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August 24 2013

Joss weighs in on the recent announcement of Affleck as Batman. Via his official twitter account.

Didn't post to start a huge debate- just nice to hear the big guy's opinion on a franchise he has expressed interest in for some time and incorporated elements of into ANGEL.
That's fair. Most of Affleck's critics point to his bad movies. Which often unfairly hurt the reputation of good actors.
I'm pretty okay with Affleck. People keep pointing to Daredevil, but... I don't think Affleck is the reason that film sucked.

I'm interested to see how this goes!
I think Affleck is a good choice as well.
I think he'll be fine, more concerned about the job Snyder will do (I'm relatively pleased with the work Goyer's done for the most part on comic book movies so that part should be OK...should be). Isn't it somewhat ironic that, post Good Will Hunting, the first good reviews for Affleck as a performer probably came when he played Superman in Hollywoodland?
Apparently Affleck left as director of a new film adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand to step in as Bats. Total shame he is a helluva director.

I just can't see Affleck as the Dark Knight no matter how hard I try though....
I think Affleck is a good actor and an even better director, but he is not Batman. However, perhaps he'll surprise me. I'm always open to possibly being wrong about something.
Tbh I don't see Affleck as a convincing actor apart from when he's mucking around with his friends. And Zack Snyder's work borders on hackery.
I do wonder if Affleck could end up directing The Justice League movie as well if that eventually goes forward.

The Hollywod Reporter has a story up indicating that Affleck has signed a multi picture deal.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/why-ben-affleck-said-yes-613658
Finally, I agree with Joss on something. :P
He was amazing in Hollywoodland and he is part of the Whedonverse after all.
Ah yes, good old Basketball Player #10 (as IMDb informs me). I think Affleck'll do a fine job, but I'm not getting my hopes up for the rest of the movie after Man of Steel really let me down. Wonder what Joss thought of it...
You know who else they should probably never cast? Michael Keaton. I mean, the man was Beetlejuice.
Casting the guy who previously played Marvel's bat-like superhero as the new Batman is insane. It's like if they let the guy who rebooted Star Trek direct the next Star Wars... wait...

Is Affleck gonna play all the bat characters now? Dracula? Falke in Die Fledermaus? The rapping Robin Williams bat in a reboot of Ferngully? Or will he go in the other direction with the whole sonar thing next and play a fishing boat?

Joking aside, I've never really had a problem with Affleck. He's been miscast a few times, and he's got some limitations, but I don't think he's a terrible actor (and I definitely don't think he was the worst part of Daredevil - that award goes to the pacing and the dull fight scenes). The one thing I'm curious about, though, is what his Batman and Bruce Wayne voices will sound like, and how they'll be different. He's kind of high-pitched, but I'd rather hear a high-pitched half-whisper than the awful growly thing Bale did (so I hope he won't follow in Bale's footsteps). We all hear Kevin Conroy in our heads when we think of Batman, but we all love Mark Hamill as the joker, and yet Heath Ledger's very different performance was widely accepted as unexpectedly excellent, so maybe Ben will throw a curveball and hit it out of the park and holy crap I think I just made some kind of sports metaphor.

I'm more worried about the script. I have no idea why WB doesn't just put Paul Dini or Joe Kelly or someone else who is known for knowing what to do with these characters in some kind of writer or story consultant role.
"So Michael Keaton has been cast as Batman/Bruce Wayne?

He might have made a good Joker, but his comic style, which he seems unable to shake (but can amplify), has doomed this promised “serious” treatment of Bob Kane’s character to the same tired, boring level of artificial “camp” that made the TV series a hit yet simultaneously doomed it to an early cancellation." -- LA Times, 1988.

Then there's DanielCraigIsNotBond.com, a protest group about the news Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond. They got in newspapers. On TV. Everywhere. DANIEL CRAIG WILL RUIN THE FRANCHISE!@:":£! Now they're a Bond fan site.

Anybody remember the internet when Heath Ledger was cast as The Joker? Those days were hilarious. Almost universal hate.

Also, Dichen Lachman getting cast in Dollhouse. I remember the 'she's a terrible soap actress!' comments.

One thing is for sure, by the way. The studio knew full well what the reaction would be. This is all free publicity for them.

[ edited by gossi on 2013-08-24 11:36 ]
i disagree with joss as i was very disappointed in ben's effects in daredevil, saying that they had george clooney as batman so that kind of evens it out.
@GreatMuppetyOdin, I agree. I was initially thrilled when Bale was cast but his Dark Knight was a little underwhelming. Batman may toss out the occasional growl when he needs to but that growling animalman was not the cool, clinical and intelligent detective I was hoping for.

As for this news, with the crazy online backlash it's nice to hear a more positive voice (especially since Joss is such a big name in geekery). Kevin Smith giving the ok would normally help but he's biased :P. All my fellow geek friends have been indifferent and skeptical at worst. I would've wanted a younger Bats but Affleck fits the older, Frank Miller Batman better than most of the names I've heard mentioned (side note: please, dear god, do not make him call himself "the goddamn Batman"). He's not my ideal but I'm hopeful. Besides, I can go on a Kevin Conroy binge if he disappoints me :P.
I'm more than willing to wait and see - I've never had any real problems with Affleck, or Daredevil for that matter - though I must admit that the anti-affleck memes floating around are pretty hilarious.

Even so, I really don't see how Affleck fits the 'older and grizzlier' version of Batman they were supposedly going for, and I do have doubts about his Batman voice as well...
I don't think the success or failure of the Superman/Batman meet-up rests on Ben Affleck: they need a great script. Judging from 'Man of Steel' I'm guessing that the studio doesn't think that writing is important (IMO that movie was really bad).
I'm not entirely against Batfleck, I just have some concerns. I like that he's older than Cavill -- having a more seasoned guy as Batman would really fit well with their relationship dynamic, in which Bruce has always found Clark a little naive. Affleck may not be "grizzly", but he's still a full decade older than Henry Cavill.
Sorry, Joss, but I find him very one-dimensional as an actor, and when I think of "grizzly", "gritty" or "layered", I certainly don't think of Affleck, whatever Snyder and the rest of them have been saying.

That said, I don't think he'll be terrible, he'll probably just be OK-ish, and the movie will most likely be the same, just as MOS was. I don't expect greatness.

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2013-08-24 21:19 ]
@luciddreams: The growl may be annoying, but I thought it was a convincing reason why no one recognized Bruce Wayne's voice when he was in costume. And at least for criminal element, the movie version Batman wants them to fear a wild animal, rather than a rational man.

After my disappointment in MoS, I'm way more concerned about "the material" (writing, directing choices) than I am about Affleck as Bruce Wayne.
Agree, a live action Batman that doesn't affect his voice somehow actually shatters the illusion altogether. Doesn't mean Bale's version of that was particularly good, but it's still something that it needs. That or he just can't speak *at all* while in the cowl, but that won't happen.

Superman was always my favorite as a kid, and I really enjoyed most of "Man of Steel", surprised how bad a rap it gets. It didn't have to be "Batman Begins" to still be pretty good. A couple choices I didn't care for, but at least they weren't grossly inconsistent with Superman's history as a character.
@TimeTravelingBunny, maybe you find Affleck one-dimensional but you can´t find JOSS´s first name either, so....
I'm just tickled to live in the digital age, where we can learn Whedon's opinion on bits of pop culture news as they break. Remember the world before, where we would have had to wait until a reporter specifically asked him, and then wait further still for whatever piece to hit newsstands? Opine away, Great Purpley One.
All issues of Affleck's casting aside, there is one piece of definite good news in this: it means that, for the first time, there's a decent director working on the project.
Yeah, King. I don't get the MoS hate either. It was at least 1000% better that Superman Returns. If there's anything people on this site should like about it, there was the portrayal of Lois Lane - first time she's ever acted like the prize winning reporter she's supposed to be, instead of a helpless victim that Supes always has to rescue. That was partially the writing and partially Amy Adams (Cousin Beth!).

As to Affleck - my initial reaction wasn't positive. I'm absolutely sure they could get someone better for the role. However, he probably isn't the worst choice either. Guess I'll have to wait and see how it turns out.

edit: I just noticed that there's now an online petition to the studio asking to have Affleck removed from the picture - if you're so inclined...

[ edited by steverogers on 2013-08-24 20:47 ]
Well, so much for not wanting to start a debate. In any case, I encourage everyone to remember that Heath Ledger got just as much hate when he was announced to be playing Joker in TDK. Now he's one of the definitive incarnations of the character. Judging Affleck before seeing what he does with the character is pretty silly IMO.
I think Affleck has the chops to pull it off but he's going to have to dig really deep to be convincing as an aged Batman with years of experience and not just look like Daredevil in a bat suit. The characters are simply too similar to each other.

So either he pulls it off or fails. Now I have to ask, is Joss being supportive as a fan of comics and movies? Or is he being supportive as the direct competition? Both? Either way, Joss wins.
Affleck wasn't the main reason Daredevil was bad, and he won't be the main reason Superman vs. Batman will be bad (if it is). I believe he has the ability to play a great Batman, if he's given a great Batman to play. After Man of Steel I'm not very confident he'll get that.
ManEnoughToAdmitIt, BEST reaction I've seen by far. Well done.
Read Patton Oswalt's comments at Facebook re the Ben Affleck casting; he posted it just now. He's a judicious voice in the effin' Internet wilderness.
@N27: Oh, I made a typo and didn't notice it at the time - how horrible! This, of course, means that nothing I had to say was of any value. I probably don't know what his name is, despite, you know, having been a fan for years and posting 100 times here and 10000 times on Buffyforums and Slayalive.

And I'm pretty sure you knew it was a typo, you just tried to score a cheap shot. Insert roll eye.
Without looking it up I'm thinking the only movie of Affleck's I've watched all through was Hollywoodland, which I hated*. (I couldn't fisnhs Chasing Amy because no subtitles meant coudln't amke snes of it, plus all the cigarette smoke.) Not interested in superhero movies myself, but I think he'll do pretty well.

* I really scored at the library that day. Also took out American Beauty, Born Yesterday, and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari; a truly unpleasant afternoon and evening.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2013-08-24 21:26 ]
I'm starting to warm up to Batfleck, I think he can do quite a good job of it. As for petitions and outrage... I'm not trying to set this as the bar for Affleck, but I distinctly recall a lot of uncertainty and skepticism when Warner cast the Joker a few years back. I see Libradude remembers as well.

Superman/Batman (I assume the title will be some variant) will already have a strong supporting cast with Perry and Lois and probably Ma Kent as well. The pieces are there mostly in favor of a very entertaining movie, which Man of Steel was.
Everyone is judging him for the movies rather than the actor which is a might unfair. Ben Affleck is a truly remarkable actor and he does indeed have the chops for this picture.

I believe the static is from the disappointment that Christian Bale decided not to play the role. Really, any actor stepping into that character will catch heat as of now.

I say give him a shot.
I think Affleck's performances in "The Town" and "Argo" were terrific. A lot of people didn't like Heath Ledger for The Joker when he was first announced for it, and obviously that turned out remarkably well. People thought Anne Hathaway was too "nice", whatever that means, for Catwoman. And I thought she was the best performer in Rises, a film that was full of strong performances, in my opinion. So I'm actually looking forward to Ben in the Bat-suit.
I think it would be entirely fair to say that Anne Hathaway was as definitive a Selina Kyle as Ledger was a Joker, and the only true shame of the direction Warner/DC are going is that there will probably never be a legit Catwoman feature film with her as the star.
@OneTeV I'm not against altering his voice. Just not the way Bale did it. Kevin Conroy did a perfect job using a lighter, upbeat voice as Wayne and a deeper, cold one as Batman. The wild animal act may help instill fear but Batman in the comics isn't known in for acting like a beast. He's more bite than bark. Yes, he still acts pretty tough but what's important is that he delivers and his enemies definitely recognize his intelligence. There's a reason Ra's al Ghul always calls him Detective.

As for MoS, I definitely have some strong nitpicks but it's light years better than Superman Returns. If they can learn from their mistakes they might do okay. They did prove they could handle Batman pretty well before, even if Nolan is no longer at the helm.
For me Zack Snyder doing another Superman movie is the biggest concern here, rather than Ben Affleck. However, his dark & gritty tone of Man Of Steel definitely fits Batman better than Superman.

The real interesting thing is some are reporting (rumoring?) Warner Brothers signed Affleck for multiple films. Post-Superman/Batman, it would be interesting to see Affleck direct either a Justice League or a new Batman movie. As I'm more interested in what Affleck might bring to the table as a director rather than actor.
A fine actor. Maybe not the best, but fine. Lets wait and see.
I did not see MoS because of how bad Superman Returns was. So I guess I'm a little indifferent about this film. I had not built up any hopes for it. On the other hand, I think the Affleck hate is a bit over the top. I agree with others that Daredevil was a failure for a multitude of reasons (terrible script and slow pacing, among other things), his acting probably the least of the problems. He probably is a better director than actor, but he's definitely not the worst choice made in the Batman films from Keaton forward. But his recent performances have me leaning in his favor. And I'm happy Joss has weighed in, at least to strike a little balance.
palehorse - Please don't pre-judge MoS based on Superman Returns. It's like comparing pizza to ice cream (really bad ice cream). Seriously, the two movies are that different - they have nothing in common except some of the character's names.
Even though Ben Affleck wasn't my first choice to replace Christian Bale, I think a lot of people (who are vehemently against it) fail to realize that Affleck is very choosy about what he does now. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Snyder and the studio were pursuing him since February... and the man doesn't commit to a project until he reads a completed script. When you have Affleck agreeing to share the limelight with an up-and-comer like Henry Cavill (and not taking on directing and/or writing duties), he really likes the script. (Either Goyer really stepped up for this film, or someone else did a script polish for Affleck.)

I'm glad Joss is being his classy self and openly supporting Affleck. I think WB should take that as a very good sign from the competition.
Afflecks a good actor who's been let down by a few films on which he had no control. Not sure if I see him as Batman but it shows real balls to take on the role after Bale made it his own and after the hate he got for Daredevil.

I think this film success depends more on Snyder than Affleck, a Supes, Batman cross over isn't going to be easy to pull off.

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