Actor, director, screenwriter and producer Ben Affleck is no stranger to fan outrage or hyper criticism. Since his first superhero role of Daredevil was considered by many a huge box office flub and poor role choice for Affleck fans and professional critics alike have viewed him with a wary eye. Every time a new Affleck project hits the big and small screen folks have been ready to pounce, yet since his bio-pic portrayal of TV icon George Reeves (TV’s most famous Superman) in the acclaimed “Hollywoodland”, critics at least have been seeing the Academy Award winner with new eyes of respect and even a bit of envy.
However, with the recent announcement that Affleck would take on one of DC Comics most beloved characters, Batman, for the next film in the Superman franchise, that ole’ hate Ben ire has again reared its ugly head.
Affleck is taking all the negative comments in stride however, having been forewarned early on by DC that these kind of reactions was expected by the studio and that he shouldn’t take it to heart to which Ben replied in a recent Jimmy Fallon interview,”You can’t say that before a movie comes out. It doesn’t matter what you think then, it matters what you think when you see the movie.” Affleck makes a very good point as can be attested to by such stars as Michael Keaton, Anne Hathaway, legend Marlon Brando and the late Heath Ledger. They were all lambasted ahead of their prospective movie releases of Batman and Superman for their assigned roles in each but proved all the critics and harsh fans wrong with brilliant performances. In fact, it is highly unlikely that anyone in show business will be taking on The Joker role any time soon after Ledger’s monumentally stellar portrayal of Gotham City’s worst of the baddies. Yet, when Heath Ledger was originally cast he and the studio heads were met with derision and hyper-critical remarks from the press and on the internet.
“I’m a big boy,” Affleck told Fallon. “They (studio heads) said just don’t use the Internet for a couple of days …. I handle shit. I’m very tough. I saw the announcement, I look down on the first comment … the first one just goes, ‘Nooooooooo!’”
One last bit of Affleck/Batman news. Rumor has it that Affleck may, since his highly successful “Argo,” “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town,” be asked to direct a future DC superhero franchise movie. Either another Superman/Batman collaboration or possibly a Justice League feature film. Affleck has signed on with Warner and DC for a multi-picture deal for both acting, writing, producing and directing.