While in Toronto last weekend, I only had internet access late and night and early in the morning. I went to the con on Thursday and lived my life in this weird information void where news could only be transmitted from human to human, or Canadian to human directly. With words. Actual mouth words. It was a slow and cumbersome analog form of communication that allowed WAY more than 140 characters. Still, not a single Internet wielding Canadian saw fit to fill me in on the day’s significant development in the world of cinematic geekery. When I got back to Andrew’s house that night I connected with his wifi, exhaled in a way that felt as if I had been holding my breath for 12 hours and asked Twitter if anything happened while I was gone.
The news poured out of my phone like a tsunami of nerd rage. “AFFLECK IS BATMAN!!! WHAT DOES ANYTHING EVEN MEAN ANYMORE?! DO WE STILL HAVE A GOVERNMENT?! A WORLD?! CAN MATT DAMON BE NIGHTWING BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE PRETTY SWEET?!?!” I popped out a few sarcastically outraged tweets (which, come the next morning, would have gained some popularity), and went to bed fairly confident that this casting revelation was, in several words, extremely very bad news.
Over the next couple of days I saw a ton of hate online directed toward Batfleck. “He’s going to ruin Batman like he ruined Daredevil!” “Ben Affleck is great in somethings and bad in others! How can he Batman if not perfect always!?” “Gigli was a movie that made me throw up with anger and he was in that movie and he didn’t help me clean up the throw up!” A pattern was becoming apparent. The reactions all smelled of nerd fear. Nerd fear is different than nerd rage. Nerd fear comes from a place of hurt. Of past betrayal. Batman movies have been unkind to nerds (and humanity in general) in the past, and nerds were afraid again that Batman (a character who has been elevated via cinema over the last almost-decade) was about to betray them again.
My initial, honest, snark free reaction was, “It’s Bat-Clooney all over again! This guy is Hollywood royalty, he LOOKS just like Bruce Wayne ought to look and he has NO BUSINESS playing the ACTUAL Batman.” Then I realized that this Batman movie was ACTUALLY a Superman movie. More accurately a sequel to Man of Steel. A movie that was pretty god damn terrible, all things considered. Those things being !!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!! the story, the completely unnecessary way Pa Kent dies, the desolation of Metropolis at the hands of Superman himself, the character assassination of Superman at the hands of Superman himself in that he used those hands to assassinate Zod and toss his entire what-Superman-is-all-about deal out the window, the fact that America and the world do not consider him an uncontrollable threat and banish him from Earth at the end, the story, the writing, the story… I could go on. !!!END SPOILERS!!!
Affleck might actually be the best possible thing to happen to a Superman franchise that, so far, has left me hating their Superman. And Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor? This is a performance I have got to see. Talk about being in the “empire business.”
Have you seen my wife’s latest geeky jewelry creation? MOTHER EFFING LIGHTSABRE NECKLACES AND EARRINGS!
COMMENTERS: How do you feel about the Batfleck casting? If not him, then who? Well, OF COURSE Jon Hamm, but who else? Just Jon Hamm? Really? Ok, you’re right. He should ALSO play Superman because he should have all along, you say? Man, you are a smart person.