Dear Internet: Please Shut Up About Ben Affleck & Batman vs. Superman For The Next Two Years

Ben Affleck Batman

Dear Internet,

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.

Comments (44)

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  1. Brian Kirchgessnersays:

    THANK YOU.

    1. Jonathan Lacksays:

      You’re welcome.

  2. Kenneth Serenyisays:

    That’s what you get for having a Twitter account…

  3. 2facesays:

    This is the Batman we are talking about. The caped crusader that strikes fear into the hearts of criminals. Ben Affleck?…….. Ben Affleck????…. BEN AFFLECK???????????? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. He couldn’t strike fear into a house cat.

    Better get used to the internet ridicule. This is gonna be relentless, mercyless and non stop.

    1. Jonathan Lacksays:

      Okay, less than 12 hours after the article went out, let’s count the idiots. Here’s idiot number 1 – thank you for proving all my points in the article, you near-perfect summation of internet stupidity.

  4. abugadi13says:

    You shut up … everybody has a right to have his opinion on this matter and certainly everyone has the freedom to express it specially in the internet … you hypocrite … I did not even bother to read whta you have to say it is so long short of a novel and all just to express your opinion on Ben Affleck being cast as Batman … you are insane big time 😛

    1. Jonathan Lacksays:

      Idiot #3 is a fine specimen, you see, the classic “I-didn’t-read-what-you-wrote-but-I’m-going-to-bash-your-work-anyway-and-make-fun-of-you-personally” sort of online idiot. This species of idiot dates back to the inception of online commenting.

  5. Ivor Haresh-Trewthsays:

    Aw, diddums! Are we exhausting the poor baby by being fully invested in our characters? No doubt you’d moan if no-one was interested. It must be simply delicious to be able to ignore the future and concentrate all your remarkable powers on the here and now while some of us *can actually imagine the future!*.
    People bitching about people bitching just propagates the bitching, baby. Enjoy that.

    1. Jonathan Lacksays:

      Hey, it’s Idiot #5, who really takes the cake – like a child, you see, he resorts to personal attacks when the writer pushes him outside his comfort zone. Like a two year old whose toy was just taken away, he resorts to metaphorical biting, kicking, and flailing. And then tries to defend his rampant stupidity by hiding behind a veil of “being invested in our characters.”

      Guess what, Idiot #5? You can’t be invested in this version of Batman, because HE DOESN’T EXIST YET. THERE IS NOTHING TO BE INVESTED IN. There have been countless different incarnations of Batman. Countless. And there will be countless more. Some versions are great. Some suck. I can tell you right now I don’t feel the slightest investment in certain Batmans, while I feel highly invested in others. Personally, I’d like to wait and see which side of that line Affleck falls on.

  6. Voltaicsays:

    *raises hand* Why the hell did you waste your time with this as you’ve just stated our reactions are noise to you?

    1. Jonathan Lacksays:

      I didn’t write it for your reactions, Idiot #4. I wrote it because I wanted to give voice to something many in my business (online reviewing/reporting) and many readers of that business have been feeling, and because that voice is nearly always drowned out by the cacophonous din of shouting about things that have not happened yet.

  7. Batflecksays:

    This guy’s an idiot if he thinks writing this pointless letter would “shut up the internet”, he basically just wasted his time. If you truly don’t care, then ignore it, it’s simple you moron. By the way, BEN AFFLECK IS THE NEW BATMAN!? NOOO NO NO NO NONO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    1. Jonathan Lacksays:

      And here’s Idiot #2! Who, if he had read the article, would realize I state multiple times that I obviously do not believe I can shut up the Internet. Just giving voice to a growingly significant opinion among people who don’t like perpetually living two years in the future, because, you know, we have lives in the real world.

  8. Dacajunsays:

    I might be the only guy on the planet, who liked Ben Affleck as the Daredevil. But Him as the cape crusader will defiantly SUCK…. I say bring back Michael Keaton

    1. Jonathan Lacksays:

      Oh, ladies and gentleman, Idiot #6 is the cream of the crop. Really and truly. For in the midst of bashing Affleck without giving a single piece of evidence or reasoning, he misspells “definitely” as “defiantly.” Yup. Affleck will “defiantly” be a bad Batman. Defiantly.

  9. James Thompsonsays:

    It’s hard to say whether he’ll be a good Batman. Affleck usually does good when he plays in movies that he directs, but other performances seem a little stiff.

    1. Jonathan Lacksays:

      Which is, of course, the point of my article. It’s hard to say, because we have nothing to go on. Let’s wait to say when there actually is something to say.

  10. Keetsays:

    As fans of Batman we have a right to voice our opinions. I like Affleck, I watch his movies. But NO WAY is he BATMAN… And this is not the same as RDJ as Ironman or Heath as Joker…

    1. Jonathan Lacksays:

      Keet, I’m not going to call you an idiot. But I am going to ask you why you’re treating this like it’s a political election. It’s not. It’s a creative enterprise, and sadly, not you or anyone else gets a say in the casting, and whether or not you have a completely uninformed opinion about what kind of Batman Affleck will be (BECAUSE THE MOVIE DOES NOT EXIST), Affleck will be Batman, and in two years time, you will be able to actually watch the movie, look at it critically, and then report on how you think Affleck DID, not how you resolutely believe he will DO without a smidgeon of information to go on.

      1. Keetsays:

        LOL thanks for not calling me an idiot… I think…
        I understand YOUR point in your article and don’t even have a problem with it because its your opinion. But if we were having a conversation I would then give you my opinion.. And I would say I can not ever see Ben as Wayne.. If anything this outcry will let them know we care about the character so don’t screw it up…

  11. Earychsays:

    They haven’t seen one frame of the movie yet and are already bellyaching. It’s all in the writing! Hell, I thought Keaton as Batman was a crappy idea and was proven wrong (some might disagree but I liked him).

  12. Eric Weiksays:

    I am glad to see some speak up and this. TOO many times things are bashed before it is seen, new James Bond casting anyone. And these are good movies that are loved and everyone is saying I knew Daniel could pull this off.
    I was surprise by Ben being picked, but I am not going to bash the move until I see it. Then if it is bad I will, not any sooner.

  13. thanks for writing this article. I am also so sick of hearing all the whining over this casting choice. and honestly, ten years ago I would have also been upset with this casting choice but I think Affleck has really grown as an actor (and become one hell of a director). I think he’s going to do an awesome job as Batman/Bruce Wayne! I’m really excited about it. after seeing his work in the Town and Argo I thin he’ll bring a lot of depth to the role as well as physically looking the part.

  14. Hmmmsays:

    “At its full potential, the Internet should be making something out of something, not blowing a lot of hot air around about largely meaningless news.”
    And which are you doing here, Jonathan?

    1. Indeed. It’s largely the same thing as what everyone else is doing, just posting their opinions on pop culture. Since when is there a “Shhhh be quiet about things I don’t want to listen to” time?

      #rhetoricalquestion (for Jonathan to find)

  15. Michael McStaysays:

    Well said, and thank you. You seem to have a writing style like my own, and I could not have put it into better words. Is it worth arguments and speculation now to think that a couple of years down the road, something might not be what you idolize it to be?
    Take a chill pill people. worse things have happened.

  16. 7992says:

    People have actually petitioned to the Obama admin about this, it’s pathetic, get a f*****g life, how about a petition to stop the Obama admin funding the unlawful coup in Egypt or take a look at Syria there are bigger issues and if this is what you spend your time doing then you have to ask yourselves what sort of a life do you have!

  17. Andrew Arnoldsays:

    Pre-Argo I would dismiss the idea of Afflac out of hand. After I saw that movie, I’m willing to give him a shot. As long as they play on him being aged in his mid to late 40’s.

  18. Welcome to the internet.

  19. Been there done thatsays:

    You are speaking/writing directly out of my very soul. Thank you for that.

    Friend sent me a Photoshopped picture of him this afternoon, one with and without a mask put on and I was hooked right away.

    Imo an actor is only as good as his director and his script and I am very very sure that Snyder and Nolan will do a great job, as they did with Man of Steel. I can still remember when I first HEARD the news that Ledger was going to be the Joker. Couldn’t picture it in my mind. Thought it to be a bad joke. But then I saw a first still from the set. Him sitting in the prison cell and looking up into the camera… and I became a believer.

    My guess ? Will be a similar effect with Affleck. Let’s wait and see.

  20. I would love to hop on the bandwagon, but after thinking about it for a while I couldn’t come up with a movie he starred in that I didn’t like. Daredevil wasn’t a great movie, but I thought he did great in the character. And no, I didn’t see the Jennifer Lopez movie.

  21. JimH69says:

    Dear Hollywood echo chamber,
    Please get out of pro-Afflack propaganda mode and DON”T GIGLI UP BATMAN!
    Love,
    the internet

  22. poochsays:

    Dear Jonathan Lack: Please Shut Up About People Expressing an Opinion about Ben Affleck For The Next Two Years

  23. Pronksays:

    Let us complain about people complaining about something they have complained about for 24 hours.

    Get over yourself j

  24. Wolfheartsays:

    So..you want to stifle peoples opinion about something they fell passionate about..not matter what it is?
    The fans going to see these superhero movies, is what fuels studios to jump on board and make money. The bar for these movies have been raised recently, and fans expect a great movie.

    Ben Affleck IS a horrible choice to play Batman.

    But I get it, you want to seem clever, so you want to bash everyone.

  25. Mistahmansays:

    Jonathan, you’re grossly over generalizing the reactions of those who are against this casting. However tedious the last two days have been for you, not everyone disapproves of this decision purely because of a dislike of Affleck as an actor. I also suspect that you don’t read comics which could account for some of your disinterest in the matter.

    Regardless, I find it funny that you would devote five pages of ranting to the subsequent media backlash, in effect becoming part of the very thing you’re taking aim at…

  26. I can’t stand Ben Affleck as an actor and I have no intention of watching him in anything, period. I’m not really sure why this is so hard for people to understand. I’m certainly not going to feel bad about my opinion just because somebody else might believe differently.

  27. Jaysays:

    For someone who wants people to shut up, and claims to be “exhausted” over this you sure blabbered on long enough.

  28. Slicksays:

    Look at all these critics slobbering over Ben Affleck. The critics are whining more than the public! Falling over themselves to defend Reindeer Games. LMAO.

  29. Henrietta Smitherssays:

    There are only two reasons I can think of that you would write this ridiculous article: 1) This is a cynical ploy to gain more traffic for this website and therefore gain more advertising dollars. 2) This is some passive-aggressive plot in order to gain attention for yourself – you’re essentially hitting the hornet’s nest with a stick, knowing full well that it will make the hornets inside angry, then you whine bitterly after having gotten stung multiple times. Grow up…

    1. Tom Pakwinsays:

      Exactly! The rage about Affleck lasted what? 2 or 3 days? Then it’s sites like this one that keep dredging up the subject so we get more rounds of bile.
      “Dear ‘We Got This Covered’ and Jonathan R. Lack: Please Shut Up About Ben Affleck & Batman vs. Superman For The Next Two Years”

  30. raysays:

    It’s simple: for starters, your opinion doesn’t matter any more than mine or anyone else’s. That being said, Affleck has made all the right decisions career-wise over the past few years so I personally see no reason to doubt that he’s made the right decision again. Many people would disagree and that’s their right as movie goers. Some go too far and others just express their distaste. Their choice, not yours. Unless of course you’re paying their internet bill? No? Stfu then. Let em bitch. After all anyone with a keyboard and a modem has that right, dickhead.

  31. Ivor Haresh-Trewthsays:

    Dude! You deleted my comment after it hit your hot buttons and you back-spited? Tut, tut, sirrah.
    Anyway, we’re all over that and will wait and see what a dogs breakfast – or NOT – Mr Affleck makes of it while we’re *now* getting fizzed up about Colin Firth being the new voice of Paddington Bear. Afflect Bats was bad but this is CRIMINAL!
    Anyway, how about you? Panties unbunched yet?

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