When Warner Brothers announced that Ben Affleck had been cast as Batman in the next Superman film - the first live action pairing of the iconic heroes - it elicited a passionate response from fans, more negative than postive, including a petition which has amassed over 70,000 signatures. It’s not the first time a ‘Batman’ casting decision has caused such controversy.
In the late 80s, there was fan uproar when Michael Keaton was chosen to play the Caped Crusader in Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’. Keaton had been a stand up comedian and comic actor, known for the family comedy ‘Mr Mom’, and was thus seen as a terrible choice for the brooding Dark Knight. Across two films he would go on to become, in my opinion, the best Batman of them all.
More recently, fans were against the casting of the late Heath Ledger as The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’, derogatively referencing his role as a gay cowboy in 2005’s ‘Brokeback Mountain’. Ledger, who died before the film was released, was praised for his take on Batman’s greatest foe and deservedly won a posthumous Oscar.
Until the next film is out, it’s impossible to know how Affleck will do. If history has taught us anything, its that Batman fans should be open minded to casting decisions.