#2. Ben Affleck Is Probably Not Going to Be the Most Unbelievably Ridiculous Thing About a Film Called Batman vs. Superman
That section title pretty much sums it up, but to elaborate, Batman vs. Superman already has much more potentially catastrophic things working against it than Ben "Surviving Christmas" Affleck. First of all, Man of Steel was decent, but by no means a game-changing hit. It made a fair amount of money, but barely broke even on everything they spent on production and advertising. Also, nobody really loved it -- the reception of both critics and fans pretty much maxed out at "Well, it was better than Superman Returns." That's generally not the type of praise you spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to achieve.
For example, we achieved Superman Returns levels of praiseworthiness just by showing this.
Second, Zack Snyder has never made a sequel before, and his movies have a habit of dramatically underperforming. As I mentioned, even Man of Steel didn't do quite the numbers that Warner Bros. and DC were hoping for, and yet they launched right ahead into an exorbitantly budgeted sequel. That's like having two birthday parties in the same weekend and expecting all of your friends to come to both of them, but to bring more of their friends to the second one so it has a better turnout.
Third, Superman himself is tough to get audiences to connect with. He's an invincible alien who always does the right thing. You can only have him hammer punch so many purse snatchers and stop so many plane crashes with his indestructible face before we run out of reasons to care -- it's hard to be on the edge of your seat when Superman is never really in trouble. Paradoxically, the storylines necessary to put Superman in harm's way tend to be so improbably absurd that we don't buy it. For example, kryptonite, Superman's primary weakness, is an element native to a planet that exploded decades ago on the far side of the fucking universe, and yet Lex Luthor always manages to find some as easily as buying a geode from the Nature Company.
"$29.95, and it came with free ladybugs!"
Finally, as Cyriaque Lamar beautifully pointed out, most comics wherein Superman and Batman fight are bafflingly ludicrous, with very little exception. Exactly how grounded in the non-absurd are we expecting this film to be? It's about a jauntily dressed interstellar superbeing battling a karate-genius billionaire orphan dressed up like a bat. I would not be at all surprised if some portion of the movie takes place on the fucking moon, and that will have way more of an impact on the film than Ben Affleck's presence. Batman wears a hood with a pair of motherfucking rabbit ears attached to it, and we're worried that the man underneath that hood is going to be too ridiculous to believe?
People were less outraged over the anti-Semitic overtones in Mel Gibson's The Killing of the Jesus, and that movie was about a real dude at the center of one of the most powerful religions in history. Batman vs. Superman is about two fantastical imagination men punching each other across a world of make-believe. Let's try to keep our feelings of personal injury and anguish in perspective.
Randall Michelson / Wireimage / Getty
At the very least, you'll get to watch a god hit this man's face in slow motion.
#1. Ben Affleck Is Probably Going to Be a Good Batman (At Least for Batman vs. Superman)
Instead of sending out knee-jerk Twitter jokes about Gigli and Daredevil that literally a hundred thousand people have already made, let's take a moment to actually consider what we know about Batman vs. Superman and how the casting of Ben Affleck affects it. If your brain is feeling a bit sticky, do some of those Bane vocal exercises we talked about earlier to help the process along.
If you have trouble doing the voice, just pretend you're a Jamaican stroke victim with half a kielbasa in your mouth.
It's kind of tough to zero in on anything specific, isn't it? That's because the truth of the matter is we don't know anything about Batman vs. Superman. Right now, I know just as much about that movie as I do about Richard Nixon's casket -- I can tell you who's in it, but that's about it.
Despite our loud insistence to the contrary, we have absolutely no idea what kind of movie Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. are trying to make. Ben Affleck might well be the perfect choice for the role, and we don't understand their decision because none of us have read the script treatment or sat in on any production meetings or had anything at all to do with the development of this movie. It's a hard thing to accept, I know, but it's entirely possible that we don't have any idea what we're talking about.
Christian Bale, months before playing a muscular ninja.
For example, maybe in this movie Batman is a famous but controversial figure who fiercely divides public opinion. Maybe he's a bit older and grayer than he was when he first got everyone's attention. Maybe he used to be well-liked, but after a series of public embarrassments and questionable actions, he's had to retreat from the spotlight for a while. Maybe he quietly let the public do what they needed to do with his image so he could continue working behind the scenes, achieving results that people appreciate but are reluctant to give him credit for. Maybe he feels like his work is more important than what people think of him.
Kind of sounds like Ben Affleck, right? Say what you will about Zack Snyder, the man rarely miscasts his movies. There has to be some reason why a room full of creative professionals and powerful executives, armed with a biblically gigantic budget and one of the most popular characters in history, decided to pick Ben Affleck over everyone else. Is it so crazy to think that that reason might, in fact, be a good one?
There's a reason they have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on Superman movies.
I'm not saying everybody is wrong for feeling hesitant about Ben Affleck as Batman, or that the movie is going to be any good. It could be a blustery, turd-speckled seafood fart. If Affleck sucks, I encourage everyone to tell me how wrong I was. I'm just saying that maybe it's time we all stopped acting like we're the only ones who know what's best for Batman, because clearly we aren't.
Tom can quote the entirety of Tim Burton's Batman from memory and owns Armageddon on VHS, although those things in no way influenced his opinion. Read his novel Stitches and follow him on Twitter and Tumblr.