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Holy Rusted Metal Batman!

The Internet Reacts to Ben Affleck As the New Batman



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I know you’ve been told 10,000 times already, but here’s time 10,001: Ben Affleck is playing Batman in the Man of Steel sequel. When the news was announced last night the Internet was… well, let’s just say “not pleased,” at least for the most part. Personally, I don’t mind it—Affleck’s OK, plus with Zack Snyder as the director chances are pretty low I’ll like the move anyway. But others took the casting much more to heart. A few of our favorite reactions are behind the jump.

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  • Nicole Elizabeth Currie

    Look, I’m not nearly as invested in this as so many other people (I love me some Batman, but I’m a Marvel girl at heart), but some of those tweets have a point. Affleck has come a long way from Daredevil. I’m not convinced, but I’m willing to give him a chance.
    I mean, I felt the same way when they cast Anne Hathaway as Catwoman (My favourite DC character ever, since I was a child watching the Batman cartoon during lunch time), and look how that turned out,

  • Seth Brodbeck

    I liked Kazu Kibuishi’s reaction on Twitter, which (paraphrased) was: “As a creator, you have to play the expectations game; having a huge viewer base with low expectations is a great position to be in.”

  • Calum Syers

    I’ll hold off judgement on Affleck until the film’s release, but several tweeters (is that the right internet lingo?) point out a bigger problem. Like trying to make a blockbuster in just two years with no script, which is undoubtedly why a lot of people, myself included, had a lot of issues with “Man of Steel”.

    It’s not Affleck himself I am worried about. I think he’s a fine actor. It’s just by casting an actor with Affleck’s celebrity and baggage, it calls into question how much faith Warner Brothers and DC really has in Superman’s character, his mythos and whether or not they think audiences will fork over their cash to see him in a film.

    “We have so much faith in a new, rebooted Superman franchise we’ve put Batman in it, and unlike Henry Cavill, you all know this guy’s name.”

  • Janna

    I texted my sister the news on her break. She is a nurse. It is a testament to her professionalism that no patients died. But I keed. I was looking forward to seeing him as Tom in Great Gatsby before he was recast, and is Batman that different? Instead of an East Coast millionaire who’s a bigot, he’ll be an East Coast billionaire who forces foster children to fight the criminally insane.

  • Caitlin

    This was exactly my response. Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Argo give me at least some hope.
    But I’ll rent the movie either way because Henry Cavill.

  • Erin Treat

    Yeah but… To go from a brilliant thespian to Ben Affleck?! When you quite literally have the chance to cast amazing actors from around the world all of whom are so eager for the part? You Cast Ben Affleck?!

    Maybe he’ll surprise us all. I think the chances of him having a chip on his shoulder and a desire to prove us wrong are good. He better work out like crazy though. Christian Bale set the standard and doughy guys with small pecs won’t cut it any more.

  • Riley

    That’s exactly where I’m at. I’m totally giving Affleck the benefit of the doubt, he’s not the issue. The issue is I have no clue what Warner Bros./DC’s endgame is and it seems like they are trying to have it both ways where we will eventually see a JLA movie but they’re afraid if they try to take chances on the other superheros who aren’t Batman that they will fail so let’s reinforce Batman by immediately dismissing Christopher Nolan’s trilogy only one year after that series ended and reboot it immediately with a big name actor. I think the Superman/Batman thing is an absolute mess of an idea.

  • Anonymous

    Remember when Batman and Robin was casting, and Patrick Stewart and Anthony Hopkins were prospectives for the part of Mr. Freeze? Remember what we got instead? Hollywood doesn’t give a crap about brilliant thespians when it come to superhero flicks. On the heels of Batman: TAS’s depiction of a vengeful, despairing victim of the corruption around him, calm, thoughtful, and motivated by his griefs, the Ahnahld was a pinnacle of insult. When a (theoretically) children’s cartoon does more character development with the limited nuance available in an animated face and a few very well-thought-out lines than a movie does with the entire movie, there is something terribly wrong in the entertainment world.

  • Anonymous

    “man who directed the latest Oscar winner for Best Picture is going to be directed by the man who did Sucker Punch”

    Right on the nose.

  • http://runt.org/ Adrian

    I kept hearing the Richard Dreyfuss tweet being read in Alan Alda’s voice. I think it might have been funnier if Alan Alda tweeted it. Sorry, Rich.

  • Margaret

    Snyder’s is the best. I for one would love a Boston accent Batman.

  • Anonymous

    So, what would the internetional response have been, had, by some incredible miracle of choosing depth and talent over gloss and a name brand, the Powers That Cast had said “You know, we DID say we wanted an aging, grizzled Batman”, invested part of what must certainly be a huge Batfleck budget into whatever cosmetic revamp was necessary to appease the masses or *gasp* taken a note from Watchmen and allowed their characters to be more about character and less about perfectly bland appearance, and just gone full-on fan-tastic by casting Conroy?

  • Laura Truxillo

    Well..now you just have me sad, because…because Conroy!

  • Laura Truxillo

    Yeah, that’s a big part of it, really. Like the lady said, Ben Affleck IS Ben Affleck. It’s very hard to ever see him as the role he is as opposed to Ben Affleck. That’s something most Hollywood folks know going in, so yeah, it feels like they’re just frantically throwing everything “serious” they can at this movie to make it stick.

  • Anonymous

    I KNOW! And honestly, if he gained 10-20 pounds (or they bulked his costume like they did with almost all the rest), he could do it. He’s already lean and muscular looking, particularly the arms which are what’s going to show anyway, he’s got the chin to shame Affleck, his nose looks like it’s taken a punch or two, completely in keeping with the character, and have you ever looked at a close up of his eyes? He can clearly nail ‘fiercely intent’. Affleck can manage ‘vaguely sulky and possibly a little stoned’.

    And then there’s The Voice. I would show up to this movie if I were blind just for The Voice.

    They should probably also pull some of the TAS writers. It might be nice if there was a story arc of some sort.

  • Laura Truxillo

    See, that’s a comparison that irks me the same way “well, sure, but you whined about Heath Ledger, and he was great!”

    Personally, I was thrilled when I heard about Heath Ledger’s casting, because I’d seen some of his smaller stuff and knew, not just that he had acting chops, but that he really could throw himself into a character and play characters so distinct that they barely resembled one another movie-toe-movie. (Sure, 10 Things and Knights Tale roles looked alike, but neither of those looked anything like him in Brothers Grimm or Lords of Dogtown).

    Same goes for Hathaway–prior to Catwoman, we were all mostly used to her as the Girl Next Door, sure, but she’d also done roles that really involved her becoming a drastically different character.

    Affleck is…always Affleck. He’s a good actor within those perimeters, if you like that sort of thing. (I mean, look at Steve Buscemi. He is always Steve Buscemi, and that’s actually pretty great.) And Ledger and Hathaway were at least known for quirky, charismatic roles, whereas Affleck is…bland. Very, very bland.

  • Mike Chen

    Not even Patrick Stewart could have rescued that mess. Do a live action Heart Of Ice and he’d have been perfect for that.

    Though it would have made for some funny con stories. I saw Sir Patrick in Burbank this year and someone asked him why he called Nemesis the “best TNG film yet” during its press junkets. His response: “Well, you see, there is a simple answer to that question and it’s this: I lied.”

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been re-reading lines from Heart of Ice, and yes. So very much yes.

    Shoot. Now I’ll be spending my weekend watching 20-year-old cartoon. Gee, thanks, internet!

  • Erica M.

    I can see him as a good Bruce Wayne, but whenever I try to imagine him as Batman, my mind immediately brings up a picture of Daredevil and I go all sad inside.

  • http://www.according2robyn.blogspot.com/ According2Robyn

    To everyone who’s okay with this: Get out of the internet.

    Go. Go on! Get out! Don’t even look at me with those sad eyes, just turn around and march.

    Don’t come back until you’ve thought about what you did.

  • Anonymous

    And then there was Two Hands. Ledger had talent. I didn’t think much of the direction the Joker went with that movie (although I’ll confess it did seem to fit the movie’s overall tone), but I wasn’t at all surprised that Ledger was good at bringing that Joker to life. Same with Hathaway and a slew of others. But Laura has nailed it. Affleck has one role, and that role is himself. And that self is…wow. Is “superdull” a superpower?

    The movie will, by dint of having Batman, become a Batman movie. It’s simply a more interesting character to more people, especially with the recent focus and success of the rebooted movies, the incredible development in the various animated incarnations, the straight-to-DVD animated movies, even the appeal of the dark broody emotionally-injured type.

    And now it will be an Affleck film. It will be all covered in Affleck. It will be…Afflecky. You may as well just paint the scenery beige while you’re at it.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. Develop Superman. Establish Superman. THEN introduce other heroes to offer some new facets to the “How do I fit in” question.

    One of the biggest mistakes of the ’90′s Batman movies, IMO, was the inclusion of every supervillain they could think to throw in. Would it kill us to space things out a bit? Maybe take a page out of the Avengers’ playbook of awesomeness and have one major plot per movie, and one hero per movie, before pulling out all the stops?

  • Anonymous

    Also, “by the man who directed 300 and Watchmen,” both great film adaptations.

    Like one tweet read, you win an Oscar then get named the new Batman, and all of a sudden you’re Gigli again?! Why is it that we all want to go back to Snyder’s biggest failure – one that was as much about writing as anything, not his directing (the film looks gorgeous and is constructed beautifully, just written with little aptitude)?

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    Yup, I think a small part for Bruce Wayne in a Superman sequel would have been the perfect way to establish the new Batman actor without taking focus from Superman and then make a World’s Finest movie after that.

  • Mandy

    Exactly. I’m paraphrasing from someone else’s comment I’ve read but they suggested that DC wants the success and money that the Avengers had but aren’t willing to put in the work. Avengers took something like 8 years and multiple solo films. DC doesn’t want to try anything besides Superman & Batman like you said. Shit, they can’t even get a good Wonder Woman ANYTHING together! Meanwhile Marvel is making a movie about a D list group featuring a talking racoon with a machine gun and a tree dude.

    DC doesn’t seem to be thinking long game at ALL.

  • Mandy

    Patrick Stewart and Anthony Hopkins were prospectives for the part of Mr. Freeze?!?!

    Now I’m sad we didn’t get to see either of those. But esp Stewart. GDI Hollywood.

  • Anonymous

    His writing, mind. He didn’t just direct. The difference is that Sucker Punch came after Watchmen. Affleck has gone from a boring actor to a decent director, whereas Snyder has gone from a decent director to a disappointing one.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, that was one of the points of my post. Snyder is a great director and a poor writer. The fact that Sucker Punch came after Watchmen is irrelevant. The point is he didn’t write Watchmen and it was great. He wrote Sucker Punch and it was terrible (narratively, not visually). He didn’t write Man of Steel, and likely won’t write Superman vs. Batman, so you don’t have to worry about Snyder screwing up the story (just, potentially, Goyer).

    Singling out Sucker Punch, a film that flopped because of his poor writing, and using that as some sort of “evidence” that SvB will be bad – despite the fact that he isn’t writing – is odd. And I would argue (as would many critics) that Affleck is not a boring actor/decent director. He’s a good actor and a great director who’s gotten better and better over the years.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not even sure what we’re arguing over, here. Affleck has gotten better, and Snyder has gotten… not worse, exactly, but he’s stopped being an indicator of quality. No one has any idea how the movie will be—that doesn’t stop it from being a pithy burn.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, but don’t forget context. Is a Joel Shumacher Batman film the place for a Nolan Batman film Mr. Freeze?

  • Anonymous

    Ben Afflec just looks so… gooey to me. Doughy? Not overweight, he just looks… soft. Putting aside any acting ability, he doesnt have that “Im Batman” vibe…

  • Anonymous

    “a pithy burn” might very well be the best description of this breaking news that I’ve read all day.

    As for Snyder, this is how I feel: he’s one of the top visual directors working today; he knows how to translate words into images to tell a story. He’s also very good at constructing films (editing, pacing, narrative structure). Where he fails is at writing/characterization. Sucker Punch tends to be the main (and only) target of people who disapprove of Snyder. I don’t have a problem with people pointing out that it was a mess…because it was. But it was a mess not because he isn’t a very talented director (the movie looked good, was well paced, and was very sound structurally – at least as much as it could be considering the multiple layers of narrative), it was a mess because Snyder couldn’t translate his grand vision of a girl power narrative to script form. It was too ambitious for his writing ability, and the meta nature of the narrative was too tricky for him to lay it out clearly for us. None of these are issues that he’ll have with Supes and Batman – he isn’t writing it, nor is it an original property. I don’t think Snyder has had a single misstep in terms of the look and construction of a film to this point in his career, so if he gets a decent script for the next film it will likely end up a good product. That was the case with Watchmen, a great effort due to an economical script from David Hayter and Alex Tse that kept the vital elements while discarding whatever wasn’t critical to the central story, and Snyder’s ability to translate that story to screen.

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    I hate this casting choice as much as anyone, but a little piece of my soul dies every time I see Change.org being used for trivial piddling fanboy rage like this. Change is for fighting social injustice, not whining to a studio about their casting choices!

  • Mark Brown

    And Sam Winchester. Awesome.

  • Mina

    I would have died of joy. My hope is that he’ll one day play old Bruce in a Batman Beyond film adaptation.

  • Mina

    Meh, there is no one change that could have saved that movie. If they’d have put Stewart or Hopkins in as Freeze, it wouldn’t have been enough. I’d have just felt bad for them having to be connected to that project.

  • xihetafolex

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kAgk

    Ben Afflec just looks so… gooey to me. Doughy? Not overweight, he just looks… soft. Putting aside any acting ability, he doesnt have that “Im Batman” vibe…

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Who cares? Make a movie that isn’t shit, DC. It’s NOT HARD.

  • Alexa

    I think he works way better as a director then an actor, and really the only thing that I thought was lacking in Argo was Affleck himself in the lead. He did fine, but he still lacked to some degree none the less. He could surprise me but at this point I really don’t care all that much, maybe a little, but I can’t help but find it sad that we finally got a new Superman movie, and it ended up being kind of a mess, and we’re getting a sequel and all we are talking about is Batman. Seriously, I love Batman but can we please focus on some other DC heroes.

    Seriously if DC put all the energy they put into that character and spread it out to the other heroes, and of course have faith in the material, like Disney with Marvel, by creating a full, colorful, and energetic DC universe, and be less concerned of whether these characters could work in our world and be “realistic” ( Nolan’s Batman) or ones that don’t have snarky attitudes about the circumstances within the film (Green Lantern), we’d probably have some really fun, engaging, and awesome superhero films on our hands. And of course if they’re willing to let that myth that films with a leading women don’t sell, we’d probably have a Wonder Woman movie by now.

    But all we have is Batman, who while I love him, is not as great when its all we have. In other words, let it go WB and give us the DC universe that we deserve.

  • KryptoBunny

    I would suggest that perhaps you’re giving Snyder a bit more credit than is due — 300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch all had the same cinematographer, Larry Fong (he also did Super 8). Personally, I find the sex-from-behind scenes that appear in more than half of Snyder’s movies (though not in Man of Steel or, thankfully, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole) to be pretty serious missteps. And Man of Steel had the fatal construction error of not understanding a single freaking thing about Superman, not that he’s to blame for all of that. The lame sex, though — that’s totally on him.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    Exactly. And Marvel chooses storytellers and people who respect the material but can tell a modern story, instead of just booking cash cow directors/actors. I mean Joss Whedon had only directed one movie “Serenity” which has cult status and has made some profit, but was not a blockbuster. They chose him because they respected him as a comic book writer (his run on X-Men) and they knew he could craft a story with a large ensemble cast that meant something. DC, aside from the Dark Knight trilogy, seems to be throwing money at the problem of their suckage and they are doing a disservice to some really interesting characters.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    If “Sucker Punch” is his biggest failure, what is his biggest success? And I’m not talking $ signs.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    I don’t see him as a good Bruce Wayne, but a passable one. But not as Batman, at all. He doesn’t have the gravitas, as the tweet said.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    Marvel gives us brilliant thespians. Branagh and Hiddleston, anyone?

  • Carmen Sandiego

    And Hopkins. :D

  • Carmen Sandiego

    It’s not his physique, it’s his physicality. He has a limpness in the way he moves, and he builds it in to every character. He also just doesn’t seem mature enough as an actor to play this role. There are some roles he is perfect for. This just isn’t it. A lot of the people disgusted by this casting choice don’t think Affleck is awful as an actor…it’s just that this role is soooooo wrong for him.

  • Alyson L

    I wish they would have brought Wonder Woman into the Superman film instead of Batman – especially since they don’t think she can hold her own (total BS) and we just had 3 Batman movies.

    Not only would Wonder Woman have challenged Superman – they are basically equal, she is just more of a badass then he is – but she would have thrown a wrench, I mean challenge into his relationship with Lois if they wanted to go that way.

    The only reason to do Bats/Sup is to get certain fans all a quiver.

  • Alyson L

    I think part of Whedon’s appeal is the work he did on WW before they fired him for not bending to their wants/desires for the role.

  • Alyson L

    3 hands – I was ecstatic over the casting of Ledger and Hathaway (esp after seeing Anne in Brokeback Mountain).

  • not-so-small-mercies

    Agree so hard on Anne Hathaway. At this point I have no strong emotions, good or bad, about Affleck as Batman.
    Personally, I think that I could buy him as Bruce Wayne. I’ll have to wait and see when the movie comes out if he delivers on the Batman part.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not excited about this choice. I’m not outraged either. Just… uninterested
    My main worry for the movie is still that they are sticking with Snyder

    Also, remember that executive that mentioned in an email that they didn’t want to bet on a blockbuster with a female protagonist bc of Suckerpunch?
    Didn’t stop Hollywood from giving the director of said flick control over the biggest superhero frannchise and then cast the actor who played Daredevil in it.

    I know who’s been suckerpunched all right…

  • Anonymous

    You should start reading some Batman comic! Really!

  • Lady Viridis

    Exactly. This has been my take on it for the last few years– DC is trying to copy Marvel’s success, but they keep forgetting that Marvel spent over a decade setting up that success. You cannot build a cohesive multiverse in 2 or 3 movies and only a few years’ time. DC wants to make all the money with none of the preparation.

  • Lady Viridis

    Movies are harder to do than comics (more pieces to put together), and from what I’ve seen/heard the last few years, DC has hardly been handling its comics well.

    DC strikes me as very much a company that is clinging desperately to its past; they had this successful formula, now it doesn’t seem to be working, but they won’t try anything new or different. When they DO try new stuff, they ditch it if it doesn’t make enough money.

    The recent Green Lantern: the Animated Series (headed by the people responsible for Batman TAS and Avatar: the Last Airbender) was very well-done. Solid characters, interesting plot, and some nice subversions of usual children’s show tropes. It got canceled after one season because apparently it didn’t sell enough toys. Not toys based on the actual cartoon– no, they didn’t make any of those. The execs canceled it because it didn’t sell enough of the toys left over from the terrible Green Lantern movie. :/

  • Anonymous

    wow. I get off the internet for a couple of days and DC decides they don’t have enough haters yet. Good move.

  • frodobatmanvader

    And personally, I think that’s why he works in things like Argo or as the tool in Kevin Smith movies, because just like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, sometimes a person with a strong personality would DISTRACT from the overall concept of the film.

    This doesn’t apply when it comes to Batman. As George Clooney found out the hard way, he’s nothing BUT personality.

  • Anonymous

    By that cinematography logic, most good to great directors are overhyped; is Speilberg given too much credit because he mostly works with Kaminski, or Scorsese because of his long working relationship with Robert Richardson? I credit Snyder for choosing one that he works well with and is good at his job. And it doesn’t take away the fact that Snyder is also good at his job as many of his peers have pointed out (as long as you keep him away from the scripts).

    The point about sex in his movies is a bit unfair. In Watchmen he’s depicting a scene from the graphic novel that is a critical moment in the story for both The Comedian and Silk Spectre. Nothing about including it in the film, or the way it is shot, is exploitative. Sucker Punch is a film about female empowerment in a patriarchal society (it also deals with themes of the male gaze, self-reliance, sisterhood, institutional corruption, etc). You can’t tell this story without depicting the oppression – in this case the use of sexual assault.

    And you could certainly argue whether the rape scene in 300 was a necessary inclusion for the film overall, but you can’t argue that it doesn’t serve a narrative purpose. Queen Gorgo agrees to Theron’s request to sleep with him in exchange for what was supposed to be vital political support; the fact that he rapes her, and in the way he does, illustrates his lust, thirst for power, and lack of trustworthiness/honor; and it also illustrates the desperation Gorgo feels trying to drum up support for the 300 that she agrees to the demand to begin with. We’re not supposed to like what happens, but we understand its place in the narrative. And Gorgo also gets a truly romantic, passionate, meaningful sex scene with her husband before he goes off to war. I think Snyder was balanced in his use of sex.

    As for Man of Steel, I don’t think it’s an issue of not understanding Superman, I think what Nolan, Goyer, and Snyder did was craft a new take on the character. They felt, judging from interviews, that the Superman you’ve seen in the comics is not a relatable one for contemporary audiences. I can’t argue with them considering Superman had fallen out of favor for years as people commonly argued that he was too old-fashioned and not relatable. They didn’t try to depict the Superman from decades ago, they tried to craft a character with more depth and vulnerability, and one that I think is much more interesting. I don’t think, looking at Snyder’s filmography, that he’s really had an opportunity to depict sex that, at best, would be considered not lame.

  • Anonymous

    You seem to be implying that he hasn’t produced a success artistically. I’d disagree, obviously. Dawn of the Dead was a good film that reinvigorated the zombie genre. 300 was a great adaptation of a very stylized graphic novel. Watchmen was also a masterful adaptation of a graphic novel that was assumed to be impossible to translate to screen. And Man of Steel and Sucker Punch, while having serious script issues, were well crafted and looked good. There’s a reason he’s been trusted with these tough adaptations and big properties, because his peers know that he can shoot the hell out of a movie (and make money: Dawn 4xbudget, 300 7x, Watchmen 1.5x, LotG 1.75x, Sucker Punch 1x, MoS 3x).

  • odango atama

    The tweet where Warners won’t go with a Wonder Woman movie … that one was right on the nose.

  • MadMike R5D4

    Part of the problem for me is that I’ve never seen Ben really disappear into a role—he’s inescapably “Affleck” in every role he plays. There are roles he’s been cast well, but he just doesn’t the range or intensity to pull off Batman. True, he’s earned respect as a director and a couple of Oscars for “Argo”, but that’s still akin to saying because “The Virgin Suicides” and “Lost In Translation” were acclaimed that Sofia Coppola should be the next Wonder Woman.

  • Lady Viridis

    I agree about the new version of Superman — while I certainly admit Man of Steel has its faults structurally (mostly on a lack of follow-through on some points), I really liked a lot of what they did with the mythos– cutting out the stupid “Lois doesn’t know” storyline entirely was a high point, but I also really liked that Clark just bummed around the world for awhile trying to figure himself out and interacting with real people. I even liked ambiguity of “should I just let people die?” “maybe.”

    Superman has never really interested me as a character because I’ve always thought he’s too flat, too perfect to provide real conflict and interesting storylines. This new version felt much more like a person than a stoic, unreachable god.

  • Anonymous

    I’d love to see the multi-dimensional strategy which worked so well for Avengers implemented for the Justice League. Back story on the major characters individually: Superman and WW, pick a few others (Aquaman? Are we ready for the Aquaman movie? Would it end up being some horrible SyFy schlock-fest?)

    THEN bring them together.

  • Anonymous

    (actually, I was referring to the movie Two Hands, an Aussie film starring a young Ledger. But thanks for the agreement!)

  • Anonymous

    Yeah. Whether you liked or disliked Keaton, he had intensity which shone through (and which was apparent in his Beetlejuice role). Affleck has all the intensity of vanilla pudding. There is no amount of muscling up the Batsuit that’s going to cover that up. *sigh*

    It’s hard to gauge the 1989 Batman if you saw it first after seeing the animated series or any of the more recent Batman movies. Post ’80′s Batman had some character development that pre 80′s sorely lacked. When the ’89 film came out, what had previously been available to the mainstream were vanilla cartoons and the campy Adam West TV show. Against that backdrop, Keaton was incredibly effective in jumpstarting the franchise. He pretty clearly took the character seriously. If Joel Schumacher had taken it as seriously, Keaton might have stayed for a longer run, and we wouldn’t be making jokes about Kilmer and Clooney now.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    I am not talking about money. I want a decent story, awesome characterization, unpredictable action. I think we can have all of these, even in the superhero genre, as Marvel has shown.

  • Anonymous

    Neither was I for the first 90% of my post. And the money part at the end served as further evidence that Snyder’s films are successful, which is a fact that can’t be labeled as “luck” or people going to see bad movies over and over again. I’m pretty sure Man of Steel gave us all the qualifications you list. You may not have liked where the story went because it may have conflicted with how you always saw Superman, or how Superman/Clark was depicted because they put an updated spin on him, but many people did enjoy the new take. I’m not sure why you think Snyder as director is a threat to a good Superman story – he didn’t write the MoS script or develop the story, that was David Goyer and Christopher Nolan.

  • KryptoBunny

    We clearly just disagree on Snyder, which is fine, but I was actually thinking of the Night Owl/Silk Spectre sex scene, which really did make me laugh out loud in the theater because it was so silly and unsexy — though not nearly so much as Leonidas/Gorgo did. If you can’t do it well, leave it out. As I recall (though I could be wrong, it’s been a while) the actual Night Owl/Silk Spectre sex in the comic was pretty subdued. I actually wasn’t referring to any of the rape scenes at all, which… are their own subject, but when we’re talking about works based on the writing of Alan Moore and Frank Miller, they’re sadly par for the course.

    I understand that a lot of recent Superman books may have been craptastic, but I really feel that the idea of Superman from Man of Steel having more depth and vulnerability than Superman in Kingdom Come, or A Superman for All Seasons, or All Star Superman is… well, I just don’t understand it. Admittedly, I was extremely turned off by the religious symbolism and things like Clark stealing (not everyone needs to be an anti-hero!), and I’m a huge fan of a boy-scout sort of classic Superman.

    Also, I understand what you’re saying about cinematographers and directors and their relationship — I was reacting specifically to the notion that Snyder is an excellent visual director, because it’s very hard to know how much of that style is actually his. Certainly Dawn of the Dead doesn’t have that kind of pizazz, though it’s my favorite of his movies. So it just seems unfair to credit him with something that may not be entirely his.

  • Smilingswan

    Really? A petition? Can’t we just put a horse’s head in his bed?

  • Anonymous

    I agree about the silliness of the Nite Owl/Silk Spectre sex scene, though it’s possible the silliness was intentional (crimefighters doing it in their costumes aboard a flying crimemobile is a pretty silly situation to being with). Not to mention Nite Owl isn’t the smoothest guy in the world. It could be read as a moment where two people, overwhelmed by the extraordinary circumstances they’ve found themselves in, find solace/comfort/a momentary escape in one another; and maybe it’s a little jab at the overdone “costumed heroes passionately go at it” shot that we’ve seen from Supes/Wonder Woman, Batman/Catwoman, etc.

    I also agree about being turned off by the religious symbolism of Kal-El/Superman (though more about how often it is used, not necessarily that it IS used). I’m a fan of boy-scout type heroes (Cyclops from X-Men is one of my favorites, though they’ve started to play around with that characterization a bit recently); I find it compelling when a person of strict moral character constantly has that morality tested. But I don’t think boy-scout and fallible are incompatible. The most honorable among us sometimes falter, and I find that compelling. And I think moving this new Clark/Superman towards that boy-scout image/ideal is where this new take may be headed; the failures of Superman/Clark serving as motivation for his desire to be better/more infallible sounds like a good thematic foundation for the character.

    I’m pretty sure Snyder is largely responsible for the visuals in his films. Not to discount the job of cinematographers – there are some great ones that don’t get enough credit – but Snyder has been praised by his peers for his command of visuals. No doubt his colleagues kick them up a notch, but when it comes to framing, camera movement, blocking, depth, lighting, composition, etc, Snyder is excellent at putting together a film. And I think it is this trait more than his sense of story that won him the director’s chair for Man of Steel. I think the story is firmly Goyer (with influence from Nolan).

    Not to go off on a tangent, but despite his obviously problematic thematic choices Michael Bay is another filmmaker that completely understands how to put together a film visually but doesn’t tend to get credit for it (his problematic choices usually overshadow his technical work). Snyder’s work, on the other hand, tends to get overlooked because people get caught up in endless genre arguments which seem to stem from the types of films he makes (zombie, superhero, sci-fi/fantasy mashup). While everyone is criticizing the characterization of Superman, the casting of Ozymandius, the use of fast zombies, or whatever else, they ignore how well these films have been put together and put too much of the blame for what are usually script issues onto Snyder himself. Before Dawn the zombie genre was considered tired, before Watchmen no one thought the film was even translatable to screen, everyone seemed to love the visuals in Sucker Punch just not the story, and everyone seems to think that Man of Steel was gorgeous visually, but some think the story had issues (again, that would fall on Goyer).

    Snyder isn’t nearly the best director in Hollywood, and he isn’t the best visually, but I’d easily put him top 7-8 in terms of directors who know how to translate words to images in order to make a film work.

  • Anonymous

    lol I heard it was because Keaton wanted more face time… Either way you are absolutely right. He just will never be Batman. Especially after DareDevil… Keaton at least had a dryness to him.

  • Anonymous

    I understand what you mean, even Reeves wasnt Superman until his training, however I just dont care for Affleck in that role. Id see him more as a gritty Lobo, but never Batman.