This may not seem like such a big news flash because you knew the internet would react pretty violently to this, but as we’re sure you’ve seen by now, the fanboys are not happy with the casting pick of Ben Affleck to take over as Batman.
Variety reports that over thirty fan petitions have gone up, demanding Affleck’s removal as the Dark Knight. A petition was also submitted to the White House “to make it illegal for Ben Affleck to portray Batman (or any super hero) on film for the next 200 years.”
In support of Affleck is Joss Whedon, who told Variety that Affleck will “crush it” as Batman, and no, he didn’t mean he’ll crush the franchise into nothing. “He’s got the chops,” Whedon said. “He’s got the chin – just needs the material. Affleck & Cavill toe to toe – I’m in.”
If there’s any silver lining in this dark cloud, it’s the fact that Affleck will no longer direct the planned big screen version of Stephen King’s The Stand, which I was frankly more afraid of getting ruined than Batman. The Stand was one of my favorite books growing up, and when Affleck called it the next Lord of the Rings, I didn’t get the impression he had any idea what he was talking about, or had even read the book. (Replacing Affleck as director is Scott Cooper, who helmed the acclaimed Jeff Bridges drama Crazy Heart.)
In all fairness, as Variety has pointed out, Michael Keaton got plenty of heat when it was announced he’d play Batman, but he did a fine job and surprised a lot of the doubters. (An interesting bit of trivia for Bat-fans is when Batman was in development for a projected 1985 release, Ivan Reitman was up to direct Bill Murray as the famed caped crusader.)
Also, in all fairness, Business Insider reminded us that when Heath Ledger was announced to play The Joker, the fans were outraged as well. Talk about proving the doubters wrong. Not only did Ledger’s incredible performance completely reinvent Batman’s greatest arch nemesis, it also took the movie up to a whole other amazing level.
So hate to say it guys, but all the complaining in the world will not change Warner Brothers’s decision. Ben Affleck is playing Batman, Batman Vs Superman is going forward, and even if this turns out to be an enormous train wreck, it’s already left the station.