So it was announced recently that Ben Affleck has been cast as the new Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel. You know this and, as you also know, nerds completely lost their shit. Even the normally positivist Wil Wheaton took a swipe on Twitter saying, “Really looking forward to seeing Affleck bring the depth and gravitas to Batman that he brought to Daredevil and Gigli.”
Or maybe he wasn’t being sarcastic? Hard to say with that guy.
Anyway, Ben’s is the latest face that launched a thousand memes. Almost all of them suggest a better casting choice. The most popular pick seems to be Karl Urban.
And that makes sense. After all anyone can play Batman as long as they have a chin that looks good in a cowl (as Urban proved he did as Judge Dredd). Plus, it doesn’t matter how buff the actor is because the molded rubber suit they squeeze him in will have all the requisite pecks and eight-pack abs built-in.
The secret to casting Batman is who’ll make a good Bruce Wayne. That’s been the achilles heel of all Batmen from Michael Keaton onwards. Wayne needs a balance of brooding darkness and dashing charm. Bale was too brooding and made for an actively dislikable Bruce. Clooney was somehow too dashing and Keaton was too charming to the point of just being a clown (the less said about Kilmer, the better).
I think this is why people are upset about Affleck being cast, not that he’ll make a bad Batman (his chin seems a bit small to me, actually) but they assume his Bruce Wayne is going to be like his character in Chasing Amy, or worse, Gigli (not that anyone’s actually seen it). Maybe someone like Karl Urban or Clive Owens or Guy Pearce (check him out in Lockout if you’re not convinced) could find that middle-ground between Bale’s emo mopester and Clooney’s “I’d clearly rather be playing James Bond” takes on the iconic role.
But that’d just be more of the same. Who could put a bona fide fresh spin on the role? Who could make it edgy and entertaining? Who could really make their own?
No, really. He’d be great. Really. Fantastic.
First of all, what’s the main problem with the whole Batman premise? Only complete morons couldn’t see that Bruce Wayne is clearly Batman. Maybe Adam West era Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara clearly had heads full of rocks, but all the various Catwomen are supposed to be brilliant. Yet somehow not so brilliant they can’t recognise men they’ve been slow dancing with in the previous scene.
Think about it, when you’re at a halloween party and your friend unexpectedly comes in a Batman costume, do you for a second think, “Who’s Batman?”
No, you say, “Rad Batman costume, Josh!”
A cowl doesn’t disguise shit.
But here’s where our pick excels. His chin doesn’t fit the top half of his face so much, everyone would be fooled. And if you knew Bruce Wayne, as played by him, you’d never expect that guy to be a masked vigilante by night. Everyone would be completely fooled. Even Superman with his x-ray vision wouldn’t believe his eyes!
Okay, yes, he does have a very distinctive voice. But imagine him doing something like Bale’s “Batman voice”… that’d just confuse the fuck out of people. It’d be awesome.
Mark our words: Best Batman/Bruce Wayne ever.