In the world of big budget Hollywood blockbusters, so many factors must fall into place in order to pull off a hit. Stress levels can soar to stratospheric levels for everyone from the cast and crew to the filmmakers and all the way up to the studio heads themselves. Success can be just as monumental as failure and a very fine line divides the two.
Of course, however challenging a typical Hollywood blockbuster may be, the superhero blockbuster takes stress to a whole new level. Comic book movie fans know exactly what they do or don’t like, and history has proven that they’re never afraid to voice their opposition to a project should it not sit well with them.
Ben Affleck knows this all too well. The two-time Oscar winner was hit with a veritable landslide of criticism when the decision to cast him as the next Batman was revealed back in 2013. With the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice less than two weeks away, Affleck took the time to chat with The LA Times about his response to the online chatter regarding the movie and its imminent release.
“Nobody tweeted about Casablanca, and look at how they did. [Laughs] From directing movies myself, at this point I always feel too enmeshed with it, where I get this panicked sense of like, ‘Is it good? It’s horrible, right? It’s going to bomb.’ But I have a little more sense of remove from this. I feel relaxed and I’m proud of the movie and excited for people to see it. It’s a much nicer feeling. I’m so glad I’m not Zack.”
However comfortable most fans are now with Affleck, there definitely was a time when social media teemed with serious opinions regarding the choice. No sooner had the announcement been made than the hashtag #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck appeared, encouraging everyone to list their choices for a more suitable Batman. After the impressive success of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, fans were used to the measured coolness of Christian Bale and the idea of Ben Affleck – the man who crashed and burned as Daredevil a decade earlier – as the successor to the Batman throne, was simply too much for many to handle.
Fortunately for all involved with Batman v Superman, box-office projections are giving the movie more than just a fighting chance at survival. There are still some people who don’t want to see Affleck in this role, but all too often some fans won’t allow themselves to see the bigger picture and are therefore too quick to judge. After all, even the decision to cast Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight faced its share of negativity – and we all know how that turned out.
For now, fans and filmmakers alike are all in the same boat, playing the same waiting game. Come March 25th, there’s going to be more chatter than ever about Batman V Superman, the casting choices made and the future of DC’s Extended Universe – particularly as Justice League: Part One is less than a month away from principal photography. Whatever the end results, it seems that for now, Ben Affleck is happy to take it all in stride.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 16th, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19th, 2020.