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Ben Affleck on the Batman Backlash: “I Handle Sh.t”

batfleckYou may not have liked them apples when Oscar-winning director and Good Will hunter Ben Affleck was announced as the Batman, but those of you who tuned into Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night were treated to a candid conversation about taking on the iconic role and, more importantly, looking at the Internet’s response. Let this clip serve as a warning to all other actors, especially those who wind up getting cast as The Flash or in the new Star Wars: it might be best to avoid Twitter for a few days after the casting news breaks. Meanwhile, the rest of us will try to maintain a constant level of cautious optimism until summer 2015 when we can render our judgement, Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator-style, in person. (The Batman talk starts at 1:43)

Does this do anything to assuage your fulminating nerd rage? Are you okay with Batfleck? Let us know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter.

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19 comments

  • I have been trying to be cautiously optimistic. Honestly, the only film I have seen with Affleck where his performance was impressive was “Hollywoodland”. (I have not seen “Argo” yet)

    My casting choices for Batman/Bruce Wayne would have been Karl Urban, Michael Fassbender, Matthew Bomer, Jon Hamm, or Josh Brolin (who was considered).

    At least Affleck will be the first actor cast as the character who actually looks like Bruce Wayne ! Appearance is not enough, that is obvious… I am sure he can pull off the public persona of Bruce as a wealthy, spoiled, brainless womanizer. The real question is if he can be complex and intimidating and badass as Batman.

  • I think I have to challenge that assumption. You may be correct. However, when I search for pretty much anything related to Ben Affleck as Batman, a great many posts are of media outlets or interviews with celebrities who mostly approve of the decision and want people to give it a chance.

    Variety did a poll asking “Do You Think Ben Affleck Is the Right Choice to Play Batman?”. 111,221 people have voted and the results are 76% no. Now, it makes sense that people who approve or don’t care are probably less likely to vote in the first place, and people who are outspokenly against it would probably rush to give their voice.

    Either way, some eighty four thousand people is a pretty large group. If you add up every celebrity, media personality, and journalist who has weighed in on the issue, I do not think the number would come near to reaching that many people.

    http://variety.com/2013/film/news/poll-ben-affleck-the-right-choice-for-batman-1200586949/

  • I’m not in favor of it, but I don’t like this series of movies in the first place. Affleck probably won’t be carrying the movie in the first place since it’s a Superman picture. There are plenty of comics and cartoons with Superman and Batman but if they use Frank Miller’s run as reference, Batman is gonna kick the crap out of Superman for a little bit, then get murdered. If they work together, it will just be some Justice League inspired plot. I suspect that there will be some initial fighting so each character can show they are more evenly matched than you might think, then they will team up and happy endings abound.

    That’s not even what I want to talk about though. There’s two things I want to say on it. If an unknown or talented character actor like Daniel Day Lewis was cast as Batman, I would know that I wouldn’t spend a moment of the movie thinking, “That’s not Bruce Wayne, that’s fucking so and so.” Look at Kick Ass. For both Nicolas Cage and Jim Carrey, they were so deep in the character that they were barely recognizable. I BELIEVED the performance. I do not think I can ever believe Ben Affleck in a performance. He is a talented actor, but he cannot become a role.

    Second, and this is a positive. Affleck wanted this role. He cares about the character and loves it. That is rare in a A list actor. How many actors play beloved characters in cinema but in interviews it is clear they have never read the book, comic, seen the show etc.? Taking this role is a step down for Affleck in his career after winning his second Oscar, this time for best picture and having far more success at directing, writing, and producing than he has as an actor.

    He will put his heart and soul into the performance. I just don’t think he is suited for it personally.

    Finally, why is it that the public’s overwhelming reaction to this was negative, but the reaction of outlets like Nerdist and other media have overwhelmingly defended the decision? Isn’t Nerdist supposed to be plugged in and a part of Nerd culture? Why does it seem more like they are pushing an agenda of what they want to be nerdy and what nerds want, rather than being a voice representing nerds as a group?

    • I don’t think it is a matter of Nerdist pushing any agenda, as much as the few are always the loudest. I can’t even count the times I have been out with friends and the coversation turns to movies or comics, there are always two out of ten people who throw so much hate toward the subject that if we are out at a bar or resturant everyone thinks “oh wow, that table over there really must hate so and so” but in reality the table did hate it only the two fanboys who can’t have a conversation without yelling. The internet is the same way the tens of thousand of us who don’t have a problem with Afleck playing Batman or are waiting before we see the final product are staying quite and the few thousand who were raised in a barn are yelling at the top of their lungs and over multiple websites.

  • I’ve never been a big fan of Batfleck’s acting in the past other than Good Will Hunting, and I didn’t even think he was all that great in it. However, after watching this interview, I do have some faith that he may be mature enough to handle a role that will have as much pressure on it as the Bat-fans have shown. Perhaps his growth as a director will help him as well.

    That being said, I’m lukewarm on this idea, and will watch the movie, if not simply out of curiosity.

  • At least he is a big ‘ol comic book nerd… Hopefully, He will bring that passion to the role and that may be the kick in the pants that Batman needs. Especially since Bane was a better character in the last movie than Batman was.

  • @Matthew, So you really can’t see the huge difference between Bale’s and Afleck’s acting abilities? If that’s the case then I wouldn’t worry if I was you. Obviously your standards are not high at all.

  • The Runner Runner trailer is all that is needed to see Afleck’s acting chops. Or lack there of to be precise. Especially the laugh at the end of the trailer. Its totally cringe worthy.

  • Sounds like the storyline will be quite different from hearing him talk about it. Might be pretty interesting. I personally have become bored with Batman, so maybe this is will be kick it needs.

  • I think that he could be great. He’s grown so much as an actor and a human being that I think he has a lot to bring to the role. This movie will be treated differently than Daredevil, for example. Of course, I’m not a crazy Batman fangirl, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. :)

  • I’m actually really excited to see him as Batman. I’ve grown to like Affleck more and more over the last decade, and have come to really respect the dude and like his work (at least the one’s you can tell he cares about). I think he’ll do a great job.