Words: Glen Byford // Photo: imgur.com
We geeks sure do like to get riled up. News is delivered to us via the Internet, and then we vent via the Internet, making sure everyone that may be privy to our streams or comments will certainly know exactly what is on our minds. Ben Affleck as Batman in the forthcoming 'Man Of Steel 2' has proved no different.
I'd seen endless tweets and opinions before I'd even managed to find a legitimate news source to confirm that this wasn't merely wild speculation. #BetterBatmanThanAffleck was soon trending, animals, emos and slobs all in costume, and memes of Matt Damon filling Robin's hotpants were widespread, but amongst all this, can we have some serious debate?
Although he certainly wouldn't have been my first choice to fill the role, the choice doesn't fill me with horror or nerd-rage, Affleck's divisive turn as Marvel's marmite 'Daredevil' seems to be a main sticking point for those against the idea (personally, I liked the film) but memories of 'Gigli' are long gone following star turns in 'The Town' and 'Argo'. On top of all this, he knows his comics, is friends with Kevin Smith and has a chin that works for a superhero that will have little else on show.
Let us not forget that Michael Keaton had people up in arms when the 'Beetlejuice' star was announced as Tim Burton's vision of Batman in 1989 and any harsh words against Heath Ledger's casting as The Joker following 'Brokeback Mountain', were soon silenced with his now legendary performance. But if not Affleck, then who do you seriously want to see in the famous cape and cowl?
Going on the strength of rumours that the upcoming 'Man Of Steel' sequel will draw inspiration from Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Returns' (Zack Snyder's big reveal of the planned sequel was preceded by a quote from the 1986 comic miniseries) the aspects likely to be used will be that of an older Batman than we have seen on the screen before, possibly coming out of retirement to face off against the Kryptonian, and one hell of a first fight between a mortal man and an immensely powerful alien.
My initial suggestion of Clint Eastwood (now aged 83) was probably pushing the believability of sci-fi and fantasy to its limits, sure he's got the menacing growl and 'Gran Torino' proved he is still not to be messed with, but swinging from rooftops... probably not. My next name plucked from thin air was Harrison Ford (aged 71) who could easily bring his best brooding to the film, and the latest 'Indiana Jones' flick shows that he has still got an action hero inside him after all these years.
And then I hit upon a genius casting choice that I can't believe hadn't been put forward already, it's time to really rile up the geeks, and bring back George Clooney.
When he first donned the Batsuit he was fresh out of 'ER', looking to cement his move to the big screen, and got swept up in Joel Schumacher's neon kitsch-fest that was too busy pandering to Arnie and trying to sell toys to be taken seriously, but times have changed, the Bat-nipples are a distant memory and Bane is now considered so much more than just Poison Ivy's moronic piece of muscle. And what about Clooney? He got over it, he came out of a bad situation that sunk the Bat-franchise and could have sunk his career, but instead he took on roles that proved his worth with 'Out Of Sight' and 'Three Kings'.
Now, at the ripe old age of 52 (11 years on Affleck), George Clooney still maintains his chiseled features and eligible bachelor status, perfectly suited for a role as aged socialite Bruce Wayne, time and time again on screen he has proved his versatilty and after 15 years, now could be his chance to return back in black and right the wrongs of 'Batman And Robin'.
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