Dear Internet: Please Shut Up About Ben Affleck & Batman vs. Superman For The Next Two Years
I wish I could say I was disappointed right now, but the truth is, I am far past that point.
I wish I could say I was surprised, but that emotion too has long since gone out the window, right alongside your collective sense of shame, class, dignity, logic, and most importantly, patience.
No, what I really feel right now, less than 24 hours after seeing Twitter, forums, and entertainment websites all explode at the news of Ben Affleck’s casting as Batman in Zack Snyder’s upcoming Batman vs. Superman film, is exhaustion. Exhaustion tinged with anger and bitterness, because this cycle of overreaction during largely uninformed circumstances is slowly driving me crazy, but exhaustion nevertheless.
Last night, I was out of the house for six hours or so attending a screening of Edgar Wright’s incomparable Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy. A glorious time was had by all, as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are masterpieces and classics, and The World’s End lived up to every bit of that reputation and then some. For six blissful hours, I got to forget about the current, underwhelming state of mainstream cinema, escape from the pervading cynicism of the online entertainment community (which includes both the people who write film news and the readers who comment on it, myself included on both sides of the equation), and instead focus solely on enjoying and digesting three truly tremendous movies.
At the end of the day, that is all I personally want out of my relationship with cinema – good movies that provide fulfilling experiences and make me think and feel both while I watch and long after I leave the theatre. Everything else – save actual discussion of the art itself, be it through writing, recording, or in person – is, to me, is a distraction.
And I was reminded of how much I despise those distractions when I got home last night, high on the energy of the Cornetto films, only to find my Twitter feed ablaze with people talking about – or, should I say, complaining/poking fun at – Ben Affleck’s casting as Batman. My personal thoughts were something along the lines of: “Huh. Didn’t necessarily see that coming, but I can see it working. I will be interested to see what comes of this in two years time.” Naively, I thought other people might be on the same wavelength – a quiet, initial burst of interest, followed by moving on to something else instead of spending the next two years wringing hands over a casting choice we know next to nothing about.