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Commentary: Ben Affleck a decent choice for Batman

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Actor and director Ben Affleck, who directed and starred in 2013 Academy Award Best Picture winner 'Argo,' will star as Batman in Warner Bros. 'Man of Steel' sequel. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Actor and director Ben Affleck, who directed and starred in 2013 Academy Award Best Picture winner ‘Argo,’ will star as Batman in Warner Bros. ‘Man of Steel’ sequel. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Thursday it was announced that Warner Bros. upcoming “Man of Steel” sequel will feature Ben Affleck in the role of Bruce Wayne. The pushback to this news was extraordinary as the media exploded with indignation at the idea of anyone other than Christian Bale playing Batman. However, I believe that Affleck is an acceptable candidate to play Batman.

The reason people are upset about Affleck taking over the reins as the Batman is in large part due to people’s love of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy. No actor, with the exception of Bale who already turned down the role, would have been met with approval by the general populace. The widespread popularity of Nolan’s version of Batman, as well as the still-fresh memory of “The Dark Knight Rises” film still prevalent in people’s minds, makes it difficult to imagine any other actorT taking on the part.

As for Affleck himself, he has been on a great run of making excellent films. Since 2009, he has appeared in the criminally underrated “State of Play,” he directed and starred in the fantastic crime thriller “The Town” (2010) and he directed and starred in 2013’s Best Picture Oscar winner “Argo”(2012), one of my favorite movies from the past decade. Yes, his last stab at a superhero movie was terrible. “Daredevil” (2003) was a disaster on par with Nicolas Cage’s “Ghost Rider” (2007) and Seth Rogen’s “The Green Hornet” (2011). However, I believe that Affleck has developed a great deal as an actor since his “Daredevil” and “Pearl Harbor” (2001) days. If we can forgive Chris Evans for his flop in both “The Fantastic Four” movies and accept him as a believable Captain America, then we can give Affleck another chance at being a superhero.

My question for Batman fans is such: If not Bale or Affleck, then who can play Batman? Matt Damon has moved away from big action roles, Ryan Gosling doesn’t have enough of a tough edge to him, and Jeremy Renner lacks the acting chops to pull it off. Perhaps Josh Brolin could do a good job with the part, but I would be no more excited about him taking the role than Affleck.

I am not very excited about Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” sequel due to my underwhelming response to the first film. But Affleck as Batman is not a reason to bash the movie already. He is a true Hollywood star who had the courage to take on a big project that he most likely knew he would receive backlash for. I think he should be commended, and I look forward to seeing his take on the Dark Knight. Thursday, it was announced that Warner Bros. upcoming “Man of Steel” sequel will feature Ben Affleck in the role of Bruce Wayne. The pushback to this news was extraordinary as the media exploded with indignation at the idea of anyone other than Christian Bale playing Batman. However, I believe that Affleck is an acceptable candidate to play Batman.

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