I recently wrote about ten moments that gave fanboys a bad name. Well now I’d like to add a belated eleventh spot to that list because the Batman fans are at it again, thanks to the latest announcement about the impending reboot of the character
On the 23rd of August, it was announced that Ben Affleck (Director of Argo and co-writer of Good Will Hunting) has been cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the upcoming Superman/Batman crossover film. But it seems that, amongst comic book fans, Affleck’s performance in the poorly received Daredevil film of 2003 is still lingering over his career because it’s safe to say that this casting decision has gone down well as a plate of veal chops at a PETA rally.
As you’d expect, the fan rage has erupted in the more predictable ways such as Facebook groups, YouTube videos, and angry forum posts; but the Affleck casting has caused some fans to go beyond standard futile anger and to start actively trying to convince Warner Bros to recast the role by introducing petitions into the mix. Which will make about as much difference as trying to change the course of a missile by shooting at it with an air rifle.
A fan named John Roden from Ludlow, Kentucky has started a petition on change.org demanding that Warner Bros recast the role which, at the time of writing, has over 22,000 signatures. Change.org is a website that was created to draw attention to serious issues like Russia’s institutionalised homophobia and other injustices. Not for fanboys to rant about a casting decision they disapprove of before the film is even made.
But most astounding of all is that somebody tried to petition the White House to intervene and make it illegal for Ben Affleck to play the Caped Crusader or any other superhero for the next 200 years. That petition has since been removed thanks to a much welcomed attack of sanity from the White House website’s managers. A large part of me thinks (and hopes for that matter) that this particular petition might have been a parody but I wouldn’t put it past at least one person to make such a petition sincerely.
But this isn’t exactly a new phenomenon since petitions were circulated in the late 1980s after Michael Keaton was cast in the role for Tim Burton’s Batman film, and there was significant grumbling from fans decades later when the late Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Both of whom went on to be very well received after the angry fans paused for breath and actually watched them play the characters. And it’s highly likely that this will be the same for Ben Affleck. Good luck to him and I hope that he proves the doubters wrong.
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