No Need to Hate on the Previous Batmen Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Date: December 19, 2015
What a difference two and a half years makes.
When the news broke back in August of 2013 that Ben Affleck was the new Batman on film, you could literally feel a disturbance in the Bat-Force. No, not from sane folks who generally keep an open mind, but from fanboys having an uber-meltdown because the guy from GIGLI had been cast – GASP! – Batman. Based on their logic, Ben Affleck once sucked in a Marvel film as Daredevil, so he would definitely suck as DC’s Dark Knight! (For the record, I do know there were some people who didn’t like the casting, handled it a mature way, and didn’t throw a conniption fit upon hearing the news.)
Some 28ish months later, this same group of fans are now declaring Mr. Affleck to be the greatest Batman on film in the history of, well, Batman on film. West, Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney (um...), and Bale? Pfft! Ben Affleck is king of the goddamn Batmen!
Of course, Mr. Affleck’s coronation is based on a few publicity images and three movie trailers…not that that matters or anything.
Look, Ben Affleck could well end up being the greatest Batman on film in the history of Batman on film. I’ve been on board with his casting since before he was cast. Yes, I actually suggested a young Affleck for the role back in the late 90s when there was talk of a YEAR ONE movie. I’m also on record as saying that Ben was my #1 choice to replace Christopher Nolan as the writer/director of the Batman film franchise. So on both counts, I’m kinda having my cake and eating it too. BUT…
I think it’s highly unlikely, but Ben Affleck could totally suck as Batman. Or, while his performance might be good, the portrayal of this particular Batman and Bruce Wayne could turn out to be a nightmare.
Based on a few publicity images and three movie trailers, we just don’t know either way.
Quite frankly, the fanboy anointing of Affleck as Emperor Batman isn’t surprising – ‘tis their way and expected. Unfortunately ‘tis also their way to take a big ‘ol dump on what came before – namely Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne in director Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight Trilogy.” I’m not going to go into detail here, but you all know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t 'cha? Just take a spin around social media and online fanboy message boards and you’ll get a good taste of it.
And that’s just sad.
Lest I remind you, “The Dark Knight Trilogy” is the most acclaimed and most successful run of comic book films, like, ever. Now, just because it isn’t the latest model, and shiny, fresh and new, it’s apparently become “cool” to dismiss it and throw trash on Bale’s turn as Batman in some circles.
Look, I’m not throwing stones at glass houses here, OK? I learned my lesson back when my ignorant-self said that Adam West’s Batman – for a lack of a better vocabulary back then – “sucked” after I saw BATMAN back in 1989.
Why in the hell would I say that?! Adam West was my Batman! Not only that, but the 1960s BATMAN TV series was my conduit into the world of Batman and the reason I’m such a fan of the character to this very day.
I was wrong.
I simply find it maddening that some fans feel the need to bash on Bale’s Batman when you know these same individuals had likely crowned him king just a few short years ago. Really, I shouldn’t be surprised. This behavior is no different when fanboys flip out (i.e. Michael Keaton, Heath Ledger, Anne Hathaway, and of course, Ben Affleck) over casting. I know I can’t change this type of fan behavior when it comes to this sort of stuff – gosh knows I’ve tried over the years. That sort of nonsense is best to ignore.
Rant over, thanks for listening and letting me get this off my chest.
Now, go get ‘em Batfleck!
A life-long Batman fan, Bill "Jett" Ramey
is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.
He likes Elvis, Rock-N-Roll,
The University of Texas, cold beer,
Dallas Cowboys Football, and of course...
He resides in the GREAT state of TEXAS with his lovely wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.