Friday, August 23, 2013

Bat-Ben Begins

I tweeted this news yesterday, noting that any second now the Internet was likely to explode. And certainly if my Facebook wall is any sort of guide, that's exactly what happened. Like it or love it, seems like everyone has an opinion. For those of you who slept through it, the biggest news in geekdom for this week is that Ben Affleck, still basking in his post-Argo afterglow as one of the decade's most respected directors, has been handed the coveted pointy cowl and scalloped cape for a 2015 opus (scheduled for July 17) that will see his Caped Crusader square off against/team up with Henry Cavill's Man of Steel under the direction of the returning Zack Snyder.

While there was speculation aplenty in the aftermath of the picture's big announcement at Comicon a few weeks ago, with everyone from Josh Brolin to Orlando Bloom to a supposedly returning Christian Bale all rumored at one point or another, I have to admit, Affleck isn't even in the first tier of candidates I'd have thought of for the part. I'm still not entirely sure he can pull it off, but I'm far more sanguine about his selection now, having seen his performances in The Town and Argo, than I would have been five or six years ago, when he was still doing the walk of shame from Gigli and Jersey Girl (not to mention his previous superhero gig, 2002's Daredevil). 

Given his previously expressed reticence over ever playing another costumed cavorter on-screen after his Daredevil experience, I'm curious what kind of king's ransom Warner Brothers offered the in-demand Affleck for an extended stay in the Batcave. I'm also curious how many sequels his deal includes (one presumes they wouldn't want him unless they could guarantee he sticks around for the mooted Justice League movie, plus a solo adventure or three). There's obviously lots more to figure out as this plays out, and you can expect an in-depth chat on the subject with me and the boys in the next MovieFilm Podcast, which drops this Monday.

(For a humorous perspective on this, io9's Rob Bricken has compiled "The 50+ Greatest Tweets about Ben Affleck's casting as Batman" -- enjoy.)

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