As some of you might know if you follow me on there, I like Twitter. I like the way it comes alive when certain TV shows are on, the way people have conversations about anything and everything regardless of how geeky/controversial/mundane they are and generally like a lot of the people I come across on there. However, there are some occasions when I would gladly like to collectively bang the residents of the Twitterverse’s heads together too.
I found myself wanting to do this when I woke up yesterday morning and logged on Twitter to find the whole site abuzz with the news that Ben Affleck was to take on the role of Batman in the next Superman film. A lot of the reaction was not entirely positive – in fact there was a fair few who were apoplectic at the very thought of Affleck as the Dark Knight. Their reasons? Well he played a superhero in a film about ten years ago and it wasn’t very good. Then there was that really terrible film he did with Jennifer Lopez when he was all loved up with her, which was also about ten years ago. I mean, those are enough reasons to stop him from playing a character that is so iconic and loved right?
I must admit, I am not too bothered either way about the decision to cast Ben in the role. While I am a fan of Batman, I don’t really care much for the film franchise, being more of a fan of the cartoon and the 60s TV series as well as the comics themselves. However, it does get on my nerves when people start chucking their cyber toys out of the proverbial pram over someone who’s been given a prime acting role before they have even actually played it. Yes Ben Affleck was the lead in Daredevil. It was a poor film, but he wasn’t bad in it. He’d have been even better if the script wasn’t so dire. And Gigli was pretty much not the best career decision he ever made. But those films were made a decade ago. The actor who appeared in them is a different actor now (heck, he‘s an award-winning director now, too). In any case, you shouldn’t write somebody off just because they appeared in a few notable duds. Every great actor has one or two flops under their belt. It’s from doing them that they learn to be better actors.
In general, slating actors before they’ve even had a chance to prove themselves in the role they’ve taken is getting tiresome. You would think that people would have learned by now, given that most of those that have been slagged off prior to their appearance as a major character have turned out to be very good in the role. When Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker, the internet was full of cries of “EWWWWWW! THE PRETTY BOY FROM BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN AND A KNIGHT’S TALE?! HE CAN’T BE THE JOKER!” It turned out to be Heath’s best performance – and sadly, his last. When Daniel Craig was chosen to play James Bond, it was all “NOOOOO! HE CAN’T BE BOND, BOND IS NOT BLOND!” Yet Daniel helped give the franchise the kick up the backside it needed, and for me at least, he is now one of the best 007s – if not the best. The news that Matt Smith was to be the eleventh Doctor was met with horrid comments before he’d even donned his bowtie, all from a section of (mostly female) Whovians upset that they would no longer be able to swoon over David Tennant. And recently the news that Peter Capaldi was to take over from Matt had a small section of (mainly young, female) fans crying “EWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!! HE CAN’T BE THE DOCTOR HE’S OLD AND NOT CUTE!” This latter reaction made me want to hunt down every one of those fan girls, stick them all in a room and make them watch every available episode of the Hartnell, Troughton and Pertwee eras. Or any of the old school Whos even.
Only time will tell if Ben Affleck is the right man to play the Caped Crusader, or if Peter Capaldi will be the perfect Time Lord. Let’s all wait until the respective films and shows come out before we pass judgement on them or anyone else who suddenly finds themselves picked to play a major character and in the meantime, reserve our anger for things that really do deserve it, like the existence of Piers Morgan, Katie Hopkins and Big Brother.