OPINION: It's Time For The Batfleck Era To End Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Date: November 24, 2017
For years, I’ve been one of Ben Affleck’s biggest fans.
His "Holden McNeil" is awesome. More importantly, he's one HELL of a writer and director.
Not only did I want him to take over directing duties from Christopher Nolan, but I always thought he’d make a great Batman. In fact, back in 1998-1999-ish, when there was talk of a BATMAN: YEAR ONE movie in the works, I thought a young Ben would be a helluva choice.
So, when he was cast as Batman back in 2013 – for BATMAN v SUPERMAN, not YEAR ONE – I was ecstatic! Not necessarily because he was the new Batman on film, but because I knew – I just KNEW – he’d write and direct the next solo Batman film.
I’m not going to rehash all the drama surrounding the “will he or won’t he?” when it comes to Mr. Affleck not only directing a solo Batman film (‘cause he ain’t), or whether or not he continues on as The Dark Knight in director Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN ('cause he's "contemplating it"). Frankly, I couldn’t care damn less at this point. In fact, I’m now of the opinion that Ben Affleck’s time in the Batcave NEEDS to be over.
Yes, The Batfleck has lost one of his biggest and most vocal supporters.
And you know what? Screw me and what I think, OK? The bottom line is that the mainstream couldn’t care less about this Batman. So, why in the hell would it be a “smart move” by the fine and smart folks at Warner Bros. to keep Ben on as Batman when this incarnation of the character – and DC on film in general (sans Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman) – is frankly toxic? How many folks within the mainstream movie-going audience are going to check out and say “No thanks,” to THE BATMAN as soon as they see Affleck’s back in the role?
The answer: A LOT, probably. (Just saw this happen with JUSTICE LEAGUE.)
Want proof? Well, the pudding says that every film he's starred as Batman has been either a box office or critical disappointment/failure...or all the above. If I had my druthers, I’d reboot the hell out of this mofo!
However, you don’t really (well, at least publically) have to do that, OK? The fact that they made the BvS/JL Batman in his mid-to-late 40s gives them an out if they kinda want to reboot, but also kinda don’t...sorta.
Answer: A PREQUEL(S).
Well, “prequels” in name only. Recast, and say that THE BATMAN – and any subsequent sequel(s) – are still “part of” the DC on film shared universe, but all the while, let them be their own damn thing – and I mean “their own damn thing” in terms of continuity, actors, and the aesthetic. Call it a “soft reboot” if you like, or don’t label it at all. Just make a damn good Batman movie and don’t worry about continuity and what came before – just pretend that you do.
And really y’all, by the time THE BATMAN 2 – or whatever the hell it’ll end up being called – hits theaters in 2025-ish (give or take), who is really going to give a flip that Warner Bros. and Matt Reeves actually rebooted the F’er from the get-go?
Answer: NO ONE.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to be EXCITED for Batman on film again. I want to wait on baited breath for every little morsel of information like…
“Who is the new Batman/Alfred/Commissioner Gordon?”
“What does the new Batsuit/Batmobile/Batcave look like?”
“Who is going to be the villain?”
And I'm also ready for a new Batman movie to be a damn EVENT again.
None of that is going to happen if THE BATMAN stars Ben Affleck and it’s set after the events of MAN OF STEEL/BATMAN v SUEPERMAN/JUSTICE LEAGUE.
I don’t care how “comic book accurate” Ben’s Batman looks like, the future of the cinematic Batman shouldn’t be contingent on aesthetics.
Since history has sadly repeated itself and Batman on film in 2017 is not much different than 1997, drastic changes are not only needed – they are a MUST.
If that requires Warner Bros. playing a DC on film continuity shell game to appease a certain segment of fans, so be it. Guess what? They'll get over it.
GOOD Batman on film > shared cinematic universe. #OldSchoolBOF - Bill "Jett" Ramey