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Yes, Daredevil sucked. We can all agree on that. But how much of that leather clad train wreck was Affleck’s fault? The success of most of the current incarnation of comic book movies rely more on the directors than the actors portraying our favorite heroes. The reason for the success of the Dark Knight both critically and financially was Nolan. The reason for the success of the Avengers was Whedon.
The “director” of Daredevil has since gone on to helm such notable pieces of shit such as When in Rome and Ghost Rider a movie so painfully bad, it made me wistful for the cohesion and originality of Daredevil.
Affleck, however has gone on to produce the best work of his career, proving himself to be a competent and insightful director. The culmination of this was last year’s Argo, a great movie. Affleck managed to fill this story with nerve wracking suspense despite the fact that we all knew how it was going to turn out, all while delivering a nuanced performance. It won him the Oscar for Best Picture, and I feel he deserved it.
Affleck as Batman makes a ton of sense from a studio stand point. He is famous, has leading man qualities and his aforementioned directorial work brings a legitimacy to the role in the same way Amy Adams brings legitimacy to the role of Lois Lane. It is entirely possible that with 10 years distance from Daredevil, Affleck has learned much about not just movie making but about story telling, and he could potentially bring a lot to the role of Bruce Wayne.
What make no fucking sense to me is why the hell Affleck would say yes to this. The man is close friends with Kevin Smith. He knows nerd culture. He knows nerds have VERY long memories. How could he not know that the base audience would groan with frustration? This is World’s Finest, for chrissakes! It’s been anticipated for too long. The stakes are too high, and the opportunities for failure are limitless. And without the attention to detail and story telling abilities of guys like Favreau, Raimi, Whedon and Nolan, the chances of failing increase exponentially.
Affleck had just regained his legitimacy this past year with that Best Picture Oscar, while at the same time getting snubbed in the Best Director category. It was a great story. The one time golden boy of Good Will Hunting lost his way in the minefield of Hollywood, making bad career moves (Gigli) and even worse choices in his personal life (Gigli), only to climb back and achieve the highest award that the movie industry can bestow. And now he’s Batman? This is a role that almost wrecked George Clooney’s career. The character’s worst portrayal tanked the comic book movie for years.
He should be digging through the endless scripts that Hollywood won’t touch because there’s no video game tie in. He should make another Dennis Lehane book. Or bring back the Western. He could do that. Instead, he’s taking a huge risk on the guy who did 300 for a huge paycheck given to him by people who couldn’t figure out that they could attempt to continue the record breaking success of Nolan by casting Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Good luck, buddy. And go Sox!