There’s a lot of people upset that Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman. I understand that some people have a large emotional investment in the Batman character, but it seems to me this is a bit like worrying about who is going to be a mail carrier before seeing how that person can do on the job.
Now, I do admit that I don’t much care for Ben Affleck. It isn’t that I don’t think he can act. Rather, it’s because of character residue. The first movie I ran across Ben Affleck in was Mallrats. In that, he played a character I was supposed to hate. I did. I hated him well enough that the emotional residue from that first role carried into my reaction to him in later roles. I just keep thinking of him as the guy from the Fashionable Male. It was the same thing for me as Ben Stiller and Reality Bites. Argo finally managed to erase some of that, but some of that residue still remains and I just don’t react well to Ben Affleck.
However, it isn’t like the Batman character hasn’t gone through a hundred different incarnations already. Somebody loved each embodiment, but somebody hated each. Certainly, no one can argue that the mild-mannered yet not really tormented Michael Keaton Batman wasn’t vastly different from the slapstick Adam West Batman, or that either weren’t completely different from the incredibly dark Batman of The Killing Joke or The Dark Knight Returns series.
No, it seems like there have been almost as many different kinds of Batman interpretations as there have been individual mail carriers in this country. That’s certainly an exaggeration, but it still remains that it isn’t like the Batman character essence hasn’t ever been messed with before. Let’s just see how the guy does. Personally, I probably wouldn’t go see the movie anyway unless my wife or one of my friends wants to see it and asks me along.