Ben Affleck to Ruin Next Superman Movie
Warner Brothers announced last night that Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman in the as-yet-untitled-but-sure-to-be-terrible Man of Steel sequel, which will pit the Caped Crusader against Superman before they inevitably team up to fight Lex Luthor or whoever. Affleck is an acclaimed writer and director who usually does a terrible job of acting in anything he didn’t write or direct himself. He has played everything from unlikeable action hero (Paycheck, Reindeer Games, Armageddon), to one-dimensional asshole (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma) to heterosexual male attracted to Jennifer Lopez (Gigli, Jersey Girl, real life). The two-time Academy Award-winner for writing and producing will bring neither of those talents to the Man of Steel sequel so he can focus solely on not doing a good job acting.
Man of Steel director Zack Snyder will return to co-ruin the movie with Affleck as director and co-screenwriter of the tentatively-titled Superman vs. Batman. As we first reported here on Doomkopf, Snyder had a little under three years to ruin Man of Steel. He will have less than two years to ruin the sequel, with a release date set for July 17, 2015, necessitating the casting of Affleck.
Early drafts of the script have scenes depicting Batman shooting the Joker in the face with a gun and Superman cheating on Lois Lane with dozens of prostitutes, continuing the precedent set forth in Man of Steel of the heroes defying the core nature of their character and making them do things they would never, ever do.
It’s kind of unfortunate, this whole thing. I sometimes like Ben Affleck. He’s not terrible in everything, for sure, and his directed efforts over the past few years have been either good or great (or terrible, actually, as I hated The Town). Nevermind, his directed movies are all over the place.
But he doesn’t necessarily HAVE to make a movie terrible just by being cast in it. The problem is that, as evidenced by the decision to cast him as BATMAN (which he’s all wrong for), and as evidenced by the quality of the first movie in this series, the people behind the scenes are clueless as to how to make a good superhero movie.
I feel bad for Affleck. He seems like a genuinely decent guy, and some of his movies are okay. He’s just in way over his head with a part for which he doesn’t SEEM to be a good fit.
I personally don’t have any kind of problem whatsoever with Ben Affleck as an actor. But Snyder’s decision to cast Henry Cavill as Superman suggests a desire to let a relatively unknown actor fill out the role without the actor’s brand or baggage get in the way. Affleck is simply about as far away from that as you can get.
I’ve never felt like anyone has really gotten the casting for Bruce Wayne quite right. Of all of them, Michael Keaton was probably my favorite, but George Clooney was probably the closest to how I imagine Bruce Wayne. And I have no dream actors in mind to play him. But what is hard to imagine is how Ben Affleck isn’t going to just seem like Ben Affleck dressed up as Batman.
It’s also hard to imagine, at his age, how he sustains and anchors a franchise. Robert Downey, Jr. is believable as Iron Man at his age because he wears a metal suit that does the hard work. Batman needs to be believable as a physical force, unless the relative ages of Superman and Batman suggest they’re going for a Dark Knight Returns style relationship, where Batman is more Iron Man / Robocop and no longer the spry young ninja acrobat in black.