a Superman vs. Batman kind of movie. If Superman were given his own movie again the discussion would be about who the villain would be. There is now word that Bryan Cranston will be cast in the role of Lex Luthor, but you have to hope he would not be the only villain. After 30 plus years it would be exciting to see Superman face off against someone other than Lex Luthor or General Zod. One theory for the new plot is somehow Brainiac is involved and he somehow gains control of Superman and that’s why Batman must fight him. Keep in mind, the possibility that a Batman villain making an appearance is not out of the realm of possibilities either.
It would have been great if Warner Brothers would have had enough faith in Superman to give him his own sequel. One huge difference is that Marvel Studios makes its own movies while Warner Brothers are the brain trust of what goes on with the DC universe superheroes. They appear to be thinking more about the bottom line over the integrity of these movies. Some may remember in the movie “I Am Legend” a movie poster can be seen behind Will Smith in one scene that shows a Batman/Superman movie got made. “I Am Legend” takes place in a post-apocalyptic New York City. Hopefully, this is not suggesting that a Batman vs. Superman movie will help bring about the end of the world. Let’s have faith that this upcoming movie, coming out the same year as “The Avengers: Age of Ultron”, will be a great ride we will all enjoy. There is one thing you can be sure of, all these people protesting the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman in “Man of Steel 2” will ALL be seeing that movie when it comes out.