Critics of Ben Affleck playing the Dark Knight in the upcoming Batman-Superman movie have gotten downright nasty. The Internet quickly responded to the news by starting petitions to keep Affleck from making it to the big screen.
Variety reports 30 petitions sprang up on Change.org following Thursday’s announcement the actor/director will play Bruce Wayne. And petitioners didn’t mince words when explaining why.
This petition with tens of thousands of signatures reads: “His acting skill is not even close to being believable as Bruce Wayne and he won't do the role justice. He's not built, nor is he intimidating enough for the role of Batman.” Ouch.
Others are even more to the point: “Stop Ben Affleck from ruining the Batman/Superman 2015”
And most of them go back to Affleck’s superhero debut and box-office bomb: “Sure, he starred in Daredevil, but that was utter garbage.”
The Verge reports at least one person sent their complaint straight to the top. A petition was submitted to the White House’s “We the People” petition system to “make it illegal for Ben Affleck to portray Batman, or any other superhero, for 200 years.” That petition has since been removed.
So, Affleck’s superhero history doesn’t help his case. But he isn’t the first actor to send people into a frenzy following a big casting announcement.
“Remember when Michael Keaton was cast as Batman? Or when Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond? People actually complained, ‘No, he’s too blonde!’” (Via CNN)
According to Gawker, people weren’t exactly thrilled when the late Heath Ledger was cast as The Joker in “The Dark Knight”… and there’s a screen grab of comments to prove it. Comments like, “Yeah great, Jokeback Mountain.”
Despite the initial hate…
“The Oscar goes to Heath Ledger in ‘The Dark Knight’”
Affleck starred in and directed “The Town” and “Argo”, two critically and commercially successful films.
A writer for Forbes says Affleck will bring in his combination of acting and directing experience to develop Bruce Wayne: “Becoming a director gave Ben Affleck additional insights and perspectives about acting, and his direction of actors clearly demonstrates extreme awareness and understanding of acting and filmmaking.”
And with all the vitriol and negative comments, at least one big name has stepped in to show some support. Joss Whedon, who wrote and directed “The Avengers”, tweeted, “Affleck'll crush it. He's got the chops, he's got the chin -- just needs the material.”
Affleck will get his chance to don the black cape in the “Man of Steel” sequel, which will be directed by Zack Snyder and set for release July 2015.