So, unless you live under a rock, you no doubt know that they have cast Ben Affleck as Batman for the Man of Steel sequel. Suffice to say, I’m not all that happy about this. I feel that, while Ben is a competent actor, he has no heroic screen presence, in my eyes. And every time he has tried to do “intense” it comes across as fake and just silly. To me, this precludes him from being a passable Batman, arguably the most intense mainstream comic book character this side of Frank Castle.
I would have much preferred Scott Adkins. As the founder of the Facebook group supporting his bid for the role pointed out, who better to play the DC world’s most competent martial artist than someone who is one of real the world’s most competent martial artists? Had Scott been cast, he would be the first martial artist to play Batman. And if you have ever watched any of his movies, he is a very good actor. At least as good as Ben, if not better.
But, what’s done is done. As I have not watched Man of Steel yet, I can no doubt wait for the sequel to hit NetFlix as well.
I have to say, the DC live-action movies have all been somewhat disappointing in presentation, after the original Batman and Batman Returns (1989, 1992) and Superman I & II (1978, 1980). Even Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, which were both good, had serious problems.
They are formulaic at their core. You get your origin story, then you get the standard villains; Lex for Supes, and Joker for Bats. And when they try to deviate from them, the films start to suck. This gives the studio execs (who are obviously certifiable morons) the false sense that for a Batman movie to work, it has to have the Joker, and for a Superman movie to work, it has to have Lex Luthor.
Both characters have such large rogues galleries, can’t they mine them for other villains? And can’t we start working on other DC characters? Where’s my Wonder Woman movie? Martian Manhunter? Hell, I’d even take a well-done Aquaman movie.
Meh, all of that being said, I’m still a Marvel guy. And in that arena, I am very happy. But, sometimes I feel sorry for my DC cousins. They can’t seem to get a fair shake in the live-action arena.