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Ben Affleck Will Be An Awesome Daredevil Playing Batman

September 15, 2013


There’s a resonance that high-profile actors bring to any new role they play. It tinges whatever they do with whatever they’ve done. We loved it when Jack Nicholson was announced to play the Joker because that dude from The Shining would make a kick-ass super villain. And who wouldn’t want to see a Lakers-crazed sideliner go berserk in LA?

Likewise, the DC universe welcomes resonance. Parallel worlds thrive there. The wiki page for the list of “Multiverse” Batmans ticks off a myriad of Dark-ish Knights. There’s a Nazi enforcer on Earth-10 and a Russian anarchist on Earth-30 and some other Bat version on all the Earths in between.

I find it hilarious that the Batnerd brain of the average fanboy can easily digest all this plurality, but mention Affleck as the next real life guy to don the cape and prance around in front of rolling cameras and look out! Geeks everywhere go into a kerfuffle so violent all the pens in their shirt pockets rain down to their saddle shoes.

The hub-bub is due to a bipartisan no-no created by Affleck’s former role of Daredevil. It’s a violation of brand loyalty. You see, Batman is from the DC universe (where Superman and Wonder Woman hang out) and Daredevil is from the Marvel universe (where the Hulk, X-Men, Avengers, and Spiderman reside). Although the superfan can comfortably accommodate fifty or more parallel DC universes, any overlay of Batman and his nearest corporate copycat in the Marvel world is not only verboten but it also leaves one feeling absolutely no schadenfreude for the now scandalized geek who, as result, suffers from soul-killing waldeinsamkeit (another awesomely cruel German word referring to that condition of being absolutely alone in the deep, dark woods—creepy).

Well, there’s no reason for us to follow suit–skintight and stretchy. In fact, in the parallel universes that Hollywood resonance readily supplies, there’s more than enough room in Batman Town, Earth 91601 (Hollyweird’s zipcode).

There, you’ll find a young Tom Cruise making like a big man in a locker room full of fighter pilots. He leans in close to Batman’s face and says: “That’s right! Ice…man. I am dangerous.” To which the Dark Knight launches his dental defense device, a cool maneuver misunderstood for years, made up of tiny grappling hooks embedded in his teeth.

And of all the moments involving the Batman who leads those eleven thieves to steal from that casino, my favorite is the one where he invites that woman he’s been having an affair with down to the basement where he’s been doing some kinky Batcave remodeling, saying: “You sit down there, make yourself comfortable, put your feet in the stirrups, and…” Then Batman reveals the sex chair he’s built and the lady sheriff from Fargo says (quite unexpectedly and with a hint of admiration): “Oh my God.” That scene ‘burned after watching’–my eyes, that is. They were stinging with glee! I knew Batman could build stuff, but that chair “bakes” the cake.

Also on a different Bat Chanel but in the same Bat sandbox, there’s another Batman surrounded by knee-slappingly funny flappers from the 1920s. He’s just hung a guy on a hook who says, “You shouldn’t hang me on a hook Batman. My mudda hung me onna hook once… Once.” Batman chews some gum he takes out of a cigarette case with a brass bat on it and walks coolly off.

There’s another Batman standing in an apartment with sheets covering the furniture. He’s talking to a guy in a suit, who’s obviously weirded out by Batman’s manic tone: “Do you like Huey Lewis and the news?” The guy in the suit can’t see what happens next, but we do. Batman has gone into another room still manic about Huey Lewis. He’s pulled on a cellophane slicker over the steel grey mask and cowl. It’s the kind of unnecessary accessory that screams superhero psycho.

And I don’t mind any of these shifts. They’re all “part” for the course, as my friend says who gets sayings wrong all the time. They’re all blessings in the sky, as he would say. And all this hubbub over Affleck as another Batman is just a bunch of tempers in a teapot. There’s room for another set of Batman resonances. The more to marry her. Why not add some Batmans who wear beards and pretend to be making movies in Iran after standing in the background of a Southie bar making some “pahk yah cah in Hahvad yahd” small talk just before pulling a nun’s habit over the Batsuit and robbing a Boston bank, cape and habit blowing heroically, draggily behind him? Why not? For all intensive purposes, it’s one in the same. No need to nip that bat in the butt.

From → Pop Culture

  1. Interesting ‘theories.’ Let’s stick to the facts: noone has a problem with a superhero crossover, I’m a Batman maniac – we do care who portrays the Dark Knight(we knew Clooney was a bad choice). Our greatest fear is someone who can’t(have never) summon the coldblooded emotion Batman needs; we don’t want a softie in a cape, we need an executioner(Vin Diesel!!). Even as Daredevil he was still a softie. We have no say in the matter, we can only hope he brings the juice.

  2. Thanks for waldeinsamkeit. I’m going to have to figure out a way of using that word.

    While I am definitely a “geek” I find that I don’t have that much rage over the choice of the new Batman. Mostly because I understand that any big name they announced that wasn’t Christian “Gargling with Glass” Bale would create pretty much the same firestorm.

    I believe it was the immortal Bugs Bunny who said, “Eh, whats all the hubbub, bub?”

    I’ll wait and reserve my judgement on Affleck’s (does anyone else say his name in the Gilbert Gottfried duck voice?) performance. Assuming I watch it, as I am far from being a Batman fan.

    Heresy, I know.

    Let the rage and flagellation commence!

  3. I don’t care, so long as that bloke with the fake Cockney accent doesn’t parachute in from Ocean’s 11. Every time he opens his gob my toes curl.

    • I know. And yet, as an American, I think it’s just not fair how absolutely perfectly so many from the UK can do just about any regional American accent–I’m thinking of the guys from Ray Donovan and Homeland. Why are most Amis so marble-mouthed with other English but non-Ami accents?

      • Well, I’m no expert, but I’ve been wandering around the house talking cockney, ( Do what? How’s the nipper?) and then having a go at American, and I reckon it’s because we Brits tend to stress our syllables, even when they’re vowels, whereas you guys generally have a very relaxed way of speaking. Much easier for us to loosen our voices, than for you to tighten up. The only famous American I know who could pass for English is Meryl Streep. However, here is a very easy way of sounding like an upper class Brit. Just say, air, hair, lair. Got it? Hello to you too!

      • Now you’ve got me speaking in tongues. Mickey Roarke in “A Prayer for the Dying” is the worst Irish accent I’ve ever suffered through in a film. And I actually liked him as an actor at the time.

      • Yes, and what about Tom Cruise’s Irish accent in Far and Away? Terrible. I always thought Michael Caine’s accent in Zulu was a bit bizarre, although I can forgive him anything because he is such a fabulous actor. And don’t lets get started on the French and Germans; they must be so fed up with people doing all these cod accents. For you, Tommy, ze war is over…Hah!

    • Real Cockney accents are THE BEST!

  4. Nice post, Michael. I agree with you that the “bleed” between actor and character (and an actor’s former character roles) is potentially enriching, especially in the case of superheroes, where it extends the basic doppelgänger/double-identity thing they’ve got going on anyway. Like you point out, that’s the weird thing about this kind of scandalized reaction to casting decisions: it’s like a certain type of fan is willing to accept the numerous proliferations (alternate worlds, what-if scenarios, multiple identities), but for some reason doesn’t want them invading the non-diegetic (i.e. our) world beyond the stories (or vice versa). There’s some kind of weird otherworldliness involved here, a weird theological reverence that judges this world somehow hopelessly inadequate. To each his own religion, I guess, but the Nietzschean in me feels (far from simply condemning the religious impulse) that this separation of spheres somehow just doesn’t do justice to the pulpy medium from whence superheroes spring — a medium that in many ways turns on the contiguity of frames (panels, books, story worlds, etc.) and the possibility of an almost promiscuous sort of contact between otherwise discrete realms (criminal/vigilante, civilian/mutant, my own lifeworld/the worlds of the comics, etc.). It’s not like I’m a fan of all the superhero movies that have come out in recent years (there are some ideological disasters among them…), but I think that clinging to a notion of comics-derived authenticity is pretty much pointless. Let the worlds proliferate…

    • Yes, on all counts. Yes. I’m particularly struck by your suggestion of a theological model of nearly monkish devotion to an unsustainable construct of authenticity.

  5. Monkish? That’s interesting. Do superheroes have sex? Thinking about it, they’re either romantically entanged with the girl next door type, who they then have to renounce and worship from a distance, or they get snaffled by some sexy superwoman in skin tight leather and a whip, who they have to subdue. Gosh, you men…

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