Batman Backlash: Ben Affleck Has Nothing on Michael Keaton

Fanboys forget how unhappy they were back when Tim Burton gave comic actor the role

Comic-book fans have an understandable fear of not being taken seriously, particularly when it comes to a signature character like Batman, who has been subjected to no end of camp treatment and abuse (sorry, Adam West) through the years.

Still, the collective outrage over the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman reveals not only a stunning level of hyperbole (it’s not like they cast Andy Dick or Oliver Platt, for heaven’s sake) but a remarkably short memory, given how disappointed and disturbed people were when Michael Keaton landed the role back in 1989.

SEE ALSO: Twitter Lashes Out Against Ben Affleck as the New Batman

Keaton, of course, was best known as a comic actor, but director Tim Burton had worked with him on “Beetlejuice” and saw something there that others clearly didn’t. And while Keaton wasn’t particularly memorable, nor did he embarrass himself or torpedo the project, in what’s widely regarded as not only a firstrate superhero movie but a pivotal success — along with the X-Men trilogy, which launched a little over a decade later — that helped usher in the current age of comic-book franchises ruling the cinema roost.

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.”

SEE ALSO: Ben Affleck As Batman Gives Warner Bros. Upper Hand In 2015 Dating Game

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.

So while it’s easy to focus on the leads, what’s really important is the director and tone. And with “Man of Steel’s” Zack Snyder set to direct the upcoming Superman-Batman combo, it’s not like we should expect a bunch of “Biff! Wham! Pow!” graphics popping up on screen.

SEE ALSO: Ben Affleck Becomes The Latest Actor to Play Batman (PHOTOS)

It’s easy to forget, though, how outlandish and unexpected casting Keaton seemed at the time. As the actor 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.”

Come to think of it, if Twitter had existed when Keaton was cast, the service might have exploded.

In some respects, the latest Batman backlash will only help the movie, as the influx of traffic has already inspired other news outlets to weigh in (see CNN’s “The Lead With Jake Tapper” today), which will provide Warner Bros. with plenty of free promotion.

For now, however, write it off as another tempest in a teapot, more bluster in the batcave. And incidentally, with apologies to my bosses at Variety, anybody who would bother to take an online poll on whether Ben Affleck should be Batman is likely to be highly predisposed to voting “NO,” so the results are skewed to the point of absurdity.

Batman’s already made it to the ripe old age of 75, and once the fanboys have finished throwing their latest temper tantrum and cooler heads prevail, he’ll survive this, too.

The already shaky reputation of comic-book geeks, alas, might be another matter.

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  1. just a BATMAN FAN says:

    Even though I think personally/out loud that Affleck may not really be a suitable BATMAN we all don’t know what to expect (some of you.). I personally think Jensen Ackles would be a suitable BATMAN and have the potential to pull of being Bruce Wayne and BATMAN . We all have to expect one thing ( i hope he can pull off) from Affleck HE CAN FREAKIN’ ACT AGAIN …… and…. ALSO HAVE THE QUALITY TO BE Bruce Wayne & BATMAN. & for all the BATMAN FANS :3 [ HE KICKS SUPERMAN’S ass …….. HARD]

    website J.A.;http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0010075/?ref_=sr_1
    or you can Google him.

  2. This is ridiculous people that are upset that Ben Affleck will play the roll of Batman in the Superman sequel should shut the fuck up. In 1989 people were upset that Michael Keaton was going to play Batman because of the movie Mr. Mom then all of a sudden he is the best Batman, Then people were outrage that Heath Ledger was gonna play the Joker due to the fact he did a lot of teen movies and of course the biggest problem was that he did Brokeback Mountain, the outcome was he played the best Joker some might say even better then Nicholson’s joker. So in conclusion shut the fuck you don’t know shit you bitch bitch and bitch, let him try it at least and if he doesn’t do a good job then you can bitch he could be a good a Batman, I already kinda see him as Bruce Wayne so chill the fuck out. P.S. all those that sign a Petition to the Obama Administration so they can make it a law the Ben Affleck can not play Batman is pretty funny but dude get a life.

    • PS says:

      You’re the one that should shut the fuck up. The outrage against Keaton, who, at the time of being choosen, had done 8 movies, all of them comedies, is a totally different thing, than the outrage against Affleck, who’s done 30 movies in the past 15 or so years and showed his level of suckage in all kind of genres. We know enough of him to know that he’s no Batman and totally miscast in the role.

      • Hey Mr. PS why are u living in the past didn’t Affleck win an oscar for directing and starting in a movie recently and by the way you need to learn something the whole reason why they pick Allfleck or any house hold name is because they need a Robert Downey Jr. Avengers was successful so Warner Bros. need a franchise to keep asses on the seats, but that is beside the point my whole beef is let him do the movie, then you see it, then you can bitch, but as of right now shut the fuck up they going to make more movies about the cape crusader, remember Kilmer & Clooney I rest my case dude its not the end of the world.

  3. El Duderino says:

    This PR offensive will be about as successful as Gigli. There is a huge differenc ebetween Michael Keaton and Affleck. Forst, and most important, is talent.

    I know Hwood is trying to use this collective aghast to drum up support for folks coming out to see how bad Affleck is in the movie, but I assure you there won’t be enough interest for even that. Fantastic Four, notwithstanding, poor comic book movies die a slow painful death.

  4. Maverickzioki says:

    Others comparing the backlash against Affleck to ledger, Keaton and the princess diary chick are confused, sure there was some backlash but nothing like this. When people see Affleck in a movie, they just see Affleck in a movie, not the character he is playing. Superman movies are boring now a days anyway. If they cast some no name actor as batman I probably would have went and saw it. Now I really have no interest in it. Especially since its a shared movie, the development on the batman side will be very little. Just Affleck popping in and saying ‘Hi I’m Batman.’ No your not dude… You are Ben Affleck.

    • Marquis says:

      I’m more interest to see a Batman played by an actor I know less of but has potential to become a star to infinity. Think about it, you’re appealing to most fans who are 90s kids and nostalgics. Why give the role to a celebrity with a soft voice? This will be the first Batman who doesn’t have a low voice, and yet Batman: The Animated Series was THE iconic voice for Batman.

      Hollywood seems to go for the money, but don’t realize it’s not the actor who makes the work wondrous, but the whole setting. Even Nolan is more famous than Bale when it comes to the latest Batman movies, and I don’t even know what Nolan looks like. But his work made him more well known. The only flaw Bale had was that he made Batman sound like he had a scratchy throat, which is new but not very appealing to those who still want to see someone play with a Kenvin Conroy voice.

      The decision to have an older batman was perfect, cause I thought Bale was the younger version (and seem to play as a prequel with prequel titles: Begins, Rising) and having a scratchy voice because he was new at what he did, and go lower and more Kevin Conroy when he grows older. I thought Hollywood was going to use pure logic and realistic approaches to choose Josh Bolin, with the voice and maturity to match. Heck, his parents met in a Batman set. A possible miracle in the making.

      Yet they chose Afleck cause they thought it would be profitable,..

      When you try making movies to appeal nostalgic people, you need to give them the exact actor for the job in both appearance and voice relative to the times the fan’s desire, and director who knows their stuff. Choosing Ben Afleck seems like a choice made from greedy side of the brain, and not the logical.

      • MsKitty says:

        These comments are some of the most pretentious, garbled, trash I have ever read in my life. Get a grip!

      • Mjredder says:

        “sure there was some backlash but nothing like this.” There was also no internet, no Twitter, and no possibility for the backlash to resemble what it does today. Have some perspective. At the time, Keaton was as controversial, if not more so, than casting Ben Affleck.

      • NOMAC1783 says:

        You forget that in the last film (Nolan’s trilogy) takes place 8 years after The Dark Knight. Essentially Bale was the older Batman in that last film. In Batman Begins Batman’s voice was intentionally done by the actor, yes, but… Because people complained about how his voice sounded in the first one it was Nolan’s idea to modify his voice further. It was like a screw you move. Why else would you purposely make Batman’s voice more distorted? Harsh even? Batman’s voice is low because that’s the standard set by Kevin Conroy.

        I am also willing to bet that no one… or a vast majority thought this was going to be comedic in anyway (wham! POW!) given that it’s a sequel slash shared movie universe. So when you’re going for serious, grim reality type movie Nolan is good for, why cast someone who is well known for his comedic roles and only recently for his directing roles? Everyone points the finger at Daredevil as proof, which is ok because it was a bad movie and it wasn’t just Ben’s fault (scripting was terrible hammy acting) meaning Ben’s got work to do. Big, big boots to fill. He’s inheriting a legacy. More eyes are going to be on him than Superman.

        I don’t think Keaton’s casting as the Batman was particularly outlandish, that would be more like casting Jim Carrey or Damon Wayans as Batman. Keaton always struck me as someone who could go psychotic in a minute. If you watch closely at his performances you can see pieces of it, a lot of it in Beetleguise. Even a little in the Batman movie. Even his eye brows are in the same ballpark as Jack’s it’s almost a sinister look that Jack simply has more of. So to say outlandish sounds more like someone looking at movies he’s done rather than the performances themselves. But with that said, Keaton’s Batman is the Batman that all Batmans are compared to up until Bale. I consider Bale second to Keaton because Bale’s Batman wasn’t as smart as Keaton’s. Keaton’s Batman made those devises himself with Alfred as his assistant engineer. Bales Batman had an R/D department that did all the heavy stuff for him (Lucius Fox). And i don’t really count Val Kilmer or George Clooney. Each were brought in as cash grabs. Still, Bales Batman is an enjoyable one, his universe grounded in reality. Which is why his enemies are grounded in reality. BUT, if an enemy is truely exceptional does that not mean that they can seem out of reality? Bain was indestructible because he doesn’t feel pain? Last I checked not being able to feel pain doesn’t stop your body from taking damage. Despite Batman being out of shape. Emilio Ducard (Liam Neeson) who later became Ra’s Al Ghul (the immortal) taking up the former’s mantle become the lengend, Ledger’s performace was one that I didn’t make a connection with until I saw some production photos. As awesome as his performance was, he still didn’t encompass how bad the Joker actually is (he’s a mass murderer, likely he wouldn’t have let the timer hit the time he set before they tried to blow up the boats he would have killed them anyways to see if the Batman would go over the edge.)

        As any character (however beloved they are) like Batman, there is going to be backlash. Similar to character from famous pieces of literature when they are changed they are heavily scrutinized. Like any sequel to a fan fave movie is scrutinized. Calling fans “nerds” and implying that they are being childish and spoiled is just someone’s way of being jealous of the fact that they know so little of the material to see what it is that the fans see and what could possible kill not one franchise, but two and set back DC and Warner. They tend to get stingy when movies do bad, Took them eight years to reboot with Batman Begins. Also I would note that neither of the actors that will be playing Superman and Batman were unknowns. So to me when someone says he’s an unknown I think to myself “Get out of here, what rock have you been living under.” It’s a silly statement. Some of these people that agree with the Affleck choice seem like they’re just agreeing, because there is nothing they can do about it, That plays into why the decision wont be changed, if they isn’t enough backlash and most have **** it attitude, nothing, no matter what the subject will get changed.

  5. Rod says:

    I guess, “POW” & “BAM” to the side of the head, Mr. Lowry for speaking out in defense of Mr Affleck as Batman. Apologies to you for all of the uncivil and boorish comments you have received. I think Mr. Affleck is a respectable talent both on the screen and behind the camera and I believe he can “brood” with the best of the Batmans under that cowl. Seriously, Andy Dick as Batman? That image had me in stitches. I wonder if fan-boy director extraordinaire, Josh Whedon has received similar hate mail over his comment about Affleck “crushing it” as Batman. Peace.

  6. The Ben Affleck/Batman “furor” reminiscent of the Daniel Craig backlash — over his casting as James Bond prior to production of CASINO ROYALE…and the subsequent praise given that film and Craig as Bond.

    This sort of thing comes in cycles (Michael Keaton as Batman) which makes for ridiculously idle publicity, and a groundswell of anticipation (MAN OF STEEL went through this before), all of it pressuring the filmmakers (as in the case of ROYALE) to make a potentially good film even better.

    It’s all good.

  7. elke says:

    Has Hollywood gone nuts, well don’t answer that, to have Ben Affleck play Batman that’s like having Anthony Hopkins play Fred Flintstone. Bring back Christian Bale he was a great Batman and handsome too.

    • liquidmuse says:

      Ok Elke, the fact you even brought up “handsome” for Batman is asinine…& the funny thing is, if Affleck is anything, it’s handsome. Your analogy in terms of comparison (Hopkins/Flintstone) was so off the mark, because no major studio would cast Hannibel Lecter as a fat, dumb cartoon…yet you’re saying Warner casting Affleck as Batman is akin to that. You sunk your whole argument in but a few words…

  8. Uncle Morty says:

    THE TOWN

    …nuff said

  9. Trini says:

    In what altered universe was this thought a good idea. Ad fleck should stay behind the scenes as his acting skills re not better than Channing Tatum. I guess they are hoping that his acting improves with the cape and mask. Will definitely not tune in, curiosity isn’t even a factor. Batman should be laid to rest with the Dark Knight especially since Affleck rates a mere ‘C’ next to Bale’s triumphant turn. Gravely disappointed WB!!

  10. oddy says:

    The franchise is ruined. Ben will totally screw it up and no amount of PR hype will change this. Next they will cast that other hack Timberlake to be Robin.
    The pimps playing this hand have betted that generation zero will lead them to the promise land.
    That land being right up there with that Travolta/ De niro crap.
    I bet they even vett Beyonce or Rihana to play cat woman. God save us all.

  11. The Kingslayer says:

    The backlash for this has just been flat out ridiculous, people really need to let go of Daredevil and Gigili those movies were over ten years ago.

  12. faustiel says:

    hey brian lowry most of us true batman fans do not want to see our favorite superhero played by a man who cant act to save himself; ben affleck is a great director but as an actor he lacks range; and this new portrayal needs to be cast right and seeing as how batman vs superman has only just recently been announced I think they should have taken a bit longer to find the right actor; BEN AFFLECK AS BATMAN IS WRONG; it is a bad casting decision no matter which way you slice it;
    and comparing him to keaton is wrong as well; this is the age of comic book movies and the heroes coming straight from the story arcs of the likes of frank miller and joss whedons xmen; I like ben I really do but he is not comic hero materiel he belongs behind the camera or in front of it in a christmas movie in july. The man we really need and the man we deserve to play BATMAN is Jim Caviezel

  13. Matt Nord says:

    You forgot to mention that Affleck already had his turn at playing superhero, and failed miserably.

  14. Ben says:

    It would be a better movie if Ben was directing it, not acting in it

    • MsKitty says:

      Just wait for the standalone Batman movie for that…actually, he will be acting AND directing…and possibly writing…let’s hope he also writes the JLA movie…

  15. Ben Affleck says:

    I think he’ll be a great Batman.

  16. Marky says:

    What was your initial reaction when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker? Be honest now!

    • Keith says:

      Nothing on the tv last evening except The Dark Knight,so had no choice but to watch it.Was surprised by the good work done by Caine & Freeman.Bale….not so much.Ledger…….was as horrible as I had suspected all along.Afflek is a downgrade in front of,OR BEHIND,the camera!

  17. David says:

    Back to pow, afflek has already killed one super hero franchise (dare devil!) he will kill batman too. The choice needed to be more in line with batman a current movie incarnation from the last trilogy. Afflek is a good actor but this is not a role for him. Someone like Fassbender was needed?

  18. adsfasdfasdf says:

    Affleck is a joke. He was overexposed 10 years ago and even though he’s disappeared we still see too much of him. As for this Batman vs Batman crap, all of the old Batmans are excellent, and Burton’s are the best. I find it laughable that now that Bales’ Batmans are over people are suddenly re-embracing Keaton. You guys are all children and will line up like sheep to see Bennifer growl. Amnesia much?

  19. John says:

    What disturbs me most is that you Brian took shots at your employer and at comic fans. Was this an article about Affleck’s casting as Batman or an editorial on how you feel about comics and films based on them. You strike me as a person who turns his nose up at the industry and feels that writing on the subject is beneath you and not worth your time.

  20. Alice says:

    I think Ben is a great actor even with some of his disappointing movies like Gigli, but all actors have those movies where you say what were they thinking. I also agree about the director comments. I think Michael Keaton made the best choice when leaving when Burton wasn’t going to do the next Batman; if any other director had done the first two batmans I don’t think Keaton would have been as good in the role. I just don’t think that Ben can deliver the sorta realistic approach that the last Batman trilogy and Man of Steel movies have done. I could be wrong. If they were trying to make a controversial decision to get people to watch; well it worked on me cause I will be there opening night to watch it. If I’m wrong well I will be the first to admit it.

    • PS says:

      Well, if you’re wrong, by the time you realize it, it won’t matter… you will already have done the favour to WB and thanked them for totally miscasting Batman by paying to see it in the cinema. Well done.

  21. RC says:

    I can understand people’ doubt. Although Affleck is an OK actor and an exceptional director; he just lacks the darkness that IS Batman. When Bale got the role people loved the idea, as they saw him in American Psycho and the film Machinist also showed that Bale is very capable at playing dark characters and let’s be honest he’s scary as Batman ought to be. Bale is handsome but not at all cuddly and likeable which makes him a great fit.

  22. Deni says:

    Wow, the author of this article is kind of a douche. People can object to ANYONE they want. Just because you are obviously in desperate need to be bros with Affleck, that does not justify your insulting people who hate him. He is a talented directed. His movies will win many more awards once he stops putting himself in them. He should stop ruining all films. He had his shot at being a superhero, and his white trash southie demeanor was enough to make the world want him to disappear forever. For some of us, even a grown woman like me who enjoys the comic to this day, Batman is sacred. Ben Affleck is not. You cannot compare Michael Keaton because at the time, there were no Batman movies. Now we have had many, and we have seen what works and what doesn’t. Those of us who love Batman (not Christian Bale, not George Clooney, but Batman) know he isn’t going to work. So keep your sanctified ass shut. You know you just write for a nothing little magazine in LA right? Don’t over think your career and your position in the world.

  23. T. Norris says:

    Some of these comments supporting Ben Affleck sound too similar, and sometimes redundant. Wouldn’t be surprised if they turned out to be “fake” posts written by an army of Hollywood “Assistants” hired by the Actor, his Publicist, and/or the production company behind the next wave of Batman Movies. I also criticize all the comments claiming “…he’s a great Director…” Sorry, but people who direct well often don’t “take” direction well. If the Director is a Painter, and an Actor is PAINT. It’s difficult to make a masterpiece when the freakin’ paint is talking back to the Painter. This is ONE more reason Ben Affleck would make a terrible Batman. You don’t need some crappy actor barking back at the Director on how to make his/her films. This is the true reason why he’s had so many BOMBs. Again, you guys let him ruin a Marvel Comic Character and now you’re going to let him ruin a DC Comic Character? Please learn how to hire the right people.

  24. Steve K says:

    Well said man. Everyone is jumping on the “Ben sucks* bandwagon because of Daredevil. That movie was poorly written and made. Ben’s performance was solid. It was as good as anyone could have done given what he had to work with. Superman v Batman is going to well-made from start to finish and I expect Affleck’s performance will be excellent or better.

    Will any of these whiners apologize when that happens? I doubt it.

  25. IHateAFFleck says:

    FTW we want bale

  26. Stop comparing actors. Each of them was a different version of Batman, as Ben Affleck will. Bale was Batman for Nolan, Affleck is Batman for Snyder, who knows what the story will be, let’s just wait and see the outcome.

  27. Elliot says:

    It’s hard to comment for other fans of Batman, as they may have varying views as to their displeasure at hearing Affleck being cast in the role, however for me, I was more nervous than anything. Casting the mind back to as far as Daredevil, gives you sufficient reason why. The film was an absolute failure, an much of this was due to Affleck’s performance (though not all).

    The other element, is that I believe Affleck will be better than Keaton, and I fully believe he’ll be better than Kilmer and Clooney, but he won’t be better than Bale. I’m not Christian Bale’s biggest fan, however I do feel he is a superior actor to Affleck. There were other choices whom could provided a better performance.

    Lastly, I feel that those Fan-boys that Lowry so quickly criticises, have every reason to have a voice in regards to the selection of Batman. It’s not just the movies providing a reference for the fans, it’s the games, it’s the comics, it’s the pop culture expos that the fans attend each year. Have more respect, Lowry, as many of those same fans would be better qualified than many of the people in Hollywood, to judge the appropriate Batman, who will extend one of their most beloved characters’ story, well into the future.

  28. Simon says:

    Y can’t they use christen bale as batman he makes a good 1

    • Akabane says:

      Because Bale is done playing Batman. He doesn’t want to do it anymore. You really think they’d be looking for anyone else to play Batman if Bale was available?

      • ian says:

        they should continue with the already set in motion timeline it should be Gordon Levitt bale passed it on to him at the end of dark night rises he is the new batman

  29. Joey has it right. Burton’s batman (still the best batman in my mind forever, sorry Bale and Nolan) came to Keaton at a very early point in his career, and Burton was smart in his decision. As well, while I don’t like all Burton’s films, he knows who is right for what part.

    But Affleck is the same actor he was back in the 90s. He hasn’t progressed in his ability, he comes across smug and arrogant, at least Keaton had “something” and is still a fantastic actor.

    As for “oh come now, he will be great in a superhero role!” See: Daredevil and as for acting prowess, see: every other fraking movie he has been in.

  30. Eric says:

    To give credit where credit is due, Argo was an amazing movie. Good Will Hunting was insightful and funny and hopeful. That being said, Changing Lanes also happened. There are actors put into roles and it is inspiring like having RDJ as Iron Man. But sometimes Gigli happens and for Mr. Aflec it’s happened a lot. He has talents but Bruce Wayne and Batman is not believable. There is a duality to the character that this particular actor just has not proven capable of portraying. For Batman, each villain is a reflection of a certain Batman Trait. Joker is the Chais to Batman’s order. Riddler tests Batman’s Intelect, Bane tests his strength, Two Face openly mocks the internal conflict between living as Bruce and Batman and the list continues. Superman is the embodiment of hope, the ideal we strive to achieve and Batman is the reality of despair, of the sacrifice it takes. In every Ben Aflec movie, his character is Ben Aflec with minor changes. Audiences don’t want to see Anybody pretend to be Bruce Wayne or some imitation of Batman. Simple fact is, if the movie is made with honest respect to the source instead of placating to what’s considered marketable, then the movie will break every record in the book. If the focus is being marketable it may just break even. This could make Ghost Rider type money or worse yet Wolverine Origins type Money. Respect to the source and to the fans will make Avengers and Dark Knight money. While Ben Aflec may have the style and charm to be Bruce Wayne ish, I have yet to see him capable of being as cunning and menacing as Batman. My tip to Hollywood is this, nail those aspects, Batman is the Darkness evil men fear. Superman is the light good men strive to find within themselves. This role really should have gone to Jeffry Donavan or someone like him. Either way is fine. If its done well then we will be happy. If done horribly, well 3 years later it’ll be rebooted as if it never happened (cough, superman quest for peace/highlander 2 the quickening/superman returns, cough)

  31. Karen ward says:

    Frankly I loved Ben in Daredevil and In think he will be a GREAT BAtman!

  32. Dead In Hell says:

    It’s sad to see the increasingly hostile nature of entertainment journalism towards any audience that doesn’t receive news exactly the way you want them to. The 100k votes on that poll you put up, you handwave as “angry comic nerds”. But what if it agreed with your spin? Would it still be just a silly unreliable internet poll? No, you’d be referring to it as proof that the audience is receptive to Affleck as Batman. Instead you pretend that all of this backlash is just meaningless bluster from “comic book nerds”. Never mind the fact that Nolan’s trilogy made billions, and turned Batman into far more than the domain of comic nerds. Many fans of the character have never even read a comic. How about them, do they have the right to an opinion? Or will you find a way to discredit them too? Maybe you can call them “fanboys” and insult their living situation!

    If fans of the comics, and fans of the films don’t have any right to an opinion on this casting choice, then who does? Entertainment journalists? Ben Affleck’s celebrity friends? Why is it you only take a critical eye to the fans, and berate them? Why is there no piece on the sycophantic nature of hollywood insiders patting each other on the back?

    You will simply say whatever you need to in order to make the point you’re being paid to make. You’re a shill.

  33. Kyler says:

    After an examination of what Hollywood has to offer the only logical choice for Batman would be Ryan Gosling. Add Dark hair and you have your Batman. He does best not saying much at all and Batman is a quiet dude.

  34. Joey says:

    I’m sorry but this whole thing with comparing this to Michael Keaton is nothing but a distraction. Ben Affleck is far more along his career than Michael Keaton was at the time. If you count, Michael Keaton only had nine movies in his resume before he did Batman, Ben Affleck has 37. I think we’ve pretty much seen what there is to see with Ben. It’s nothing but a simple celebrity cash in, plain and simple. Stop defending the indefensible.

  35. Unimportant says:

    Bring his wife as well. I’m sure they can do for “Batman” the same as what they did for “Daredevil”. Good stuff, can’t wait.

  36. SusieQ says:

    I would agree that this is a tempest in a teapot,except for the fact that it isn’t the fanboys who think Affleck’s a terrible idea. At least half the fanboys are actively defending them. The problem is that the mainstream – rightly or wrongly – thinks that it’s a terrible idea, and it is going to take a lot of marketing money to change that. That’s not to say it can’t be done, just that the bar is going to be extremely high in terms of the film’s quality in order to justify making a casting decision that Marge in Oklahoma instinctively thinks is a bad idea.

  37. RJ says:

    Affleck bad casting for this movie? I’ll be the judge of that, thank you. Damning a movie before its made is just insane

  38. LenaAFoster says:

    I keep reading that Affleck is NOT a good actor. Oscar for best screenplay (check)…Oscar for Best Picture (as a director and writer) (check). Clearly by not giving him the holy Trifecta of a third Oscar for (best actor) (YET) the Academy is clearly trying to send a message to Ben that he needs to stop acting because he just isn’t all that good. LOL. (please detect sarcasm). I’m not a fan of Batman or Affleck. I just think that if the “story” is good, all will be fine. Here’s hoping Hollywood creates a good story for audiences to enjoy

  39. Sealy says:

    There are classics that Hollywood should not mess with. Any Hitchcock movie, Nay Cary Grant movie, Batman.
    Batman is the type of Superhero we wish we had in real life. He isn’t hokey, has integrity, grit, superb suit and toys, just all around cool. He’s believable. Therefore, the modern day role needs to be filled by an actor with similar believable qualities.
    Michael Keaton was a beloved Batman for that era. His are Classic Batman movies. Christian Bale is the modern day Classic Batman. He represents all that we Mad Batters want in our Superhero.
    If Bale won’t continue to play the role then future Batman movie ideas need to cease. Affleck is a fine actor but Batman he will never be no matter if he acts the role well. He just cannot be Batman. There’s a law against it in Gotham City, I’m sure.
    We don’t want pretend Batman; we want OUR Batman. We need our true Batman. He was/ a light of Hope in this yucky Hollywood muck. Until now.

    • PS says:

      Huh? No more Batman movies because Bale don’t want to do it anymore?? Are you retarded? Bale is not the end all be all of Batman actors. Geez. Batman is so much bigger than the actor playing him. It’s just that they should find an actor that’s right to play that part and Affleck is terribly miscast in that role. That’s all.

  40. Brandon says:

    What the writer of this article is to thick to realize is that when Keaton put on the suit there was nothing to compare it to in 30 years. Now we have the best trilogy of all time that will be only 3 years old with the best Batman being replaced with someone that does not fit the part.

    • Adam Booth says:

      I think I agree with you and with Crystal Moore too; Keaton’s Batman completely rewrote the rules for Batman movies and super hero movies at the same time. If you weren’t wearing a rubber suit, the deal was off. Out went the spandex costumes and that was down to the success of Tim Burton’s Batman. I remember watching old Batman movies in black and white that were probably the last straight take on The Caped Crusader before Keaton’s.

      I haven’t actually seen Man of Steel yet, but I can’t see it as being much worse than Superman Returns. Way to desecrate the memory of the brilliant Christopher Reeve!

      To begin with I’m not a Ben Affleck fan. He was tolerable in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; but just barely. I think Matt Damon saved him there. Whatever Affleck’s other talents might be, I’d have much rather seen him in the director’s chair for this one, at least that way I don’t have to look at his smarmy face. I’m sorry but I will say Affleck sucks without having seen the movie; he’s made too many films unwatchable for me.

      And to Dhritiman; I say this.
      Common sense doesn’t come in to it, Sir or Madame. (your gender isn’t stated in your comment so you could be either.) If you had any common sense you wouldn’t waste your time writing a dumb and insulting comment like you did, insulting movie fans and comic book fans alike.
      Yes it is a movie, but I think Film Producers have an interest in keeping the existing fans of a character like Batman onside cause it’s them that might just come back and see the film again in the cinema during its run and they’ll buy the corresponding merchandise and memorabilia. It is they who care about a character whom they’ve taken an emotional and personal ownership of . Like previous movie duds and misfires have not been forgotten, like Val Kilmer’s Batman Forever, George Clooney’s Batman and Robin and Brandon Routh’s Superman Returns, they will be forgotten in fifty or a hundred year’s time, but for fans of the character who want to see their hero portrayed correctly , it’s a hurtful and long remembered slap in the face having their idol mocked in this way. It takes a long time for a movie to fade from society’s memory and in an age where numerous TV channels will repeatedly air said movies, it’s hard to ignore such a slap in the face.

      It’s fine if studios and their bosses don’t care about cinema goers opinions. They probably don’t care about the millions of dollars in merchandise and copyright fees they will miss out on if the movie isn’t a big enough hit with the existing fans of the character who might just want to invest their money in their own piece of the movie, let alone their own copy of the movie on DVD or Blueray or what ever medium they choose to enjoy the film again and again in their own home there after.

      As to whether Zach Snyder should direct should direct it is one for the movie producers. There are plenty of competent directors out there who might make a good stab at directing this film. Who knows; Affleck himself might make a half decent hash of directing it. But as far as paying good money to go see a movie staring an actor that turns my stomach and is an insult to my eyes , the way Mister Affleck is for me then that’s their stupid masochistic fault and their hard earned cash wasted. Personally I will not pay to watch and I’ll change the channel if it comes on the TV, goodness knows I’ve done it enough times trying to give Superman Returns another chance but finding it too awful to suspend my disgust, I switch sides. There are certain actors that will put me off a film for life and Ben Affleck is one of those actors. A certain actor’s presence in a movie has stopped me seeing a movie before and probably will again.

      I can’t say I know who James Badge Dale is. Maybe I’ll have to google his name and see if he’s right for the part; he may be perfect, I don’t know. But with reference to your last point, I hope no one “calms down” and that they tear down the fences of the home of the casting director responsible and give him or her (let’s not be sexist about this,) a damned good thrashing for this insult. Not only is it the American right to bitch about stupid decisions like this, as my man Abe says – it’s the goddamned human right of every cinema going and video watching soul on Planet Earth. After all it’s our money we’d be wasting going to see turkeys like these . I just hope Henry Cavil is up to the task of supporting the film despite the miscasting of Ben Affleck.

      (Rant over and out)

      • MsKitty says:

        Since you’re so accomplished and successful at casting movies, perhaps you should go get a job in Hollywood…

    • Crystal Moore says:

      I couldn’t have said what just said better myself!

  41. Bratman says:

    Whatever, it’s not like Man of Steel was a good movie to begin with.

  42. Brian says:

    People also complained over Daniel Craig as 007. Seems like he has done pretty well once we saw him!

  43. Todd says:

    Michael Keaton is an amazing actor, which is why he was able to be accepted as Batman after his performance. Ben Affleck is awful; he truly lacks stage presence. He’s a used car salesman. RIP Batman.

  44. Jack says:

    My only problem is Affleck should be directing it over the Hack that is. Also Keaton wasnt the best Batman. Hell Kevin Conroy was the best and he just used his voice. I not going say Affleck sucks until i see it.

  45. Chap says:

    This article is pretty spot on, but I differ on Keaton’s performance in Batman. He created the raspy duality of Wayne’s Batman, and no actor since has deviated from it- including Christian Bale who portrayed arguably the most beloved Batman incarnation to date. Nicholson, though, as did Ledger, stole the show.

  46. Joe d says:

    Oh and for any people that want to read an amazing piece of fiction. Pick up the wanted comic book by mark millar. The REAL premise was a put down man finds out his dead beat dad is dead. And it turns out his dad was a super villain with only one super power. The ability to just stop people from living, his name was the killer. The young man is brought into his dads organization of super villains, whom had secretly taken over the world years ago after realizing one true premise. For every super hero their is at least 5 other villains trying to kill him or her. What if they all got together and just said fudge it? One of the most bad azz comics to be written. So read it and find out why the movie was so freaking disappointing.

  47. Carl R White says:

    No, I do not think our society is obsessed with celebrities and entertainment at the expense of truly understanding anything that actually matters in our world. No, not at all.

  48. Joe d says:

    Here’s all anyone needs to understand about this issue. Keaton wasn’t a huge star when he got batman, neither was Henry caville. The true great superhero movie performances come from either an unknown actor or someone playing against stereotype. But the constant was that they were all talented actors. Ben is perfectly fine for a lot of things, he really truly is. However he had a turn at trying to play a comic book character as daredevil and he failed miserably! Say what you want about the director but a block of wood with a hole cut out for the mouth could have stood in for Ben in daredevil. Almost everytime An a list actor has stood in a leading role as a comic character they have failed. Halle berry cat woman, Angelina Jolie wanted, George clooney batman, everyone in fantastic four. The problem is is that they bring their status and not their chops to the role. And in the end the script gets rewritten for them and not the story. So if Ben wants to step up, fine. But he needs to act, not make a paycheck. And yea I have eyes I can tell when they try, it’s actually really obvious. And you all know it too when you leave the theater and say “yea the movie was alright but that one dude was pretty freaking awesome”. That’s why we fanboys aren’t thrilled at all about this news.

    • MsKitty says:

      George Clooney was not a household name nor was he considered “A-list” at the time he was cast as Batman. He was only really known for ER at that time…people keep making this mistake…it’s annoying. -_-

  49. Dhritiman says:

    Everyone commenting here is taking this far too seriously and the only reason I’m commenting is the hope that common sense prevails. To begin with, it’s just a movie so it’s absurd that people take it so seriously. Studios do not care about your opinions, so accept it and move on. Clearly the studio believes it’ll make money off this movie because whatever happens it’ll make at least a billion dollars at the box office, guaranteed. Even the people who disagree with Affleck’s casting will turn up, which is what WB wants eventually. If they wanted to make a genuinely good movie, they wouldn’t get Zack Snyder to direct. And Affleck to star. While he’s proven himself a talented director, he is not a good actor (not since his Kevin Smith days, anyway). All this is to say that whatever happens, WB have made an investment in Affleck. Whether people like it or not, they will pay to watch and WB will churn out more sequels which get weaker and weaker. It’s the movie BUSINESS. Having said that, for the sake of debate, I believe James Badge Dale might have been a good Bruce Wayne. I don’t say Batman because that’s irrelevant. Christian Bale, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer – all were insignificant as soon as they pulled on the cowl/ growl. No studio has the guts to kill off a Batman, making him practically invincible on screen. It’s the Bruce Wayne part of his schizophrenic mentality that’s truly interesting. Anyway, calm down everyone and brace yourselves for the drop in standards, just like the laughable TDKR and MoS. Cheers.

    • Abe says:

      Shut up! It’s the American right to bitch about stupid decisions like this. Who plays Batman is relevant because the actor has to be able to act through the costume. One reason Keaton and Bale did such a great job and Kilmer and Clooney sucked. All four were very good Bruce Wayne’s. Only two were good Batmen. These are characters that “fans” have helped to succeed. It’s the “fans” who are out there paying money to follow Batman in his monthly adventures at the comic store or paying money to support their childhood hero at the theaters. Ultimately, picking someone like Affleck is a huge fuck you to the loyal fan base. Another reason why Marvel?Disney trump DC/WB everytime.

    • PS says:

      Yeah, because of douches like you, who say “ah, it’s only a movie, it’s not that important” and go the cinema’s despite the miscasts, uncreative storylines and crappy movies that are released year after year, nothing will ever change. If people would speak with their wallets and boycott miscasts like Affleck as Batman, they probably would try harder next time.

      • PS says:

        Ah yes… all movies are fine, all studio decisions are fine… it’s just the audience that sucks. Right. You can await a check from the movie industry in your post box.

      • scm says:

        All this typing about how awful the castings & their movies are. WB is all about business. Blah blah blah. When are you idiots gonna write, cast, & direct movies? The problem is not with movies. They’re fine. It’s folk who completely failed at life. Rather than admit it, you wanna bring down successes like WB, their actors &n movies. Losers.

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