Ben Affleck as Batman stirs debate and even petitions to remove the 'Argo' star

Written by Sharon Eberson on .

OK, so Ben Affleck's going to be the new Batman. Deal with it.

All day I've been asked, "Where do you come down on Ben Affleck as Batman?" And all day I've been saying, "Why would he subject himself to this after Argo?" One colleague was on the side of, "You don't play two superheroes," as Ryan Reynolds has done with Green Lantern and Deadpool and now Affleck will do after his turn as Daredevil. 

Amazingly, there are petitions with thousands of signatures against the casting of Affleck, who I suppose would play him as feeling his age and perhaps ready to make way for someone new behind the cowl.  

PG movie editor Barbara Vancheri was right on by conjuring Michael Keaton's Batman and the uproar when he was cast. That sentiment was echoed by Variety, which reminds us that when Keaton was chosen by Tim Burton, for a movie that helped revitalize comic-book movies into the mainstream, that Twitter didn't exist. Imagine if the Twitter-verse had been around then! A comedic actor playing The Dark Knight? The horror!

08232013BenAffleckBatmanEvan Agostini/Associated Press

Variety's Victoria McNally writes: "Perhaps foremost, Burton's "Batman" underscored that the primary star doesn't really have to carry one of these movies, especially when he's obscured by cape and cowl for much of the action. What really stood out about that film, in fact, was Jack Nicholson's "Take that, Cesar Romero" twist on the Joker, just as Heath Ledger's menacing turn helped elevate "The Dark Knight" and Liam Neeson brought gravitas to Christopher Nolan's reboot "Batman Begins."

"What distinguished Burton's "Batman," ultimately, is how dark and serious it was, in a stark departure from the 1960s TV series and the comic villains in "Superman." Those qualities were precisely what was lost as the franchise shifted into the hands of Joel Schumacher, despite replacing Keaton with two actors, Val Kilmer and George Clooney, ostensibly much better suited to the role in terms of looks and physical presence."

The story included a quote from Coraopolis native Keaton, who told the Los Angeles Times in 2011, "There was no guarantee that any of this was going to play correctly when it was all said and done. There had never been a movie like it before. There was a lot of risk, too, with Jack looking the way he did and me stepping out in this new way. The pressure was on everybody. You could feel it."

So calm down, Batman fans. Who knows? Maybe they'll follow in the footsteps of "The Dark Knight Rises" and bring the Batman-Superman DC showdown to Pittsburgh. I think it would be fun to see Ben Affleck walking through Downtown, cape or no cape.


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