The news that Ben Affleck will play Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel made the internet lose its mind last night. Thing is, the veteran actor could actually help improve on the deadly serious mess that was the first movie in the new Warner Bros./DC comics movie franchise.
Seriously: Let's not pretend that Man of Steel is in any way sacred. Though financially successful, the Zack Snyder-directed epic, which opened earlier this summer, was self-important and not exactly a hit with critics, who found it to be an overly long, overly loud bore. As TV writer Jack Moore quipped on Twitter: "This new Batman/Superman movie isn't going to suck because of Affleck. That's what Zack Snyder is for."
It's a testament to how much of an impact Affleck's "Bennifer" years in the early 2000s had on the public consciousness that we can't seem to get past them, despite Affleck's new pedigree as an award-winning director (Argo), not to mention the solid performances he gave early on in his career, including his previous attempt at superheroism, 2003's Daredevil, which wasn't exactly terrible, as a Vulture roundup from this morning reveals.
Affleck's casting further solidifies the director-actor's relationship with Warner Brothers, the studio that brought him Oscar gold last year, as Jeff Sneider explains in The Wrap, adding that Warner Bros. may see Affleck's casting as part of a larger plan to have the now-prestigious director direct a Justice League movie. Or maybe it's just a great opportunity for a proven performer who's interested in a return to acting in blockbusters. (Affleck is also set to star in Gone Girl, the David Fincher-directed film based on Gillian Flynn's bestselling mystery novel.) He has certainly made quite the career of performances that mix poignancy and humor — take Good Will Hunting and Shakespeare in Love, for starters — and a bit of levity might be just what the Man of Steel franchise — and Batman himself — need. As writer Jessica Grose tweeted: "After years of self-serious bummer Christian Bale, it might be nice to have a funnier Batman. Team Affleck!"