Ben Affleck as Batman can work; here's how
I'm willing to give the choice by Warner Bros. a chance. The hope here is moviegoers do the same. Affleck has earned the benefit of the doubt, at least for me. Still, there a few things to consider with Affleck and the script with an eye on the mega-summer of 2015:
- His second act in Hollywood, now as an A-lister, is impressive, thanks to an Academy award win last year with "Argo." Affleck burst onto the scene with 1997's critically acclaimed "Good Will Hunting" but had not recaptured that magic until "Argo." Affleck's a seasoned actor, and the timing by the studio to cast him as Batman is perfect.
- Affleck has already played two superhero characters, one obvious and one not so much. In 2003, he played Matt Murdock/Daredevil but "Daredevil" wasn't a box-office hit and was mostly panned. Three years later, he played TV actor George Reeves/Superman in the underrated "Hollywoodland." Is the third time the charm? It might be if ...
- A killer script is written to pull off the unprecedented superhero crossover (sorry Avengers fans. This one takes the cake). David S. Goyer is set to return to write the script and Zach Snyder to direct. I was disappointed with "Man of Steel," but I'm optimistic a solid rebound can occur because of Affleck's addition to what should be a solid cast.
- About those final 30 minutes to the "Man of Steel?" Let's try to justify the mass destruction that made a Michael Bay Transformers film look like "Driving Miss Daisy." It was so over the top, it became a bore. Well, how about this for the film's possible direction? At the sequel's outset, billionaires Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor (the character hasn't been cast but for the sake of this blog, let's assume he will) join forces to help rebuild Metropolis, which was demolished by Superman and Zod at the end of "Man of Steel." Hijinks ensue, of course, and Luthor's true motives are revealed. In the meantime, Wayne/Batman still resents Superman for the way he operates - in other words, the anti-Batman way. That friction could potentially lead to what will be a huge talking point until 2015 ...
- The inevitable climatic fight between Batman and Superman. My hope is all involved really think this one through. A battle between the two will happen in the film, I'm convinced of that, but the best script could fall apart if Warner Bros. insists on an all-out battle royale between arguably the two most iconic superheroes of all time. Take it to the bank kryptonite, Superman's only weakness, will be introduced and that will be Batman's equalizer during the fight. Let's hope the showdown is a subtle one. A solid verbal give and take between Batman and Superman could just as impressive as a physical one.
How all this unfolds will be the fun of the buildup leading into what will likely be the biggest movie summer (2015) of all time. With competition from the likes of Avengers 2, the next James Bond film and the mother of all, Star Wars 7, hitting a home run with Superman/Batman is as important as ever.
Is it all resting on Affleck's cap and cowl? It might be.
- Mark Podolski | @mpodo