On August 22nd, 2013 Ben Affleck was announced as the next Batman. The internet proceeded to lose their collective shit. From comments about Daredevil to it not going to Josh Brolin (who turned it down) the reaction was astounding. Almost a bit comforting in that it felt like a throwback to the Bennifer/Gigli days of old. Still nearly a year later we still have people deriding the casting. Well I’m here to tell you that Batfleck not only isn’t bad but can be a good thing.
First and foremost Affleck isn’t a bad actor. No doubt he has his fair share of stinkers but most of that comes down to be writing and direction. You can point out the flaws of him in Daredevil (a movie I think doesn’t get a fair shake) but do you think anyone could get a good performance when a superhero movie is directed by the who wrote guy behind Grumpier Old Men and Jack Frost? He worked with what he had and was totally fine. Beyond that I think he has more than proven himself when it comes to comedy (the Kevin Smith movies, his SNL appearances), drama (Hollywoodland, State of Play) and action (The Town). Don’t forget that when it comes to Batman movies there have been tons of questioned casting choices that turned out great (Heath Ledger, Michael Keaton, Anne Hathaway). Who’s to say Ben Affleck can’t be as good?
Like many actors when it comes to Ben Affleck it seems to depend on who is working behind the scenes. More specifically who is writing the screenplay. If it’s Dean Georgaris you’ll get crap like Paycheck. Get someone like Chris Terrio and you’ll have a fun, engaging performance like Argo. Luckily Terrio has signed on to write the screenplay for Batman V. Superman. Definitely a better choice than David S. Goyer who wrote Man of Steel (amongst other awful super hero movies).
Now don’t get me wrong the movie could turn out poorly. This is still David S. Goyer’s story and the whole thing feels terribly forced with all of the superheroes being cast. But in my opinion none of the variables have to do with Affleck. In fact he’s probably one of the potentially better aspects of the movie. While he’s better behind the camera he has proven time and again that he is talented enough to pull such a beloved role. And hey if Joss Whedon is okay with Affleck I see no reason not to be.