There are a few things I should note before I make this post:
- I have not seen the first Man of Steel, in fact I have never been much of a Superman fan.
- Michael Keaton is my favourite Batman (other than Kevin Conroy of course).
- If you are looking for someone to gush over The Avengers with, I am definitely the worst person to approach.
Now that my biases have been made clear, I shall continue telling you why “Bat Affleck” is the least of my annoyances.
1. We have too many superhero movies all of a sudden, and it won’t stop any time soon:
The franchise has always existed but these Avengers movies have created a monster. The approach taken for The Avengers franchise was of course, to give each hero (except Hawkeye and Black Widow apparently) their own movie so they could all join up together for the superhero blockbuster to end all blockbusters. This was not enough however, Marvel have movies planned up to at least 2021 and you can bet there will be a new set of solo movies to lead up to…The Avengers 2 (surprise!). The cinema is now dominated by superhero movies (Marvel and other) and they are doing well. I would argue that they are doing too well, and many decent stand alone movies are being deemed failures because they cannot hope to keep up with the box office takings.
Batman has many different faces, from the comical Adam West version to the more serious Christian Bale. Once the Nolan trilogy ended, I found myself wondering who would take on the Bat next…in maybe five years or so. The addition of Batman to the Man of Steel franchise (let’s face it there is no point calling these things “series” any more) this soon seems strange. I also have a sneaky feeling that I will see about ten other Batman origin stories on film in my lifetime, even though it is not a factor in this Man of Steel sequel.
2. The more the merrier (not):
We can examine character development through the first Iron Man movie until Iron Man 15 is thrown at us and we’re watching Robert Downey Jr complaining about “kids these days” while shaking a cane at us in 3-D (please never happen). If The Avengers has taught me anything, it is that if you are going to have to write five plus characters into one piece leave it to television or even the graphic novels. I know adding one character to Superman is not terribly extreme, but the addition of a few key characters to the Kick-Ass graphic novels left the 103 minute movie sequel in a disappointing state. The addition of Batman to the Man of Steel sequel also has me fretting about the inevitable Justice League route and I do not know if I am ready for that just yet. It is a sad state of affairs that superhero movies are going the route of adding more and more beloved characters to one giant franchise rather than giving them the time and attention they need.
I am sure that the people working on these movies are passionate about these characters but from where I am standing it sure looks like they are just cashing in on the fanatic nature of the intended audience. All of this goes hand in hand with movie figures being made into some sort of commodity. This is evident when a big comedy actor like Jim Carrey appears on the Kick-Ass 2 poster despite having less that twenty minutes screen time and when Man of Steel itself was marketed on the fact Christopher Nolan was a producer for it. What else can one do really when so many big budget movies are being made in such a short space of time in order to create some profit?
3. We just have to wait and see:
I am sure Affleck was really happy hearing he got the part and is fully aware of how much pressure he is under to deliver. We can make jokes about Daredevil and other past blunders but we must remember to also take into consideration the writers, directors etc. when criticising actors because many have fallen foul to just a bad movie. Nobody would doubt that George Clooney is a competent actor, and look what happened with him and Batman.
Also, as good as he was, I for one am glad Bale Batman stayed within the Nolan trilogy. Some people need to learn when enough is enough.