Ben Affleck – Daredevil, The Joker principle, Replacing Bale

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 18 hours, you’ll probably be aware that Ben Affleck has been cast to play Batman/Bruce Wayne in the conceivable DC Cinematic Universe future, starting in 2015 in Superman vs Batman.

His latest directorial effort, Argo, which he also starred in, won Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards. Not bad.

DAREDEVIL

Of course, Mr Affleck is known in the superhero world for his God-awful attempt at Daredevil. In fairness, he was decent in the role, but the script and the plot were awful and the film was critically panned.

That was in 2003. More recently, the man himself said: “Daredevil I didn’t (like) at all.”

Sums it all up, really. It takes some serious bat-balls on his part to agree to take the role of the Caped Crusader, considering he became somewhat of a laughing stock of the genre.

THE JOKER PRINCIPLE

You probably know where this is going, and I like to call it the ‘The Joker Principle’.

In July 2006, a man by the name of Heath Ledger was cast to play arguably Batman’s greatest adversary, The Joker. A man who, by that point in his career, had some good films to date (10 Things I Hate About You, A Knight’s Tale, Brokeback Mountain), but nothing to suggest he would dip into the superhero genre.

This was barely a percentage of the reaction –¬†http://oyster.ignimgs.com/wordpress/stg.ign.com/2013/08/Heath-Backlash-610×1050.jpg

Of course, we all know the rest – Ledger went on to put in possibly one of the best performances in film history, and won a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, and probably every other accolade possible.

It was undoubtedly a risk by Chris Nolan et al. to cast Ledger, but because of the backlash, the size of the risk was blown wildly out of proportion. The Aussie actor wasn’t the first risk ever taken by a studio, and it was certainly not the last.

On the flip side, there have been somewhat safe bets by studios that haven’t paid off. An example that springs to mind is Pierce Brosnan being cast as James Bond in 1994. He had shows like Remington Steele behind him, and was pretty much proven in the genre.

He started well, GoldenEye was brilliant and hugely successful, but the films went downhill very quickly after that and it was clear a new 007 was required.

Basically, my point is that studios take risks all the time, Affleck and Ledger included, but they shouldn’t be singled out.

REPLACING BALE

In a slightly related follow-up point, whoever was cast as Batman for the DCCU (DCU? DC-CU?) was going to face this response. Even if a geek God like Nathan Fillion had been cast, I would strongly wager there would have been complaints saying he was too well-known, or maybe he was too old.

Why? Because Christian Bale superbly portrayed Bruce/Batman in one of the greatest film trilogies of all time, The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Following the Brit was going to be a tough ask anyway, but playing him just three years after The Dark Knight Rises just makes it even more difficult for Affleck.

THE TWELFTH DOCTOR

If you’ll be so kind as to cast your minds back to just a couple of weeks ago, the BBC announced that Peter Capaldi would be replacing Matt Smith as the Doctor in Doctor Who.

Capaldi, best known for his role as the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, wasn’t an obvious choice for the Time Lord. But cast he was, and unsurprisingly faced some backlash from hardcore fans and casual viewers alike.

The Scotsman was also in the wonderful Torchwood: Children of Earth series, and he was bloomin’ excellent in it.

Once again, this was going to be a tough act to follow because Smith was so popular, but he’s still months from playing the Doctor and already people are judging him. Which leads me on to my next point…

WHY?!

Why? Why is everyone judging people before they’ve even got close to stepping into the role.

Yes, he (Affleck here) might turn out to be an awful Batman/Bruce Wayne. But just as easily, especially with the crew they have behind the DCCU (Zack Snyder, Chris Nolan, Emma Thomas etc.), he might be the best thing since sliced bread.

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