Okay, so Warner Bros. announced on Thursday that Ben Affleck, star of “Daredevil” a decade ago and director of Oscar-worthy “Argo,” would play Batman in the “Man of Steel” sequel for director Zach Snyder and opposite Henry Cavil as Superman.
And yes, there was a lot of online freaking out about Affleck being cast.
I’m old enough to remember the doubters – I was one of them – when Michael Keaton was cast to play Bruce Wayne and Batman for Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman.”
He’s a comic actor, they said about Keaton. His chin isn’t superheroic enough. This isn’t even a step up in casting from the campy 1960s TV series.
But Keaton worked, largely because Burton’s Batman was something we hadn’t seen very often: A serious superhero flick. I’d submit Keaton was the best part about that movie, far outshining Jack Nicholson as the Joker.
So what’s the knock on Affleck?
Um .. he’s made some movies that some people didn’t like?
Okay, Twitter, take a deep breath. Let’s move on to what happens next, namely, what can we expect from “Superman vs. Batman” or whatever the “Man of Steel” sequel will be called, particularly with Affleck’s casting?
Batman is going to take the lead in the sequel. Depending on how long the movie takes place after “Man of Steel,” Superman still might be a green superhero. That means when the two icons meet, it’s likely Batman will have years of experience on Superman. Sure, Superman has super powers. But we’ve seen before that Batman is more than a match for Superman. Kryptonite shard, anyone?
They’ll clash at first. Besides this comic book trope being a standard development – remember the various Avengers fighting before they teamed up on Loki? – I’m betting Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor will be in some kind of deal but Batman will be investigating Luthor. Superman might get involved when he sees Batman hanging around (literally) Metropolis and confronts him. Hey, I’m pretty sure this worked for DC animated universe stories.
They’re definitely building to a “Justice League” movie. I expect Batman to be the experienced leader when they make the “JL” movie and it’s likely Affleck will be in the cowl. Warner Bros. wouldn’t announce a new Batman for just one movie.
There’s a Robin in the future. You don’t have an experienced batman without a sidekick. Maybe Joseph Gordon-Levitt?
Snyder and Warner Bros. are casting older but not too old. Sure, Cavill is several years younger, but Affleck is just 41. Robert Downey Jr. was 43 for the first “Iron Man” movie.
It’ll be interesting to see how much influence Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight” stories have on the movie, although there have been plenty of good stories of the two iconic heroes and their relationship.